Object styles are a powerful technique for controlling objects. On one end of the object style spectrum, you have plug-in objects, which are individual and flexible; on the other end, you have symbols, which are fixed—when you edit one, they all update. Object styles can be anything in between a plug-in object and a symbol. You can choose which parts of the object style are controlled like a symbol and which are flexible like a plug-in. This manual will be focusing on doors and windows, but the techniques covered can be used on all object styles.
First, we will be looking at the concept of object styles. Then, we will look in detail at how to control our object styles, before finishing off with how we can use object styles to create a window and door schedule.
Table of Contents
- Beginner Topics
- Intermediate Topics
- Advanced Topics
When you create a symbol, every instance that you place on a design layer is connected to the symbol definition. When the symbol definition is updated, all instances on all design layers are updated as well. In some cases—for example, when you want to make sure that all your windows are consistent for a bathroom—this is a good idea. However, this also means that the window number is the same for every window, which might not make sense. In that case, you want to have an object where almost everything about the windows is consistent except for the window number. This is a great opportunity to use an object style. The object style could control everything except the window number, ensuring that your window characteristics remain consistent while maintaining flexibility regarding the window number.
This image shows the spectrum from a plug-in object on the left to the symbol on the right.
The plug-in is totally flexible in the design layer, and the symbol is totally fixed in the design layer. This means that every time you use the plug-in, each one is individual, and a change to one does not affect any other instances of that plug-in. Each time you use a symbol it is a perfect copy of the symbol definition. Any change to the symbol definition will change all the instances of that symbol that you’ve placed on your design layers.
An object style lives between a plug-in and a symbol. When you create your objects style, you can choose which parameters are controlled by the style and which parameters are flexible. You can make your object style more like a plug-in, allowing for more flexibility of the size, configuration, etc.
Or, you can make it more like a symbol, where only a few things are flexible.
When you create an object style, you choose whether the object style is controlling a parameter or whether the parameter is flexible. You control this by clicking on the icon. A sliding bar next to a parameter means that it is adjustable, while a curved arrow means that the object style is controlling the parameter.
In this manual, we are looking at window and door styles. The concepts that we are covering can also be used with other object styles such as columns, cabinets, and ramps.