Tech Tip: Overriding the Quantity of an Inventor Item Number Split Balloon

13 May 2024InventorDesign, Product Design & Manufacturing, Tips and Tricks



Did you ever want to override the quantity of an Autodesk Inventor item number split balloon and find you can only modify the ITEM property? After double-clicking on a split item number balloon, the only property that displays is the ITEM value. There is no option for modifying the quantity associated with the item number.

After right-clicking and selecting Edit Balloon… or double-clicking on the balloon, you get the Edit Balloon dialog box.


Inventor item number split balloon Inventor item number split balloon

The image to the right of the Edit Ballon dialog shows the split balloon, which has the ITEM property on top and the QTY property on bottom.

If you add a parts list to the drawing, edit it, and override the quantity it will update the QTY property in the balloon to show the modified quantity. However, if you wanted to keep the parts list displaying the accurate count, and the balloon showing a modified quantity, there is no way to modify just the balloon’s quantity display. An example of why you may want the balloon to display a different quantity is when you have several brackets with hardware. You may want to identify the total quantity of hardware associated with the item balloon pointing to the bracket in the drawing view, then have the parts list show the total quantity for all brackets in the drawing.

The good news is this can be accomplished by creating custom balloon styles through the styles editor. It is a two-step process, since one style will be created to modify the quantity and another style will be created to display the item number on top and the modified quantity on the bottom.

The first step is to modify the default balloon style to the split balloon option and then making a new style based off the default balloon style. In this example the Balloon (ANSI) style is being used. In the following image you see how the Balloon (ANSI) style was changed to the “Circular – 2 Entries” style.

Inventor item number split balloon

Now a new style will be created from the Balloon (ANSI) style with a user defined property that will allow you to modify the quantity value. After selecting the Balloon (ANSI) style, clicking New…, adding a new name for the custom style, click the Column Chooser option to add a New Property. In this example, a new property called “Qty2” is being created to hold the custom quantity value. The following image shows the steps taken:

Inventor item number split balloon

After creating the “Qty2” and selecting OK, remove the ITEM and QTY properties and only have the Qty2 property in the Selected Properties area:

Inventor item number split balloon

After clicking OK, your new balloon style looks like this:

Inventor item number split balloon

Next, repeat the same process to create a new style showing the ITEM and Qty2 properties, so the modified quantity will be displayed under the item number. This balloon style will look like this:

Inventor item number split balloon

Now that both custom styles are created, you will have the flexibility to use the default style showing the actual quantity with the item number and the item number with the modified quantity.

To see how this works, place a parts list in an assembly drawing and add a balloon to a component in a drawing view. Notice how the item number in the upper portion of the split balloon matches the parts list item number, and the quantity in the parts list matches the lower portion of the split balloon. Then, select the newly added balloon and change the style from the Balloon (ANSI) to the new style that just has the “Qty2” property added. In this example the style was named “User Qty Change Balloon” using the drop down in the Format panel on the Annotate ribbon. After changing to this style double-click on the balloon to access the Edit Balloon dialog. The dialog will look like this:

Inventor item number split balloon

Notice the Balloon Value has the user property “Qty2” available to edit. Add a value different from the parts list which is displaying the actual value, then click OK in the Edit Balloon dialog box. The balloon should still be highlighted; if it is not, left click on it so it can be changed to the other style. Now repeat the same process to change the balloon style by using the drop down in the Format panel on the Annotate ribbon. In this example, the style will be changed from “User Qty Change Balloon” to “User Item_Qty Change Balloon,” which will show the item number that matches the parts list and the modified quantity you added.

The following example shows the new balloon style with the actual item number on top and the modified quantity on the bottom of the split balloon. Notice the actual quantity listed in the parts list.

Inventor item number split balloon

As you can see, modifying the quantity in a split item number balloon can be accomplished by creating a couple additional balloon styles. Until Inventor allows you to do this from the default balloon style, it is not too complicated to make an item balloon have a different quantity from the parts list. If you needed to modify the item quantity in a drawing view, you now have the steps to complete this. Knowing this can be done, you may now find that this could be used in the future at some point. If you plan on implementing this as a company standard style, make sure you get these balloon styles added to your Inventor drawing template.


Watch for two more upcoming articles on this subject:

Part 2: Create a sketch symbol that can be edited to display modified Item & Qty values

Part 3: Export styles from a drawing to import into previously created drawings

Future proof your manufacturing business with the insights contained in 2 free eBooks to assist with your company’s transition into the next decade: Part 1 on processes, skills and partnerships; Part 2 on technologies and digitalization.


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