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AutoCAD Plant 3D: Editing Default Descriptions in Spec Editor

By on December 3, 2013 in AutoCAD Plant 3D, News, Your Plant Buddy with 0 Comments
FacePLANT with Ken Fauver

FacePLANT with Ken Fauver

Hello readers! Today’s Blog, Face Plant with Ken, is here!

How many of you edit the component catalogs so you can have the proper component descriptions? Well with the AutoCAD Plant 3D Spec Editor that is no longer necessary. You can create description styles that will globally update the component description inside your piping specification. Thus, eliminating the need to modify those descriptions or make duplicate entries in order to have the needed descriptions. I am about to save you something like 54,992,843(est.) hours of needless data entry, you’re welcome. ;)

Go ahead and put on your spec editing hat because in this edition of “Your Plant Buddy”, I will walk you through the process of creating description styles and using those styles to update the component descriptions in your piping specification.

Description styles are made up of various field in the component catalogs which are concatenated to create the description for each component. You can define each components description separately.

  1. Open Spec Editor
  2. Open the CS150 pipe specification
  3. From the Specs pull-down, select Batch Assign Long Description Styles
  4. On the Batch Assign Long Description Style dialog, pick the Edit Long Description Styles… button
  5. You will notice that every component type is listed
  6. If you start selecting different components you will see that the default long descriptions contain the following field values. Also known as properties (Property Name)
  7. spec_ed_001

    Take note of the Prefix and Suffix. These are just text values that will be inserted before or after the Properties.

  8. Next we want to create a new Part Family Style. Pick the Save As… button
  9. Type a style name as shown below and select the Create button


NOTE: Make sure that LDStyles folder shown above is not read-only.

Now that we have created a new Long Description Style let’s make some changes to it. Make sure you have your new style selected.

  1. Highlight Blind Flange
  2. spec_ed_004

  3. Now we will change the “LB” suffix to “#”. You could also rearrange all the properties if you like but for this exercise I just want to show how this works. So just changing the suffix will be sufficient
  4. spec_ed_005

  5. Select Apply and OK to save and exit the dialog
  6. Select Cancel
  7. In the Spec Editor highlight the blind flange in the spec not the catalog and notice the description looks like
  8. FLANGE BLIND, 150 LB, RF, ASME B16.5, ASTM A234 Gr WPB

  9. Right-click on the blind and select Edit Long Description > Assign Long Description Styles to Spec…
  10. In the Long Descriptions area make sure you have My Part Family Style selected as the Long description (family) Style
  11. spec_ed_006

  12. Select Apply and OK to save and exit the dialog
  13. Now highlight the blind flange again and right-click
  14. Select Edit Long Description > Update Long Descriptions
  15. When done your blind flange description should like the following:

    FLANGE BLIND, 150 #, RF, ASME B16.5, ASTM A234 Gr WPB

    Hopefully this article gives you a better understanding of how the Description Styles work.

    If you have additional questions regarding this topic please send to

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About the Author

About the Author: Ken Fauver is a WWSS-ENI & TS-AMER Technical Specialist for Autodesk. Ken's focus is on activities related to Oil and Gas. He supports the North American ENI Territory sales efforts as well as working with the Major Accounts team with Owner / Operators and Key Account EPCs. Prior to joining Autodesk, Ken worked for a number of companies in the oil, gas and petro-chemical markets including Wink Companies (now part of the Willbros Group), Flow Logic International and Jacobs Engineering. "My work-related interests include 25+ years in pipe design, software support and training. I have also worked as a System Administrator, Application Programmer, Trainer and CAD Coordinator with several software applications during my pre-Autodesk career" .


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