Original Article Date: Aug 10, 2005
With thanks to Alexander Molotov for creating this application called Element Manager. This terrific utility allows you to drill into a file to determine all kinds of nifty things. Interested? Well, then keep reading!
2006-09-18 Updated with new functionality.
Element Manager is available from http://www.mdlapps.com. and provides the following functionality:
Before describing how Element Manager can make you more productive, let's take a look at the interface:
Imagine the following task - You have a file with 200 cells named town and each cell is to have corresponding text on a separate level. Only trouble is, is that a couple of cells have their labels missing. How do you find the nameless towns?
This may easily take an hour or more to do!
Although the above is just one example, the same amount of effort is needed to resolve missed details, duplicated elements, incorrect element attributes and so forth. In all cases it doesn't take much to understand how much effort it takes to resolve these kinds of problems.
Now you can solve these kinds of tasks easier with ElementManager. Just select the proper area with a fence and select Refresh Statistics to generate or refresh the statistics. In doing so, the ElementManager will report back the quantity of each element grouped by type, color, weight, level name, etc. Simply highlight the cells, select the Next button and the Element Manager will zoom into (locate) each element. You've just turned a complex problem into something that can be done in five minutes!
Let's continue with the previous task and imagine that you don't want to fix the problem areas yourself. Rather than using Saved Views to "remember" where the problem areas are in the file, just place a thick red line in the problem area. Your drafter can then load Element Manager and easily cycle through the red ellipses using the Next and Previous buttons. After making the necessary repairs to the file, the drafter can remove the red circles by pressing just two buttons - Select and Delete (or he can use Delete Elements of the Current Group operation).
Here's another situation... you've opened your file and noticed that someone added several elements to your project. Of course you'd like to see the changes. But how? Using ElementManager you can:
Note, that you can easily display only those elements which were modified in the particular day. You need just to select Element Filter and set “Additional” Field Filtering Criteria to match the date of this day.
Another example. Let's say that you'd like know exactly the quantity of each unique cell in your file.
Using the ElementManager you can:
Tip: If you're short on screen real estate, just press the Minimize button on the main dialog!
Tip: Use the keyins mp elemngr prev and mp elemngr next for browsing.
Tip: Turn on Display Deleted Elements option from Settings dialog when you want to see previous states of modified elements when you cycle through the elements for visual inspection.
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