Assigning and Modifying Custom Object Properties

Assigning and Modifying Custom Object Properties

Assigning and Modifying Custom Object Properties

Canvas X Draw contains the ability to attach specific user-definable data to any object. This information is stored with the objects and can be viewed or edited from within Canvas X Draw.

Assigning Custom Object Properties

The Object Properties function allows you to assign specific information to each component of a complex object. The properties of an object can include information that will allow you to efficiently track cost, inventory, location, and availability. As a result, those who design and manufacture items such as fuel pumps, jet engines or other sophisticated components can better manage production workflow.

Attaching information to an object does not affect the size or appearance of the item. All data remains attached to the object and may be edited at any time within Canvas X Draw. Therefore, if the object is shared or used in another project, then the properties of that object are carried over into the new project.

To Open the Object Properties Palette:

Select a Canvas X Draw object and choose Object | Object Properties.

If the selected item does not have any properties assigned to it, then you will need to create some properties.

If the object is grouped, then you will need to ungroup it. This allows you to select the various individual items to which you wish to assign a property.

To Assign Properties to an Object:

  1. From the Object Properties palette menu, (the arrow button on the lower right of the palette), select Define Property.
  2. In the Define Properties dialog box, click the New button.
  3. Select the options for the property as detailed in the table below.
  4. When you have finished defining properties, click OK to close the dialog box.

Once created, the labels are listed in the Properties panel. At any time, you can access and edit your entries by clicking on any of the properties that are listed in the Properties panel.

Define Properties Options

Label

In this field, you may enter the name of the property; e.g., Size, Weight, Location, Part Number, Tracking Code.

You can also attach multiple labels to each object. Doing so allows you to identify the object by using one of the assigned labels.

Next, select an option in the Type menu. This allows you to choose the search value for the object.

Type

The Type field has the following options: String, Number, Fixed List, Variable List, Boolean, Currency, or Date.

String: You can place just about anything that you want in this field. You can enter a format, however, it is only for informational purposes only. Entered values will not be validated based on their format.

Number: This option allows you to enter a numerical value for an object. To do so, you must use one of the following formats:

  • Whole (e.g., 1)
  • Whole with units (e.g., 1 kg)
  • Decimal (e.g., 1.5)
  • Decimal with Units (e.g., 5.1 kg)
  • Fraction (e.g., 1/2)
  • Fraction with Units (e.g., 1/2 kg)

Fixed List: You can think of this as assigning a key word that can be used to search for items. Be certain to separate each word with a semicolon (;); e.g., “earth;wind;fire”. After setting this property type, you should define a set of items that appear on the list of available values for the property. Enter the desired values in the Format field; e.g., you may enter values such as “Earth;Wind;Fire” in the Format field. These entries will then appear on the list in the Object Properties palette.

Variable List: This option is the same as a fixed list except that you can enter new values at the time of assignment to the object. After you define a set of values, you may want to add a new value to the set that appears in the Object Properties menu. To make these changes, you need only to enter a value in the Object Properties palette.

Boolean: This is used when the value will be Yes or No. You may change the value to True or False, Positive or Negative, 0 or 1, etc. 

Currency: There are two format types for the currency property. They are Monetary Sign Leads (e.g., USD 100.00) and Monetary Sign Follows (e.g., 100.00 USD).

The default setting for the currency property is Monetary Sign Leads. This property is set in the same manner as the previously described numbers with units. You need only to enter a value and a monetary sign in the Value field to have a default monetary sign set. The sign that you enter will then become the default setting. It will be automatically added each time that you change a value.

If you enter a value and a monetary sign that differs from the default, then the change will be rejected. If the default sign was not defined, then you have to enter a number and a monetary sign each time that you change the value of the property. An advantage of not having a default monetary sign is that you are not constrained to the use of the default setting when entering a different sign.

A monetary sign must always be present in the value when working with currencies. If there is not a default setting, you must enter a number and the monetary sign.

Date: The Date property can be set in any of six different formats. They are grouped into two major format types:

  • Full Date formats: This setting forces you to set a date which consists of a two-digit day, two-digit month, and four-digit year; e.g, for February, you must enter “02” instead of “2”. Therefore, February 7th, 2001 could be entered as 02/07/2001.
  • Short Date formats: Using this setting the date will consist of either a one-digit or two-digit day and a one-digit or two-digit month. A two-digit year will always be required. This means that zero (‘0’) will not be used as the first number for month or day; e.g., February should be represented as “2” (not as “02”); however, zero will be accepted as the first number of a year. This means that you may enter 2001 as “01”. Therefore, February 7th, 2001 could be entered as 2/7/01.

    Each of the previously discussed sets have three separate formats:

    month/day/year: Represented in the palette as “03/29/1999” and “3/29/99” respectively

    day/month/year: Represented in the palette as “29/03/1999” and “29/3/99” respectively

    year/month/day: Represented in the palette as “1999/03/29” and “99/3/29” respectively

Once you choose a Type from the above options, you must establish the correct Format. The Format section provides details for each of the Type choices and its associated Format options.

Format

Assigning a format depends on which of the previously mentioned types were selected.

Value

Allows you to enter a default value for an object.

Prompt

A message or other data that is entered here will be displayed whenever you place the pointer over the property name in the Object Properties palette.

To use this feature, select the Show Information Tooltips checkbox in the Functionality options in the Configuration Center.

To Define a Unit:

  1. In the Define Properties dialog box, set the Type as “Number”.
  2. Set the Format to be one of those with units.
  3. Enter a number followed by unit as the Value; e.g., “100 kg”. The unit will become the default for that property.
  4. This means that if you were to enter the setting of “100 cm”, then “cm” will become your default setting. Therefore, when you enter a new value for the property in the Object Properties palette, you will only have to enter the number for that property. The unit will automatically be appended to reflect the unit “cm.” If you enter both a number and a unit and the unit differs from the default, then the entry will be rejected.

    If you do not specify a default unit for the property, then you will need to enter a number and a unit each time that you change the value. The advantage of not having a default unit is that you can enter a different unit without being constrained by the default setting.

  5. Once you have completed entering all of the properties to the object, click OK. When the Object Properties palette is active, all assigned properties will appear in the palette whenever you select the object.

Adding, Modifying, and Deleting Properties

You can modify, delete, or add new properties. Although it is possible to add a property to two or more selected objects, you can only delete or define properties while one object is selected.

To Add a Property to an Object or Objects:

  1. Open the Object Properties palette menu and select Add Property.
  2. In the Add Property dialog box, enter a name in the Name field. In the Object Properties Table View palette, a new column is created with this Name.
  3. Select either Text or Numeric from the Type menu.
  4. Enter the appropriate value in the Value field.
  5. Select the Compute values checkbox if you want to create an expression.
  6. Click the Expression button to open the Expression Builder dialog box. If you select Numeric, the result of the expression must be numeric as well.

To Delete a Property:

  1. Open the Object Properties palette.
  2. Select the property in the palette.
  3. Open the palette menu and choose Delete Property.

To Create Common Properties for Objects:

When two or more objects are selected, the list of properties that are common for all of those objects is shown. Working with common properties is similar to working with a list of properties from one object.

  1. Select two or more objects to which you want to assign common properties.
  2. Open the palette menu and select Add Property to open the Add Property dialog box. (See To Add a Property to an Object or Objects:.)

To Modify Object Properties:

  1. Select an object that has already defined properties.
  2. Open the Object Properties palette menu.
  3. Select Define Property to open the Define Property dialog box. (See Assigning Custom Object Properties.)

To Find All Objects That Share an Identical Property:

  1. Select the property item in the Object Properties palette that objects share.
  2. Click the Find button and all objects that contain that property item are selected.

To Copy Property Items to Another Object:

  1. Select the object whose properties you want to copy.
  2. Click the Copy button.
  3. Select the other object and click the Paste button. The objects now share identical properties.
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