Avoiding Style Conflicts Completely – Inventor Drawings
Posted on October 20, 2015 by Manufacturing Product Support Specialist, Mark Lancaster
A couple of weeks ago I posted an article about the “Styles Conflict” message which may appear when you start an Inventor drawing using the New command. This article describes why it appears and how to resolve it. In one of the solutions I provided, I briefly went over how you can create your own drawing styles and avoid the conflict completely. So let’s get started and discuss how we can accomplish it.
At this point I have already opened my drawing template and brought up the Styles Editor.
Many times I’ve heard from users the styles editor is a little clunky and I would have to agree with them. But once you understand its layout it is much easier to work with. For me I’ve always viewed the styles as being divided up into three parts.
- Main Standard Style (Yellow highlight)
- Basically these styles are defined as the parent to your object defaults and drawing styles. In addition a template can have many standard styles but only one can be active at a given time.
- Object Default Style (Green highlight)
- The object default styles instruct Inventor what style to use based on the drawing annotation you’re placing onto your drawing. However, the user still has the ability to override it if they choose to.
- Drawing Styles (Red highlight)
- These are the actual style definitions for the drawing annotations you apply to your drawing.
Although I like to start out by defining all of my necessary drawing styles, you may want to take a different approach in setting up your own styles. For this article I will describe how I would accomplish this, but there’s no established rules stating you have to do it this way.
The first thing I do is determine which drawing styles I will actually use and change. For example I came from a manufacturing company where datum targets, feature control frames, hole tables, and a few other styles never really appeared on our drawings. Meaning I left these styles as is or basically keep the out of box configuration for them. In your organization I would also assume there are a few drawing styles that you don’t use as well.
For this article/example I have determined I will need to create styles for balloons, center marks, dimensions, leaders, parts list, tables, text, and view annotations to meet my needs. All the other styles are not necessary and I can leave them as is. The first style I’m going to address is the text style, followed by the leader. Why modify the text style first and not the balloon you ask? There are no set rules that it has to be done this way, but to me the text style is used in almost all of the other drawings styles. So I find it much easier to create that first. Same as the leader, in my opinion, it’s the next commonly shared style.
Now I will select the Note Text (ANSI) from the list and the “New” button. Next I will define a name for the new text style. As an alternative method you can also right mouse click on the style and select “New Style”.
The option “Add to standard” can be checked or unchecked at this time. When it’s checked, the new style is available to any style that is current available under the standard section. However, making the style available or not, can be changed at a later time.
Next I will define what my text style settings will be. However in the interest of keeping this article short I will bypass showing these steps. Now I need to save my style and move onto creating the next one which in my case is the Label Text (ANSI) style. From there I will create styles for my leader annotations and the other styles that I listed earlier. At some point you may realize one or more of the out of box styles will work and you will not need to do anything else for them. In my case, the Center Mark (ANSI) settings met my requirements so I will leave it as is. Also when I get to my parts list and table style I realized I need additional text styles for it. So I’ll switch back over to that section and create these text styles before continuing on. After a while my individual drawing styles are taking shape.
Now that I finished creating my individual drawing styles, the next step I will perform is to only create the “Object Default” style from an existing one and then I’ll go back later on to modify it. Remember there are no set rules in setting up your styles and I’m only demonstrating how I would accomplish this.
From there I will create my “Standard” style based on the ANSI standard.
In my standard I will start out by assigning the requirements located under the General and View Preferences tab. For the “Available Styles” tab, I will start selecting the styles that will be available to the user under this style. From there I will select the “Object Defaults” tab and select the style that I created earlier.
After saving my “Standard” style I will go back and finish setting up my “Object Defaults” style. To make things easier change the filter to shorten the list of objects you’re working on.
Now I will save my “Object Defaults” and at this point I could create addition standards if I needed to. In my case I am done and will now activate my “STD DWG (ANSI) style either by doubling clicking on it or by right mouse click/Activate. Next I will save me template and verify my styles are working the way I want them to.
When I implement my template for use, there will never be a styles conflict since all of my styles are contained within my template. Although there are numerous steps you have to take to accomplish this, I prefer this method over any other solutions in regards to avoiding and/or resolving the styles conflict.
You may be asking yourself, yes I can see how this method avoids further style conflicts but are there any advantage and/or disadvantage by using this method.
- One of the main reasons why I prefer this method is when it comes time to upgrade to the next version of Inventor. Since my styles are local or only contained with the template, when I upgrade, I only need to open my template and save it to the next version. No migration of the drawing styles located in the design folder is needed.
- Although I recommend everybody in your organization to be using the same design data location, having your styles just in your template allows user to have different design data location based on their needs or project requirements. Meaning there’s no need to worry about if I have the latest drawing styles in my design data folder.
- When updates are made to the local styles/template, everybody will have them the next time they start a drawing. If they were global we would have to make sure everybody’s design data folder was updated unless you had a common location for it.
- Styles created by this workflow are considered to be local and if you need to create additional templates for your organization you would also need to recreate these styles in those templates as well.
- When working with legacy drawings and/or templates, these styles would not exist and you would also have to create them.
However, the disadvantages I listed above can still be addressed by opening your template and exporting the “Standard” style (or an individual style) to an external XML file by right mouse clicking on it. From there, you can import the external style into your other templates or legacy drawings.
There you have it, a way to set up your drawing template styles and completely avoid the style conflict message. I hope this helps and if you have any questions about this article feel free to contact us.
Until next time…
Mark Lancaster joined us back in August 2013. His most previous experience is as the CAD Design Manager of Pall Corporation, one of our long time customers. In that position, he was responsible for workstation optimization and design management, established uniform standards for the local and global offices, and developed global systems to control and manage their design data.