In my nearly 20 years of teaching AutoCAD, there has always been a common thread woven throughout all my lessons: If there is a repetitive task that must be done in each and every drawing, such as inserting a title block, then save yourself time, money, and headache by inserting it once and saving it in a template.
I don’t think that this point gets driven home enough for Inventor users, because there is so much focus on all of the 3D tools and workflows. I see a lot of our customers doing very minor edits to a title block, by maybe adding a logo, and calling that a template. There is much more that you can do to your template, that can save you time by keeping you from doing those repetitive tasks. In this post, we’ll take a look at editing the parts list, and saving those changes in the Styles Editor, and then save it in our template file.
First, we will open an existing template or start a new file using one of the predefined templates. Next, we will insert a parts list. To do this, select Parts List from the Table panel of the Annotate tab.
Since we don’t have any drawing views created, we will browse for a file to use by clicking on the Browse for File button.
We can pick any assembly file, since this is just used as reference to help us set it up. Place the Parts List, and now we are ready to edit it to suit our needs, because it looks nothing like it should!
If we right-click on the Parts List, we can select Edit Parts List Style… This will enable us to edit the Parts List, and save it in the Style and Standard Editor.
In the Style and Standard Editor we are presented with the tools to add and remove columns, and to set their widths.
We can also set the appropriate Header location and Parts List direction, and the text styles for the various portions of the table.Make the appropriate changes, similar to the images below.
If we need a property, but it is not listed, we can add our own by clicking on New Property.
Let’s go ahead and edit the column widths to make sure our Parts List is set exactly how we want.
Save the and Close the Style and Standard Editor. Then right-click on the Parts List and select Edit Parts List, and add the columns from the Available Properties to the Selected Properties, then move them up or down so that each is in the appropriate location.
Click OK and the Parts List will appear as you have designed it.
The final step is to save our template file in the templates folder. Now, each time we select our template for use in a drawing, our Parts List will be already formatted.