Today is one of the days where I discovered a very handy tool, and I feel a bit stupid for not having discovered or used it earlier. I am talking about the Bill of Materials in Inventor, which lets you bulk edit the iProperties of your Assembly in an Excel-fashion, giving you perfect control over the meta-data side of your work. This video sums it up nicely:
If you want to provide additional information on, for example how to configure a iLogic component, one way would be to write it directly into the form as text such as labels. Of course, by doing that consequently, you will end up with a huge and confusing form. Much more elegantly, you can use the tooltip field when you edit your form elements, which shows information only when your mouse is hovering over this form element. Actually, when you fill out the comments of the parameters you want to have in the form immediately, the comment will be set as tool tip when you create the form element for this parameter.
However, only text might not be sufficient, maybe you want to use images or videos as a documentation. A very appealing way to do this is to link to a document or page in you intranet, for example a wiki page that contains additional information for this part. To do this, just create an iLogic-rule and add the line:
Create a button called Help for this rule.
There are many reasons to take it one step further and use the iProperty-field WEB Link to put in the URL and use the following rule text:
'First check if the "WEB link" iproperty resembles a URL,
'(thus starts with a "http")...
If Microsoft.VisualBasic.Left(iProperties.Value("Project", "WEB Link") , 4) _
= "http" Then
'...try to start the browser with the URL from the iProperty field...
Process.Start(iProperties.Value("Project", "WEB Link"))
'...or complain if the URL is not valid
MsgBox("No valid web link found!",,"Help")
The advantages could be:
- Fill out and maintain the URLs without opening the files in Inventor (access from Vault etc)
- Copy and paste rule into other documents
- Use an external rule to call help site
- Create an Add-In that adds a Help button to your ribbon
Let me know what you think!