- Important: Read This Section Before Running BatchMan
- When to Use BatchMan: Examples
- BatchMan Overview
- Selecting a File, Folder, or Directory of Folders
- Changing Layer Names & Colors
- Changing Layer Colors
- Purge + Audit
- Script/LISP File
- Save or Preview Your Changes
- Related Webinars
Our BatchMan feature is a batch file processing tool that can help you can maintain drawing standards across your entire library. You can select any number of DWG or DXF files (or even entire folders of files), and use BatchMan to perform any of several common actions on all of them at once. For examples of these common actions, see When to Use BatchMan: Examples below.
BatchMan is lightning fast. It can process about three files per second on a fast machine, and can easily process 1,000 or more files at any one time.
See BatchMan in action! Check out our Design F/X Overview webinar. The BatchMan demonstration starts at 27:55 in the video.
Important: Read This Section Before Running BatchMan
Here are a few important recommendations about BatchMan:
- We recommend running BatchMan from a blank file.
- If you do run BatchMan from a working drawing, it will discard the current file open and not save changes. Make sure you save changes to the file before running BatchMan.
- Once you've configured BatchMan to make a set of changes, don't forget to select one of the Save as options at the bottom of the dialog box before clicking OK – if you want to save your changes.
- You can leave the No Save option selected if you only want to preview the changes, but keep in mind that your changes will not be saved unless you select a version of AutoCAD to use when saving the changes.
When to Use BatchMan: Examples
Possible uses for BatchMan include:
- Cleaning up drawings: Perform actions such as Color by Layer, Linetype by Layer, Purge, and/or Save As.
- Managing layers: Manage the layer names and colors of drawings, change layer names and colors as required for office layer standards.
- Running a script or LISP file: Run an end-user-programmed script or LISP file on each drawing.
- Making a slide: Zoom to extents and shoot a slide for a number of block source files.
- Redefining blocks: Refresh placed blocks to their most current versions.
- Updating Land F/X project association: Change the Land F/X project (project number) associated with multiple DWG drawing files.
Open BatchMan :
F/X Admin ribbon, BatchMan button
F/X Admin toolbar
Admin Setup toolbar
F/X Admin pull-down menu
or type BatchMan in the Command line
The BatchMan dialog box will open.
1. Files In: The files you select will be listed in this field.
2. Add File: Add a single AutoCAD drawing.
3. Add Folder: Add an entire folder of AutoCAD drawings.
4. Add Folder + Subfolders: Add an entire folder of AutoCAD drawings, and include all drawings in all subfolders of the selected folder.
5. Remove: Remove a highlighted item from the "Files in" list.
6. Remove All: Remove all items in the "Files in" list.
7. Script/LISP File: Select any Script or LISP file. BatchMan will load and run the desired LISP or custom script file for each drawing selected.
8. Change All: If you want, check one of the following boxes:
- Layer Names and Colors: Change layer names and/or colors in the selected file(s).
- Layer Colors: Run our Change Line Color tool on the selected file(s).
9. Standard Actions
These checkboxes offer a variety of standard actions used for general file maintenance.
- All ByLayer: Sets all entities to All ByLayer.
- Purge+: Purges each drawing of unnecessary and unused lines, fonts, layers, blocks, etc., four times.
- Text Styles: BatchMan will look through all the Land F/X Text Styles in your default Preference Set and update the styles in each drawing to match your current settings for those styles.
- Zoom E: Zooms each drawing to its extents to prepare for a slide to be taken.
- Make Slide: Shoots a slide of each file.
The Text Styles option is also available for a single drawing as our Reload All Text Styles (REAT) tool. When you use this tool, the Text Styles in the current drawing will be updated to match the active Preference Set.
10. Save as:
Here, you can select either ...
- No Save: Performs the selected operations on the selected files without saving. This allows you to preview your changes without committing to them yet.
- The format or version of AutoCAD to use when saving the changed files.
11. Only save if modified: Check this box if you only want to save a drawing if BatchMan modifies it. This feature can be helpful when you are backing up files based on when they were last changed.
In the interest of increasing speed, BatchMan overwrites original files with the revised copies and does not create backups. It is up to you to make a backup copy of files before running BatchMan.
The No Save option provides a handy preview of what BatchMan will do to your files – without actually saving over them.
Selecting a File, Folder, or Directory of Folders
The first step in using BatchMan is to select the files (or entire folders of files) that you want to .
Adding a Single Drawing File
To add one DWG drawing file at a time, click Add File.
A file directory explorer will open, allowing you to navigate to your desired file.
Click Open to add the file to the BatchMan file list.
The name of the file you selected will now display in the Files in list in the BatchMan dialog box.
Add as many individual files as you want.
Adding a Folder of Drawing Files
To add a folder of drawing files, click Add Folder and navigate to the folder you want to add.
The Browse for Folder dialog box will open.
Browse to and select the file folder containing the DWG files you want to add to BatchMan.
Click OK to add the folder to the list.
The name of the folder you selected will be added to the Files In: field in the BatchMan dialog box.
Adding a Folder and Subfolders of Drawing Files
A folder and subfolders (aka a recursive directory) will include a folder you select, along with all drawings in subfolders under the selected folder.
To add a folder and subfolders of DWG files, click Add Folder + Subfolders.
Browse to and select the folder that contains the subfolders with the drawings you want to process.
Click OK to add the folder and its subfolders to BatchMan.
The selected folder and its subfolders will be added to the Files In list in the BatchMan dialog box.
You can remove any highlighted drawing file or directory by highlighting it and clicking Remove. You can remove all files by clicking Remove All.
You can now click any of the BatchMan operations you want performed on the selected files. BatchMan will open each file and perform the batch operation, then save or close the file – all at about three files per second.
Don't forget to select a version of AutoCAD from the Save as section at the bottom of the BatchMan dialog box if you want to save your changes. If you don't, your changes won't be saved.
Changing Layer Names & Colors
BatchMan can run the Change Layer Names and Change Layer Colors processes on the selected drawing files. If you select this option, BatchMan will also process layers within blocks.
Use this option if you need to change the layer colors in several drawings while also changing the names of the layers. For example, you or a client may have a standard that calls for each layer to have a specific name and color. The settings will be stored in an LCF file, which you can easily load back into any drawing(s) to apply the changes. You can save several LCF files – one for each client whose standards call for these layer name and color settings, and one for your own standards. If you only need to change the layer colors and aren't worried about the names of the layers, you can use the Layer Colors option within BatchMan instead.
After selecting the files you want to process, check the Layer Names and Colors box under Change All.
BatchMan will open all selected drawing files.
The Change All Layers dialog box will open. You'll see a list of all layers in all selected files by name, along with each layer's corresponding line color.
The layers will be listed in two columns:
- From: This column lists the original name and color.
- To: This column lists the changes to the name and color. Highlight a selected layer name and click either Rename or Color.
Clicking Rename will bring up a New Layer Name
dialog box for the layer.
If you want, type a new name for the layer and click OK.
Clicking Color will bring up the AutoCAD color dialog box
with the current color active.
If you want, select a color and click OK.
The new layer name and/or color will be changed. Any changes will be visible in the From: and To: columns.
Once you've made extensive changes to a large number of files, it's a good idea to save your changes by clicking Save before beginning the BatchMan process.
You can now save your changes as a .lcf file to the location of your choice.
A drawing can sometimes contain odd corruptions that will stop the BatchMan process. If so, you'll need to run BatchMan again to rename and recolor the files.
LCF Files and Layer Names & Colors
An LCF file stores one version of settings you've configured for the layer names and colors within CAD. It allows you to makes these changes once (or once for each client that requires them) and then apply the changes to any drawing (or to multiple drawings at once, if you use BatchMan) with a single click.
If you've saved an LCF file and need to apply it to one or more drawings, click the Load button in the Change All Layers dialog box.
This feature can be extremely helpful if you frequently receive drawings from a client or consultant, and you want to make the same layer name and color changes each time you get the files.
If you need to rename multiple layers to the same name and color, BatchMan will grab all items on those layers and put them into the desired layer with the desired color. For instance, bad drawing habits might result in a variety of text layer names in much of the drawings, such as TEXT, L-TEXT, TEXT1, A-TEXT, C-TEXT-NOTE, etc., and they have a mix-match of colors. Simply rename each of the layers to the same name, such as L-TEXT, and give each renamed layer the same color. BatchMan will move all items on the renamed layers to the desired layer, and they will all have the same color.
Changing Layer Colors
BatchMan can also run our Change Layer Colors tool on drawing files.
This option is a handy one if you need to change the layer colors in several drawings to meet your standards, or change your own drawings to meet a client's standards, but you aren't worried about the layer names. The new color settings will be saved in a GCL (.gcl) file. If you need to change the layers' names as well, use the BatchMan Layer Names & Colors option instead.
After selecting the files to process, check the Layer Colors box under Change All.
You'll now see the Change All Layer Colors dialog box. Here, you'll see a list of all color numbers from 1 to 256.
Highlight the number of the color you want to edit in the drawings, then click Edit.
The AutoCAD Select Color dialog box will open.
Select a new color for the highlighted layer.
Once you've made your changes, you'll need to save them to a GCL file.
To save your changes, click the Save button in the Change All Layer Colors dialog box.
Saving is important to avoid losing the efforts you have made to record the proper line color changes.
Enter a name for your GCL file, and click Save to save it in the location of your choice.
Once you save the line color change configuration and click OK, BatchMan will load each drawing and change the line colors as configured – all at about three drawings per second.
GCL Files and Layer Colors
A saved GCL file is essentially a record of your layer color settings from a single session of using the Layer Colors feature within BatchMan. You can save as many different GCL files as you need – for example, you can save one GCL file for each of your clients whose layer color standards differ from yours, as well as one for your own color standards. With these files in place, you can always work within your own standards and then, when you need to send a drawing to a client, quickly load that client's color standards into the drawing. (BatchMan allows you to make the same changes across multiple drawings at a time.) The layer colors will instantly change to match the client's standards. Then, when you get a drawing back from a client, you can apply your own color standards back to the drawing by loading your own GCL file.
If you're changing your office colors to match a client’s, or a consultant’s colors to match your office standards, you can call up the saved GCL file in future BatchMan routines.
You can even call up the GCL file without BatchMan while a drawing is open, using our Layer Colors tool.
In either case, click Load in the Change All Layers dialog box to load a GCL file of your choice.
Purge + Audit
Drawings can often become clogged with unnecessary junk such as Proxy Objects and RegApps. These items bloat your drawing's file size and cause slowness as well as general performance issues. In most cases, we recommend cleaning your files by either running our Nuke tool or performing a manual cleanup.
If you need to purge multiple drawings of these destructive items, however, you can add them all to the BatchMan and the run the tool with the Purge+ box checked.
Check the Purge+ box under Standard Actions.
When you click OK to run BatchMan, the following commands will be run on the selected files automatically:
- AUDIT: All errors in the drawing file(s) will be corrected.
PURGE: When running the Purge command, BatchMan completes all of the following actions on your drawing:
- Deletes all extraneous RegApps
- Removes all DGN linetypes
- Runs a multiple Purge All
- Performs a Scale List cleanup
To ensure that all harmful items are removed, BatchMan runs the PURGE command four times.
When you select the Script/LISP File option, BatchMan will load and run the LISP or custom script file of your choice for each drawing selected.
You can now browse for and select your Script/LISP file.
Click Open to select the file of your choice.
Important notes on running Script/LISP files:
- BatchMan will load the LISP file on each selected DWG file, so it should automatically fire whichever code is required. If it defines a function, the code should then call that function at the end of the file.
- Use any code you wish – just never use an exit clause. Good formed code should angle in and in, then out and out (i.e., if this…, if this…, if this…, then if not…, if not… , if not… and then come back out). It should never exit.
Save or Preview Your Changes
The Save as: section at the bottom of the BatchMan dialog box gives you the option to either:
- Preview your changes without committing to saving them yet, or
- Save your changes to the AutoCAD version of your choice
Important: If you want to save your changes, make absolute sure you select one of the AutoCAD versions in this section before clicking OK to run BatchMan. Otherwise, your changes will not be saved.
Preview Your Changes Without Saving
If you want to see what your changes will look like without saving them yet, select No Save.
BatchMan defaults to this option in order to prevent unwanted saving. Keep in mind that your changes will not hold if you select No Save.
Save Your Changes
To save the changes you make in BatchMan, select one of the available versions of AutoCAD:
The edited files will be saved in the selected version.
When saving, you can choose to check the Only save if modified box.
With this option selected, BatchMan will only save drawings that you modify.
This feature can be helpful when you're backing up files based on when they were last changed.
- Standardizing Your Detail Library: We'll introduce you to some tools and techniques (including the BatchMan tool) that make it incredibly easy to bring your collection of details up to a specific standard for layer names, callout styles, unit settings, and much more. (56 min)