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.

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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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