An element template is a named set of element properties that can be applied to existing elements or can be used to set the active settings that are used for element placement. Their primary purpose is to increase consistency when drawing. Templates can be stored in DGN libraries or in DGN files. Templates are defined in the Element Templates dialog ( ).
The following is a typical sequence for working with templates:
- Import data into a template, or
- Add a template and add its properties.
- Manage your templates (add and delete properties, rename, copy, move, and delete them).
- Organize your templates in hierarchical groups called template groups.
- Place elements that are associated with, or "locked" to, your template.
- Check and update elements associated with your template by using the Standards Checker, or
- In the Element Templates dialog, use menu items on the Utilities menu to update all elements or to update selected elements associated with your template.
Once you have set up templates you can use them when you place elements or you can apply them to existing elements. The Active Element Template icon in the Attributes toolbox provides a drop-down list of available templates and it allows you to associate (or "lock") elements to the active template during placement.
There is an important difference between "setting" the active element template and "associating" or "locking" the active element template:
- When you "set" the template, the active element attribute settings in the Attributes toolbox change to the properties defined in the template. When you place an element with the template "set," the element inherits the template's properties but the element is not "associated" with or "locked" to the template.
- When a template is "associated" with the active element, attribute settings in the Attributes toolbox change to the properties defined in the template and placed elements inherit the template's properties. In addition, the elements are associated with, the template that was active when they were placed. If the template is one that was created and stored in the open DGN file, this means the associated elements will be resymbolized automatically when properties in their template are modified. If the template is from a DGN library, you must run the Standards Checker or use a menu item in the Element Templates dialog to resymbolize the elements.