Thursday, September 27, 2012

Coloring Rooms with Rules & Scheduling Project Info

So one limitation that I've encountered with Color Fill Schemes for Rooms has been that you don't really have flexibility in terms of a set of "rules" by which to color, its mostly an all or nothing proposition with regards to a single parameter's value. So this week, it finally occurred to me to try filters to color rooms. I tried several view setting with no luck. In my case I wanted to color some very specific rooms all the same, and while I could have used room name, and made each unique room the same color, and turned all the others off, that seemed like alot of work to me. There had to be a way to make filters work!

It finally occurred to me to apply the filter with a color scheme applied to the view. Viola! My filter changed the color of my target room(s). That still left me with the issue of how to only color the rooms targeted with the filter. This actually turned out to be quite simple, rather then turn the rooms off, I made them "white". The white is a good "trick", it means that I can reduce my color scheme to a parameter with fewer values, think Department Names rather than Room Names, you could even create a parameter for rooms to which you assign the same value. With all rooms still visible, but set to white, now I have the freedom to colors rooms based on whatever Filter Rules I can dream up, thus allowing me to effectively right conditional statements to group rooms together under the same color or pattern which a single value would not typically allow.

Another silly little thing I encountered this week. I needed a schedule to contain project information, in this case with a list of areas. I actually needed the Project Name with each row of data (don't ask too many questions). What is one to do? I remembered that a couple of weeks ago when working with schedules that "Project Information" was a valid choice in the schedule field's tab combo box. This time though, I created a new schedule and it wasn't there! Then it occurred to me to check the "include linked files" box. Once again, presto! I had project information available to schedule with my areas. Now ironically I don't actually need to schedule anything from my linked file(s), but that is ok, I can deal with that one way or another. I do somewhat understand why these choices only become available when choosing to include linked file data, but at the same time it is a bit of a needless limitation, I can't think of any good reason why Project Information should not always be a valid choice.

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