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- Working with attributes

Extracting attribute information

You can extract attribute information from a drawing and save it to a separate text file for use with a database program. You can save the file in any of the following formats:

Comma Delimited Format (CDF) Contains one line for each instance of a block, with individual attribute fields separated by commas. Character string fields are enclosed with single quotation marks. You must specify a template file when extracting to a CDF file.

Space Delimited Format (SDF) Contains one line for each instance of a block. Each attribute field has a fixed length; there are no separators or character string delimiters. You must specify a template file when extracting to a SDF file.

Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) Creates a subset of a standard DXF file (a *.dxx file) containing all the information about each block, including the insertion points, rotation angles, and attribute values. No template file is required.

Before extracting attributes to a CDF or SDF file, you must create a template file. The template file is an ASCII text file that specifies the attribute data fields to be written in the extract file. Each line of the template file specifies one attribute field.
progeCAD® recognizes 15 different fields, which contain elements such as the block name, the x-, y-, and z-coordinates of its insertion point, the layer on which it is inserted, and so on. You can include any of these fields. The template file must include at least one attribute name.

Each line in the template file must start with the field name. Block name and insertion-point values must begin with BL:. The next nonblank character must be either a C (indicating a character string field) or an N (indicating a numeric field). This character is then followed by three digits indicating the width of the field (in characters). The final three digits indicate the number of decimal places (for numeric fields). In the case of character fields, the last three digits must be zeros (000). A typical template file is similar to the one shown here:

To create a template file
  1. Create a template file using any ASCII text editor (such as Microsoft Notepad or Microsoft WordPad) or a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word.
  2. Include the necessary fields in the template file.
  3. Save the template file in ASCII text format.
To extract attribute information
  1. Do one of the following:
  2. Choose Tools > Extract Attributes.
  3. Type ddattext and then press Enter.
  4. Click Select, specify the entities from which to extract attributes, and then press Enter.
  5. Specify the format of the extracted file.
  6. For CDF and SDF formats, specify the template file.
  7. Specify the extract output file.
  8. Click Extract.
  1. Click to select blocks in the drawing containing attributes you want to extract.
  2. Click to specify the format of the extracted file.
  3. Specify the template file for CDF and SDF extracts.
  4. Specify the extract output file.
  1. Click to extract attributes.
  2. Click to specify the output file using a file dialog box.
  3. Click to specify the template file using a file dialog box.
  4. Indicates the number of blocks with attributes selected for extraction.