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Finally moving to WF from ProE 2001 - anyone have thoughts, tips or advice


Finally moving to WF from ProE 2001 - anyone have thoughts, tips or advice

After many years of resistance to change - both for financial and work flow reasons, I am finally looking into stepping up from my 2001 license to a Wildfire license. That may sound a little slow to some of you, but I am self employed here and 2001 does absolutely everything I wanted and does it exceptionally well.

I am looking for any advice on the move.

I am expecting to be dead in the water work-flow wise for about a month as a result.

Stand alone seat here with no Windchill / Intralink. I mainlycreate small mechanical assemblies - die casts, extrusions for the lighting fixture industry. I integrate and interface toa bunch of external data - exprt to FEA and import from optical deisgn packages.

I maintain 15 years of legacy data which is critical to what I do.

I have a need to integrate ECAD into my process.

I don't do any surfacing today, but I would if I have a more useful interface than I have in 2001.

I have a minimal amount of automation in my drawing templates by way of start parts and parameterswhich I am guesssing will go away on the upgrade and need to be re-created.

Time savings, tips tricks and ideas much appreciated.


Jon Connell, IESNA

This thread is inactive and closed by the PTC Community Management Team. If you would like to provide a reply and re-open this thread, please notify the moderator and reference the thread. You may also use "Start a topic" button to ask a new question. Please be sure to include what version of the PTC product you are using so another community member knowledgeable about your version may be able to assist.

I'd recommend jumping straight to WF4 rather than starting with
something else. Assuming you're just now getting a new maintenance
contract, you'll get WF5 too, but it's pretty green so I'd stay away.
WF4 is mature and stable and incorporates all the enhancements that WF
has brought and fixes many of the bugs that were in WF1-3. By diving in
that deep, your learning curve will be steeper but shorter.

Make use of the menu mapper, it's a big help to find where commands have
gone. It's accessible from the home page of the built in browser.

I think that, after you've gotten past the shock of the new interface,
you'll wish you had upgraded sooner.

Doug Schaefer
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

Take advantage of any "Hands on Workshops" even if they are Wildfire 5 for your users. We did H.O.W.'s for wildfire 1 and it was a strategic move in dissipating Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

After years of FUD, the majority of our engineers looked forward to Wildfire after experiencing it in a "HOW".

Hello John,
Don't feel bad about using 2001 so long. It was very usable and large
companies stayed on it for a long time.

Like the other posters I would recommend jumping to WF4 unless you have a
client need for WF2 or WF3. Our clients did not adopt the initial version
of Wildfire, but once they loaded WF2 they moved up to WF3 and then WF4 very


Pat Harris
Principal Engineer
Product Design, Inc.
5133 Washington St., Suite 9
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Good luck and prepare for some frustration. I remember feeling completelyincompetent when I went to WF from 2001. After the learning curve is past, you should find it worth the trouble but memorable. The menu mapper isa very useful tool, and I still refer to it when using those important but less used commands, such as creating a curve from two projected curves for example. Also, you will need to be patient with the mouse when you wish to select tangent chains or loop surfaces, etc.etc. Let the mouse "catch up" to what you want. This still drives me crazy (I'm in WF2)- perhaps it has gotten better in WF4.

We made the jump (2001 -> WF2, now on WF3) several years ago.

Two 'improvements' we didn't like, and don't use:

- Colour scheme. Planes now have a brown side, and a, erm, different
shade of brown side. We enabled the "pre-Wildfire" colours, as we liked
the yellow side and the red side.

- Prehighlighting of geometry. This is probably okay if you only work
with small models, but if you have big merge features (we use these for
cast gearbox casings) it can take whole seconds to highlight the first
feature whenever you wave the mouse near the model. We disabled
prehighlighting, and we all use good ol' query select. Note to PTC:
please, please don't ever remove query select...

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Another color change that I reversed was quilts. Instead of the old
purple internal edges and yellow outside edges, it's now two similar
shades of purple. I reverted to the old.

I'm sure that these changes ease eye strain, but they dramatically
increase brain strain as I struggle to tell the difference between the
two similar colors.

On the pre-highlighting, I'd suggest leaving it on and trying to make it
work for you. Once I got used to it, I've found it to be faster than
the old query select in most cases.

It is, however, very painful when your model fills the screen as you
can't stop Pro|E from highlighting stuff. It's also annoying if your
boss is looking over your shoulder and you're trying to show him
something. So, I created a mapkey that toggles the pre-highlighting on
and off. Here's my WF4 mapkey (the WF2 & WF3 versions should be the

mapkey vph @MAPKEY_LABELPrehighlighting;\
mapkey(continued) ~ Select `main_dlg_cur` `MenuBar1`1 `Edit`;\
mapkey(continued) ~ Select `main_dlg_cur` `Edit.cbSelect`;~ Close
`main_dlg_cur` `MenuBar1`;\
mapkey(continued) ~ Close `main_dlg_cur` `Edit.cbSelect`;\
mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `main_dlg_cur` `psh_sel_filter`;\
mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `selprefs` `PrehButton` ;~ Activate
`selprefs` `Ok`;

The company mapkey is 'vph', but I assigned it personally to F5 so I can
easily toggle back and forth between pre-highlighting and not with a
single keystroke.

Doug Schaefer
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

On the same subject, I am partially color blind and have always had issues with the WF color scheme. In my case, I have a difficult time telling the brown from the (er, less brown.... Red?) sides of the WF datum planes. I switched to "use pre-WF color scheme" and never looked back. The red/yellow colors were so easy to tell apart, I'm not sure why they "played around" with it in the first place. Was it just a case of change for change's sake? I also find it hard to see the differences between white and cyan while highlighting.

I have a quick way to turn on/off the pre highlighting of large models. Use the smart filter at the bottom right side of the screen. Normally I just leave it on SMART, but when I want to turn it off quickly, I change the filter to ANNOTATE. Instantly, no more pre-highlight on my parts or assemblies. Also, easy to switch back to SMART. Works great.


We too have maintained pre-WF colors. The new WF colors can be very
difficult for users with mild color blindness.

Curtis Odom

I'm with you on the pre-WF colors, also getting rid of the graduated
screen also helped. I don't know what drove the WF colors but it
certainly wasn't the users, they pretty much universally suck. With the
query select, this is more of a split vote, half of us use it and half
use the pre-highlighting.

Isn't pre-highlighting a bit like pre-existing, either it highlights or
not or it exists or not but maybe I'm pre-cynical?

Richard A. Black

Lead Engineer

Eaton Corporation

Golf Pride Division

16900 Aberdeen Road

Laurinburg, NC 28353 USA

Query Select seems to be the choice of experienced users and for good reason, you can penetrate deeper into the part with less confusion.

Pre-Cynical? Only if you are under 40,

40-50 = Cynical,

50+ = Post-Cynical.

Curtis Odom

I am presuming the color scheme change was to make things easier on the eye, but like most comments I DO NOT LIKE IT. Once I found pre-WF scheme I never when back. I also didn't care for the pre-highlight, but have found with querry select that multiple picks of radii and other similar features are a pain in querry mode, so thus I just got use to the preselect.

Back to the original question:
1) The Menu mapper is your freind since many things have moved or changed names
2) Consider printing the quick reference card to get use to the mouse selections and panning, zoming, etc. at first
3) Try right selections periodically to see what your options are. There are some nice short cuts, but also required for variable radii. Don't know why there isn't option in the radii dialog box.
4) You might consider some training AFTER you get use to the interface to address functioanlity issues, config settings, etc

Mark A. Peterson
Design Engineer
Igloo Corp

I agree with the "colors" comments, and I too hate the prehighlighting, especially on large models. We are doing whole buildings here on slow machines, so you can imagine.... Query-select RULES!

But, what I hate most is the Microsuck-like, icon-based interface now. Icons mean nothing to me, even the Egyptians dropped hyrogliphics how many years ago? Give me words. I use tons of mapkeys anyways. I'm told I'll hate the WF5 interface even more as 1/4 of the screen now is taken up with useless icons in the new "ribbon". Ugh! Also, I find the "lead vs. follow workflow" idea totally maddening. I used to be that all the surfacing or solids commands were in one spot, in WF you have to GUESS what some geek programmer thinks is "lead vs. follow". I hate it. Half the commands are in one place, half in another, and you never know which. Best of luck adapting......


One thing you should also do is watch the video on the new selection
methodology that was adopted with WF. PTC has a video on this that I
watched a long time ago, but I can't seem to locate it. Anyone know
where it is? This covers the control and shift options that are new and
pretty confusing until you understand them.

As far as the colors go, I got used to the new scheme. Not a biggie.
It is a personal thing though. I also like the buttons. I favor
buttons over the menus or the text boxes. Anything for more usable
viewing space. Again, it's all personal. Oh, I forgot... I hated the
new spin, pan, zoom paradigm as well. Really hated it. I got used to
it, just like everything else. Now I forget why I hated it...


Get a space traveler/ball and nuts to the new paradigm!

The biggest problem I remember moving up from 2001 was using the ctrl and
shift keys during select. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to
select more than one reference. And it didn't mention this in the tutorial I
was doing. It just said to select the multiple datum's for my feature
creation. I didn't mention you had to use the ctrl key to keep the first one
while you picked the second one.

Jim Ferdinand
WK Hillquist Inc.
603-595-7790 ex15