Occasionally, because of the way a drawing has been designed, the symbols can be overly complex.

Overly complex symbols are sometimes problematic, because of their individual nature and tendency to increase the number of selections required to count all symbols.

How do I know my drawings have overly complex symbols?

There are a few red flags:

  • When you make a selection, it’s made up of a very large number of elements (e.g. circa 100+)
  • Each selection you make matches on very few other symbols.
  • You have to make a large number of selections to count all symbols.
  • The number of elements varies a lot between symbols (e.g. 95, 101, 114 etc).

What do overly complex symbols look like in Countfire?

You can spot overly complex symbols in two ways:

1) By looking at the selection listing area, you can see that each selection has a very high number of elements, and the number of elements is also not consistent between selections.

2) By deselecting all elements within the edit window, you can see a feint outline of a significant number of individual elements.

How can I simplify overly complex symbols?

The best approach can depend on the symbols themselves, however, you generally want to simplify them down to just their core parts, so they include only the symbol’s reference and outline, and don’t include the hundreds of elements that make up the body.

A best practice workflow for simplifying selections:

  1. Select the whole symbol.
  2. Open the edit window (Shortcut = E).
  3. Deselect all elements (Shortcut = D).
  4. Using the edit tools, add back in only the core elements that make up the symbol (IE: the symbol’s reference & outline).

In the clip above, you can see each selection being simplified in turn.

The number of elements reduces from circa 400+ per selection, down to 13 elements per selection, and the number of elements each selection has is also now consistent.

By simplifying these overly complex symbols, the automatic counting improves from 4, up to 43, automatically counted symbols.

And by using the keyboard shortcuts detailed above, this editing/simplifying process is extremely quick to carry out.

Learn more

How to: Use naming conventions.

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