User-defined forms are powerful custom forms that contain illustrations of objects. For example, user-defined forms can contain illustrations of equipment or an equipment component, as well as their properties. These custom forms are applicable to Add Part and Place Support commands in Hangers and Supports and to the Place Equipment command in the Equipment and Furnishings task. In addition, after you define the form, you can view it in the modeling window, and as you make changes, you can see the result on the screen. You can create user-defined forms in Microsoft® Visual Studio or by using the form definition wizard.
As you modify the values in the form, changes made to the attributes on the form automatically update the corresponding attribute in the Property pages.
The advantage of creating and using this form is that the picture of the object and its properties appear in the same form. If necessary, you can also create multiple or nested forms that hold similar properties that can be called from the main form.
An example of a completed form is shown in the graphic below.
After Defining the Form
Place the form's .dll file in the $Symbols\bin folder.
For example, key in <<AssemblyName,NameSpaceName.ClassName>> to the FormDefinition column of Equipment part in the Catalog task.
Opening the User-defined Form
The Custom Form Definition command automatically displays when you place the object for which a form definition exists. After placing the object, click Custom Form Definition to open the form. It is enabled only if a proper form definition is defined for that particular object. For the remaining objects, it is disabled.
Save your first project as a template for all other user-defined forms. You can make changes on this project for other symbols instead of creating the form from scratch each time.
Properties such as Name, Weight and CG, Surface Treatment, and so forth, are common for most of the symbols. Therefore, these properties need not be modified each time.
You can make minor changes on the form for similar symbols. For example, in Equipment and Furnishings task, the delivered pumps Horiz Centrifugal Pump With Flush and Drain Nozzles and Horiz Centrifugal Pump With StructureSteel or Polyshield Base are similar equipment but have different symbols. They may have common properties like MotorLength, CouplingLength, and so forth. Therefore, the same form can be used for both.
If there is some similarity between equipment, for example, Complex Horizontal Cylindrical Vessel and Storage Tank, you can keep the common properties like Vessel Diameter and Vessel Length, and modify, add, and remove the remaining properties, including the background of the form.
You can modify the form by changing the interface name and the property name on the Properties window of the user control in .NET.
What do you want to do?