At some point in time, a user may come across a spec but not have any of the catalogs used to created it. This could happen due to a number of reason, such as the client not including the catalogs when they sent the spec. Regardless of the reasons, specs require a catalog to point to in order to be modified in SpecGen. Luckily, there is a way around this. Within SpecGen is a tool that creates Catalogs by converting specs into them. Since the Spec does still has all the data in it, it is easy to pull the data back out and create a new catalog out of it. This tool is called the 'Specs to Catalog(s) Convertor'.
The first that is needed is for SpecGen to be loaded. During the loading process, be sure to open a project that is of the same units as the specs that you wish to convert. Once SpecGen is loaded, cancel out of the 'SpecGen Startup Options' by hitting the Cancel button.
This will allow access to SpecGen's pull down menus. From here, go to the Catalog>Specs To Catalog(s) Convertor pull down option.
This will load the 'Convert Specs to Catalog; dialog'. Here there are a number of options that can be done during the conversion process.
The top have of the dialog is were the specs will be listed once they are selected. This is done by clicking the Add button. Any spec that has been added can be also removed from the selection by selecting it and clicking the Remove button.
The bottom have of the dialog includes the location for were the catalogs will be stored along with the options 'Merge Specs in One Catalog' and 'Remove Duplicate SYSIDs'. To select a location, just hit the 'Save In' button to bring up the 'Browse for Folder' dialog and select the folder that you wish to place the catalogs. NOTE: Don't place the catalogs in the same location as the specs, the program will name the catalogs the same name as the spec that they are created from so doing so will cause an error in the program.
The 'Merge Specs in One Catalog, does just what it says. It will take all the specs and create one master catalog out of all of them instead of making one catalog for each spec as the program does when this option is unchecked. The 'Remove Duplicate SYSIDs will only become available the Merge option is selected. This will help remove any duplicate components from the merged catalog. An example of this would be if you have two specs, Spec A and Spec B, and both have the same 6" pipe that came from the same original catalog. When generating separate catalogs, this component will be placed into both new catalogs. But, when merging the catalogs into one, this would place to copies of the same component into the single catalog, which isn't needed. This option will remove the duplicate from the newly created catalog keep this to only a single copy. Another ting to note is that when the 'Merge Specs in One Catalog is checked, the 'Save In' button will change to a 'Save As' button and the Generate button will be grayed out. Clicking the 'Save As' button will allow to give the new catalog a name which it will need before the 'Generate' button will become active again.
Once all the options are set, pressing the Generate button will run through the process. Depending on the options set in the dialog, it will either create a number of new catalogs into the designated folder or a single file of the specified name in the selected location.
Now that the catalogs have been made, the specs will need to be pointed to their corresponding catalog so that they can be modified in SpecGen. To do this, just open the spec up in SpecGen, either by going to File>Open Spec or by clicking on the Open icon and selecting spec from the options.
Once opened, the spec will go through its checks and since the original catalogs are missing, it will prompt the following error -
Hitting OK on this error will bring up the 'Select Catalog' dialog, which will allow you to browse to the location of the new catalog and select it. If this spec had multiple catalogs in it, it will throw this error for each on that is missing. But, because we created the new catalog from the spec, the new catalog will house all the components that this spec was pulling from all of the original components. This will allow us to just select the new catalog for each one of the catalogs that is missing.
After all the missing catalogs have been replaced by the new one, the spec should load up and it can now be modified. Look over the components by uncheck the Expert option to see if the rows return any. If there is a value there, then it should be working fine. It is also a good idea to build the spec once by going to Spec>Build Spec>Build Entire Spec. This will build the whole spec and make sure that it is all up-to-date with the catalog change.
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