How to Modify Widgets Database.

Modifying how Widgets Show on 2D Plans and Elevations

 This topic will cover how to modify the existing widget tables in the AISC catalog.

Understanding the concept of the widgets

 Each shape (extrusion) has four sides that use the widget representation. Looking at the image below, you can see the number that each side is assigned for recognition in the database tables.


 Each of these side views have a line count, line color, and line type for each line. For example, the view assigned to 3 (top view) will need three lines (line count), with two continuous (outer lines) and one hidden (web thickness inside) as in the image below.


                         Controlling these lines is done in the respective shape database. In this case you will edit the AISC Imperial database for channels.
Exercise: Modifying a channel’s representation for “sketch” mode

                          The sketch mode is the one that uses the widgets.

                                            1   Go to the shape’s databases folder (...\Data\Shapes\)

                                            2   Double‐click AISC_Imperial.mdb to open the file in Microsoft Access.

  3      When the file opens, you can see on the left hand side all the available tables inside the database. Look for the widget table for channels (AISC_I_C_Widgets). Find it in the list and double‐click on it to open it in the main area of Microsoft Access.


The goal is to change the C10x20 (C250x30 in metric values) widget representation so that it uses different colors. You will also learn about the other fields although you will not change them.


Each shape (in this case the C10x20) has four lines, one line per view. Notice that the third column (VIEW) has the view number for that particular line description. The next column (LINECOUNT) shows the number of lines needed to represent that shape in that particular view. For example, in view 3 or 5 (top and bottom), you only need three lines to represent a channel. But on view 2 or 4 (front and back) you need four lines.

The next columns are divided in groups of three. Each group of three is for a single line. Included are its position in relation to the center of the element; its line type (two options are available 0‐continuous or 1‐ hidden); and its color (numeric values according to AutoCAD’s color scheme).


4      Let’s now modify the C10x20 to be represented in 1‐red for continuous lines and in gray for hidden lines, leaving the distances and linetype assignments untouched. To do this, on view 2 (front), change all lines to the color red.


                                          5   On views 3 and 5 (top and bottom), change the outer lines (lines 1 and 2) to 1‐red and the inner line (line 3) to 8‐gray. Line4 is not used.


6      Finally on view 4 (back), change the outer lines (lines 1 and 2) to 1‐red and the inner lines (line 3 and 4) to 8‐gray.


Note: The last four columns are used to define the edge lines of the widgets at both ends (start and end of widget) and are not changed in this exercise.


7      When these actions are complete, close the database to save the table just modified.


8      Now you are ready to test your changes in a new drawing. If ProSteel was open, close it and re‐open (remember that ProSteel reads the databases when it load so any changes made during a working session will not be active until you reload ProSteel). Open a new drawing and place a C10x20. Go to its properties and under the Layout tab change its display to “sketch” mode. You should be able to see your changes to the database applied here now.