When attempting to create a symbol from geometry in my active document, I get the error "Cannot access file". I followed all of the different methods of creating symbols listed in the help files, and they all resulted in the same error. What am I doing wrong or is this a known issue in SE Free2D?
According to another thread, symbols are what you use in 2D Free to mimic the XREF functionality of AutoCAD. I may be wrong here, but from what I read in the help files, you can't just link/attach a CAD file. You have to open a CAD file (DFT, DGN, DWG, DXF), select the geometry you want to turn into a symbol, and then either drag it to the Library pane or click the "copy to library" icon. When I did either of those last things, I get the error.
We try to enforce the use of blocks instead of symbols. You can get to the symbol workflow by clicking on the library button in EdgeBar to the left of the screen. Then click on the 'Show blocks' button to disable the display of blocks in the list. Right Mouse Click in the file list and Use the 'Insert Symbols as' flyout to get to the insert options. Click on either Link, Embed, or Shared Embed. If you want the inserted symbol to be editable external of the local file use Link.
I can't yet insert the symbol because I need to create the symbol first. I was hoping you'd address the error I am getting, as I think something is wrong with the program. Is there a way I can submit a ticket for this issue, or do I work with you to troubleshoot?
Also, why does Siemens encourage using blocks over symbols? Don't they each provide a different functionality?
First I will explain the difference between blocks and symbols.
Blocks are light weight. Any Draft file can be a library for blocks. The blocks in any draft file are available to be used by another draft file. It will make a copy of the block in the local draft file when dropped into the file.
Symbols are draft files. When embedded in a draft file, the symbol carries the overhead of an entire draft file within the draft file for which it is embedded. In other words a single symbol will double the size of the file that it is embedded within.
Blocks live within the context of the file it resides in. If you edit the block definition, it changes for every graphic occurrence of the block within the file. You cannot maintain the graphic appearance of a block across files.
Symbols again are draft files. They can be linked or embedded.
An embedded symbol carries the overhead of an entire file embedded in a draft file. You push into the embedded symbol to change it.
If you use link, the symbol stays external and a reference is created in the draft file pointing to the linked symbol (draft file). If you modify the symbol draft file, it changes everywhere the file is used as a symbol. Because it is external through a link, you have to be careful of the location of the symbol. If it is moved to another folder, you can loose the link and the symbol will not display.
I understand ACAD XREF workflow. What are you trying ot accomplish? Are you trying to create an assembly in Draft?
Lets create a simple symbol from within a Draft file. Create an empty folder that will be used to maintain the symbols. This is just to help you understand what is happening. In draft make sure that you click on the Library tab in EdgeBar and that the Show Blocks button is up. Navagate within EdgeBar to the folder you created to maintain the symbols. Right mouse click in EdgeBar. On the flyout of Insert symbol as, click on either Link or Embed. Draw a rectangle. Fence select the rectangle. Click and drag the rectangle into EdgeBar and keep the mouse button down. You will see a '+' sign attached to the cursor inticating that something will be added to the folder. Let up the mouse. A new file will be added to the folder called Symbol1.dft. There you go, you have a new draft file that contains your geometry. Now you can drag the draft file back into the draft file as a symbol. You can also just create a draft file separately and drop it into another draft file as a symbol.
I know this is long, but hopefully it helps.
Thank you for the info. I am trying to link a file (not embed) to reuse geometry to reduce file size (similar to how architects would link external references in AutoCAD). I think I have the process down now and it works well.
I tried the steps you outlined and got an error saying "Cannot access file". I actually found out that the DGN file I was pulling the geometry from had problems. I could open it in solid edge just fine, but it ran into some bad code or something when I tried converting the geometry to a symbol. I was able to fix the problem by opening the bad file in a more recent version of the program I created it in.