Archive Whole Project using Sheet Set!

After discussing how to Send The Entire Project With Just 2 Clicks! (Using Sheet Set!) it is Time to finalize our Sheet Set Guide by Packing (archiving) our project for future use.

It is really important to Properly archive our projects for future use because we don’t know when we might need it or when it is going to be constructed.

However, usually after finally submitting our project, it is really annoying to start packing all the drawings and necessary files and most of us tend to ignore that step. Yet after several weeks/months, we might face the above-stated problems and start panicking and searching the final versions.

Archive Project using Sheet Set

Archiving projects using sheet sets is extremely easy! The process is really similar to the one for creating an eTransmit and sending it, but even simpler.

First, we have to start our Sheet Set manager (CTRL+4) and open our project. Then right-click on its name and select Archive…

A window will pop up, that contains our Sheets, Files tree and Files table. Also Archive Setup, which we are going to open in order to set it up according to our needs.

The window for Archive Setup looks almost the same way as the one for the eTransmit but I personally would like to set it up quite differently.

For example, if we are not going to send the archive to a third party, the file structure may remain as it is. We also won’t need to purge the files and set default plotter to “none”. However, I would like to include all the supporting files available so we can find them effortlessly in the future.

After Setting up our Archive settings we hit ok and go back the Archive window and by going to the Files Tree tab we can see all the included files in our transmittal and we can also add new files like .txt, .doc, .xls files into the project so we won’t have to add them separately.

Now we are ready to Archive the Project.

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Send The Entire Project With Just 2 Clicks! (Using Sheet Set!)

Have you ever had these problem, when sending your project to a client or a colleague, he/she calls you back, asking you to save drawings to a lower version, or send plot styles file etc.? I am sure it had, all those minor headaches can be missed if we can create one archive with all the necessary files as fast as possible.
This of corse can be done by using Sheet Set!

eTransmit

eTransmit is quite handy AutoCAD Command for packing and sending drawings, but when combined with Sheet Set it is amplified to a whole another level! We can now instead of packing drawings one by one, pack the whole project at once!

First, we have to start our Sheet Set manager (CTRL+4) and open our project. Then right-click on its name and select eTransmit…

A window will pop up, that contains our Sheets, Files tree and Files table. Also Transmittal setup, which we are going to open in order to set it up according to our needs.

We can create a new transmittal setup or modify the standard one. I always prefer to create a new one. There are many different settings that we can preset and use every time when we create an transmittal:

  1. Type of the package – Archive (.zip) or Folder
  2. File format – We can keep existing file formats or select an older version of AutoCAD
  3. Transmittal File Folder
  4. Transmittal File Name
  5. In my experience, it is best to keep all the files in one folder. You can select this option or one of the other available.
  6. Here we can Choose to send an e-mail with the transmittal, set the default plotter, Bind Xrefs, Purge drawings and Remove Design Feed when using the eTransmit
  7. Include options are a great way to include all the necessary files for working and plotting your project.

After Setting up our transmittal options we go back the eTransmit window and by going to the Files Tree tab we can see all the included files in our transmittal and we can also add new files like .txt, .doc, .xls files into the project so we won’t have to add them separately.

We can now hit OK and send the project using the default e-mail program that we are using!

With just one click we can Purge all the drawings in our project, save them to lower AutoCAD Version, include all the supporting (plot, font, etc.) files, pack and send them!

Stay tuned for our next Sheet Set posts and more AutoCAD/Civil 3D content! Don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on Social media!

Plot Multiple Drawings at Once in AutoCAD (Batch Plot in Sheet Sets!)

The main reason that made me want to learn how to work with Sheet Sets is Automated Plotting. This is one of the greatest benefits Sheet Set Manager gives us.

Too often we waste way too much time on Plotting drawings. Even plotting a single sheet that is already set can take a sufficient time for locating the drawing on the disc, opening it then going to the Layout and running Print Preview before printing. Then doing all those steps for all the drawings in our project when there might be 10, 20, 50 drawings, sometimes more.
But this time is well wasted, right? Wrong! Imagine plotting all these 50 drawings with just one click of a mouse? Yes! This is possible using Sheet Sets!

Plot the Project (Plot Multiple Drawings at once)

It is important to note, that in order to be able to plot the project using Sheet Sets, we must have set our Layouts’ page settings right when we’ve created our Sheet Set.


If you have to use two or more printers/plotters don’t worry just set them up and they will be printed simultaneously when the plotting of the project begins!
To start plotting just follow these simple steps:
  1. Start Sheet Set Manager (CTRL+4) and open your project.
  2. Go to Publish and hit Publish To Plotter. As easy as it is!
    Note: You can Choose Publish to PDF or Publish to DWF if you desire so it will all happen automatically!

Let’s briefly discuss the other interesting options that Publish gives us.

  • Publish using Page Setup Override by using this option we can force plotting on sheet size D for example.
  • Edit Subset and Sheet Publish Settings give us the opportunity to choose what to plot, for example, we would need to plot only the drawings without the cover sheets.
  • Publish in Reverse Order is pretty self-explanatory
  • Include Plot Stamp and Plot Stamp Settings… are for people that use plot stamps. The menus are easy, you just have to set your stamp.
  • Manage Page Setups… is here to help us with setting up our sheet plot options, but as previously said it is best to do that in the beginning while creating the Sheet Set.
  • Sheet Set DWF Publish Options… here we can choose if we want our Project to be plotted to Multi-sheet File or to Single-Sheet Files. There are also options for Name, Location and DWF Data options.
  • Sheet Set PDF Publish Options… here again we can choose the Location, Multi or Single Sheet files we need, name, Quality and PDF Data options.
  • Publish Dialog Box… Opens a window where we can control all Publish Options.

As you can see Plotting with Sheet Sets Manager is like a Miracle! Next week we will learn how to Pack the entire Project and send it to a Third party.

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How to Create an Automatic Project Sheet Table in AutoCAD!

After creating our first sheet set, setting a Title block for it, and adding details to our AutoCAD library, it is time to start using some of the automated functionality that it presents to us. Today we will create a sheet Index table that is fully customizable and will update at any time we change a property of our Sheet Set or a specific Sheet (Layout). This will save us a lot of time and will prevent unwanted mistakes that can occur during updating our Project.

Creating Sheet Table

We will go through all the steps needed to create a Sheet index Table

  1. First, we start the Sheet Set Manager (CTRL + 4) and then we open our Project.
  2. Now we open the Sheet (layout) where we want to place our Index Table by double-clicking on it.
  3. Right-click on the Subset that needs to be placed in a table in the example we will create a table of Drawings subset. And choose Insert Sheet List Table. 
  4. A new window will pop up. Here we are going to set Table style and contents:
    1. Choosing table style that will serve our needs. You can edit your table at any time, change the text high, color, color of borders etc.
    2. Typing the name of the Table
    3. This are the columns settings, here we can add/remove and arrange our columns information. Here we can add almost every property of the sheet set and the sheets.
  5. On the next tab Subsets and Sheets, we can change the selection of sheets that will be included in the table.
  6. Now we hit OK and place our new table on the Sheet.

This is how the table from the example looks like:

As previously said the table is fully customizable at any given time and will update automatically! Next week we are going to plot our Entire Project with just one click of a button!

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Sheet Set Detail Library in AutoCAD (Creating and Using Details)

AutoCAD Sheet Sets is a great tool for managing our projects but they are not only storage and plotting utilities, they can help us manage specific details too!

In the past when people were drafting by hand it was impossible to use a drafting multiple times. Now with the help of CAD, we can do that pretty easy! Many times we have details drawn for a specific project that can be used for another. Usually, we tend to remember the names of the projects that made us spend a lot of time, however, after working for more than a year it is normal to start forgetting where we saved a specific detail. Or worse if someone else has drawn a detail that you’ve used it is almost certain that you will forget about it pretty easy.

Today we are going to take a look at how to Create a library with Details in Sheet Set, that can be used at any time!

Detail Library Creation

Creating a library is easy just follow these simple steps:

  1. First we Create a file that contains Details that we want to include in our Library and then Open it.
  2. Now we will create Views to our details, this is done by typing VIEW on the command line and then choose New…

  3. A window will pop up, here we will define our first view. We have to fill up the info:
    1. Name of the View (You can choose a category if you so desire)
    2. Boundary of the view
    3. Setting up the Coordinate system (we will leave the settings as they are)
  4. Hit OK and the first Detail is set!

This has to be done for every detail, so it can be used in the future.

Using Details from the Library

The proccess of using already created view is pretty simple.

  1. First we start the Sheet Set Manager (CTRL + 4) and then we open our already created Sheet set.
  2. Go to Model Views, there we will see Add new Location… Double click on it and we choose the Folder where our Detail drawings are located.
    Note: We have to choose the Folder not a specific drawing file
  3. Now we will see all the drawings and by expanding them we will see all the details in them. In our example there is only one drawing with only one detail – Gate – O10 Double swing

  4. Drag and drop the detail on the Layout, first we place it and then Right click to choose a Scale. This is really important, if we don’t choose correct scale we won’t get the desired result.

Other uses

Using Sheet sets, we can arrange our Details in the Sheet View tab.

It is possible to create a Block that contains Sheet Number and View number, that way we can connect our cross sections to our details in different drawings as easy as possible!

Stay tuned for our next Sheet Set posts and more AutoCAD/Civil 3D content! Don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on Social media!

Sheet Set – Managing your Projects

In our journey to understanding No:1 AutoCAD Secret! – Sheet Sets we have already created our Sheet set and set a title block for it.
Now we are going to rename our drawings and renumber them using the Sheet Set Manager. This will automatically be updated in our Title Blocks!

Sheet Set Properties

In the previous post when we have created the Title Block we have also created Fields that will update our Drawing name, sheet number, job number and version. Now we will create other fields that contain information for Date, Job, Version, Plot Date, Scale, Design by, Drawn by, Checked by etc.

There are two types of data we need for those. One is generic for the whole project like Job Numer, while another type of data is different for every layout like Scale.

Sheet Set manager gives us the opportunity to do just that! When opening Field Window under SheetSet Category, we can see there are two main Name types. CurrentSheet… – data concerning only the current layout and CurrentSheetSet… – data that concerns the whole project.

To add custom properties to our Sheet Set we have to go through 3 simple steps:

  1. On Sheet Set Manager (we can open it with CTRL+4) right click on current SheetSet and we choose Properties

  2. A window will pop up, we Click on Edit Custom Properties…

  3. On the next Window, we Click on Add.. and we finally can Type Name and Default Value for our Custom Property.

    Note: On the lower left corner we can see Owner it is very important to Choose the right one. For Example, we can choose SheetSet for our Date because it will most likely be one date for the whole project, but we have to choose Sheet for Scale because it will be different for every Layout.

Now we can Fill up all the fields. By using CurrentSheetCustom or CurrentSheetSetCustom Field names.
Note: I Like to Create separate Fields for Signed Day, Signed Month, Signed Year because that way they can be placed in the seal too.

Project arrangement

It is really useful to arrange the drawings in our project. We can be using one sheet set for different phases of the project to different specialties like architecture, grading, construction. In order to arrange the workflow, we can use new Subsets.  In the example, we will create a new subset of Cover sheets and one for the actual drawings.

To do that we right click on the Sheet set Name and choose “New Subset…

In the new window we assign a name to our new Subset for the example we will use Cover Sheets.


After creating Cover Sheets Subset, we create another one called Drawings.

Now we have to just drag and drop the drawings into their places.

Rename and Renumber

As previously said renumbering is one of the biggest advantages that sheet set manager gives us. We can not only renumber but rename our drawings at any given time. This can be done by simpy rightclicking on the specific sheet and choosing Rename & Renumber…

A new window will pop up, there we can change:
1. Number
2. Name
3. Change layout’s or drawing’s name to match the Sheet name and number. In our example we will change only layout name.
By using Next and Previous we can circle between the different sheets in our Sheet Set.

Add and Remove Layouts

The process of removing sheets from our project is pretty straight foreward. We just have to right click on a specific sheet and choose Remove Sheet

Adding Sheets is also fairy easy job. To do that we have to right click on our Project name or Subset Name if we already have one and choose Import layout as a Sheet.

A window will pop up, here we go to Browse and find the drawing we want to add. After choosing our drawing, AutoCAD will show us all the layout the selected drawings. In our example we have only one new Layout to add.

Managing project using Sheet set is really easy! Next week we will learn how to create a Library with typical details for our projects using Sheet Sets.

Setting a Title Block for Sheet Set Use

We already know the No:1 AutoCAD Secret! (7 Benefits of using Sheet Set!) and how to Create Sheet Set (5 Easy Steps!) it is now time to start exploring the benefits of Sheet Sets. Today we will learn how to Set a title block and automatically update the text in it!

Why would we need an automatic updating text? Let’s imagine that we need to change the name of the person who Checked the project? Or even change the whole name of the project? Another thing that may happen is to delete a drawing and/or add a new one. Usually, we will have to open all the drawings and change the information in text objects. If there are a lot of layouts it is almost sure to end up with a mistake or two. That is why using Sheet Set is great. We can change all this without the need of opening a single drawing!

The best practice is creating a Title Block once and using it from now on. In the example, we will be drawing everything in the layout without actually creating a Block. I prefer using Xref for linework of the Title Block and fill the data using Fields. You can create an actual Block, but in order to update the fields in the Block, you will have to use UPDATEFIELD command. With that said let’s start creating the actual Fields.

Automatic Field Creation

First, we will create a Field that contains the name of the project.

Create a Multiline Text Object and while in editing mode right click in it and choose Insert Field…

In the last post, we have assigned our project name in the SheetSetDescription, because it gives us the opportunity to use more symbols than SheetSetProjectName. So we just select that Field Name from the right side of the window. On the left we can choose the format, in the example we will choose Uppercase so no matter how we type the information it will always be UpperCase.

That way we fill up other text in our title like:
CurrentSheetDescription for drawing/layout name
CurrentSheetNumber for Sheet Numbering
CurrentSheetSetProjectNumber for Job Number
CurrentSheetSetProjectPhase for Version

We will discuss in the next post how to Manage the Sheet Set Properties and how to add Custom Field Names for Specific text fields.

After filling up our data we can now copy the Title Block and Fields or Xref and fields on all the other Layouts.

By creating Title Block using Sheet set we can always update the information at any time without even opening the drawings, just by using Sheet Set Manager. This can save lots of time and mistakes.

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How to Create Sheet Set (5 Easy Steps!)

We found out No:1 AutoCAD Secret! (7 Benefits of using Sheet Set!) in our previous post. It is now time for us to create our first Sheet Set.

As already mentioned in the previous post, Sheet Set in AutoCAD is a great tool that gives us the opportunity to manage our drawings flawlessly.

There is one very important note that I have to make before proceeding. In order to use Sheet Set, you must have all your drawings set in Layouts. If you have for example 5 Layouts in one file, you can add all those 5 layouts in the Sheet set, but if there is no layout created, you won’t be able to use it. Even if you are still not sure if sheet sets will be useful for you, using Layouts is really important and you should start using them as soon as possible! AutoCAD Layouts (8 Reasons to Start Using them!)

Create a Sheet Set

Creating a Sheet set is a fairly simple job. We will just have to go through these 54 simple steps:

  1. To create a Sheet set we click on AutoCAD logo on the far left corner of the screen, then go to New > Sheet Set.
  2. Our second step is really important to understand. There are two options Create a sheet set using: An example sheet set and Existing drawings
    Here we will choose Existing drawings, so we can use layouts of an existing .dwg files.
    The first option is great if we already have worked with the sheet sets and we have an existing template that we use.
  3. On the third step, we have to fill in the Name of the Sheet Set and the Description which is optional.
    I would suggest to type in Short well-defined Name and to fill in the full Name of the Project into the Description. (We can change the name and Description later so don’t worry too much)
    Here we also have to choose a folder where our Sheet Set will be stored by clicking on three small dots next to Store Sheet set data file (.dst) here:. My suggestion is to create a folder that contains all the projects from a specific time or place. For example 2018 Town of Paradise Valley
    On Sheet set Details window we can also change the Sheet Set Properties, but we will leave them by default for now. (We can change those later)
    Click Next >
  4. It is now time to Choose our Drawings (Layouts). This is done by clicking on Browse… Button and choosing our .dwg files.
    As previously said we can only use drawings that have Layouts.
    When we choose our drawings all their layouts will be shown in this window. If there are blank layouts or ones that we don’t want to include in the Sheet Set, we just uncheck them. We can add new Layouts to our Sheet set later on so this is can be done in earlier stages of the project.
  5. After clicking Next we will go to Confirm Page, there AutoCAD Will show us all the info related to the current Sheet Set. After reviewing it we are ready to hit Finish

A window will pop up called Sheet Set Manager.

Here we will start modifying and managing our drawings. This window can be hidden and shown by clicking CTRL + 4 combination.

Now we have created a new Sheet set. In the next related posts, we will start digging deeper into the great functionality that this tool gives us. We will Rename and renumber the drawings, create a Drawing List Table and a Title block. We will also create a Library with specific details.

So stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on social media.

No:1 AutoCAD Secret! (7 Benefits of using Sheet Set!)

One of the most useful features of AutoCAD is Sheet Set Manager! However, it is one of the least used ones. It is almost like a Secret that only few CAD designers use, even though it has been a part of AutoCAD since 2005! If you spend just a little time on it, you will be amazed how useful it really is!

I am sure everyone has had issues with managing drawings, finding details and creating title blocks. The biggest issue I personally had was changing data in my title blocks, like the name of drawings or renumbering them.

All of the above problems can be easily solved by using Sheet set Manager, however, first, we have to start using Layouts in our Drawings (AutoCAD Layouts (8 Reasons to Start Using them!)). If you already use them then here we will go through 7 specific Benefits of using Sheet Sets.

Manage a Whole Project

When using Sheet sets you can manage really easy all your Drawings (Layouts) using only one file. The file has .dst extension and you manage your drawings in pretty much the same manner as a folder in Windows. You Can create Subset under your Sheet that way you can classify your layouts even more. For example, you can have Subsets: Survey, Land Develop, Road Design and so on, that way the whole project can be managed from one single file. (You will still have your drawing files somewhere on your server but you will be able to manage them faster and easier using a Sheet set)

You can keep all your .dst files in one folder for a specific year for example. That way all the drawings you’ve used during the year will be easily reachable.  There are many ways to manage your work using Sheet set, you just need some imagination.

Automatic Title Block Filling

You can use Sheet Set to fill the data in your Title Blocks automatically. That way every time you create a new sheet your data will be automatically filled in.
The other benefit of filling your data Automatically is that if there is a change you can change it directly in the Sheet Set Manager and the text will be updated on all sheets without even opening them!

Publish Multiple Drawings

Using Sheet Set Manager, you can enhance the functionality of the Publish Command. Now you will be able to publish multiple drawings on multiple plotters/printers faster (with only 1 click!)

You can choose to publish all the drawings in your Sheet Set. Or if you want to publish only a specific Subset you can do that as well. Also, you can choose just specific set of drawings to be published, no matter of the Subset they are in. In other words, you can do everything you can think of related to Publishing drawings!

In addition, to Publish to plotter you can as well create .dwf or .pdf files of your drawings having the same benefits like publishing to a plotter.

Create Transmittal for The Whole Project

Sheet Set Manager has another great feature that allows us to manage multiple drawings at once. This time it is creating a Transmittal file by using eTransmit functionality for the whole Sheet Set.

In other words, you can pack and send all drawings in your project with all dependent files with just one click of the mouse!

Automatic Drawing List Table

You can create Automatic Drawing List Table of your entire Sheet set or just of a specific Sub set. The procedure is really easy, you just have to click on Insert Sheet List Table.. and that is it.


The best thing is that you can add every property of your Sheet set not only the drawing number and name. For example, you can add the specific Scale, Drawn by, Signed by, Signed date and so on.

Automatic View Titles

Sheet set can recognize your views in sheets and if you place your views using Sheet Set AutoCAD can also fill in some useful preset information like Project name, drawing name, sheet number, scale and more custom properties of the sheets that you’ve preset in the beginning.

 

Creating Custom Detail Palette

With the help of Sheet Set Manager, you can create a Palette with different Details that you commonly use. And every time you decide to insert one of them into your drawing,

Continuation of the Sheet Set Topic is divided into several posts you can find them here:

 

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Working and Editing Grouped Objects in AutoCAD!

We already discussed, what grouped objects are and how to Create AutoCAD Groups. Today we are going to look at how to Edit them!

Add and Remove objects from a Group

This is one of the most commonly used tool for Groups since there is always something that we want to add or remove…

To Add objects to an existing Group we will follow these simple steps:

  1. First, we click on Group Edit button located in Home tab under Group ribbon, or simply type in GROUPEDIT

  2. Secondly, we select the group we want to edit.
  3. Now AutoCAD will provide us three options – Add Objects, Remove Objects and REName. Here we choose Add objects.
  4. After choosing the Add option we just have to select the new objects we to Add and hit Enter.

To Remove objects from an existing Group we have to go through the same procedure. The only difference is that in step 3 we have to choose Remove Objects and then select object to be removed.

There is a second way to Add and Remove objects from an existing Group – using -GROUP command with “-” infront!

The procedure is a little bit different though. This time, when we choose Add (or Remove) Option AutoCAD asks us for the group’s name instead of selecting it from the drawing. However, once we have typed the Group’s name everything else is the same.

Rename an existing Group

As mentioned in the previous post about Groups, it is good to assign them names, in order to keep drawings well arranged and easy for editing.

Still, sometimes we might forget to type in a name for our group when we create it, or we just want to change it to something that will make more sense. To do that we are going to follow next 4 steps:

  1. First, we click on Group Edit button or type on the command line GROUPEDIT
  2. Secondly, we select the group we want to edit.
  3. This time we choose REName option.
  4. AutoCAD will prompt Select a new name for group or [?] < current group name >:

    Here we just type in the new name and hit Enter!

Renaming can again be done by -GROUP command, the procedure will be the same as in the previous section.

-GROUP Command

We already mentioned some of the functionality of this Command. Apart from Adding and Removing objects from an Existing Groups and Renaming them, we can also:

Order

Order changes the numerical order of the objects in a group. This is useful when creating tool paths.
Upon starting the command it is in Position Number mode – Specifies the position number of the objects to reorder. Reordering a lot of objects is done by specifying the first object’s number.
If we choose Revise Order – AutoCAD reverses the order of all members in the group

Explode

Works the same as UNGROUP command – Deletes a group definition.

Note: If you use normal Explode command it will delete the group definition and also will explode all the objects!

Selectable

Specifies if a group is selectable or not. When it is selectable, selecting one object in the group will select the whole group. (Works like PICKSTYLE System Variable which we discussed in the previous post, but only for the selected Group). Also if you have created a huge group and you don’t want someone to be able to ungroup you can make it unselectable, that way it will be safe from ungrouping.

Note: Objects in frozen or locked layers will not be selected even if the group is selectable.

Create

Just another way to create a Group.

Group Manager

We can find Group Manager by clicking on drop-down arrow under groups. Or using command CLASSICGROUP.

Under Group Manager we can find practically everything related to Groups – Add, Remove Objects, Turn on/off Selectability, Find, Rename, Re-Order and Highlight. It is really well organized and you can find everything related to your groups here.

Find a Specific Group

When we have a complex drawing, with a lot of stuff in it, sometimes we might need to find the group that we did a few hours ago. This can be easily achieved by Highlight function. We just choose the group we want to find and click on Highlight button, then the group we wanted will be highlighted!

How to to Identify Which Groups an Object belongs to?

This again is done with the help of Group Manager. After opening it, under Group Identification we click on Find Name, and then we have to select the object whose groups we want to view. The Group Manager will show us a list – Group Member List with the groups the object belongs to!

 

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