Step 1

Master Part List

Material List Pro XL uses an Excel document as the master part list. This document is typically located on a server so that it may be shared by all users. MLP accesses the master part list as read only. Editing of the master part list is done with Excel.

Data in the master part list can be arranged to meet your needs, but a few simple rules must be followed for MLP to use the file.

  1. The top row of each tab must be a header row to label the contents of each column
  2. The header rows for each tab must be identical
  3. If the contents of a column are to be used in a part bubble, the header text must be valid for use as a tag in an attribute block. (No spaces or special characters.)
  4. Part numbers must be valid dwg block names. (No spaces or special characters.)
  5. Part numbers should not have leading zeros.

MLP is available in an SQL version (MLP-SQL) for companies that prefer to use an SQL database for the part list.

Step 2

Part Bubbles

After part data has been entered into a Excel workbook or a database, the data is available for creating a part bubble.
The data contained in a part bubble may be customized, but is generally limited to the data that is used in the dwg material list.
This typically includes part number, description, manufacturers part number, and quantity.
Part bubbles are attribute blocks created automatically by double-clicking a part listed on the part list search page.
Attributes may be edited using the AutoCAD / BricsCAD ATTEDIT command or with an attribute editor within MLP.
If desired, leader lines may be created when a bubble is created.

Step 3

DWG & Excel Part Lists

After part bubbles have been placed on a drawing, it is time to create the drawing part list AND a MATCHING Excel part list.
The drawing part list is created in the location specified by a custom attribute block called a "Data Grid Anchor".
A drawing data workbook is created with the same file name as the drawing, but with an xlsx extension.
This workbook is formatted with worksheet names that match the model space and layout tabs from the drawing.
Parts associated with the paper space tabs on the drawing are listed on the corresponding worksheet tabs.
This step is accomplished with a single click, and updates all material lists in the drawing.

Step 4


Reports are generated from the Excel files associated with multiple drawings.
These reports may be customized, and may include pricing information and other data retrieved from the master part list.
Part descriptions are cross checked at this time in case the database has been changed since the drawing was created.
Total quantities for the various materials are also calculated at this time.
After quantities have been totalized, the material list is sorted by preferred vendor.
Excel formulas can be used in the report to calculate total pricing.

Step 5

Purchase Orders

Currently, creating purchase orders is a copy/paste operation using data from reports.
By formatting reports to match your purchase order document, it is possible to perform this task quickly.

We have done a lot of experimenting and testing with creating purchase orders from templates, so more automated methods are available for large companies that require more customized solutions.