From time to time, some users may wish to use custom symbols in Isogen. This can come about because a new component was added, or because the user doesn't like the standard symbol displayed for an existing component. This can be done using the 'User Defined Symbols Editor'. This TechNote goes over the basics of how to access this program along with some basic changes to an existing symbol.
The first thing one needs to do is setup the Custom Symbols file so that isogen knows were the file is. To do this follow the below steps.
In the editor, there are a few options that one can do. The first thing one should do is load up the Standard Library that displays all the default symbols in Isogen. To do this just go to 'View>Standard Library' as shown below -
Once this is done, the pull downs options below the pull down menus will change to the ones set in the Library. An example of these two pull downs is below -
The pull down on the left shows a list of the categories or groups for the components.
The pull down on the right shows the available symbols and SKEYs that are in the library or set.
In this example, the Screwed Flanges will be changed to a different symbol. Begin by selecting the 'Redefining Flanges' in the left pull down and 'Old SKEY: FLSC - Screwed Flange'.
With this selected, go to 'Symbol>New - Create a New Symbol in the Current Set'
This will load up the 'Add New Symbol' dialog -
To add a new symbol, that will override the old one in the iso, just leave all the information as is and hit 'Create Symbol'. This will create a symbol in the Current Set. One thing to keep in mind is that the original symbol will still be in the library. If one needs to create a new symbol and keep the old one, then a New Symbol Key is needed, which can be inserted in the 'New Symbol Key' text box. This value can be any four letters and has to be unique. It also has to be added into the pcf.ini file located in 'C:\Program Files\Bentley\Plant V8i\Modules\Base'. The information in this file will be covered later in this TechNote.
After pressing the 'Create Symbol' button, the tool will allow the graphics to be modified. To draw a line, simple left click any were in the screen to place the start point, then move the mouse pointer to a point for the end of the line and left click again to place the line, right click to exit the line placement or left click to place another line, using the last point as the start point. To delete a line or other objects, just got to the Delete pull down menu -
To move some of the objects, such as the 'Start Point', go to the Move pull down menu -
The buttons on the left, which are now active, can allow for addition placement of objects and editing. Hover over the button to display a tooltip with more information on it.
The symbol that will be changed looks like this -
It will be replaced by this symbol -
Once the required changes are done, press the 'Done' button at the top left to accept them. After this, the symbol is now listed in the right pull down under the 'Current Symbol Set'. It is also important to remember to save the changes done in the file by going to 'File>Save - Save the Symbol Set to the Current File'.
Test out the changes in Isogen by placing a component that uses this symbol in Piping and then run an iso of it. This is how the above symbol would look in an iso -
When creating a new symbol that will be used by a new component, or to specify a symbol that one wishes to be used by specific components without modifying the original, users need to make sure to place a new symbol key in the 'New Symbol Key' text box. This can be any unique 4 letter combination. Once this value is in place, the user most also add it to the pcf.ini file which is typically located in the install folder - 'C:\Program Files\Bentley\Plant V8i\Modules\Base'. This file can be made project specific by adding the Base folder into the 'Config\Modules' folder in the project root.
This file maps the class name of the component to the SKEY of the symbol. An example of this is given below -
AT_FLANGE_THD = FLSC
In the above example, the class for a threaded flange, which is AT_FLANGE_THD points to the symbol with the SKEY of FLSC. If a new SKEY is desired, it has to be unique. Also, if a new component is create just add it to the list here with the SKEY that is desired. For example, a new type of threaded flange is made called AT_FLANGE_THD_XX and the user wishes to use the same symbol in Isogen as the normal threaded flange. The class name needs to point to this symbol in the file like below -
AT_FLANGE_THD_XX = FLSC
One thing to note is that all these links are located under the MAP_CLASS2SKEY section of the file. Do not place the link under the MAP_CLASS2TYPE or MAP_ENDCOND4SKEY sections because these handle something different in the pcf and will cause errors if it is placed there.
When the asc file is created, notice that there is also a bin file that is placed into the folder. Do not remove this file, this file is needed to work with the asc. If this file is missing, open the asc file in the editor and save it once. This should rebuild the bin file.
For more information on this tool, be sure to look over the Help pull down menu in the Editor.
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