August 24, 2017

Posted on August 24, 2017 by Synergis’ Application Consultant, Todd Schmoock
AutoCAD Electrical ships with tools specifically designed for the controls industry so if there is an AutoCAD Electrical tool you should use that tool before using an AutoCAD tool.  The biggest reason for this is due to drawing and project updates that are programmed into them.  However, sometimes there are tasks that do not have AutoCAD Electrical tools, or could be faster using an AutoCAD tool.  Always keep in mind that if you run an AutoCAD tool it is good practice to run an AutoCAD Electrical update tool on the drawing or project.
Working with wires:
If you have wires previously identified in another drawing you can use the design center to transfer them into other drawings.  The Design Center actually works better than using the import option in the Create/Edit Wire Type dialog box.  The import option only transfers the layer name, but the design center transfers all columns in the Create/Edit Wire Type dialog box.  To use the Design Center open the drawing you need wire layers so it is the active drawing.  Open the Design Center by pressing the Ctrl key and pressing the number 2 key at the same time.  Navigate and expand the options for the drawing that currently has the wire layers you need.  Select the wire layers you want, and right-click.  You have the option to add the layer(s) to the active drawing.  Here is an example of this procedure:

Here is an example of the Create/Edit Wire Type dialog box after the wire layer has been added:
If you have wire layers already defined in your AutoCAD Electrical drawing, but some are on the wrong layer you can use several of the AutoCAD techniques to get them onto the desired layer.  One technique used by AutoCAD users is selecting the entity on the wrong layer, and picking the correct layer from the layer drop down located on the home ribbon. Another workflow is using the Match Layer tool.  Either of these will work because AutoCAD Electrical doesn’t care how the wire gets on the correct layer.  It only matters that it is on a defined wire layer in the Create/Edit Wire Type dialog shown above.  The AutoCAD Electrical tool to change the wire to the correct wire layer is called Change/Convert Wire Type, and when activated shows a list of all defined wire layers similar to the Create/Edit Wire Type.  Here is an example of a drawing with defined wire layers:
Both of these AutoCAD options to identify wires do not require you to run any AutoCAD Electrical updates since AutoCAD Electrical only cares that a line is on a defined wire layer.  However, it is always good practice to run the basic updates like Wire Number and Signal Tag/Retag.  Also keep in mind how you should use AutoCAD Electricals tool over standard AutoCAD tools, but if you know how to ensure your AutoCAD Electrical drawings and project are updated you can use standard AutoCAD tools to save time.
Check back for Part 2 of AutoCAD tools you can use in AutoCAD Electrical.