3. Project Specifications

3.1. Overview of Project Specifications

An UNICOS CPC project should contain the following set of specifications:


3.1.1. Requirement Documents

  • General Control System Requirement [word]
  • Functional Analysis [English] or [French]
  • Instrument List (download and open with excel) [excel xml]

3.1.2. Design Documents

3.2. Rules to respect when filling in the UCPC Object List (Spec)

3.2.1. Copy/Paste

  • To avoid problems of compatibility, when doing a copy/paste in excel, use the option “Paste Values” (Paste->Paste Values in the excel Home bar).

3.2.2. Cut & Paste


Cut and Paste DO NOT USE cut (Ctrl-X) and paste of cells, because this can incorrectly remove drop-down menus from cells where they are defined.


Use Copy/Paste Value and then Delete original data To avoid problems with Cut & Paste, use Copy and Paste Values and then Delete the original data

3.2.3. Reserved words and forbidden chars

  • The same as the ones defined in the IEC-61131-3. They must not be employed as those used for user defined literals (e.g. variables)
  • Forbidden characters as defined in the IEC-61131-3:
Space EOL (* *)
+ - # .
: , /
; = ( )
[ ] %
< > * &

3.2.4. Length of Names (device names)

Max. chars PCO I/O Interface Field Alarms
Schneider 23 23 23 23 23
Siemens 19 24 24 19 (for Local objects is 21) 24

3.2.5. Xml Format in MS Excel

  • All cells must be formatted as “text” (not number, scientific, etc.).
  • Object Names are Case Sensitive.
  • Do not modify the header (rows 8-10 and the data in row 1).
    • NOTE: as of Resource Package 1.4.0 the header info is no longer protected, so BE CAREFUL NOT TO CHANGE THE HEADER
  • Do not add/delete columns.
  • Do not add rows at the top of the Worksheet (rows 1-10)
  • Columns whose header are in Red Text are mandatory and must be completed.
    • NOTE: you will get a semantic error if you do not complete these fields
  • If you require more help on a particular column, click on Help link in row 7.
    • NOTE: Use Alt+LeftArrow to return back to where you were.

3.3. Utilities

3.3.1. Visual Basic Macros for Excel

VB macros have been developed to make it easier to use the specification file. These macros allow you to quickly find a referenced object and then go back to where you were:

  • UCPCfindDevice (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-E)
    • Go to device X, where X is the device name in the current cell.
    • If device X cannot be found then it will give you an error message.
  • UCPCGoBack (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-E)
    • Go back to where you were (the cell you were on when you pressed Ctrl-E)
    • NOTE: macro will remember your previous location until you re-execute the UCPCfindDevice macro (Ctrl-E)
    • E.g: You are in the DigitalAlarm sheet. On a precise instance you have defined the master. So to find the definition of this master you go to the cell where the master name is and then press Ctrl-E and it will take you to the definition of the master. If you want to go back simply press Ctrl-Shift-E.
  • UCPC_Hide_EmptyColumns (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-M)
    • Will hide all empty columns on all device type sheets.
  • UCPC_Unhide_EmptyColumns (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-M)
    • Will _un_hide (show) all empty columns on all device type sheets.
  • UCPC_Autofit_AllColumns (no keyboard shortcut)
    • Will Autofit column width for all columns on all sheets
  • UCPC_Hide_Rows1to6 (no keyboard shortcut)
    • Will Hide rows 1-6 on all device type sheets
  • UCPC_Unhide_Rows1to6 (no keyboard shortcut)
    • Will Un-hide rows 1-6 on all device type sheets
  • SmartEdit (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-J)
    • Will open a pop-up window to allow user to more easily edit the current cell by finding/using other objects from the spec.
  • UCPC_FastIOErrorW (no keyboard shortcut)
    • Useful tool for IOError Alarm: generates the logical input for the alarm by concatenating
    • all the non-spare AI/AO (result is copied to the clipboard)
  • UCPC_CountCharacters (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Q)
    • Count Characters and show limits (works for Siemens and Schneider)
  • UCPC_CenterAll (no keyboard shortcut)
    • Center all cells in Spec (objects sheets only) (request: UCPC-2925)

A zip file with all the macros and forms are here on EDMS

To install the macro, simply import it into your PERSONAL.XLSB file, see this site: https://www.rondebruin.nl/win/personal.htm for instructions on how to do this.

3.3.2. Comparing two versions of a Spec File

SpreedSheetCompare is a tool provided by Microsoft to compare two different Excel files in an understandable way. It will classify the differences in values, format, structure, protection, formulas, etc. To integrate it with SVN and use it as default Spec file comparison tool, this bat file can be used it as default program to compare *.xlsx files.

@echo off
SET OFFICE_PATH="C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\"
echo %~f1 > compare.txt
echo %~f2 >> compare.txt

To configure it, save it locally as a bat file; go to Windows / All programs / TortoiseSVN / Settings. Once there in “Diff Viewer” click “Advanced...” and edit the extension .xlsx. Set the script as the external program to use.