DIAGRAMS can connect independent drawing files when routes cross between them. Many use DIRECTIONAL and BIDIRECTIONAL arrows to represent the flow of media, information, or hierarchy. Connecting routes across drawings using DIAGRAMS Off-Page Connectors means those routes will share a single record in the database despite individual geometry crossing any number of drawings.
- Off-Page Connector Block Guidelines
- Symbol Insertion
- Join Connector
- UnJoin Connector
- Project Manager Diagnostics Tool
- One data record per route
- Manually control Equipment and off-page references....
- Middle Center justify attributes so Connector symbols...
- Using OSNAP (F3 default hotkey) will allow...
- Using ORTHOMODE (F8 default hotkey) will restrict the...
Off-Page Connectors have the following setup requirements in order to correctly insert and connect across drawings:
- Name: This will be the name of the Insertion Routine.
- Insert Type: There are two types.
- Connector: When a symbol is meant to extend from the right or top end of a route, this Insert Type will break the line in the correct direction.
- ConnectorMirror: When a symbol is meant to extend from the left or the bottom end of a route, this Insert Type will break the line in the correct direction.
- Symbol: Block file from Project Symbol Library directories
- Image: *.png files. See Projet Manager for the Auto-Image utility.
Generally, recommended to keep the image names identical to block files.
Often adding custom images can help the User find them quickly.
- Table Name: Off-Page Connectors must be added to the built-in SYS_CONNECTIONS table.
- Size 1: Break Distance per the Insertion Routine.
- Scale: This option will set the scale of the block file upon insertion. Note that all OOTB symbols are 1:1.
- Layer: This sets the layer the block file will insert on. These layers are Project Manager settings.
Note, OOTB symbols attribute color set to 7, white
- Direction: This is the direction of flow for the symbol. "From" connector symbols can connect with "To" connector symbols and vice versa, while "Bi-Directional" symbols can connect with other "Bi-Directional" symbols.
- Rotate Attributes: When checked, rotating the block will cause the attributes of the block to also be rotated along with it if the block is inserted at an angle. When unchecked, attributes will keep their original rotation even if the block is inserted at an angle.
- Tag/Label: Normally used for equipment insertions and not usually necessary for Connectors. These options can be filled to add additional Tag and Label blocks after inserting the Off-Page Connector.
Off-Page Connector Block Guidelines
The following points should be kept in mind when users author their own Off-Page Connector blocks for their DIAGRAMS projects.
- Insertion Point: The symbol's insertion point for geometry is automatically set at the block file's origin (0,0 coordinates).
- Geometry: Geometry for the symbol will depend on the Insert Type set for the symbol via the Project Manager's symbol library. "Connector" and "ConnectorMirror" are the two Insert Types for Off-Page Connectors.
- Insert Type "Connector": Connectors that attach to the right-hand side or from the top end of a route. Geometry for these insertion types should extend to the right or above the 0,0 insertion point.
- Insert Type "ConnectorMirror": Connectors that attach to the left-hand side or from the bottom end of a route. Geometry for these insertion types should extend to the left or below the 0,0 insertion point.
- Attributes: Visible text attributes shown by an Off-Page Connector should correspond to Fields in the associated table set in the Table Name above.
- When Route Fields are set to propagate, Connectors fields with matching field names will update.
ProTip1: Manually control Equipment and off-page references when more than two drawings.
ProTip2: Middle Center justify attributes so Connector symbols can be repurposed for 90, 180, & 270 angle insertion. Right and Left justification often leads to creating more symbols to cover use cases.
- Select the Off-Page Connector symbol from the Pipe Routes section of the Symbol Library
- Select the insertion point for the symbol at or overlapping the correct end of the desired route
ProTip: Using OSNAP (F3 default hotkey) will allow users to snap an Off-Page Connector's insertion point to the end point or along the geometry of a route.
- Rotate the symbol to the desired direction ProTip: Using ORTHOMODE (F8 default hotkey) will restrict the insertion direction to 90° angles
Note: Off-Page Connector symbols MUST be placed at or overlapping the end of a route segment, as dictated by the Insertion Type, else the insertion command will fail.
- Select the unconnected Off-Page Connector symbol for joining
- Use the "Connect" command, under the Connectors section of the Utilities commands, to launch the "Join Off-Page Connector" wizardProTip1: "From" direction Off-Page Connectors can only be joined to matching "To" connectors in the project, and vice versa. "Bi-Directional" Off-Page Connectors can only be joined to other "Bi-Directional" connectors in the project.
ProTIp2: The Connection Wizard will use the "Route Number" field by default to find matching Off-Page Connectors currently in the project. If no matching Route Number is found, the "Include Other Routes" checkbox can be used to populate the list with all unconnected Off-Page Connectors currently in the project.
- Select the matching connector located on a different page to join with in the right-hand panel of the wizard
- Click the "Join" button at the bottom right of the wizard and the two connectors will be joined
- Select the connected Off-Page Connector symbol to unjoin
- Use the "Disconnect" command, under the Connectors section of the Utilities commands, to unjoin the connector
Additionally, all connected connectors in a drawing can be disconnected all at once by using the "Disconnect All" command.
Project Manager Off-Page Connector Diagnostics Tool
The Project Manager includes a tool that can be used to review all connectors included in a project.
- Connected Connectors: When this option is selected, the list will display only connectors with a matching connection between two drawings. Connector 1, Connector 2, and SYS_ROUTES data for associated connectors will be displayed in the boxes to the right of the selection box.
- From Connectors: When this option is selected, the list will display only From connectors not connected to another drawing. Only Connector 1 and SYS_ROUTES data for the associated connector will be displayed in the boxes to the right of the selection box.
- To Connectors: When this option is selected, the list will display only To connectors not connected to another drawing. Only Connector 2 and SYS_ROUTES data for the associated connector will be displayed in the boxes to the right of the selection box.
- Unassociated Connectors: When this option is selected, the list will display only connectors that are not associated to a route. Only Connector 1 or Connector 2 data for the associated connector will be displayed in the boxes to the right of the selection box.
- Connection Table Diagnostics: When this option is selected the table Project Manager will display the Connections Database Table in a diagnostic view. All connections are included to help determine their validity.
- Include Diagnostic Information: When checked will show for each connector the individual data of the connector items from the Items table.
- Refresh: Clicking this button will refresh the list with any changes that have been made to the database after the Diagnostic Tab was opened.
- Clear Filters: Clicking this button will clear any of the filters applied to the list of connectors in the selection box, or data list in the information boxes.
- Column Autosize: This button auto sizes data columns in the connector selection box and data view boxes to fit the data.
- View From/To Connector Drawing: Clicking either of these buttons will open a drawing viewer to show the selected To or From connector for easy locating. This can be used to visually inspect the drawing without needing to open it in a DIAGRAMS enabled AutoCAD environment.
Connecting routes across drawings means that they will all point to a single record in the database, despite existing across multiple drawings.
Using the Routes view in the DIAGRAMS Project Manager, users can see what routes are connected across drawings through their shared record.