SPOOL.INI Explained

Most (but not all) of the settings in SPOOL.INI relate to the SPOOLDWG command dialog. The following image maps those fields in the dialog with those found in the SPOOL.INI file.

Values and description are listed in the below table along with some additional notes as well as settings related to spooling but not part of the SPOOLDWG dialog.

Ref.SettingValueDescriptionNote
1SpoolNameAlpha/NumericName of Spool
3TemplatePath/Template NameName or Path & Name of AutoCAD Template for Spool Drawing.
9Status0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Status toggle in Spool Dialog.
8View0 = Plan
1 = SW Isometric
2 = SE Isometric
3 = NE Isometric
4 = NW Isometric
5 = None
Sets Spool drawing view type/orientation.
10StatusTypeStatus Index NumberIndex Number of the Status as defined in your database.
19Tags0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Display toggle in the Spool Dialog.
20Prompt0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Prompt for Position toggle in the Spool Dialog.
22Reorder0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Renumber toggle in the Spool Dialog.
4Set Colour0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Change Colour toggle in the Spool Dialog.
5Spool ColourRGB ValueRGB (Red Green Blue) color value of the last spool.

RGB Values are expressed as 3 integers, each between 0 and 255.

Use AutoCAD DDCOLOR command to determine color numbers & corresponding RGB values.
Note 1
11Report0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Report toggle in the Spool Dialog.
12ReportIndexIntegerZero based index as listed in the drop down list in the Spool Dialog.

e.g. 0 = 1st Report, 1 = second report, etc.
7ColourRangeComma separated Integer ListList of Integers separated by commas.

Represent the AutoCAD Color Index numbers (ACI) of the colors to cycle through for spool colors.

Use AutoCAD DDCOLOR command to determine color numbers.
Note 1
6Colour PosIntegerZero based index of color range for the last color used on a spool.
2SpoolPathFile PathFolder where created spool drawings are located.
n/aAuto Save0 = No
1 = Yes
If Spooling to separate DWG's instead of Layouts should spool drawings should be saved after they are created.
24Layout Tab0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Create in Layout Tab toggle in the Spool Dialog.
n/aMove Model0 = No
1 = Yes
Sets if the spool be moved to 0,0,0 when creating the spool DWG's.
26Create0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Create Spool on OK toggle in the Spool Dialog.
13Title Report0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Update Title with Report toggle in the Spool Dialog.
14TitleIndexIntegerZero based index as listed in the drop down list in the Spool Dialog.

e.g. 0 = 1st Report, 1 = second report, etc.
n/aIgnoreIDsComma separated Integer ListList of Integers separated by commas. Integers represent the Service Type Index.

Items with these Service Type Indices will not be renumbered or have their item number displayed in the Spool. (Exception: See RenumberIgnoreIds setting)
Note 2
25Select All0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Select All toggle in the Spool Dialog.
n/aRemove Section Level0 = No
1 = Yes
Controls moving the Spool to 0,0 (X,Y) if 1/Yes or 0,0,0 (X,Y,Z) if 0/No when the Move Modelsetting is set set to 1.
23SameNumber0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Same Number for Identical Parts toggle in the Spool Dialog.
21LockLeader0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Lock Leader toggle in the Spool Dialog.
n/aPrompt If Exists0 = No
1 = Yes
Prompts to overwrite existing Spool DWG if it already exists.
15Script0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Execute Script File toggle in the Spool Dialog.
16ScriptNameCOD Script File NameName of COD Script File to execute on the spool.

Script name should be the file name only and NOT include the ".COD" extension.

Script file must exist in the folder specified by SCRIPTS section of MAP.INI.
Note 3
17DataExport0 = Unchecked
1 = Checked
Set Export Item Data toggle in the Spool Dialog.
18DataExportNameIEX Report File NameName of IEX Data Export Report to run on the spool.

Report name should be the file name only and NOT include the ".IEX" extension.

Reports must exist in the proper product specific sub-folder under the reports folder specified by REPORTS section of MAP.INI.
Note 4
n/aUpdateJobNamewithSpoolName0 = No
1 = Yes
Updates the MAJ Job Name (Job Info) with the spool name prior to running any exports or reports.
n/aAddCOGMarker0 = No
1 = Yes
Calculates the Center of Gravity (COG) and inserts the COG Block (with attribute(s)) for the spool.
n/aShow3DText0 = No
1 = Yes
If showing annotations and the view is a 3d view, ensures that the database option is enabled to display in 3d. Note 5
n/aSpoolDimSnapsIntegerEnumeration (Bitwise) value for which OBject Snap Modes are set when using the SPOOLDWG command. Note 6
n/aRenumberIgnoreIds0 = No
1 = Yes
Renumbers the list of Ignored parts specified in the IgnoreIDs setting and stores the setting in the Alias field.

If the Alias already contains a value, the number will be appended to the value as a suffix.
n/aCloseDWG0 = No
1 = Yes
When spooling to separate DWG's instead of Layouts, will close the DWG after creation.
n/aRenumberMaster0 = No
1 = Yes
If renumbering, apply the new numbers to the Master DWG.

Note 1:

The DDCOLOR Command in AutoCAD can be used to determine ACI (AutoCAD Color Index) and/or RGB (Red Green Blue) values.


Note 2

Service Types can be found in the database editor. Use the Index Numbers in the Spool.ini settings.


Note 3

COD Scripts must be located in the folder specified by the MAP.INI file.

Type the command APPINFO in CADmep to display a dialog which will show where the Scripts should be located.


Note 4

IEX Data Export reports must be located in the software specific folder specified by the MAP.INI file. MAP.INI specifies the root folder for reports which are then found in a subfolder named based on the product using the reports. This makes knowing the exact reports folder a little difficult when looking in the MAP.INI file.

Tp more easily find the exact report folder, type the command APPINFO in CADmep to display a dialog which will show where the Scripts should be located.


Note 5

The database setting this option controls can be found in the database editor under Takeoff -> CAD Settings -> Annotation.


Note 6

To understand how bitcoded values work for the Snap modes, look up the OSMODE system variable in AutoCAD’s Help system.

Autodesk Fabrication Attacher Tips

CADmep, ESTmep and CAMduct all use the concept of an Attacher. This is what tells Fabrication which way to route elbows and branches.

Most people know how to place and rotate the Attacher. There are a few other tricks to working with the Attacher that you may not know about.

Up or Down, How to Get Around

Depending on your view orientation, you may notice part of the Attacher turns from Red to Blue or Green. As you rotate the Attacher it’s color will change to indicate the direction the arrow is pointing.

  • Green = Grass (Attacher is pointing away from you)
  • Blue = Sky (Attacher is pointing toward you)

Rotation Tricks

Depending oh which program you’re in (CADmep, ESTmep or CAMduct) and the keys you press, the Attacher rotates differently. Here’s a chart explaining those nuances.

RotationMethodCADmepESTmepCAMduct
90 Degrees CCWClickYesYesYes
90 Degrees CWShift+ClickNoYesYes
180 Degrees (Flip)Ctrl+ClickYesYesYes
15 Degrees CCWAlt+ClickYesNoNo

CADmep – Click Attacher to Rotate Counter Clockwise 90 Degrees

CADmep – Ctrl+Click Attacher to Rotate 180 Degrees (Flip)

CADmep – Alt+Click Attacher yo Rotate Counter Clockwise 15 Degrees

ESTmep / CAMduct – Click Attacher to Rotate Counter Clockwise 90 Degrees

ESTmep / CAMduct – Shift+Click Attacher to Rotate Clockwise 90 Degrees

ESTmep / CAMduct – Ctrl+Click to Rotate Attacher 180 Degrees (Flip)

Autodesk Fabrication 2020 Installer Issues

If you use network licenses or create network deployments of CADmep, CAMduct or ESTmep you may encounter errors. Autodesk incorrectly pathed the Network License Manager files in the SETUP.INI files.

Even if you are using Stand Alone or User Based Subscription licenses but build Network Deployments, if you configure the deployment to include all components in the deployment (recommended if you plan on modifying the deployment later) you can encounter errors.

To correct the errors, you can replace the SETUP.INI files that are part of the installation with the ones provided in the following ZIP file…

Before you overwrite your installation’s SETUP.INI file, it’s a good idea to backup the original. The root of my installation folder looks like this…

At some point, I would expect Autodesk will update their download data and provide the proper files. Because of this, I would highly recommend NOT replacing the SETUP.INI files unless you encounter issues.

What’s Different?

If you’re curious what’s different between the two, you can open the INI files in Notepad or other text editor and view them there.

The original file contains this at the end of one of the entries…

Third-Party Component Open Source EULAs:x64\en-US\Tools\NLM.msi

The new SETUP.INI files have updated it to this…

Third-Party Component Open Source EULAs:x86\AdskLicensing\NLM\x64\NLM.msi

Fabrication – Attacher Tip #2

Here’s another simple Attacher tip for Fabrication products. If you hold down the Shift key while clicking on the Attacher arrow in CADmep, ESTmep or CAMduct,. the arrow rotates the opposite direction.


Clicking the Attacher – Notice it Rotates in the “Clockwise” Direction

Clicking the Attacher – Notice it Rotates in the “Counter-Clockwise” Direction

Fabrication – Attacher Tip #1

Sometimes the best tips are the simplest. They can often be forgotten about or never learned because of that. Here’s a reminder for those that may not know or have forgotten…

In CADmep, or the 3d viewer of ESTmep or CAMduct, you can hold the Control key while clicking the attacher arrow to rotate the arrow 180 degrees. The below screen recordings are both done from CAMduct but ESTmep or CADmep work just the same.

Clicking the Attacher – Notice it Rotates in 90-Degree Increments
Ctrl-Clicking the Attacher – Notice it Rotates in 180-Degree Increments

Autodesk Fabrication COD Script Libraries

Over the years, I’ve written a number of scripts helpful for managing an Autodesk Fabrication configuration. I’ve given them away in my Autodesk University session I’ve taught so they’ve circulated around a bit.

I’ve rewritten most, streamlined them, made enhancements, added others, etc, etc. Because I’m always updating and changing them, I thought I’d host them here too. I can then just post when I update them.

There’s are 2 sets of scripts covering the following topics…

  • Debugging Properties Scripts
  • Job Item Scripts
  • Library Item Scripts

One set is for use in 2019.0 and earlier versions (but work in any version), the others are designed for 2019.1 and later when Autodesk added support for the Pattern Number property.

You can get to the scripts from the menu or click here. The scripts are free to use for all except employees of ENGworks or anyone working on the behalf of ENGworks. (contractors, consultants, etc.) who are prohibited from use.

ITM Dimension/Option Locking Hack

When you build content, it’s often desirable to have certain dimensions or options locked. This even applies to connectors, seams and dampers but to a lesser degree.

If you have a lot of Dimensions and/or Options to Lock or Unlock, you don’t have to individually pick each one. You can lock or unlock many very quickly provided they’re in a row.

The trick is simple….pick the button to lock/unlock the first field you want to change, and then while still holding the pick button drag your mouse up or down. This is a fast an efficient way to lock large groups of properties without picking each one.

The following recording shows this process. We’re using Pattern Number (CID) 910 as our example.

Fabrication CADmep Help

It’s sometimes easy to miss new things. This is why I want to point out something that was added in 2015. CADmep now has an APPHELP command. You can type APPHELP at the command prompt to bring up CADmep’s help system.

If you’re online, the help is pulled from Autodesk’s web site from the following URLs…

When you’re not online, APPHELP  loads the help system that’s installed locally. You can find it in these folders…

  • C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Fabrication 2015\Help\index.html
  • C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Fabrication 2016\Help\index.html
  • C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Fabrication 2017\Help\index.html
  • C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Fabrication 2018\Help\index.html
  • C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Fabrication 2019\Help\index.html

But what if you’re using CAMduct or ESTmep? No worries. The other products work the same way. Instead of typing APPHELP, type F1 on your keyboard or use the Help pull down menu.

Fabrication Area Calculation

Have you ever had a duct fitting seemingly calculate the area significantly under what it really way? The answer may be right under your nose.

The following two properties dialogs are for the same fitting. For simplicity, connectors and seams were set to “None

Notice the properties window on the left says 4 sq/ft and the one on the right is 20 sq/ft. You’ll notice a little lower the “Cost Units