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Finding something in User Objects

Started by Tom Springer, November 04, 2016, 03:32:08 AM

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Tom Springer

In thinking about adding a small building, I wanted to find what was available in AR.  I didn't have a particular type in mind, just some sort of a small structure.  Not focused on any specific manufacturer in mind, I wanted to see what was available.  So how does one find a list of structures (User Object) that one might want to consider.

There is no single list anywhere that I could find.  And any attempt to "search" the User Object libraries would have to be by a specific manufacturer, not by "building type".

I could do the search outside of AR.  The (in the US, at least) Walthers online catalog would be one source.  Except Walthers doesn't carry all manufacturers.  And for those it does, not all of their offerings are included.  Especially within the "structures" area.  (And as Walthers gets further into it's own manufacturing, maybe they will carry less from others in the future.)

So I found a way to get the complete list of the 1778 (numbered from 0 thru 1777) currently-defined User Objects.  Now I could browse the list of everything across all scales.

But that I could do it led me to the question: how would a new user find what's available, if they didn't have a specific item and manufacturer in mind?

Some thoughts.

First, I obtained the list of all the objects by simply creating a new, empty, folder and setting my User Objects location to that folder, then using "download new objects".  AR downloaded them all, since now none "were present" on my computer.

So I now have the complete list.  And I can use the on-screen list "window" to sort by the different aspects: scale, "type", etc.  (except 'category' is not present in this list)

But would a new user know this could be done?

Second, this on-screen list cannot be copied using any Windows function, and only a specific portion of it is available on-screen at any time; you have to scroll through it to see everything.

Ok, can this become something useful?

What If ... the "download new objects" function was expanded to show all objects as the download occurs, and highlighting the actual 'new' ones in a different color from the (existing) others?  Maybe a limited start to seeing all of the objects in one place.

However ... What If ... the user could actually save this list somewhere?  Then it could potentially be searched/queried.

Or ...

Even better ... What If ... this could be done for the existing objects a user has already on their computer, presuming that they are current as to updates?  For example, selecting the User Objects tab, in addition to the "download new objects", there was a "List Current Objects" choice as well, that would list all objects the user already has?  And as previously talked about elsewhere in the forum... What If ... "List Current Objects" could then have check boxes for "Current Selected Scales" (from Options->Libraries) and "All Scales", and the user could get the info as they want it?
Tom Springer

(Unintentional Pyromaniac)


I realize this is an old topic but decided to reply anyway.
First,  Tom Springer, how can one see all the items, I have not figured that out.
Second, David would it be possible to export this as a comma separated set to import into Excel? Then you could filter by scale and search for items in the description field.

Tom Springer

You can get a list of the complete set of User Objects on your screen by switching the location where AR stores your user objects to an empty folder, then downloading the "new" objects - all of the existing user objects for all scales will then download and the list of them will be shown on your screen as a "table", which can be sorted - but unfortunately, not captured (currently).

Step by step, do this:

  • Choose "File->Objects->User Objects" and you will see where AR currently stores your user objects.
  • Select "Change" and you'll see the Windows directory structure where AR stores things.
  • Select the "AnyRail" folder, then click on "Make New Folder" and you'll get a new, empty folder; set it's name to anything you want - "New UDO" (for User Defined Objects) might be a good choice.
  • Select this new folder and click on "Ok" and you now have AR using this folder.  Now lick on "Done" to complete this step.
  • Now go to the "User Objects" tab at the top of the screen and select it, and then select the "Download new items" option; AR will now download all the current user objects into your new folder.  DON'T LEAVE THE SCREEN.  Wait for the table to be generated showing all the objects.  It may take some time.  And it may pause at times (not "hang", just pause)  When all objects have been downloaded, the "Ok" option will be enabled.  DON'T CLICK ON IT!  NOT YET, ANYWAY.
  • Once you have the table, you can scroll through it, even click on one of the column names to sort by that column.  You just (currently) can't print this table or capture it via any "copy" function.  So you have to work with it on your screen.
When you are done, click on "Ok" and the table disappears.  You then can either switch back to your original user objects folder or use the new one.  If you switch back, you can delete the new folder you created to free up the space for the objects you downloaded.

Now, if you are only interested in one particular scale, say N scale, once your user objects are up to date, you can get just the list for the scale of your choice by deleting that scale's entry in the user objects folder and then re-do the "Download new objects" process; the resulting table will show only the just-downloaded objects, the ones for the scale you want.

Hope this helps.
Tom Springer

(Unintentional Pyromaniac)

Tom Springer

Update for anyone reading this thread in the future:  Starting in version 6.7, the new User Object Viewer function is the proper way to go, and the info in this thread is no longer appropriate.
Tom Springer

(Unintentional Pyromaniac)