TIPniques: Sheet Set Manager, Part 2

The Sheet Set Manager is a productive and efficient tool to manage a set of drawings in all fields and in various phases of the project. It is especially useful for making all the drawings work together as a coordinated and collaborative set. This brings us to the next topic in this Sheet Set series, primarily involving the Sheet View and the Model View Tabs below the Sheet List in the Sheet Set Manager dialog box (see Figure 1).

The Sheet Views, highlighted in yellow, provide a list of views added into the layout tabs or, as it was originally named by Autodesk, the paper space layout. In this list you will find all the viewports generated through the Model Views.

This is the part where many of us become confused. I, too, was initially confused in attempting to tie all of these together until I tried it step by step and determined which task comes first in order to make it work.

First, I opened the overall base floor plan from the Resource folder. This is the live CAD plan version of the first floor where all the walls, doors, and plan elements are drawn. I named this "xplan-01.dwg." Then, in the model space of this base plan, I created a view by simply using the View command. It is very important to create the views in the model tab or model space and not in paper space.

I created three views: the First Floor Plan, Living Room Plan, and the Living Room Furniture Plan (see Figure 2). Once the file was saved, the defined views appeared in the Model Views. This can be accessed by clicking on the Model Views tab right below the sheet views tab.

Figure 1: Sheet Views tab

Figure 2: Model Views tab

As you can see, below the xplan-01.dwg is a list of the three views I just created. If you're seeing a blank box in this model views box at this point, I believe I forgot to show you one more step before we move on. So go ahead, while in the Model Views tab, double-click on where it says Add New Location…. This will bring up a Browse for Folder… dialog box. At this point, navigate and find the resource folder where the base plan files (in my case the xplan-01.dwg) are located. Once added, all the files in the resource folder will appear in the Model Views tab including a list of each file's views.

This Model Views Tab functions in the same manner as the Sheet List Tab, whereby we can open any of the files listed by a simple double-click (or right-click and click on Open). See Figure 3.

It doesn't stop there, though. From this Model Views tab you can also open directly into a specific view with the same mouse sequence. Prior to opening the view or file, it even gives you a preview. Simply set the Tooltip Style to Preview/Detail Pane - all accessible using the right-click of the mouse (see Figure 4). When you hover on the view names or drawing name, a preview of the file or view appears. This is very convenient indeed, as you don't have to browse through all the drives and folders to look for a specific file or a view. AutoCAD provided a centralized location to browse and open drawing files. Use it and you'll love it once you get used to it!

Figure 3

Figure 4

With all these views set up, we're ready to add them into the desired sheets. Now click on the Sheet List Tab and open one of the Sheet Files. In my case, I opened an overall floor plan sheet A1.10.

I will demonstrate how to smoothly add the three views I previously created into the sheet. While the blank sheet is open, in the Sheet Set Manager dialog box click on Model Views Tab to make it current. The next step is to right-click on the First Floor Plan and click on Place on Sheet (see Figure 5). This will allow you to simply drop the view onto the sheet. Before you do that, however, you have an option to select the scale of the view you are placing. So without clicking anything yet, move your mouse over the blank sheet and you'll notice a phantom of the view appearing. Instead of clicking to place the view, right-click and a list of scale options appears. Here you can select a desired scale. Click on 1/8" = 1'-0", then click on the blank sheet again to place the view.

Voila! It is now added on the sheet with the view title at the bottom. It has not been given a detail number yet because AutoCAD wants you to go back into the Sheet Views Tab and organize them in there. Now using the same method as above, I will add the remaining two views at scale 3/8" = 1'-0". I'll arrange them as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 5: Place view on sheet

Figure 6: All three views placed on sheet

Now notice how all the three views were titled as the views were named. So bear in mind how you would name the views so it will translate properly into the detail titles and make life easier by eliminating the need to go back and forth to rename the views.

Back on the Sheet View Tab (Figure 7), sheet A1.10 shows the three views I added earlier. The last thing to add here are the detail numbers for these views. Now right click on the First Floor Plan and click Rename and Renumber…. This allows you to add the detail number for each view; you can even override and rename the title from here. See Figure 8 for the numbered views.

So that last task completes the Sheet Set Manager topic as it relates to the three tabs - Sheet List, Sheet Views, and Model Views. The last item on the Sheet Set Manager is creating a sheet index, publishing and archiving all the drawings. This topic will be tackled in the next issue. Stay tuned.

Figure 7: Sheet view

Figure 8: Numbered views on Sheet Views tab

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