AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols

Mangesh Kalbhor – Autodesk, Inc. Atilio Zelaya – Total CAD Systems, Inc. In this class, we will discuss all the key concepts of tags, annotations and symbols, with special emphasis on customization to meet the needs of end users. Learn how to customize AutoCAD P&ID to create and use custom symbols, and define and utilize custom tag formats that inherit properties from different sources. Learn how templates can be effectively used in project creation. Learn about property acquisition to propagate property values from one component to another and define new rules for acquisition. Learn about the Join Type functionality and how to set it for different symbols, including inline Equipment behavior to achieve desired workflow. At the end of the course, the audience should feel confident about customizing P&ID for their own usage.


About the Speaker:
Mangesh is a QA Project Lead for the Plant Solutions Division at Autodesk. He has worked on all the releases of AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D and has in-depth knowledge of the software as a key quality engineer. Prior to joining Autodesk, Mangesh worked as a Process Engineer in specialty chemicals manufacturing plant involved in various plant modifications and extension projects. Mangesh earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Pune and Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. E-mail:

Atilio is the A.E. Lead for the Plant Solutions Division for Total Cad Systems Inc. an Authorized re-seller for Autodesk. He has worked with AutoCAD P&ID 2008 and beyond. Prior to joining Total Cad Systems Inc. Atilio worked as Piping Senior Designer III, and File Net Administrator for the fourth biggest oil and Gas company in United States. Atilio earned a Bachelor degree in computer Science from University of Southwestern Louisiana and an Associate degree in Architectural, and Piping Graphics Design from West Bank VTS in Louisiana. E-mail:

Made specifically for P&ID designers. There is no reason to change them B. Template creation The default standard Project is a good base for starting a project. Projects: Default vs. What is a Template Client Specific Project? • • • A customized project value used when a setting has been specified by the Administrator (user). fill in the information and check mark “copy settings from existing button and find the client specific template project to use (page 1 project” box. Left Click “Next” 2 .pdf’ is available on Autodesk University website. AutoCAD P&ID enables faster and more efficient creation. folders and other required settings specific to a client(s) III. Items such as symbols. What is a Default Project? • • A preset project value used when a setting has not been specified by the user Default settings are set to what the majority of people would choose. Template A. then click on the of 5). Additional Material ‘PD208-1_Extras. A copy of the default. environments and settings that require customization. Sample or finished Project Template Project contains all define settings. AutoCAD P&ID is easy to use and familiar to designers and process plant engineers. and manage piping and instrumentation diagrams. See default and client specific template AutoCAD 2010 P&ID pictures below. Built on the latest AutoCAD® platform. manipulation. Start the Project creator Wizard. and templates as well as the location to store your settings and drawings are part of your project. When open. and revisions to P&ID drawings. modify. Introduction AutoCAD® P&ID is a design software use to create. but there are always specific company’s palettes. symbols. existing.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols I. annotations. II. new. Click on the chosen project and left click “Open”.

What do we mean by “tagging” in AutoCAD P&ID? • • • Tagging means assigning the values for the unique identifier of a given asset into the Data Cache Tagging means creating and storing data. but it is not “the” Tag. apply fonts. Left Click “Next” Make sure to specify the Directory where your P&ID drawings will be stored (page 3 of 5). but most developers and administrators will want to know how to create their own templates. and better Client specific Master project Template. it is Annotating. Toolbars. Tagging is done via the Assign Tag dialog. Default projects are a great start. In addition. you have the ability to modify them at your leisure. updated. Placing an annotation in the drawing that shows the tag property is NOT Tagging. an asset or line segment may have multiple Annotations Annotation test is determined by the Format String defined in Annotation Style’s block. Left Click “Next” Now you are at the end of the Project creation (page 5 of 5). Blocks. Left click “Next” and specify the Plant 3D models DWG directory (page 4 of 5). the new Project created using the client defined template file creation should contain all Files and folders pertaining to the new Project and the properties from the Client defined template. When finished. • • • • Tags vs. once they are created. Borders. Remember to click on the “User defined reports directory” button to define appropriate location. ensure all is lined up and matching to your company's standards. So the question remains…. Annotations What is a Tag in AutoCAD P&ID? A Tag is a unique identifier for an asset or line segment A Tag is DATA that lives in the Data Cache An asset or line segment can have only one Tag (Nozzle Tag is unique per asset that it is on) A Tag is built up of sub parts as defined by the Tag Format What is an Annotation in AutoCAD P&ID? • • • • • An Annotation is text (an optional geometry) in the drawing pane which presents information. 3 . AutoCAD 2010 P&ID makes it extremely easy to create your own templates. Why is a Template better than the original? Think about the time it would take to specify all the page size/layout properties. You can now check mark on the “Edit additional project settings after creating project” (recommended) or click “Finish”. Layers.. Annotation text may show asset’s Tag property. It is still an Annotation. Project Templates can help ensure a consistent look and feel. A Master template is the beginning of a new. you still have the option to change some settings during Project creation such as the drawings base units (page 2 of 5). IV. Open the Project Setup and look at the properties.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols Even though you chose a define template. An Annotation is GRAPHICS that lives in the drawing An Annotation need not be unique.

and are available to that class and all child classes. expressions can serve to enforce the input format of the value (for example by enforcing upper-case or a minimum number of digits). Tag Formats Working with the Tag Format. but the Assign Tag dialog box does not assign values back to the Drawing or Project. Class properties can be from the class of the item being tagged. you can specify and customize the data that you want to include in the Tag property for any P&ID class. Each sub-part refers to a property. These sources are mutually exclusive. Sub-parts can be separated by delimiters. which is stored as part of the complete Tag. When you assign the Tag. 4 . or both. they are used to initialize the sub-part value. an expression. The Tag property as a whole must be unique within the project. • • • • • • • Tag Formats are defined at a specific class. Tag Formats are comprised of multiple sub-parts. It can be used in combination with a property or by itself. each sub-part is assigned a value. Drawing. The Assign Tag dialog box assigns these values back to the data cache. All the values and delimiters are concatenated to become the Tag property. fourth is for Expression dialog. which is stored in the data cache. When used by themselves. or from a class related to the item being tagged. Drawing and Project properties are read-only. Drawing and Project properties. • • • • First three buttons are Class.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols V. or Class. expressions (pure) simply require input of the requested type. but is not stored individually into any property. When used in conjunction with a property. Properties can come from the Project.

Explicit auto-generation is based on Project or Drawing auto-generation properties. not each individual line segment. In addition. Drawing auto-generation values must be initialized in each drawing. 5 .AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols • • • • • • Expressions can also be used to trigger auto-generation which can be implicit or explicit. Line segments are collected into line groups. The auto-generation properties must be initialized for this type of auto-generation to function. it is actually the line group that is tested for uniqueness. Implicit auto-generation selects the next available number that can be combined with the other sub-parts to create a unique tag. numeric expression and all other sub-parts are properties with known values. In AutoCAD P&ID. for the entire project. Implicit auto-generation occurs when one sub-part is a pure. Auto-generated values can be assigned to pure expressions or to properties. Project auto-generation value is initialized once. to generate values that increase across the project. These properties store a last-used value and an increment to determine the next available value. it is only the Line Number property of the line group which is tested.

and are defined by creating an Annotation Style. Complex Annotations can contain both text and graphics. etc. and the graphics can be defined to automatically resize with respect to the size of the evaluated text. and optional graphics that is tied both to a target asset or line segment and to the information from the underlying data sources. and Project.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols VI. • • • • Annotations can be “simple” or “complex” Simple Annotations are based on text. size. Annotation Styles are defined at a specific class level. and are created when you drag a cell from the Data Manager onto the drawing. Annotations An Annotation is a type of text. Complex Annotations are based on blocks. They use AutoCAD’s current text style settings for font. and are also available to all child classes. the text on screen updates automatically in the drawing. such as the Data Cache. 6 . Drawing. When the underlying data changes.

Each attribute definition specifies a single line of text in the resulting Annotation block insert. A copy of selected block definition is created to be associated with the new Annotation Style. Annotation block definitions are not shared between multiple Annotation Styles. The Annotation Style defines specific behaviors for the Annotation. It is just a format string. just as is true for Tag Formats. using an Expression enforces formatting of the output. The block definitions of existing Annotation Styles may also be used for a new Annotation Style. This is done in the block editor. The interface for specifying the Format String for an Annotation’s attribute definition is almost identical to the interface for specifying a Tag Format. When the Annotation is inserted. 7 . All these sub-parts will be retrieved and displayed on a single line. the Format String is used to automatically retrieve and display the underlying information.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols • • • • • • • • • • • • • Access and modify Annotation Styles from the Project Setup dialog box. Annotation block definition must contain AutoCAD attribute definitions to represent the text.dwg has block definitions for creating new Annotation Styles. Each Annotation Style has a unique block definition. For Annotations. the Annotation shows a dot. Each attribute definition may specify multiple sub-parts in the Format String. If an underlying property cannot be retrieved or not yet initialized. AnnotationTemplates. specifying the underlying data that the Annotation is meant to show. and also specifies the block definition associated with that Annotation Style. The AutoCAD attribute definition must be associated with a Format String. The Format String for an Annotation’s attribute definition is not a Tag Format since it is not being used to define a tag.

The delimiter field can be used to contain any desired free text. give the linear parameter the same label as the attribute definition.) The special TotalX and TotalY labels will cause the linear parameters to size to the combined width and height of all the evaluated attributes. To associate a linear parameter with an attribute definition. When the Annotation is inserted. Each attribute definition may specify multiple sub-parts in the Format String. AutoCAD’s dynamic block behaviors are extended to support special behaviors for P&ID Annotation block inserts. 8 .AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols • • • • • • • • Each attribute definition specifies a single line of text in the resulting Annotation block insert. (The toolbar tool will do this for you. just as is true for Tag Formats. Any actions associated with that linear parameter will execute based on the calculated size of the linear parameter. the Annotation shows a dot. All these sub-parts will be retrieved and displayed on a single line. the Format String is used to automatically retrieve and display the underlying information. An AutoCAD linear parameter can be specified to automatically become the same width as the attributes in the Annotation block insert AFTER the Format String has been fully evaluated. modify the attribute definition using the properties palette. To add leading free text. If an underlying property cannot be retrieved or not yet initialized.

along with some properties that control the symbol’s behavior. A P&ID class can also have multiple different symbols. Custom Symbols Each P&ID class is associated with one or more Graphical Styles.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols VII. 9 . You may swap the style of an existing asset in the drawing using the properties palette. Adding a symbol to a class is done selecting ‘Add Symbol…’ button and in the same dialog to set the appropriate properties. As an example. These styles specify a block definition that is used as graphical representation of P&ID Class in the drawing. assume that we need a new symbol for a reversible screw pump. with minor variations on the standard PIP screw pump symbol. just by creating multiple graphical styles.

To do this. Defining multiple Graphical Styles for a single P&ID class can also be useful in showing Closed and Open Valve or when a very large asset.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols Multiple Graphical Styles can be associated with a property so that changing the property changes the appearance of the asset. To make a single asset span 10 . must span drawings. use the Project Setup dialog to add a new Symbol List property to the screw pump class. Only one Symbol List property is allowed per class. such as a vessel.

be aware of certain items that the block must contain. etc. use the properties palette to manually assign the appropriate style in each drawing. 3. Block Contents When defining block. First. Endline.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols drawings. These point parameters provide node snapping when drawing an SLINE to connect to the asset. place a dynamic point parameter and give it the label “AttachmentPointN” where N is 1. (Using the <P> prompt. the name of the point parameter should be post-pended with :EndCodeRRR. oriented along the flow direction and breaks the pipeline into two segments and two groups. at which the end code graphics should be drawn. Setting right ‘Join type’. Segment Breaker and No Join. any equipment can be inserted on line. Finally. where RRR is the rotation. 2. simply assign the same Tag value in each drawing. Segment Group Breaker. This property will appear in Data Manager and changing the value will change the symbol’s appearance. and answer “Assign this Tag to the Selected Component” when prompted by the “Tag Already Assigned” dialog box. in degrees. Setting ‘Join type’ allows user to create a segment and group breaking pumps or new inline assets. Symbol setting property of Join Type has: Inline. and also provide the locations for insertion point cycling during asset insertion. to define the places where lines should connect to assets. such as pump inlet and outlets.) If the asset supports end-connections. 11 .

12 . To add Acquisition property.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols VIII. The Acquisition type property allows the user to specify a RULE as the means by which a property of an instance gets its value. when component A propagates its value to component B. Property Propagation/Acquisition Property propagation and property acquisition are the same concept. open Project Setup and select Add button in P&ID Class Definition. it means component B acquires its value from component A.

In this mode the data is in Read-only format and cannot be entered manually. • • Acquisition rule can be edited or remove via Project Setup.AutoCAD P&ID Customization: Everything from Tags and Annotations to Symbols • • • When an instance property is at the “Acquire” mode. When an instance property is at the Local mode called as “Override” mode. This mode let you enter new values manually. where the instance first acquires the value from its source and immediately goes to the Override mode. if you setup a (Acquisition) property at the EngineeringItems level. 13 . changes to the source are NOT picked up by the instance doing the acquiring. but remember changes made here do not get pushed back to source property. The Acquisition property type also supports the concept of “Initialization Only”. Acquisition property is just another type of properties. changes to the source are picked up by the instance that is acquiring. all Class Definitions below that level will inherit the property.

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