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    By Dennis Collin

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    I recently wrote a post on using AutoCAD’s Data Extraction tool to generate schedules for elements like pipework and cabling.

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    The Data extraction command will create a table object within the AutoCAD drawing and/or create a CSV format file that can be accessed via Excel or any other spreadsheet or database program.

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    By default, the data extraction command creates a new row for each instance which can make for rather large tables. However, there is an option to collate identical rows, introduce a count column and add a summation row for numerical data.

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    To avoid the itemised bill of materials or schedule, check the final data preview page of the data extraction command and select the option to combine identical rows. Total values can be calculated by right clicking on the column headers and choose combine record mode and set the option to Sum values. The preview image will update showing any changes made.

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    Numerical values will use the default units specified in the drawing, but when scheduling length, metres might be the desired unit rather than the more typical millimetre unit. The formatting option can be accessed by right clicking the column header, choose set cell format and enter the desired conversion factor and unit suffix as appropriate.

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    Once complete, close and apply the dialogue boxes and the schedule should look a lot more compact with fewer rows as elements are grouped by type and values like quantity, length or cost totalled.

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    AutoCAD schedules and the data extraction tool are topics that are covered on the AutoCAD Intermediate Training course. For more details call a member of the team on 01784 419922 or alternatively visit https://training.cadline.co.uk/ and have a conversation with one of the team members on the Live Chat facility.