Plandroid Help Documentation

A file that represents a catalog in the editor is marked with the XML file header symbol to differentiate it from a definition file.

Catalogs are edited in a catalog tab as shown. The catalog tab contains the following panels:

Catalog Editor Layout
Catalog Editor Layout

Each row in the catalog grid represents a part type, subtype, or a part. The Type entries TYPE and SUBTYPE are marked with arrows (⮛ and ⮚) which can be clicked to open and close those sections to help in navigating through the file.

The Catalog Grid

Adding and Removing Types, Subtypes, and Parts

You can add new items with the Add Part Type (Add Part Type Button) Add Subtype (Add Subtype Button) and Add Part (Add Part Button) buttons. Adding a new part type or subtype will add it to the next legal position, which may be after the currently selected item. If you want to insert a new row where you are, possibly splitting the current selection, then hold down [Ctrl] with the button to do an insert add. Note that newly created items will have some cells shown in red meaning that they must be filled in for the item to be legal.

To remove items, select the whole row of the grid by clicking in the left most column that contains the row numbers and hit the Delete key.

Editing Types, Subtypes, and Parts

Many cells use the right mouse button and the left mouse button to perform different actions. You edit properties of part subtypes and types by left clicking on the cells in the parts grid. The Definition and Image columns have a special drop-down selector that lets you choose from given values, that you also access by left clicking on a selected cell. Right clicking will bring up the context menu, as normal.

Hatched cells indicate properties that do not apply to types and subtypes and so cannot be edited. Also, the part's function cannot be edited as it is determined by the part's definition.

See the description of all the properties of parts to understand what the property values mean.

Connection Sizes, Function Data and Add Parts can also be edited in the panels below the parts grid as described below.

Creating Parts

To get a part to look and behave as you wish, you need to assign the right Definition to it, and also the right Image. The definition largely determines how the part behaves—if the part carries air, refrigerant, or electricity, which and how many connectors it has, if it is drawable or resizable, plus many other characteristics. Setting the icon for the part determines how the part appears in the catalog and on the canvas, and the image size determines how large the part is when viewed from above in a plan view.

Sometimes parts that use the same definition look the same or similar—for example Y Pieces are all instantly recognisable. In this case, the appropriate definition is easy to find as its menu image will be the same as the part you are creating. However, in many cases a part definition can look completely different to the part you want to create—for example most symbols use the part definition Resizable Icon but have wildly varying image definitions. It may not always be simple to find the appropriate part definition from its default image if it does not match what your physical object looks like, even though its behaviour—and therefore the definition you want to use—will be the same. If you can't immediately find the definition you need, it is often helpful to find a similar part in an existing catalog, and then use the context menu item Go to Definition on that part to locate the right part definition.

Subtypes Can Be Concatenated

Subtypes that have the same name will be concatenated—that is, their constituent parts will be grouped together into the one subtype. In this way similar parts can be conveniently grouped together in separate groups in the catalog file but displayed in one subtype in the Plandroid catalog.

Info Fields Can Have Carriage Returns

An Info (tooltip) field can span multiple lines. You can add a carriage return by using [Shift] + Enter while you are editing this field.

The Image Size Field Supports US Units

The Image Size field only supports mm as units, but when entering data into this field, you can also enter data in inches so long as you add " to signify inches at the end of the string, for example 12.75x14". The program will automatically convert the data into mm.

Collapsing and Filtering

The parts grid supports collapsing and filtering so that you can find and focus on the parts you are editing.

Types and Subtypes can be collapsed by clicking on the TYPE or SUBTYPE cell in the Type column. Clicking the cell again will uncollapse it. The arrow shows the current state. There are also Collapse Part Types (Collapse part Types Button) and Collapse Subtypes (Collapse Subtypes Button) buttons on the toolbar to toggle the state of all part types and subtypes at once, plus range selections can be opened and closed using the context menu.

The parts grid can also be filtered on any column. Left click on the column heading to display the filter menu. When a filter is active on a column the column heading is highlighted with a yellow background.

Column Filtering Options
Catalog Editor Filtering

You can have a different filter on each column. Items that do not pass the filters selected will not be shown until the filters have been cleared.

Copying and Pasting

You can copy and paste data between the editor and other programs, for example a text editor or Excel. Cutting, copying and pasting are accessed through the toolbar, main menu, right click menu or standard keyboard shortcuts ([Ctrl] + X, [Ctrl] + C, [Ctrl] + V). It is often quicker to perform edits on multiple items at once in a text editor or in Excel, and this functionality makes it easy to do that.

Two types of pasting can occur, value pasting where the values of the selected cells are changed and insert pasting where new parts, subtypes and/or types are inserted as new items. When copying from and pasting back to the catalog editor, inserting will automatically occur if a whole row is selected when performing the paste. Click the leftmost column, which contains row numbers, to select a whole row.

It is also possible to choose Insert Paste on the context menu. When data is copied to another program, a heading row (for example [ProductCode]) is included that shows the columns that the data came from. The heading row can be included when pasting the data back into the catalog editor, and for an insert paste it will be used to put the data into the correct column.

The Preview and Editing Panels

You can edit information directly in the catalog grid, but some information is also shown more clearly in the preview and editing panels that are shown underneath the grid.

Editing Connection Sizes

The connection sizes for the selected part can be edited in the Connection Sizes panel. See the description of connection sizes to understand how they work.

A size is a pair of numbers joined by an x, for example 200x150. Each connection may have multiple sizes listed, depending on the Size Type. For each size the first number is the width and the second is the height. For circular connections (except for a perimeter) the width and height should be the same.

Note that the type of the connection comes from the part definition and so cannot be edited. It is included for reference to help getting the sizes for different connections right.

A 'd' can be used when entering connection sizes to represent a diameter symbol 'ø'.

The connection sizes are entered in the units specified in the Catalog Properties -> Measurement Units -> Connection Sizes field.

Editing Add Parts

The add parts for the selected part can be edited in the Add Parts panel. See the description of add parts to understand to understand how they work. Multiple parts can be added. Values are edited by left clicking the cell in the grid. You can edit the following fields:

Editing Function Data

The function for the selected part can be edited in the Function Data panel. See the description of function data to understand how it works. The type of function data for the part is selected using the drop down and appropriate tabs will appear to edit the data. The following types of function data can be added:

Note that the units for flow rates and pressure can be selected to make data entry easier by matching the manufacturer's units.


Menu Item Tools

Several tools are available from the Tools menu item:

Add Local Definitions - Adds part definitions to the current catalog file. Local definitions are included in the current catalog file and are not usable by any other catalogs.

Check All Catalogs - Performs a check of all files in the catalog directory and displays any errors.

Open in XML Editor - Opens the catalog or definition file in the default editor for XML files so you can directly edit the underlying text (for advanced users).

Toolbar Tools

Tools available from the toolbar include:

Sync to Parts (sync button) - Saves all the files that have been modified and reloads the catalogs into Plandroid. Note that the catalogs must be selected in Plandroid for reloading to have any effect.

Catalog Info (info button) - Opens a dialog for you to edit the metadata for a file. This includes the name and version number of the catalog, information about the manufacturer, and the dates that the catalog is valid for. The Catalog Type tells the program if it is a catalog of parts or units (or both) and is relevant for users who have a locked licence.

Context Menu Tools

While some columns have a drop-down editing selector that that you access by left clicking a cell, you open the context menu by right clicking on a selection, as normal. A number of tools are available from the context menu in the editor:

To Title Case - Change text in the selected label or info cells to 'title' case - Where Words Start With an Upper Case Letter.

Transpose Sizes - Swaps the width and height values for an image size or connection sizes.

Set Image Size from Connections - Sets the image size of the current part by scaling its size against the part definition using the relative sizes of their connection sizes.

Generate Label from Sizes - Sets the label for a part from the sizes of its connections. Circular connections use a single value with a diameter symbol and rectangular connections include the width and height. Non-air connections on an air conduit part, such as damper blade connections, are ignored.

Generate Label from Function Data - Sets the label for a part from its function data. The label format is specific to each type of function data.

Checking Your File

The status icon, on the right-hand side of the status bar, will report the number of errors the editor has found in your file, if any. Click on the status field to bring up a dialog showing each error. Double click on any error entry to go to the location in the file that is causing that error.