A recent question came in about a way to make it easy to step through the features in the browser. Of course you can do this manually by dragging the stop node feature-by-feature in the tree, but that quickly becomes tedious. Here’s my answer to problem. It’s a small VBA program that displays a form as shown below.
Pressing the buttons let’s you move the stop node to the top, to the bottom, or advanced it one step at a time, either up or down the tree. A utility like this can be useful when you’ve received a model from someone else and want to understand how it was built.
I think the trickiest part about using this program will be adding it to your VBA project. Fortunately you only have to do that once. Below is the step-by-step process to add it to your default VBA project and create a button in the ribbon to execute it.
- Download and unzip the code files. You can unzip them anywhere on your computer.
- Run Inventor and open the VBA development environment, (Alt-F11).
- Right-click on the “ApplicationProject” node in the Project window and select “Import File…”, as shown below.
- Select the “FeatureStep.frm” file that you unpacked previously from the zip file.
- In the VBA project window, double-click on Module1, within the Modules folder. This will open up the code window.
- Copy and paste the code below into that window, as shown above.
' Macro to reposition stop node in browser.
Public Sub FeatureStep()
Dim featureStepForm As New frmFeatureStep
If featureStepForm.Init Then
- The following steps will create a button on the ribbon to run the macro. Have a part open, making sure you’re in the modeling environment and a sketch is not active. Right-click anywhere on the ribbon and select the “Custom User Commands…” command from the context menu, as shown below.
- In the Customize dialog, first choose “Macros” in the “Choose commands from” drop-down. Next, select the “FeatureStep” macro from the list. (If it’s not in the list, double-check that you followed the previous steps correctly.) Finally, click the “>>” button to move that macro the to the right side of the dialog.
- Edit the settings on the button to display text.
You should see the following in the ribbon. If you want the command available on the Sheet Metal modeling ribbon, you’ll need to repeat steps 6 through 8 while a sheet metal document is open.