Using Library Designer - Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Using Library Designer - Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Library Designer is a powerful tool that can be utilized to make Library wide changes affecting many products at once.  In this article, we’ll cover Strategy, Tips, and Tricks that will help you get the most out of Library Designer. 

Before getting started, ensure that the Library Designer database has been configured and test to make sure it's communicating with the factory database. For help setting up Library Designer for the first time see Setting Up Library Designer.
Make a backup copy of your factory database before experimenting with Library Designer

Selecting Multiple Database Items at Once

Holding down different combinations of the Shift and Ctrl keys while selecting items in the tree view will allow multiple items, or groups of items, to be selected together.

Ctrl + Click

Hold down the Ctrl key to select multiple items at once.  Each item clicked while the Ctrl key is held down will stay selected.

Fig. 01 – Library Designer – Ctrl + Click

Shift + Click

Hold down the Shift key to select a group of consecutive items from the list.  Click on the first item, then hold down the Shift key while clicking the last item you want to be included in your selection.  Clicked items and all items sandwiched between will be selected.

Fig. 02 – Library Designer – Shift + Click

Ctrl + Shift + Click

Multiple groups of items can be selected by combining the functionality of Ctrl + Click and Shift + Click .  With an item or group of items already selected, hold down Ctrl and click the first item to be selected.  Continue holding Ctrl and begin holding Shift while clicking the last item in the list of consecutive items to be selected.   Clicked items and all items sandwiched between them will be selected while maintaining all previously selected items.

Fig. 03 – Library Designer – Ctrl + Shift + Click

Select Multiple Items to Show Like Attributes

When multiple items are selected in the tree view, only data attributes that are the same for all highlighted items are displayed.

Fig. 04 – Library Designer – Show Like Attributes

Underscore vs No Underscore

Be aware that some prompts have underscores while others do not.  In older libraries, underscores were used by default. Current library development uses spaces in place of underscores.  Be sure to scroll down and check for prompts with underscores as they are not listed adjacent to the non-underscored prompts in the alphabetized list.

Fig. 05 – Library Designer – Underscore vs No Underscore

Click to Apply – Parts, Products, and Subassemblies Using This Item

When unchecking items in the Part, Products, or Subassemblies Using This Item lists, remember to finalize the action using the Click to Apply link.

Fig. 06 – Library Designer – Click to Apply

Send To Library Designer

Library Designer is not always the most efficient option for editing your library data. When you need to make changes to one or two cabinets, it is much faster to edit the workbooks accessible through Database Explorer. Be sure to update the modified cabinets in your Library Designer database using the Send to Library Designer option found by right-clicking the cabinet in the Database Explorer tree view. Alternatively, you can delete and rebuild the Library Designer database.

Fig. 07 – Database Explorer – Send to Library Designer

Rebuild Selected Products From Library

Library Designer only updates your template products and will not edit products that already exist in a project.  If you would like to apply changes made in Library Designer to products inside an existing project, you can update those products from the product list.   Right-click on a selected product or group of products, then select Rebuild Selected Products From Library.

Fig. 08 – Product List – Rebuild Selected Products From Library

Workbook Compatibility with Library Designer

When creating or editing your workbook there are a few things to keep in mind to preserve compatibility with Library Designer.  When Library Designer reads your workbook it follows certain rules to maintain efficiency.  The Following guidelines will help ensure Library Designer analyzes your Library data accurately and completely.
  1. Do not leave more than one blank row between prompts.  When Library designer scans your workbooks, it processes single blank rows between prompts without issue.  However, data below two or more blank rows may not be analyzed.

  2. Fig. 09 – Workbook Designer – Two Blank Rows

  3. Do not place lookup tables in the prompt worksheet, this may cause issues when Library Designer reads your prompts.  Instead, create a new worksheet called LookUpTables to store your look-up tables.

  4. Fig. 10 – Workbook Designer – LookUpTables Tab

  5. Do not leave blank machine token columns, everything to the right of a blank machine token column will not be analyzed by Library Designer.

  6. Fig. 11 – Workbook Designer – Blank Machine Token

  7. Do not use zeros or any other generic placeholder to fill empty machine token columns.  Library designer will read all matching machine tokens as the same token, confusing your Library Designer database.

  8. Fig. 12 – Workbook Designer – Zero Machine Token

Working with Multiple Libraries

Although it is not recommended for inexperienced users, Library Designer will allow you to add more than one library to your Library Designer database.

Fig. 13 – Library Designer – Two Libraries

Keep in mind that while the libraries are listed separately in the tree view, Library Designer accesses all of them when looking up items.  For instance, with a prompt or other database item selected, Library Designer will include all Parts, Products, and Subassemblies across all imported libraries in the Using This Item lists.  Any changes made will be applied accordingly across all libraries.

Fig. 14 – Library Designer – Two Libraries Using This Item

For more information on how to use Library Designer see Using Library Designer - Beginner’s Guide.

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