Updating AutoCAD Electrical Projects to New Environment Settings

Posted October 17, 2013 by Todd Schmoock, Synergis Solutions Engineer:

AutoCAD® Electrical uses what is called an environment file (wd.env) to control where the software retrieves data.  Some of the functions AutoCAD Electrical looks for are where the libraries are located for various symbols used, and where the menus files are located that allow you to choose the schematic symbols.  Over time as users learn more about how AutoCAD Electrical works they make changes to the environment file, however, changes to the environment file made after a project has been created will not automatically change the project’s library and menu file paths that were established when the project was created.  In some cases you will want to keep the original locations in the project, but in most cases you will want to update the project to the new locations.  This document will show you the steps you need to take to update an older project, or a project made by someone else, to the current environment file locations.

You will most likely realize the paths are wrong because you will get a dialog box that says it looked in several locations for the symbol you were trying to insert, but it couldn’t find it.  The dialog box looks something like this:

Many times users get this message because they upgraded to a new version of the software and they are working with a project file that was created in the previous release.  The image above shows a project file created in version 2013 and is being used in 2014.  When the user tries to retrieve a symbol from the library they got that message.

So you go to the properties of the project and expand the library locations and realize they are pointing to the wrong locations.  To update the project to the locations defined in the environment file you need to select each of the four categories on the Project Settings tab under the Library and Icon Menu Paths and click the Default button.  Here is an example before the change:

Here is the same project after updating it:

Learning some of these tricks can save hours of time and frustration.  The environment file also tells AutoCAD Electrical where to retrieve and save other files.  The browse button in the Icon Menu dialog box, the default path identified in the New Project dialog box, and the catalog database are some examples.  Look for additional blogs and tutorials on AutoCAD Electrical by searching this blog by my name, or see some of the links below.

Thanks,

Todd

Check out some of Todd’s previous posts:

Todd has over 25 years of experience in the mechanical engineering field. Ten years of his time was spent as a documentation specialist/designer at Honeywell, Inc., working on several government contract which required strict drafting and design documentation in accordance with government standards. Todd joined Synergis in 2003 and he regularly presents classes as Autodesk University.Todd is a graduate of Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa. He has over 20 years experience in the mechanical engineering field. Ten years of this time was spent as a documentation specialist/designer at Honeywell, Inc. where he worked on several government contracts which required strict drafting and design documentation in accordance with government standards.

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