Quickly and easily replace cells in all of your design files — in batch.

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services

Published 7 October 2011

Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services, has been helping CAD users with their MicroStation problems for over a decade.

Rejected! You know the feeling. It's the one that washes away any sense of satisfaction you might have had when you completed and submitted that last project. In looking over the reason the project was rejected, you find out that the wrong cell was placed multiple times in each of your design files. What's worse — the client didn't provide the correct cell until after the "wrong one" was already placed. If only they'd given the right spec!

If it was just one design file, it wouldn't be a problem, but this project has over 500 design files! So much for the weekend. While the changes aren't hard, the correction will easily eat up days. This is certainly not the most efficient use of your time — or your skills.

Lucky for MicroStation users like you, there's a solution — Global File Changer. Global File Changer has a built-in custom command that allows you to replace — in batch — all instances of a cell in any number of design files, while retaining all the database linkages and tags that are associated with that cell, if you choose. Here's how:

    1. Load Global File Changer from your Axiom pull-down menu.
    2. Select Custom | Replace cells... to open the "Replace Cells" dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Global File Changer lets you make unlimited changes to multiple design files quickly and easily. The “Custom” menu contains a growing number of built-in commands that just cannot easily be done using MicroStation key-in commands.

    1. At the top of the "Replace Cells" dialog box will be a field labeled "Which cell library contains the new cells?". Press the {Select...} button next to this field, then browse to and select the cell library that contains the correct cell — the cell that you want to be added to your design files.
    2. Under the "Cell replacement rules" section you simply place the name of the old cell that you want to replace in the field labeled "Existing cell:". Place the name of the new cell that you want to add in the field labeled "New cell:". In Figure 2, below, we're using "P2" as the old cell and "P300" as the new cell.

Figure 2. Global File Changer allows you to replace one or more cells in any number of files in batch.

    1. Press the {OK} button on the Replace Cells dialog box and you will be prompted to choose a location and file name for saving the cell replacement instructions you just created for Global File Changer to use while processing. Do so and press {OK} to return to the main Global File Changer dialog box.
    2. From the main Global File Changer dialog box, press {Select...}, which is next to the "Design Files:" field. This will open the "Choose Files to Process" dialog box.
    3. In the "Choose Files to Process" dialog box, you can browse for all of the files you need to process. There is more than one way to select your files for processing. From talking to customers, I've found that most users just press the "Browse for files" button. This will allow you to navigate to and select each file that should be processed. Once your files are selected, press {OK}.

Figure 3. The {Browse for files} button makes it easy to select any number of design files that contain the cell you want to have replaced. Whether you select a few or a few hundred files, Global File Changer will process them all in batch, quickly replacing the cells in all of the files you’ve selected.

  1. Press {Start} on the main Global File Changer dialog box.

In just a matter of minutes, the job will be complete! Your client (or boss) won't believe that you made the necessary changes in such a short amount of time. Now you can go back to the sense of satisfaction of finally having the project complete.
Find Out More Cool Tricks You Can Do With Global File Changer!

Find Out More Cool Tricks You Can Do With Global File Changer!
For more information on Global File Changer or to obtain a free trial version, contact an Axiom MicroStation Consultant today! Call 727-442-7774 extension 2682, Global File Changer Information.