Original Article Date: Jan 2, 2007
Although MicroStation V8 can use AutoCAD commands via PGP files, it only executes the command, and that’s about it. On the other hand, the Alias Manager opens the correct tool box and highlights the proper icon and activates the command - all by simply keyin the AutoCAD command. Read along as Eric Cooper delves into this utility which can ease the transition for those users migrating from AutoCAD to MicroStation
MicroStation is delivered with a utility that’s specifically designed for those users making the transition from AutoCAD to MicroStation. Called the Alias Manager, this application allows you to map one command set to another by using a simple text file that contains two records for each alias. To follow along with the remainder of this tutorial, download and extract acad.alm from the zip file and place it in the …/workspace/system/data/ folder. Open the file with any text editor and note the structure of its contents.
dialog toolbox drop;drop complex
Where: EXPLODE is the first record is the AutoCAD command
dialog toolbox drop;drop complex is the second record and is the equivalent MicroStation keyin with a twist.
For those of you who are familiar with MicroStation’s commands, you may recognize that dialog toolbox drop opens the Drop tool box while drop complex activates the Drop Complex Status tool.
In doing this, the Alias Manager becomes a terrific training tool to ease the transition from AutoCAD to MicroStation.
To load the Alias Manager
To load the Alias Manager, keyin mdl load aliasmgr and select acad.alm as the input file.
Upon clicking the Open button, you’ll be presented with an alert asking to define the input file as the variable for ALIASMGR_DATA.
Selecting OK defines the selected input file as the default data file for the Alias Manager.
Once the data file is opened and read into memory, the status bar informs you how many aliased commands are read.
To use AutoCAD commands
From the Alias Manager, select File > List to view the contents of the data file. Note that the AutoCAD command is shown in CAPS while the MicroStation equivalent is in lower case.
Key in an available AutoCAD command in the Command field and notice that the Aliased Input field is automatically filled in. In addition, the correct tool box is opened and the proper tool is activated.
MicroStation’s operation emphasizes command selection and activation via icons and menus in the user interface. As a result, please recognize that the Alias Manager is intended as a transition aid and not as a recommended alternative to normal MicroStation operation.
To customize the input file
The Alias Manager uses an ASCII text input file that can be created or edited using a wide variety of editors. Likewise, the files can also be created and modified using the Edit tools available in the Alias Manager's bar menu. For example, you may prefer to use the Drop Element tool from the Groups tool box when rather than Drop Complex Status from the Drop tool box. In this case, simply edit the Aliased Input to read dialog toolbox groups;drop element followed by Edit > Modify. Before exiting, it's also a good idea to select File > Save from the Alias Manager to avoid loosing any edits you may have made.
Something to note:
The data file supplied with this article is rather old and subsequently some of the MicroStation commands may need updating. To simplify this, enable Options > Extracting > Icon/Menu Key-ins, in doing so, MicroStation will automatically populate the Aliased Input field by extracting the keyins used behind the scenes when selecting tools or menu items.
For additional information on this useful and versatile utility, refer to Help > Programmed Customizations > Utilities > Alias Manager.
AskInga Article #306