Consistency amongst multiple seats

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MBUSH_RDS's picture
Consistency amongst multiple seats
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I'm new to this site, so I am not quite sure if I am sending this message in the right place, my apologies if not. My boss asked me to find answers to a problem we are having with consistency among all of our seats. We want to know if there is a way to create a master system file that can be added to by all seats and used to update every seat so that we can all be using the same created objects that our company has set as standard, such as standard notes or garage doors. We are having trouble sharing these objects and have found the only way to pull these items into a new project is to go hunting for it in a project another drafter within the company has done, open their file and do a save to SoftPlan clipboard. This isn't exactly an easy task when we may not know who has done what we are looking for. I know SoftPlan and AutoCAD are not the same but I am going to use it as an example to better explain myself. We have a folder on our network that is devoted to blocks, whether they are notes, section cuts, etc..  and everyone has access to them and can add new blocks when they are created. is there a way to essentially do the same thing with SoftPlan?

Thank you for your time,

JimJ's picture
Consistency amongst multiple seats

I am sure you will get some better help than I can offer from this forum but I will give you some ideas.

It sounds like you do not have the network version, which I know nothing about anyway, but are working on a network.

In system settings, you can choose the file location for drawings, SoftPlan symbols, textures, 3d symbols, & softlist.  You might try moving the folders that you want to standardize onto your server and then point each workstation to that location for item.  Sounds like it would work but I am not sure.  As far as other settings, you might be able to archive your settings from the seat that is standardized to the server and then have all the other seats restore their systems from that location.

Again, I am sure you will have other responses that may be better qualified than mine.

Tami Olsen
Tami Olsen's picture

I'm interested in this as well. I've only been using SoftPlan for about 2 months, self-taught, and I'm supposed to spearhead making sure our seats are all using the same libraries and such. I'm also supposed to create a "best practices" doc for people to use to make it easier to work on other people's drawings. This is a daunting task when I know the software well, but it's insane when I'm still learning.

Have you or anyone else found a best way to do this?

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture

The first thing I would do would be to develop your standards. Font sizes, dimension spacing, Materials Options, etc. You would do all this in your System Options. System Options are the defaults that are used when you create a new drawing or project. Once a drawing has been created then it has it's on Drawing Options that can be changed separate from the System Options. System Options do not affect already created drawings.

Once you have your standards set up select File⇒System Options⇒Archive. Place a check in the All box and click Backup. This will create a copy of all your settings, symbols, configurations, etc. Share the backup folder on your network. On each other computer select File⇒System Options, check the All box and click Restore. Browse to the shared Archive you created and that will bring everything over and make things match up.

Under File⇒Setup Options you will find buttons that allow you to set the Drawing Location, Symbol Location, etc. You might try experimenting with creating a central archive for all symbols, etc. and direct these settings to reference the central libraries rather than local libraries. That way when someone adds a symbol everybody would have access to it without having to copy it to every computer. If you are going this way you could exclude from the Archive Restore all the symbols, textures and other shared items when you do the Restore to each computer. I would experiment with this first and make sure that the network is fast enough to not cause delays when accessing the shared libraries.

As a disclaimer, I have never shared libraries in this way but I have shared drawings over a network. We used a dedicated server to hold all the drawings and accessed them from each computer over the network. Everything worked great.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of

Tami Olsen
Tami Olsen's picture
libraries and customizing

I've created a template project (in a rough form), put all the settings the way I want the system to be, reset the wall library to "extended", and started creating custom speed notes. Now I'm trying to figure out how custom walls and symbols will be handled going forward. (I'll need to sort through all the custom symbols that have already been created and do a massive culling.)

First question is do i want to save ALL custom symbols and walls to a "custom" library? Or can I integrate them into the lists that softplan has? I've found it to be a pain to have to check two places for symbols rather than just the logical hierarchy.

Second, if I integrate them, and then upgrade to a new version of softplan, does it overwrite my library and delete them?

Thanks for all the help!

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture

Everything about my setup is customized. All the walls, pen settings, openings, and even many of the symbols and electrical symbols are all custom. Of course this is the result of years of refinement and not something that just happened overnight. For my walls I have them all arranged in various groups according to the type of wall. It makes it easier to find exactly what I am looking for. Since each category starts with a '*' I can simply press the * key to browse to each group in the list. So for example pressing * one time takes me the the beginning of the New Masonry walls. Press * again and I am at the New Siding walls. They are "New" because these walls are defined for new construction. Later on down the list I have "Existing" and "Demo" walls for remodeling projects.

Wall List

do i want to save ALL custom symbols and walls to a "custom" library? Or can I integrate them into the lists that softplan has?

It just depends on how you are using the symbols. If it is a special symbol that is created just for a specific job and I don't expect to ever use it again I place it in a "Custom" folder. If it is something I use all the time I mix it in with similar symbols. Periodically I will go back through the Custom folder and delete ones that won't be used again just to keep things tidy.

if I integrate them, and then upgrade to a new version of softplan, does it overwrite my library and delete them?

That one I couldn't tell you. In all versions of SoftPlan prior to 2016 everything was installed in a folder that designated the version of the program. For instance version 14 was installed in C:\SoftPlan14 and version 2014 was installed in C:\SoftPlan2014. Starting with version 2016 the program is installed in C:\SoftPlan. So assuming that future installations will also be installed in C:\SoftPlan then there is a potential for having custom symbols overwritten. What I would suggest is to save your custom symbols wherever it makes sense to you. If you are creating custom symbols then give them a unique name rather than reusing the names from the standard symbols. So for instance if you create a custom bathroom sink then name it something like "basin standard" rather than overwriting the "basin oval". You can also sort your symbols so that you have your most often used symbols at the top of the list. And you can do a search for a symbol if you know the name you are looking for. You can even add tags to your symbols to make them easier to find. For example if you tagged all of your commonly used bathroom symbols with the tag "bath" you could just search for bath and get a listing of all those symbols. You can add multiple tags to each symbol so for instance you might tag a rainhead shower head with "bath" "shower" and "rainhead" and you could search using any of those terms.

In any event always make sure to make a complete archive backup of SoftPlan prior to installing a new version just to be safe.