Hagerman Blog

AutoCAD® P&ID and AutoCAD® Plant 3D Pipe Line Numbers

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 18, 2013 5:32:51 AM / by hagermancompany


Cross-functionality between AutoCAD Plant 3D and AutoCAD P&ID adds intelligence and continuity to the design process, enabling the drawings to interact with one another from P&ID through Piping Isometrics. Straight out of the box however, there is great inconsistency with the pipe line numbers.

The images below shows that when tagged, your line numbers are not the same in the P&ID, Model, Ortho and Isometric drawings:

P&ID Line Number P&ID

Pipe Routing Line Numbers Pipe

Pipe Tool Tip Tag Pipe

Ortho Line Number P&ID

Isometric Line Number Plant

Today we will show you how to setup your project to have the Pipe Line Numbers appear exactly the same from P&ID to Iso. The one exception will be the Pipe Routing Line Numbers, which most would agree do not need to match every pipe size and spec, however it would be helpful to include the Service of the pipe run when routing pipe.

PLEASE NOTE: While you can apply these properties to an existing project, it will take additional work on your part to transfer existing drawings into this system. Therefore results will vary on an existing project until all entities have been manually updated. In order to get the best and easiest results from these settings it is recommended that this be done before you create the first drawing within a project. These settings will also transfer into a newly created project based on a project that these procedures have been added to.

After you have created a new project in Plant 3D you are ready to proceed. We are going to make the out of the box line number system our standard throughout this project, however you can make this conform to any system you might require. P&ID uses this system: Size-Spec-Service-Number.

Using whatever method you prefer, open the “Project Setup”.

First we will setup the P&ID side in order for it to shake hands with the Plant side. In the Project Setup dialog box tree on the left, expand and select the following: P&ID DWG Settings > P&ID Class Definitions > Pipe Line Group


In the Main Window of the dialog box under Tag Format select Line Number then click on the Modify button.


In the Tag Format Setup set the Number of Subparts to “2”. Click the “Select Class Properties” button for each subpart and change the first one to TargetObject.Service and the second one to TargetObject.Line Number.


Click OK but do not exit the Project Setup. I recommend you click “Apply” in order to save your work and not lose anything by accident.

We are ready to set Plant 3D up to match. In the Project Setup dialog box tree on the left, expand and select the following: Plant 3D DWG Settings > Plant 3D Class Definitions > P3D Line Group


Just as before, In the Main Window of the dialog box under Tag Format select Line Number then click on the Modify button. Plant3d

In the Tag Format Setup, set the Number of Subparts to “2”. Click the “Select Class Properties” button for each subpart and change the first one to TargetObject.Service and the second one to TargetObject.Number. Plant3D

This accomplishes a couple of things. It will allow the Service to be included in the Pipe Routing Line Numbers drop down as well as the layer names, making the line numbers easier to maintain. It will also allow you to set the Service correctly while routing your pipe which will keep the Pipe Line Numbers that we use in P&ID, Orthos and Isometrics consistent. Click OK and in the Project Setup click Apply.

Next we need to setup our Ortho Tag to match the “Size-Spec-Service-Number” system of the P&ID’s. In the Project Setup dialog box tree on the left, expand and select the following: Plant 3D DWG Settings > Plant 3D Class Definitions > Piping and Equipment > Pipe Run Component


This time you will notice there is not a pre-defined Tag Format. We want to create a new one that we will not only use for the Orthos, but it will be available in the Pipe Tool Tip Tag Display as well as in our Isometrics. Click on New to open the Tag Format Setup dialog box.


Set the Format Name to Pipe Line Number and this time we need 4 subparts. Using the “Select Class Properties” button set the first two subparts to TargetObject.Size and TargetObject.Spec. The Delimiter should be set to a dash (“-“) between each subpart.


For the last two subparts you need to uncheck the “Use Target Object’s Property” box and select the P3d Line Group. So the last two should be set to the P3d Line Group.Service and P3d Line Group.Number properties that we created previously.

Plant3d Plant3d

Click OK and Apply to save your work.

As a side note, if you ever have a project that requires a different Pipe Line Number format on the Orthos and Isometrics and the project was based on everything in this article, you can change the properties of this Pipe Line Number Tag Format and everything we have done in the remainder of this article will automatically update.

At this point we are ready to create our Ortho Annotation Tag. In the Main window under “Ortho Annotation Setup” in the drop down box change it to Full Line Number Callout [Size-Line Number Tag-Spec] as a starting point. Then select Add Annotation. In the Symbol Settings dialog box set the Symbol Name to @Pipe Line Number then Click OK.


While the “@” symbol is not necessary it will cause this new Annotation to sort to the top of the list. Therefore when you are placing Annotations in an Ortho, “@Pipe Line Number” will be the default option which is just one more nice little time saver.

Now select the “Edit Block” button to open up the new annotation in the block editor. Select the “Assign Annotation Format” button and at the “Select attribute definition” prompt select the only attribute that is on your screen.


Change the Number of Subparts to 1 single subpart and using the “Select Class Properties” button set it to the TargetObject.Tag that you just created. Click OK and then Close the Block Editor and SAVE the changes to “@Pipe Line Number_3dblock. If you like you can go back to “Edit Annotation” to confirm that the Block Name is set correctly, but trust me – it is. More importantly, Click “Apply” to save your work.


We have one last task in the Project Setup before we move on to a whole new ballgame with our Isometrics. In the Main window locate Annotation Style Name and set it to @Pipe Line Number. Once that is complete you may exit the Project Setup by clicking “OK”.


Now comes the tricky part. Out of the box the Isometrics will only include three items: Line Number, Size and Spec. I can make it rearrange the sequence of these to a degree, but I can never make it put the Line Number between the Size and the Spec, nor can I make it include the Service in the sequence at all. However it is possible for me to create my own Custom Design Calculation Property and then use that in an Isometric by way of a little known command named “PlantDesignCalcProperties”. When you add a property using this method it will be added to your entire system and not just the active project, however I recommend you use this sparingly. Always create your properties in the Project Setup unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing.

That being said, at an AutoCAD Command Prompt enter the command PlantDesignCalcProperties and press ENTER.


Welcome to the Calculated Properties Manager. Make sure you follow this part step by step – Click the “Piping” tab and under Engineering Items select “PipeRunComponent”. Create a Property name with NO SPACES called PipeLineNumber and in the drop down box set it to “String”.


Now under Functions locate and double click on “ToString” to add the function to the open box area below Property name. You can type it, but I would advise double clicking it in order to avoid any mistakes. Next place your cursor between the two Parentheses and under Properties double click “Tag” or if you’re a competent speller just type it remembering that case does matter. After this is complete, Apply and Close.

Plant3d Plant3d

Now you need to edit a couple of files that the Isometric generator uses. Assuming you have not changed the location in your Project Setup, using Windows Explorer, locate within you’re project the folder Isometric. There you should see several folders like “Check_ANSI-B” and “Final_ANSI-C”. Each of these folders contain the two files we must edit so you will need to edit each type of Isometric you would like this change to occur in. Enter the folder of your desire and you will find the two files we need: Iso.atr and IsoConfig.xml

Starting with Iso.atr – open it with Notepad. Go down to the very bottom of the file and under BOM-ATTRIBUTES enter a new line that reads as: PipeRunComponent.PipeLineNumber


Save and Exit the file.

Now with Notepad, open the file IsoConfig.xml. Double clicking this file will open it in IE, so right click and use Open With Notepad. This is a much larger file, so I would suggest that you use Notepads “Find” function either by CTRL-F or under the Edit menu select “Find”. Either way you are looking for LineNumberScheme Name and there is a space before Name. This term is only used once in the entire file.

Scroll down a little and change these three setting as follows:

Format="{1}" ComponentFields="Size PipeLineNumber” ComponentFormat="{1}"


Save and Exit the file.

Create and annotate a P&ID, route some piping in Plant 3D by line number, create and annotate an Ortho and an Iso of the line and the results should be as follows:

P&ID Line Number Plant3d

Pipe Routing Line Numbers Plant3d

Pipe Tool Tip Tag Plant3d

Ortho Line Number Plant3d

Isometric Line Number Plant3d

A couple of side notes and additional benefits. Note that the Pipe Routing Line Numbers from the P&ID’s now carries the Service with it making it easier to sort and manage. This should also translate over to your Layer names.

Also, when you were annotating your Ortho, your new @Pipe Line Number should have been the default annotation style so press ENTER and don’t stop for anything!


Submitted by Rick France, AEC Solutions Engineer, Hagerman & Company, Inc.

Topics: Reviews


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