[GRANTED]Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

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[GRANTED]Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby TommyK » Thu May 01, 2014 5:56 pm

Autolabel has been updated in Sketchup 2015 to make this feature come true. ...and in a more elegant way to what is described below.

To find out more, see the release notes:
http://www.sketchup.com/products/sketch ... ew-in-2015


I've been thinking what the first scripts for LayOut would look like, assuming that LO is going the way of Sketchup by adding a Ruby API.

I've been having a go at AutoText, which is a time saver. I like autofill labels, but I don't always get the exact information I need, especially when there are nested elements involved.... So what if these are combined, with the Label text showing a specific quality of a specific part of the model that is being pointed at. What that particular quality would be dependent on the tool setting, which would best be scripted by the Sketchup community. Let's call it "AutoLabel" for now.

So it might work like this, for example:
[*]1. I select the "Auto Label" tool, using the "Volume" setting
[*]2. In the model viewport, I click on a component, which happens to be a solid. I click again to place the text end.
[*]3. Voilla! The volume of the component is shown.
[*]4. In the AutoLabel window pane, I select the units I want to use eg- sqm.
autolabel.png


Explanation of window:
[*]Focus - selects the target of the label, in situations where different levels of nesting might exist
[*]Label Name - selects the labelling script to use (in this case, Volume)
[*]Parameters - parameters as defined by the labelling script, which will affect the output.
[*]Process/Auto - like the Sketchup Model render button. The autolabel scripts may take time to process, so would need a manual update option.


What this encourages is for information to be input into the model, and minimise the amount of typing and duplication within Layout. It also works well with the Information Modelling direction that Sketchup seems to be going in.

Where I think developers can get involved is in creating scripts that take a selected element within the model, processes it, then outputs the text to Layout. This would very much be Sketchup API scripting, more than LayOut. Just think of the text that can be returned by these scripts:
- Attribute values - All Sketchup elements have attributes. Select the attribute you want and go!
- Perimeter of face
- Volume
- Names of all Groups within a Group
- Number of bricks from volume
- Number of instances of Component within Model
- Mass of solid (calculated from volume and a density attribute)
- Material name


Any takers?
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Last edited by TommyK on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby marcdurant » Wed May 07, 2014 2:50 am

Good ideas so far! FYI the next week or so would be an excellent time to post any Auto-Text or auto-labelling improvements you'd like to see.

Thanks,
Marc
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby pcmoor » Wed May 07, 2014 4:05 am

Hi

With my DCs I create a dynamic name that changes with the selected attributes, for example... "820 Bi-fold Door", this can change to any other size depending on the selection. It would be great to have access to different attributes like "name", description" etc.

I have built AutoCAD blocks which have labels which I can vary depending on selection and VBA control, it is extremely advantageous to link data to visible labels

cheers
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby TommyK » Thu May 08, 2014 11:06 am

marcdurant wrote:Good ideas so far! FYI the next week or so would be an excellent time to post any Auto-Text or auto-labelling improvements you'd like to see.


Oh? What's happening over the next week or so? You're getting me excited! :shock:

As an extra feature request for labels in general - when copying and pasting labels, the text always breaks apart from the arrows (no longer sticky). Small, but useful feature. I would find it useful when I produce different options of a design for clients, and I want to copy some labels from one option to another.
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby samyell77 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:21 am

This would be fantastic TommyK. I also really hope that LO moves towards giving users the ability to write scripts and create plugins.
I especially like the Focus drop down to select in LO what level of the nested / grouped part you want to get information on. Its frustrating that LO currently alwasy selects the part that is furthest into the nest.
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby TommyK » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:46 pm

Hurray! This feature has been implemented in Sketchup 2015! It's also been implemented in a much more elegant way than I suggested above.

There's no way to make your own script to output information, but I hope it will come in 2016...

I use Skalp for sections, for example, and I can't use AutoLabel here, as Skalp simply makes faces.
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby marcdurant » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:15 pm

Hi Tommy-

Glad you like the new capabilities. The LayOut team was just wrapping up our design meetings for the new feature when you started this thread back in May. We still have a list of features that we'd like to add to the tool, so feel free to share any ideas you have after you've had some time to get familiar with LO 2015.

-m
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby Bruce Watt » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:53 am

I would like a custom AutoText that would create consecutive numbers and automatically update if an additional Autotext would be inserted within the existing set. ( to reflow the numbers after the new insertion)

Let me explain,

All my drawings have a title and a number, (Site Plan / 1, Block Plan / 2, Ground Floor Plan / 3 etc) At times I have to insert other drawings within the existing set of drawings and thus I have to re number all drawings after the new insertions. I could use point ie 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 to accomplish this but prefer to keep it simple. I hope that make sense.
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby marcdurant » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:08 pm

Hi Bruce-

If you envision having one of the these tags per page, then what you describe may be possible with the current PageNumber Auto-Text tags. However, if you'd like to sequentially number multiple drawings on a page, then it's not possible with the current system. Could you clarify?

Thanks,
Marc
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby Bruce Watt » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:19 pm

marcdurant wrote:Hi Bruce-

If you envision having one of the these tags per page, then what you describe may be possible with the current PageNumber Auto-Text tags. However, if you'd like to sequentially number multiple drawings on a page, then it's not possible with the current system. Could you clarify?

Thanks,
Marc


Hi Marc,

Thanks for your reply,

There is more than 1 per page. (when referencing; page number and then separate drawing number within the page) The indexing system would have to keep track of all instances across all pages. Would that be possible?
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby marcdurant » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:12 am

If there's more than one per page I don't see a way to achieve it with the current system. I'll add this to the feature request list if it isn't there already.

Thanks,
Marc
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby Bruce Watt » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:46 am

marcdurant wrote:If there's more than one per page I don't see a way to achieve it with the current system. I'll add this to the feature request list if it isn't there already.

Thanks,
Marc


Thanks for the clarification,

I guess the indexing system would be like the page numbering system but not related to the pages. The indexing system would relate to each other instance of that specific ''index autotext'. This system in addition to the above, could possibly relate to the location on the page vertically or horizontally or clockwise or anti clockwize or manual override.

TommyK; Sorry to hyjak the thread.
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Re: Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoLabel

Postby TommyK » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:21 pm

Bruce Watt wrote:TommyK; Sorry to hyjak the thread.


No problem! This sounds like a good place for your query.

marcdurant wrote: We still have a list of features that we'd like to add to the tool, so feel free to share any ideas you have after you've had some time to get familiar with LO 2015.
-m


Well, if you insist!

1. Not really a feature request, but cleaning up what is existing. I notice that fundamentally, you add <autotext> into the label string, and LO just replaces that autotext with the relevant information from the model. This is fundamentally sound. It provides you the flexibility to add custom suffixes and prefixes within the label text and string several pieces of information together. There seems to be a limitation on getting attributes from only one nesting level per label - i.e. when you select the <ComponentDefinition> of a toilet, you cannot add information from its parent (Bathroom, for example) within the same label - only other attributes of the toilet.

2. Make the asterisk * that allows you to add further <autotext> bigger or more prominent! I keep missing it! Or better still, replace it with a plus (+) sign. It was not immediately obvious that you could add further attributes by clicking on this tiny button.

3. You can get attributes of geometry, but what about the Scene? Again, it would add that flexibility without complicating things.

4. Model Info. Attributes at the model level are not included. If you are doing a schedule of products, you could have a table with a list of Sketchup components (as downloaded from 3D warehouse, for example). As much of the important information is stored at the model level, this information is not accessible via autolabel. I can imagine making a table with the label arrows being set to invisible (0% opacity). Adding this level of information would add further flexibility without adding complexity, I think.

5. Units - I use millimetres for lengths, square metres for area, cubic metres for volume. The ability to use autolabel to show volumes and areas is great, but I don't show floor areas in square millimetres! Choice of units will be great. Perhaps The Sketchup model info dialog should have options for "Area Units" and "Volume Units".

6. Moving the label pointer to a new object. Now I am getting picky, but I like those moments when I think - "I wonder if it could do that?" and the answer comes back "Yes!". I think when you move the pointer of the autolabel to a new object, it should update with information from the new object. If you are thinking "what nesting level?", then I would say the same level as the original pointed object (if that object has the attribute you originally pointed at). I hope that makes sense. What I can imagine doing is when labelling up a wall build up, I use autolabel to get info from the outer skin of brickwork, copy array down that autolabel, then simply amend the pointer of each copied label to each layer of the wall. It would save me from selecting the information type I want from an object. It would make annotations SO fast.

7. There needs to be a way of resizing the label text box without resizing the label pointer. Actually, this is a bit of a bug, I think, and should be fixed this version....

8. Open it up to developers! I use Skalp, for instance, which creates fantastic graphical sections in LO. When I use autolabel on the section cut faces, though, I can't get the information from the components from which they are cut - just face information. If their section cuts could simply reference the objects they cut through for autolabel to work its magic, Skalp and LO could work much better together. See viewtopic.php?f=323&t=58685&start=60#p543147


All in all, the design of what you have done so far makes the implementation of the above seem quite simple and intuitive from where I am standing. I'm looking forward to using it for a real project.
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Re: [GRANTED]Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoL

Postby marcdurant » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:45 pm

For #7, double-click on the leader line to enter the new Label Manipulator - this will allow you to edit individual points in the leader line, change how the leader line connects to the text box, and change the size of the text box. It's a bit of a "hidden feature", so I'm working on a better way to get the word out.
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Re: [GRANTED]Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoL

Postby marcdurant » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:15 pm

#2 is a bug - that asterisk is a redraw artifact of what should be a button with a drop-down arrow on it. You can see what it's supposed to look like when you enter the text editor on a label but before you start typing.

thanks,
marc
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Re: [GRANTED]Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoL

Postby Krisidious » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:52 am

Is scale an option here? scale of the model in layout?
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Re: [GRANTED]Programmable <AutoText> + Labels = Joyful AutoL

Postby pohlr1 » Wed May 23, 2018 6:54 pm

Does anything like this exist? I am trying to automatically label all the components and groups. Sorta like a BOM with baloon callouts.
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