Component Manager palette

This palette displays the components that are currently available to be used. The Component and Window/Door tabs at the top are used to select between regular components and the specialized window/door components.

The Library menu.



The Library menu lists libraries (categories) of components. The area below the menu displays thumbnails depicting the components contained in the currently selected library. One of these items is the active component as indicated by a border around the image. A larger preview of the active component is displayed to the right of the thumbnails with its name above it. Components can also be displayed in a List mode, in which the components are shown by their names. This can be quite useful when you have very similar components that are hard to tell apart in Icon mode.


The first item in the menu is Project. This represents components that have been placed in the project or created in the project. This will be empty for a new project. The second group of items are categories of predefined components that are provided with the software (located in the Component Library folder). The third library is titled Downloads and contains components that have been downloaded from the Internet. The last group contains component libraries that have been created locally on your machine (in the Documents folder). The Add Library item at the bottom of the menu is used to create a new library on your machine. New libraries are added to the Documents folder.


The Component Manager palette.


The Components Manager in view by List mode.


The Window and Door Component Manager, in List mode.


The Component Management section at the bottom of the palette contains tools for managing the components.


The Library section affects libraries:


The Add Component Library.

Add Component Library Add Component Library...: It first invokes the standard Open File dialog, where you select the library folder you wish to add. A new empty library can be created by selecting New Folder at the bottom of the dialog. It then invokes the Add Component Library dialog, where a few characteristics of the new library are set.


You may Add To Current Project Only or Add To All Projects, which is, you add it as a Project or System level library. You may want to Include Subfolders, which are the contents of any folders inside of the selected library folder. Only subfolders that contain form•Z files are added. Finally you select a file search path from the popup menu at the bottom of the dialog. The options are: Absolute Path (default), Relative To Application, Relative To Project File, and Relative To User Document Folder. These are discussed in the Preferences: Project: File Search Paths section of this manual.

Delete Component LibraryDelete Component Library...: Pressing this button deletes the highlighted library. There are two levels of deletions: Delete Library And All Files deletes the library folder/directory completely. Remove Reference To Library preserves the folder on your computer disc but deletes it from your component libraries list.


PurgePurge Unused Components From Library...: Pressing this button deletes unused components from the Embedded library. This button is only available when the Embedded library is active.


RefreshRefresh Libraries...: After placed components have been edited, they may differ from the definitions in the original files. Pressing this button brings fresh definitions into a project.


The Component section affects the active component:


EditEdit Component...: Opens the component for editing. When this is selected the component file is opened as a separate project. This project becomes the active project where the component definition can be edited. When the file is saved, the component library is updated with the new version.


The Component Changed dialog.


The Component Changed dialog appears whenever a change is made to a component definition. There are options for Updating the original component definition, and also creating an entirely new component.


Cancel: Whenever a change is made to a component definition, the dialog now has an option to cancel the change and restore the component back to its original definition.


DeleteDelete Component...: This button deletes the active component. If there are instances of the component in the file, they are automatically exploded (i.e. the objects remain, but they are no longer part of a component).




The Export Component to Library dialog.



The Component Info dialog.


ExportExport Component To Library...: Exports the active component to an external file. This can be used to export an embedded component from the project to an external component file. Pressing this button invokes the Export Component To Library dialog, where you set the Component Name and the Library it is going into. This may be a library already existing at the project or system level, or you can click on the Add Component Library... button to add a library, as with the similar command in the Components Manager palette.


ExportInfo About Component: This option invokes a dialog that lists information pertinent to the component that is highlighted in the library. The information displayed in the dialog is shown below and shows the component's name, the number of times the component is used in the project, the number of each sub-topology element, if it is linked to a library file, and if it contains nested components. An example of the Component Info dialog is shown at right.


When Editing Component Parts there are three options: Update Component, which updates the current definition of the component; Make New Component, which leaves the original definition as is and creates a new definition of a component; and Ask, which asks the user at the time the component is being edited.


Notify When Components Are Out Of Sync: Components linked to external files are automatically updated in the project when the component file is updated. That is, the component will be reloaded, when it is found to have changed. When this option is checked, a warning is issued to notify you that a component has changed. Components are reloaded when the project is opened and when the application is activated, after having first been de-activated. Note that components can also be manually updated using the Linked Files tab of the Project Info dialog.


When Editing Components Linked To A Library File: When embedded components are edited and get out of sync with the libraries they originally came from, there are three options: Update Library File, which revises the definition in the file; Break Link, which makes the embedded component independent of the original definition; and Ask, which asks the user at the time the editing occurs.


Import Component...: This button is used to convert a file into a component. The standard open file dialog is presented for the selection of the desired file. Any supported file type may be selected (bnz, skp, obj, kmz, etc). The contents of the file becomes an embedded component and is ready to be placed in the project.


Convert Symbols Library...: This button is to be used for converting any “symbol” libraries defined in form•Z versions earlier than 7 to component libraries. Clicking on it invokes the standard Open File dialog, where you choose the symbol library folder/directory you wish to convert. As soon as you click on the Choose button, the conversion occurs, but may require a little time for large libraries. Once the conversion has been completed you save the new version as a Components Library and the process is completed.


Component Library Context Menu

Right-clicking on an embedded component preview icon in the Component Manager invokes a context menu that also has options for managing individual components. Some are the same as the options described above.



The Component Manager palette with right click context menu.


Open: open an embedded component for editing.


Delete: delete an embedded component from the Library.


Export to Library: export an embedded component from the embedded Library to an external component library.


Export All Components to Library: export all embedded components from the embedded Library to an external component library.


Always Update: when this is checked, changes made to the embedded component will always propogate to the component's external library.


Rename: you can change the name of a component from within the Component Manager.


Duplicate: you can duplicate a Component from within the Component Manager.


Info About: This brings up the Component Info dialog as discussed previously. An example of choosing this option with the Fashion Woman component selected. Note that it shows the path to the linked file and it's file information.


The Component Info dialog.