DO Support for 'DWG Columns for Explorer' Column Extension


Just wondering if DOpus supports the column extension/plug-in 'DWG Columns for Explorer'

I have just installed this plug-in and it works seamlessly with Windows Explorer (once installed, restart Explorer and addition column fields are visible).

Unfortunately these new columns do no appear in DOpus. Are there any additional steps or customisations I may need to make to enable this plug-in? The trial version is free for testing.

Thanks a lot for any help.

Its columns would appear in the "Other" column category if they're compatible with Opus.

Thanks Leo. The columns do not appear in the "Other" category, so this utility is not compatible with DOpus? Can you think of anything that would fix it? Would you suggest that I approach DOpus developers or 'DWG Columns for Explorer' developer to explore further?

Just looking at their webpage, I think you'd have to use the 1.2 version which says it supports XP.

Opus supports the "IColumnProvider" shell interface which was the official way to add columns to the shell up until Windows Vista. With Vista, Microsoft deprecated this interface, so anything that adds columns that is only compatible with Vista and up won't currently work in Opus.

Thanks for the reply Jon. I have now been in touch with JTB requesting a copy of version 1.2. I'll post back with the results of further testing.

Thanks again.


Just and update.

I have managed to get the XP version of 'DWG Columns for Explorer', and while it does allow the additional columns to display, unfortunately there is no data within these columns. There are some instructions with work-arounds for this issue (on the 'DWG Columns for Explorer' website), but none of them work.

I have been in touch with the developer of 'DWG Columns for Explorer', and am waiting to hear back.

So still no luck at this stage.

Hi again,

Funnily enough, minutes after posting the above update, the developer got back to me.

He has asked me to personally fund any work that would be required to get this tool to work with DOpus. I would be happy to pay to have this feature, as it would come in very handy for me as a draftsman. But it's hard to know exactly how much time it would take to add DOpus compatibility to his program, and how much it would cost.

At this stage I'm not sure how I should proceed, I will post on a few CAD forums to see if anyone other DOpus users would be interested in sharing the financial-load to have this tool developed.

Is there anything that can be done from the DOpus development team to investigate this? Are there any DOpus add-on developers that would be able and interested in exploring this further? Of course I have no intention of ripping off the developer of the original program (JTB - they are a well respected developer of AutoCAD tools). Just wondering how difficult it may be to get the two programs to talk to one another, or even an alternative option.

Thanks for any help.

The hard part is parsing the AutoCAD file formats and getting the data out of them, which it sounds like they already have working fine. Getting the data to display in Opus via IColumnProvider should be fairly trivial if they have IColumnProvider code which works or used to work on XP, combined with the code they have for parsing the file and for using the alternative shell extension / columns API which doesn't work in Opus.

I can't say how much work it'd take another developer, especially without knowing their code, but I'd expect it to be fairly easy to fix whatever is wrong on their side. We couldn't do it without the source to their shell extension, and writing our own AutoCAD file parser would also be a lot of work, so their proposal seems to make sense to me, assuming there isn't already an alternative out there.

The only relevant/important thing I can think to point out is that their IColumnProvider extension needs to be 64-bit for 64-bit Opus to see it. (And 32-bit for 32-bit Opus.)

Thanks for the reply Leo.

I'll digest your post and respond in detail a bit later.

Just wanted to say that they did provide me with both 32 & 64 bit versions of their XP compatible program (v1.2), the 64bit version worked the best (columns are visible but no data within). The 32bit version would not install on my 64 bit machine (which makes sense... I think).

Thanks again.

I've just had a thought about how we might be able to easily add support for the new-style column extension to Opus. Leave it with me for a few days.

In the next Opus 12 beta you'll be able to display the DWG columns in Opus using a small script which reads them from the shell properties and turns them into Opus columns.

For reference, this is the script you'll need (it won't work until the next beta is released).

Function OnInit(initData) = "DWG Columns"
	initData.desc = "Adds DWG Columns from the JTB World extension"
	initData.copyright = "(c) 2016 jpotter"
	initData.version = "1.0"
	initData.default_enable = true
	initData.min_version = "12.0"

	Dim props, prop, col
	Set props = DOpus.FSUtil.GetShellPropertyList("dwg.*", "r")
	for each prop in props

		Set col = initData.AddColumn = prop.raw_name
		col.method = "OnDWGColumn"
		col.label = prop.display_name
		col.justify = "left"
		col.autogroup = true
		col.userdata = prop.pkey
End Function

Function OnDWGColumn(scriptColData)
	scriptColData.value = scriptColData.item.shellprop(scriptColData.userdata)
End Function

Wow, thanks a lot for going to all that effort Jon. I'll await the next beta release and give it a test. Just confirming, the script works with the current version of "DWG Columns" (v2.2), not the XP verion (v1.2)?

Thanks again for the ongoing help Jon & Leo, it is greatly appreciated.

Correct, the current version.

Support for this is in Beta 8.
DWG_Columns.vbs.txt (779 Bytes)

Hi Leo & Jon,

Just an update on the DWG Columns. I've been able to install & activate DO 12.08 & the DWG Columns script (provided by Jon). And everything seems to be working great. I've tested from the sample drawings provided by JTB, and I am also able to change the column header names (from the instructions provided on JTB's website). So it looks like DOpus supports JTB's DWG Columns 100%. Awesome work gentlemen, thanks so much for going to the trouble of including this.

Ps: I've tested this on Windows 7 64bit. I'll post back when I test on Win8.1.

Thanks again.