Sharing CADWorx P&ID on a network

Frequently people ask how to share P&ID symbols and settings with others in the company.  In this article, we are going to walk through the steps of setting up a CADWorx P&ID to use network libraries.

Overview:

  1. Create a directory for symbols on your network.
  2. Copy the CADWorx symbols and menu symbol files to the network.
  3. Create a configuration file that sets the MENUSYMBOLFILE setting to the network path.
  4. Modify your profile search path to include your network library at the top.
  5. Share Settings.

Creating a network directory for symbols

Many companies have CAD folders already setup on the network.  If this is the case, try to follow the standard conventions in creating the folder.  If no standard exists, something like Z:\CAD\CADWorx P&ID\Blocks is quite suitable.

Copy the symbols to the Network

Big warning here…ONLY PUT .DWG FILES and .DAT FILES IN THE NETWORK FOLDER!  I avoid network installations where possible for reasons too numerous to delineate here.  However, let me say that I have run into several companies that were running old software when they had new software installed locally.  I think most of us are much more comfortable keeping the software installation on the user’s computer and sharing necessary files on the network.

I recommend putting all of the CADWorx .dwg files and all of the .dat files (like Flow_Alt.dat) on the network in case people want to use them.  You can copy the files from here:

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Set the MENUSYMBOLFILE setting

Next we will set the MENUSYMBOLFILE setting by going to SETUP->Edit Config file.  If you used my directory structure, the setting is Z:\CAD\CADWorx P&ID\Blocks\Flow_Alt.dat

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Adding the Support Search Path

This step is more of an advanced user tweak, but it’s pretty easy.  In CADWorx, go to Options right-click->Options

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Go to the Files tab, click Add, and click your network block library directory.  Move it to the top of the folder list.

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Sharing Settings

Half the work we did was to setup the library, the other half was to tweak our settings so we could use it.  To let someone else use the library, you need give them a copy of the configuration file (or have them change their own) from step 3, and their profile search path needs to be fixed as from step 4.

The configuration file we edited was here:

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Troubleshooting

If the correct blocks are not coming in (or you are not geting any blocks at all) through the P&ID menus, the profile search path is not correct.  If the incorrect blocks are displayed in the P&ID menus, then the MENUSYMBOLFILE is not set correctly.

If you need help setting up an installation for a bunch of users (i.e. you don’t want to walk around to every computer and mess with the profile), Contact Us

These steps are enough for about 90% of the users 90% of the time. For those who need to add or have added custom lines or sections to P&ID, you’ll need to take care of a few tweaks in addition to the items above.  Again, Contact Us so we can help.