PeDAL Help

Application Settings

The application settings dialog consists of four pages that control all aspects of PeDAL's features and appearance. The following sections provide details for the options and controls presented in each page.

PeDAL Applications Global Settings Tab

Display auto-complete drop down list for known commands while typing?

Auto-complete is a feature that presents a drop down list box with ANSYS APDL commands as you type. The auto-complete only displays when the insertion point is on a new line and you have not yet inserted a comma. Pressing [Esc] while the auto-complete list is visible will dismiss the auto-complete list. Unchecking this box will disable auto-complete all together. 

Display call tips for known commands while typing?

Call tips are small windows that display additional contextual information near the insertion point as you type. By default, PeDAL displays a call tip once it recognizes a command you have typed into the editor. The call tip provides information on the command and its argument, along with a short description of the command's action. Unchecking this box will disable call tips while you type ANSYS APDL commands. 

Display call tips for known commands when mouse hovers over text line?

As mentioned in the description above, call tips display contextual information in a small window. PeDAL, will display a short description of an ANSYS APDL command when the mouse hovers over a line of text containing a command. Unchecking this box will disable call tips when the mouse hovers over commands. 

Highlight unreachable code below a /EOF?

By default PeDAL highlights code below a /EOF to indicate that the code is unreachable. Currently, PeDAL does not understand or evaluate control constructs like *IF statements. So, if an /EOF is located inside a control construct, the code below the /EOF will all be highlighted as unreachable regardless of how the control construct would evaluate. Unchecking this box will disable highlighting code below a /EOF as unreachable. 

Display line numbers in text editor?

PeDAL displays line numbers in the text editor on the left side of the screen. Unchecking this box will remove the line numbers from the display. 

Enable code folding display for control constructs and block commands?

Code folding is the process of collapsing lines of code that form semantic blocks within the APDL language. Code constructs like *IF statements and *DO statements for semantic blocks. Furthermore, block commands, like EBLOCK and NBLOCK are also processed by PeDAL. This allows for output from ANSYS workbench to be read into PeDAL and large sections of code to be collapsed. No code is deleted or removed during code folding. Unchecking this box will disable code folding for control constructs and block commands. 

Show indentation guides?

Indentation guides are small dotted lines that connect code constructs at similar indentation levels. They provide a visual cue as to which control constructs form an enclosing pair. Unchecking this box will disable the display of indentation guides. 

Enable macro search within specified working directory and /PSEARCH directories?

PeDAL has the capability of searching a given set of directories for macro files. PeDAL assumes a macro file is any file that ends in a .mac extension. When PeDAL finds a macro file, it remembers the location and name of the macro. Whenever you type the name of a known macro into the text editor, PeDAL will highlight the macro name and create a hyperlink to the corresponding file on disk. If you click on the hyperlink, PeDAL will open the macro in a new text tab, or raise the tab currently used to edit that macro. Unchecking this box will disable PeDAL from searching in the working directory or /PSEARCH directories and also disable highlighting macro names and hyperlinking to their location on disk. 

Help Browser Settings

In this section of the dialog, you can limit the number of search results returned by the PeDAL search engine when searching for a phrase in the help system. Also, you can set your default home page to a page other than the PeDAL help. Be sure to enter a valid URL for this page. For example, all changes are not committed until you press either the OK or Apply button. 

PSEARCH Directories

In this section of the dialog, you can enter new directories that you would like to include in the macro searching capabilities. These directories are specified in addition to the Working Directory that can be specified in the main menu. You can browse to a directory with the Browse button, or you can type a directory into the text field. Once you have entered a directory name, press the green plus button to add that directory to the list. Added directories will be displayed in a check list. A directory can be removed by checking the box beside the directory in the check list and pressing the red minus button to remove it from the list. All changes are not committed until you press either the OK or Apply button. 

Text Element Style Settings Tab

PeDAL uses syntax highlighting to decorate ANSYS APDL scripts so that the synatactic validity of the script can be quickly determined. Each class of command can be highlighted using a different scheme.

PeDAL Text Element Style Settings Tab

Text Element

The text element list contains the classes of APDL commands that PeDAL understands. To change the syntax highlighting scheme for a given class, first select the class from this list then make changes using the controls to the left. Note that all changes are committed only when either Apply or OK are pressed. 

Font Settings

The font settings group contains controls for setting the font family, size and style for a given class of APDL commands. By default PeDAL only displays fixed width fonts in the font selector. The text editor supports zooming, so smaller fonts can be used freely. Note, it is recommended that a single font size and font family be used for all text elements; however, this practice is not required. 

Color Settings

The color settings controls allow you to set the foreground and background color of a particular class of command. Generally the background color is left as white so that it is the same as the native background color of the editor. However, for certain commands, like block commands and unreachable code, the background color is set to a different color than white to provide a visual cue. Use these controls to change the foreground and background colors. 

Sample Text Region

The sample text box is s static, read only text box that displays a sample text using the current settings you choose. Note, no changes are committed until the Apply or OK buttons are pressed.

Search Filter Settings Tab

PeDAL supports searching the ANSYS help system for phrases and keywords. PeDAL uses the Swish-E search engine to peform the searches. By default, all of the ANSYS documentation is included in the initial search index compiled by PeDAL during its initial configuration. However, you can create sub-indices that allow you to search only a portion of the ANSYS help system. For example, you could create a sub-index called "Elements" that only contains the element section of the help. Any search performed using this index would only look in the element section of the ANSYS help. There is no limit on the number of search indices or combinations of help sections that you can create.

PeDAL Search Filter Settings

Supported ANSYS Installations

PeDAL is designed to support furture versions of the ANSYS program. This checklist allows you to select which version of ANSYS you would like to create new search filters for. Currently only version 12.0 of ANSYS is supported. 

Search Filter Management

The search filter management section contains a drop down box of existing search filters, and controls to create new filters or delete existing filters. To create a new search filter, press the green + button and give the new filter a name. Once you have named the filter, you can select help sections in the available help sections list to include in this search filter. An existing filter can be deleted by first selecting it in the drop down list, then pressing the red - button to delete the filter. Note, no changes, additions or deletions, are committed unitl the Apply or OK buttons are pressed. 

Available Help Sections

This check list contains all of the major help sections included in your ANSYS installation. These sections are indexed when PeDAL is executed the first time. Selecting sections from this list and adding them to a new search filter simply combines the existing search indices into a new search index. 

Command Alias Settings Tab

ANSYS recognizes short forms of many of its commands. A general rule is that the first four characters in a command are significant. Consequently, ANSYS interprets /cle and /clear identically. In this page you can set up command aliases so that PeDAL will process command short forms properly.

PeDAL Command Alias Settings

Supported ANSYS Installations

PeDAL is designed to support future versions of the ANSYS program. This checklist allows you to select which version of ANSYS you would like to create command aliases for. Currently only version 12.0 of ANSYS is supported. 

Commands Search

The search field allows you to start typing a command and the command list will scroll to select commands that begin with the letters you have typed into this field. Once you type all of the letters of an existing command, PeDAL will select it from the list below. At any point, you can select a command from the list below using the mouse. 

Command List

The command list contains all of the APDL commands that PeDAL recognizes. In order to create an alias for a given command it must first be selected in this list. The command can be selected using the mouse, or using the search feature described above. 

Alias Insertion Control

Once a command has been selected in the command list, an alias for that command can be created by typing the alias into this field. If you press [Return] the alias will be added to the list of aliases for this command. You can also press the green + button to add this alias. You can add as many aliases as you would like for a given command. An alias can be deleted by checking it in the check list and pressing the red - button. 

Alias List

This check list contains the aliases for a given command.

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