Differences between cell types

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Original Article Date:  July 2002 

Updated:  January 2011

This little article briefly describes the differences between Graphic, Shared, Point and Orphan cells.

Graphic Cells:

A Graphic cells definition is stored in a Cell Library.

When the cell is placed it retains it's symbology. In other words, if the elements in the cell were drawn in Colour=3, Style=2 and Weight=1, the same symbology will be used when the cell is placed in your file.

The cells level is controlled by the Relative switch when you place the cell. If Relative is OFF, the cell will be placed on the same level that is stored with the cell definition. If Relative is ON, the cell is placed relative to the active level. This means that the lowest level in the cell will go to the active level and all other levels in the cell will be placed relative to the active level. For example, if the cell was originally created on Level=12,14 and your active level is 4, the cell will be placed on levels 4 and 6.

The elements in the cell are snappable.

They are not 'tied' to system resource files.

You can attach attribute and database linkages to them.

Graphic cells can be very complex and include data fields.

Each time a graphic cell is placed, the library definition is stored in the design file resulting in an increase in file size.

You can edit text in a graphic cell by double-clicking it.

Shared Cells - Are the same as graphic cells but....:

You can not attach attribute or database linkages to shared cells.

Shared cells can not include data fields.

The text in shared cells can not be edited by double-clicking.

Shared cells will increase your file size, but not as much as graphic cells.

All instances of a shared cell refer to only one cell header, but the origin, scale and rotation is stored in the design file. To place subsequent instances of a shared cell, the cell library does not need to be attached.

When using the Replace Cell tool, all instances of the cell are replaced.

If the Association Lock is on, they can be associated with points on other elements. For example, if a shared door
cell is placed in a wall and associated with that wall, the door will automatically move if the wall is moved.

Shared cells usually reduce design file size, thereby improving performance.

Point Cell - Same as graphic cell except:

That they inherit your active symbology settings regardless of the symbology used when the cell was created in the library.

Point cells are only snappable at their origin (insertion point).

Point cells do not rotate when the view is rotated.

Orphan Cell - Are the same as graphic cells except:

The cells definition is not stored in a cell library.

They have no name.

Are created using the following tools: Edit > Group, Group Hole, and Create Region.



AskInga Article #113