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Design Table questions

I am only on v14, but have been evaluating if it is time to upgrade or not. The Design Tables are the main feature I was hoping for. However, I have some questions.

1 Where are Design Tables for Parametric Blocks stored?

I see that you must create an external .CSV file that represents the design table. And then, you must associate that .CSV file using the DESIGNTABLE command. However, I am not clear if the .CSV file has to be retained or not. Is it OK to simply delete it after you have done the necessary DESIGNTABLE command?

2 The challenge of creating Design Tables from PDF Catalogs.

The process of converting a PDF with a table into spreadsheet format is not an easy one. Text copied from a PDF Table is just text with cells separated with spaces, and spaces inside of a single cell mean you can't just tell Excel to treat a space as a cell separator (using the Text to Columns command). Also, Excel is not at all well written for using fractions or architectural units. E.g. if text in your clipboard has fractions of an inch, 1/2 gets translated to January 2 when you paste text with that value. Even presetting the cells to be formatted as fractions can't prevent this.

I have seen advertisements online for software that can convert PDF tables into Excel. But, I really don't expect them to be able to interpret architectural units. Especially since a generation has been incorrectly trained by Autodesk to put a dash between the whole inch and the fraction, instead of between the feet and the inches. Now I see this practice in catalogs. For folks from metric countries the proper formatting is 2'-3 1/2" to show 2 Feet and 3 and 1/2 inches. But, the fact that people do it inconsistently is sure going to make life difficult for anyone trying to write a program to convert normal architectural units into decimal inches.

By the way, in a future release, I would suggest that Bricsys improve the creation and editing of that design table by permitting you to create and edit a table within Bricsys. The heading of each table column should have a pop-up selection that shows you each viable parameter already exists. This way, you don't have to be so careful to make sure you spell them correctly when you type your .CSV file. And of course, one should be able to copy/past the cells of the table to/from excel or a Word document. This may permit you to massage the data from a part catalog PDF, that has dimensions in a table, and put it into a form that you can paste into the design table.



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