Using Design Review for markups in an ECO.

Originally Published 9/13/2013

The Autodesk ® Vault Professional Engineering Change Order markup feature is, at best, limited in it’s scope and size.  Even with the ECO window maximized on a 21″ monitor, the markup window space is pretty small.  The markup tools are fairly rudimentary and there is very little room for customization.  My engineers, in a word, hate this tool.  We have all, at one time or another, had cause to use Autodesk ® Design Review for something, and everyone here wishes that tool had been built into the ECO system as the default markup tool.  Granted, in the markup window, one can right click and choose Open In Autodesk ® Design Review, but once there,… there is no way to save the markups back to the change order.  The benefits of Design Review are the screen size, the markup tools and ability to add comments to those markups, and track completion of them.  There is also the ability to create and manage custom symbol catalogs which are not available in the ECO markup window.

This has been bugging me, so I played around until I found a workflow that allows one to use Design Review to create markups, and even modify an existing ECO markup.  This is something that could not be done right in the markup screen.  Attempts to add markups to an existing file ended with a prompt to save the new markups to a NEW markup file.  So if an engineer missed something, or wanted to add notes to his/her markups the ECO would end up with multiple copies of the markup file with different data on each one.  Mass confusion.  Here is the fix.

Inside the ECO window (remember to always right click an ECO and choose Edit…. never, ever double click a change order.  Ever.  🙂 Select a file from the files tab and begin a markup session using the tools available.  All you need is one simple change made in order to be able to save the markup to the ECO.  Click the Save button, name the file and hit Save.  Now locate the new markup file in the browser to the left, right click and select Open.  You will be prompted to check out the file, select Yes.  The file will open in Design Review with all of the tools available to continue or add to your markup.  Once satisfied, save and close the Design Review file, and exit the program.  Return to the Change Order screen and find your change order.  You do not need to open or edit the change order for this step.  In the preview pane, Select the Files tab and find the markup file.  Right click and select Go To Folder.  This takes you directly to the file in Vault.  Notice that the file is still checked out to you.  Right Click the file and select Check In.  Hit OK on the dialog box.  Now return again to the ECO and Edit the change order.  On the files tab you should notice the changes you made to the markup in Design Review are now there, without having to add additional markup files to the list.

Your welcome.  Enjoy!


I’ve finally gotten around to adding videos to some of these older posts.  This is one of my first, so be gentle.



CAD Department Supervisor at Powell Fabrication & Manufacturing, Inc. CAD Designer & Detailer specializing in Inventor Tube & Pipe, Frame Generator, Content Center, Vault Professional. Autodesk Expert Elite member. Blogger. AU 2014 Speaker. Husband and father.

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