ArchivePro/E Tip of the Month
Synthesis Engineering Services

*****  Past Tips  *****

MAY 1998

Using Short-Cuts to Accelerate Your Designs

Pro/E has some great functionality that can, when properly implemented, accelerate your work. This Tip-of-the-Month is about getting through the menus and other clutter and on to the real work.

Accelerating productivity starts with the config files. Here are a few settings that can change the speed in which you interact with Pro/E.  It’s a short list. Some will apply to your work, others will not, but look them up and see what they do:

      display edge_display_quality
      tangent_edge_display

      save_display
      save_instance_accelerator
      save_objects
      save_triangles_flag

      feature_create_auto_begin
      feature_create_auto_ok

Next, MAPKEYS are macros assigned to a key combination that can do the repetitive work for you. Use mapkeys to rapidly perform repetitive, redundant, frequent, or multi-pick operations.

    Use mapkeys to change your ENVIRONMENT settings quickly:

      mapkey wf #environment; #wireframe; #done-return;
      mapkey hl #environment; #hidden line; #done-return;
      mapkey nh #environment; #no hidden; #done-return;

    Use mapkeys to quickly execute operations used frequently:

      mapkey rdl #done/return; #feature; #redefine; #sel by menu; #last feature;
      mapkey ml #done/return; #done; #modify; #sel by menu; #last feature;
TIP: Sometimes a done/return or done at the beginning of a mapkey will allow it to be used from a variety of different places. See the two above examples.
    Use mapkeys to change your working directory:

      mapkey dis #misc; #change dir; /share/work/synthesis/tri-pod;
      mapkey di1 #misc; #change dir; /share/work/.....;
TIP: Did you know you can use numbers in your mapkeys?
    Use mapkeys to manipulate VIEWS . . . one to save a view, another to retrieve it:

      mapkey vs1 #view; #names; #save; view1; y; #done-return;
      mapkey v1 #view; #names; #retrieve; #view1; #done-return;
    Use mapkeys to toggle LAYERS on and off:

      mapkey lvs #view; #layer disp; #3_surf; #done sel; #repaint; #done-return;
      mapkey lvc #view; #layer disp; #2_dtm_crvs; #done sel; #repaint; #done-return;
    Use mapkeys for initiating MEASURING commands:

      mapkey mdd #info; #measure; #distance;
      mapkey mdp #info; #measure; #distance; #absolute; #from point;
      mapkey mdv #info; #measure; #distance; #absolute; #from vertex;
      mapkey mdl #info; #measure; #distance; #absolute; #from plane;
      mapkey mdx #info; #measure; #distance; #absolute; #from lin ent;
    Use mapkeys for all sorts of FEATURE CREATION:

      mapkey fdx #feature; #create; #datum; #axis; #two planes;
      mapkey fdc #feature; #create; #datum; #curve;
      mapkey fsb #feature; #create; #surface; #new; #advanced; #done; #boundaries; #done;
      mapkey fsm #feature; #create; #surface; #merge;
      mapkey fss #feature; #create; #surface; #new; #copy; #done;
      mapkey fse #feature; #create; #surface; #extend;
      mapkey fsp #feature; #create; #solid; #protrusion;
      mapkey fsc #feature; #create; #solid; #cut;
      mapkey ft #feature; #create; #solid; #tweak;
      mapkey fpa #feature; #create; #solid; #protrusion; #advanced; #done;
      mapkey fct #feature; #create; #cosmetic; #thread;

    Use mapkeys to manipulate the MODEL TREE:

      mapkey ee #environment; #model tree; #done-return;
TIP: Did you know you can use mapkeys to resize the model tree?
      mapkey e1 ~ FocusOut `newtree` `AssyTree`; ~ Resize `newtree`
      mapkey(continued) `newtree`2 \ 9.0 19.5; %e2;
TIP: Did you know you can use mapkeys to load a file to the model tree? 
      mapkey e2 ~ FocusOut `newtree` `AssyTree`; ~ Select `newtree` `MBar`1 \
      mapkey(continued) `FileMenu`; ~ Close `newtree` `Mbar`; ~ Activate `newtree` \
      mapkey(continued) `LoadCfg`; ~ Update `inputname` `InpName` \
      mapkey(continued) `/home/pros/tree.cfg`; ~ Activate `inputname` `okbutton`; \
      mapkey(continued) ~ FocusOut `newtree` `AssyTree`;
TIP: Did you know you can use mapkeys to select items from pick boxes? These mapkeys are used to select the startpart default datums.
    mapkey st #sel by menu; #datum; #name; ~ Select `sellist0` `Namelist`1 `TOP`;
    mapkey sr #sel by menu; #datum; #name; ~ Select `sellist0` `Namelist`1 `RIGHT`;
    mapkey sf #sel by menu; #datum; #name; ~ Select `sellist0` `Namelist`1 `FRONT`;
    mapkey sx #sel by menu; #axis; ~ Select `sellist0` `Namelist`1 `A_1`;
    mapkey sc #sel by menu; #coord sys; ~ Select `sellist0` `Namelist`1 `CS0`;
TIP: Mapkeys may be nested for maximum functionality and multiple uses.
    A simple example: Sometimes the “mci” mapkey is used to get into the measure clearance interference menu, sometimes it is desired to go all the way to a global check with verification.

      mapkey mci #info; #measure; #clear/intf;
      mapkey mi %mci; #global intf; #quick check; #done/return; #verify;
    A more dramatic example is a mapkey that creates all the parameters for a part or assembly:

      mapkey parmak %ppk; %par31; %par32; %par33; ....

      mapkey ppk #set up; #parameters; #part; #assembly

      mapkey par31 #create; #string; client;; #create; #string; part_name;;
      mapkey par32 #create; #string; part_descrip;; #create; #string; part_num;;
      ....

TIP: For mapkeys you would like to use for 2 different but similar operations use menu picks that would normally be grayed out as the above example of mapkey ppk. In part mode, the assembly pick is not available, so it does nothing, and the parameters will be set up for the active “part.” In assembly mode, it first selects part, then assembly, so parameters will be set up for the “assembly.”

TIP: Did you know you can have the mapkeys stop and wait for you to input data from the keyboard?

    Here is an example of a mapkey that allows the user to input all the parameters one right after another.

      mapkey para %parf; %par11; %par12; %par13; %par14; %par15; ....

      mapkey par11 #modify; #client; #modify; #part_name;
      mapkey par12 #modify; #part_description; #modify; #part_number;
      ....

TIP: A quick way to reduce the number of mapkeys to remember is to make one mapkey to perform several similar jobs functions in different modes -- I call it MULTIPLEXING.
    A simple example uses the F12 key to initiate "regeneration." This mapkey works from most menus and it works just as well in Part, Assembly, Detail, and Sketcher.

      mapkey $f12 #done/return; #done-return; #regenerate; #model; #automatic;

    A more involved example initiates the “move” command in Detail as well as in Sketcher.

      mapkey mv #geom tools; #detail; #move;

    This one initiates a “trim corner” command in Detail as well as in Sketcher. Look at the picks. Some are available in Sketcher, others are in Detail, and some in both.

      mapkey gtt #geom tools; #detail; #tools; #trim; #corner;

    This one does a lot of things, but, for me, they all mean “GET ON WITH IT” In selection it accepts the setting with OKAY, in Sketcher it initiates “alignment / align,” from failure resolve it accepts the YES, and in modifying a sweep (and others) it chooses ALL.

      mapkey aa #okay; #alignment; #align; #yes; #all;
TIP: Did you know you can select buttons of the dialog boxes with a mapkey? This one selects the OKAY button in the feature creation dialog box.
      mapkey baa ~ Activate `Odui_Dlg_01` `okay`;
TIP: You can access certain files no matter where your current working directory is:
      mapkey edco #misc; #edit config; /home/pros/config.pro
TIP: You can set toggle options to a defined state regardless of current setting.
    This “yd” mapkey displays all datums “ON” regardless of current setting, then “nd” turns all datums “OFF.” Note: %loco is a mapkey that loads a config file with the given path.

      mapkey yd %loco; /home/pros/procons/daton.pro; #done-return
      mapkey nd %loco; /home/pros/procons/datoff.pro; #done-return
      mapkey loco #misc; #load config;

    CONTENTS OF DATON.PRO

      ! Config.pro supplement for turning all datum features ON
      axis_display yes
      datum_display yes
      datum_point_display yes
      datum_point_tag_display yes
      display_coordinate_sys yes
    EOF
TIP: You can use mapkeys to initiate additional or different CONFIG.PRO options not available from the menus.
    This example shows how to Set and Reset config options on-the-fly. The first sets Pro/E to shade surface features, the second sets it to ignore surface features during shading.

      mapkey shs %loco; /home/pros/procons/surfon.pro; #done-return;
      mapkey hsf %loco; /home/pros/procons/surfoff.pro; #done-return;

    CONTENTS OF SURFON.PRO

      ! config.pro supplement for surfaces to be shaded.
      shade_surface_feat yes
    EOF

TIP: You can type a mapkey while the computer is busy, and it will execute the mapkey function as soon as it is finished. (Reduce the wait time).

TIP: With mapkeys and shortcuts you are limited primarily by your imagination ... !

Enjoy the faster ride !!

A footnote for Version 20 . . . . Too bad PTC messed up several of the go-fast tips indicated above.  Since V.20 is oriented more for the newer or casual user, if you're hard core, you'll have to slow down a bit and use the mouse a little more.  Also, many of the above tips and tricks require modification to work correctly.  Oh Well, V.20 does have some good feature additions.  Maybe in V.21 PTC will remember it's long time customers.?.

Last Pro/E Tip Pro/E Tip Index Next Pro/E Tip
.

Synthesis Home Meet the Owner Slide Show

SYNTHESIS ENGINEERING SERVICES INC. : (719) 380-1122