Thursday, July 21, 2011

Setting Read and Write Permissions to Styles and Standards Library in Autodesk Inventor Professional

Platform: Autodesk Inventor Professional

Level of difficulty: Beginners

Author: Ndianabasi Udonkang

Follow me on Twitter | Facebook

PREAMBLE

I'm glad that this article is finally out. I've been so busy and could hardly fine time to sit down and write. So today, we are going to learn how to set read and write permissions for the Style and Standard Editor in Autodesk Inventor Professional. Many of us, who have gone a bit higher in Inventor or are inquisitive, have come across a dialog box called the "Style and Standard Editor." And we have always seen the scary "Read Only" tag suffixed to it. Some people have even come to know it has the "Style and Standard Editor - Read Only" editor :). Well, for the uninitiated, the "Read Only" tag simply means that you can only read (and apply) the content, or styles, presented to you via the dialog box. You do not have the "authorization" - to use military parlance - to make changes to the Inventor styles and style library.

Well, someone might say, but I can see the New button active in the read-only mode and have even created a custom style before. Yes! I don't doubt that. In the read-only mode, you can create a new style, but the style cannot be written or saved to the library. You can call it a "ghost" style because once you exit the dialog box, the style will be lost forever.

Someone is also asking, what is a style and style library? OK! Let's do it this way. I know that most designers pass through AutoCAD before they venture into Inventor Professional. In fact, we at Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) will not teach someone Inventor Professional unless you've passed through at least AutoCAD 2D. Back to styles and style library. Inventor styles are like AutoCAD styles: Text styles, Dimension styles, Multileader styles, Point styles, etc. Styles are just a collection of settings that controls the behavior and appearance of objects. So in Inventor, you can control the color and material of models; the lighting of the scenes; the properties of balloons, center marks, dimensions, hatches, layers, part lists, leaders of your drawing file through styles. Cable & Harness and Pipe & Piping assemblies require styles to define the characteristics of the runs. A style library contains definitions for individual style types.

So why are Styles and Style Libraries set at read only by default? The simply answer to this that it prevents novices from tampering with the Inventor style and style libraries. It also shows you how important it is for you not to tamper with the styles until you really know what you are doing! It's like the superuser account in Linux :). So in the networked-office environment, only your CAD administrator might be able to change the permission status.

By now someone is already becoming impatient. Well, don't forget that the patient dog eats the fattest bone. OK, let’s unlock the door to reading and writing to Inventor styles and style libraries.

SETTING READ / WRITE PERMISSION TO STYLES AND STYLE LIBRARIES

By now, I'm sure that you already know about Inventor Project Files and that it's advisable to store related Inventor files inside the same project. Setting read/ write permission for Inventor style and style library is done per project through the Projects dialog box. Let us follow these steps outlined below:

  1. Close any opened document in Inventor. When all documents have been closed you will see only three tabs on the ribbon - Getting Started, Tools, and Vault.
  2. Go to Getting Started tab > Launch panel > Projects.
  3. .FIGURE 1
  4. FIGURE 2
  5. On the Projects dialog box, in the project list area, click on the name of the project you want to set read and write permission for. Note that in the project properties area (below), the Use Style Library property is set at Read Only.
  6. In the project properties area, right click on Use Style Library. On the context menu, click Yes. This will set the Style Library permission to "Read and Write" for the selected project.
  7. FIGURE 3
  8. Click Save > Apply to save changes to the project file.
  9. Ensure that the project is set current by double clicking on the project name. A tick will be placed before the name. Click Done to close the dialog box.
  10. .
  11. FIGURE 4
  12. Now open or create a new document (part, assembly, drawing or presentation) under the same project. Go to Manage tab > Styles and Standard panel > Styles Editor.
  13. FIGURE 5
  14. The style and style libraries are now set at read / write.
  15. FIGURE 6

A final word of caution: with more power comes more responsibility.

CONCLUSION

I hope you found the tutorial useful. I will love to get comments about my writing style and content. You can email via ndianabasi.udonkang@gmail.com. Cheers.