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    Bio

    By Miles Nicholson

    The DWG Compare feature has been enhanced so that you can now directly compare and edit the current drawing together with a specified drawing while in the compare state rather than a 3rd “compare” drawing. The comparison now takes place in the current drawing and any changes that are made in either the current drawing or the compared drawing are dynamically compared and highlighted.

    AutoCAD_Electrical_2020___DWG_Compare_Enhancements_-_1.PNG

    To facilitate direct editing in the compare state, the options and controls for this feature were moved from the ribbon to a docked toolbar at the top of the drawing area as highlighted above. Most of the options were combined into the Settings control and enhanced as shown below. You can easily toggle the comparison from the toolbar and the display of the types of differences from the Settings control.

    The default colours can easily be changed by clicking on a colour of your preference within Settings:

    AutoCAD_Electrical_2020___DWG_Compare_Enhancements_-_2.PNG

    You can import the highlighted additions AutoCAD_Electrical_2020___DWG_Compare_Enhancements_-_4.png from the compared drawing into the current drawing. If the objects exist in both drawings, they will automatically turn grey. Only the objects in the specified area that are not in the current drawing can be imported. A warning dialogue will be shown:

    AutoCAD_Electrical_2020___DWG_Compare_Enhancements_-_3.PNG

    Autodesk have stated that there are some limitations using the DWG Compare feature with the AutoCAD Electrical Toolset which are the following. However the limitations are completely dependent upon what you are importing in and your DWT setup. It does depend on the differences in the drawings as to whether these “limitations” occur as they do not occur in all scenarios. However on each of the items, we have advised how to resolve any potential issues.

    Wires     

    Wires will lose some of the properties like colour and size if the wire type does not exist within the current drawing.

    If the wire types exists within your DWT, then no data will be lost.

    Wire number                                    

    The wire number is disconnected with the wire. The imported wire number will lose the relationship with the wire.

    On our tests, this didn’t occur but it’s clear from the dialogue that this must occur occasionally under certain circumstances. The Convert Text to Wire Number will resolve this issue if it does occur and an Electrical Audit will highlight any problems.

    Source/Destination arrows         

    The source/destination arrows imported will not have the correct wire numbers. The source arrows and the destination arrows will also lose the relationship to each other.

    On our tests, this didn’t occur but it’s clear from the dialogue that this must occur occasionally under certain circumstances. Signal arrow wire numbers can be updated through Import from Spreadsheet if required and an Update Signal References would resolve this issue.

    Schematic terminals                      

    These blocks will retain their electrical properties, however the terminal wire numbers will not be updated.

    On our tests, this didn’t occur but it’s clear from the dialogue that this must occur occasionally under certain circumstances. A DWG Audit will resolve this issue.

    Balloons                                              

    The imported balloons will not be grouped and will be available only as exploded geometric objects.

    A regroup of objects would resolve this issue.

    You can also export both drawings into a new snapshot drawing that combines the similarities and changes between both drawings. The result of this operation is the same as a drawing comparison in AutoCAD Electrical 2019.