Publishing Elements

Publishing geometrical elements is the process of making geometrical features available to different users. This operation is very useful when working in assembly design context

This task shows you the method for making elements publicly available: you will publish a plane, a sketch then a parameter not visible in the specification tree.

In this page, you will also find information about the following subjects:

  1. Select Tools > Publication.
    The Publication command lets you:

    • Publish a geometric element
    • Edit the default name given to the published element
    • Replace the geometric element associated with a name
    • Create a list of published elements
    • Import a list of published elements
    • Delete a published element.

    The Publication dialog box appears.

If you are working in Assembly Design, the dialog box also displays a Browse button. For more information, refer to Publishing in Assembly Design.
  1. Select the element to be published. For example, select Plane.1.
    You can publish the following elements:

    • points, lines, curves, planes
    • sketches
    • bodies (selecting a feature selects the body it belongs to)
    • Generative Shape Design features (Extrudes Surfaces, Offsets, Joins etc.)
    • Free Style Features (Planar patches, curves etc.)
    • parameters
    • sub-elements of geometrical elements: when switched on, the option Publish a face, edge, vertex or extremity lets you directly select faces, edges, vertices. axes. extremities. 

    The dialog box displays the name and status of the selected element as well as "Plane.1", that is the default name given to the published element.

To select axes, right-click cylindrical faces and select Other Selection. For more about this command, see CATIA Infrastructure User's Guide.

  1. Click Plane.1 in the dialog box. The plane is highlighted in the geometry. 

  1. Rename it as New plane.
    The plane is published as New plane. However, you can notice that the geometric element Geometrical Set.1/Plane1 has not been renamed.

  2. Before publishing another element, click Options to access rename options.
    When using Publication, you can actually decide to rename or not the elements you are publishing. Prior to renaming, you can set one of the three following work modes:

    • Never: the application will not allow you to rename the published element. This is the default option.
    • Always: the application will always allow you to rename the published element
    • Ask: the application will ask you what you decide to do, namely rename or not the published element.

    Note that:

    • You can rename any element except for axes, edges and faces.
    • Some characters, such as the exclamation mark, are not allowed for renaming elements.

    For more information, see renaming a published element.

  3. Check Ask and click OK to exit.

  4. Prior to selecting the element to be published, deselect New plane if not already done. 

  5. Select Sketch.1 as the new element to be published.

  6. Rename it as "New sketch". A message is issued asking you whether you wish to rename the published element "Sketch.1" as "New sketch".

  7. Click Yes to confirm. The published element's name is "New sketch" and the geometric element is renamed too.

  • Pointing at or selecting published elements simultaneously highlights the geometry, the element node and the publication node. See also Highlighting Published Elements.

  • We recommend you select published geometry in the 3D area rather than in the Publication node in the specification tree.

Publishing Part Design Features

Publishing Part Design Features requires that the Enable to publish the features of a body capability available in the Options dialog box is on. If your administrator did not lock the option, you can activate the option yourself.

Publishing Geometrical Sub-elements

Selecting Allow publication of faces, edges, vertices and axis extremities allows you to publish the sub-elements of a mechanical or shape design feature.

Mechanical Features

You can publish the vertices, edges, faces and features of a body.

Shape Design Features

You can publish the sub-elements of a shape design feature (for example, the edge of a face, the face of a volume, the sub-part of a segmented geometrical element etc.). However, when selecting points, lines or planes, there is no ambiguity: the sub-element corresponds exactly to the feature itself. Concretely speaking, in that case the feature itself is published.

This particular behavior for points, lines and planes enhances productivity and stability of publication usage in most of design scenarios: When you select a point, line or plane result in the 3D area (vertices,  edges, planes), the feature itself is published. Moreover, this behavior is consistent with the selection performed via Generative Shape Design commands.

Assembly Constraints and Published Generative Shape Design (GSD) Geometry

Depending on your geometry, there are cases where constraints pointing to a certain type of published GSD features do not reconnect if, for example, you replace constrained parts. What happens is that links between constraints and the geometry do not take advantage of the publication. You can notice this behavior even if you selected the geometry through the Publication node.

GSD features concerned are those whose geometrical results depend on the number and type of the parents used for the result. This is the case of features such as Intersect or Project.

The solution to this, is to publish the geometrical result, not the feature itself. In concrete terms, rather than publishing the Intersect feature, you recommend you publish the vertex, not the point.

The application reminds you of this behavior when you are setting constraints on published features through the following warning message:


Publishing in Assembly Design

When publishing geometry in the Assembly Design workbench, the Browse button is available in the Publication dialog box. Clicking the button launches the Component Publication dialog box that displays only the published elements belonging to the levels inferior to the active level.

In the following example, the user is publishing an element of CRIC_BRANCH_1. When clicking the Browse button, the Component Publication dialog box displays published faces belonging to CRIC_BRANCH_3.



This capability works as a filter: it does not display the whole publications of the assembly. Thus, you will use it as an help for selecting already published elements whenever you wish to replace published elements.

Highlighting Published Elements

In a CATProduct document, regardless of the active level and where the selection is made in the tree or in the geometry area, pointing at or selecting published elements highlights the published elements only, not the publications node in the tree.


Naming Rules

Rules for publication names have been defined to follow naming rules used for database object names. Consequently, publication names must not contain any forbidden characters like: "!" or ":" or not valuated or "<" or ">" or " " at the end of the publication name.

If you select an element whose name contains one of these forbidden characters, because the object's name is used as the default name for the publication, the application does not publish the element. What you need to do is edit the default name.

Renaming a Published Element

Renaming a published element may affect an external CATPart or CATProduct document that uses the publication via any CATIA mechanisms available (for instance via Import with Links).

When renaming a published element, the operation is performed in the active document. Once the publication is confirmed, the application checks and detects the documents in session which are affected by the new name assigned to the published element. If impacted linked documents need to be updated, a window opens for each impact found. The application then proposes to reconnect the links in the impacted documents in session. You can update your documents if you have validated the Publication operation (click OK). You can then save your active and impacted documents.


We recommend you follow the procedure above to avoid any corrupted data links in your documents. If you do not reconnect your links, you may be not able to recover the documents that have links to the original publication, and later on, not even able to re-synchronize your data.

Generally speaking, do not rename publications when this induces impacts. We strongly recommend you always rename published elements with caution, and this when you are sure that the publication is not used elsewhere or if the whole product is loaded (impacts are detected only in session, if impacted documents are not loaded, impacts are not taken into account).

Replacing a Published Element

  1. Click "Geometrical Set.1/Plane.1" to replace it with another geometric element.

  2. Select "Plane.2" as the replacing element.

    The orientation of both elements is displayed. The green arrow indicates the orientation for the new element, the red arrow indicates the orientation of the published element. A message is issued asking you to confirm the change.

  3. Click Yes to confirm.
    Plane.2 has been published.Plane.1 is not published any more. The dialog now displays the following information:


Publishing Parameters

  1. You can publish the parameters of a part that are not displayed in the specification tree. To do so, click the Parameter... button available in the Publication dialog box. This displays a new window listing all parameters defined for the feature previously selected in the specification tree.

  2. If the list of parameters is too long, you can filter out the parameters by entering a character string in the Filter Name field. For example, enter "offset".
    The list now displays only the parameters including the string "offset".

  3. Select the parameter of interest. You can also use one of the following filter types:

    • All
    • Renamed parameters
    • Hidden
    • Visible
    • User
    • Boolean
    • Length
    • Angle
    • String
  4. Click OK when done.
    This closes the dialog box. The selected parameter is displayed in the Publication dialog box.


Importing and Exporting Published Names

Published names can be gathered in ASCII .txt files.

To export published names to an ASCII .txt file, 

  • click the Export button.
  • enter a name for the file you are creating in the Export dialog box that displays.
  • click Save : the file is created: it contains the list of all published elements as specified in the Publication dialog box.

To import published names to an ASCII .txt file, 

  • click the import button.
  • navigate to the file of interest in the Import dialog box that displays.
  • select the file containing the list of published elements.
  • click Open: the names are added to the list of the Publication dialog box
  1. Click OK when satisfied.
    The Publication entity has been added to the specification tree. The three published elements are displayed below Publication node:


What Happens When Deleting a Published Element?

When deleting a published element, the application informs you that this element is published. What you need to do is confirm the deletion (Yes) or cancel it (No).