Setting Up a Secondary AutoCAD Electrical Catalog


AutoCAD Electrical allows you to define a secondary catalog to search for catalog data. Setting this option up gives the user an ability to store additional manufacturer part numbers in a totally separate database.

Creating a secondary AutoCAD Electrical catalog

  1. There are several options for creating company catalogs. Here are two ways:
  • a. Make a copy of the “default_cat.mdb” file and add or remove records as desired to create a company specific database. A naming option could be “Secondary_cat.mdb”. Place it where the default catalog is located.
  • b. Open an existing project which contains all the desired catalog information and use the “Create Project-Specific Catalog Database” tool on the Project tab. This tool extracts all the catalog data from the project. After running this tool, move the database created from the project folder location to the shared content folder location. A naming option could be “Secondary_cat.mdb”. Place it where the default catalog is located.
2. Right-click on the project file and select Properties…

3. On the Project Settings tab in the “Catalog Lookup File Preference” area, select the “Other File…” button:

4. In the Catalog Lookup File dialog, select the second option “Optional: Define …”

5. Browse to the location where you copied the new database file as defined in step 1 above.

6. Select OK.

7. During a “Lookup” to add catalog information, use the “Secondary” option located in the Catalog Browser dialog:

One option to consider when defining a secondary database is to have all your typical company catalog information used in projects located in the Primary (default) database, and make the secondary catalog be the full out-of-box database. Keeping the Primary database a smaller size will also reduce search times when looking up catalog numbers.

This is also useful for keeping custom catalog information separate from out-of-the-box information, so when you upgrade all that is required is a copy and replace with the new version’s database. It is worth trying this option on a project to see if you like it. And if you do, set the option in your company template project so all projects moving forward will be set from the start.

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