Sheet sets, introduced in AutoCAD 2005, let you group layouts and drawings into drawing packages. One key to success with sheet sets is preparing a master template drawing file (DWT). The Sheet Set Properties dialog box allows you to specify templates for view blocks, callout blocks, and page setup. You can also use a template to set layers, dimensioning, units, and title block features. If a single template file won’t work for all your drawings, you can create different template files for different subsets. Note, though, that page setup overrides and view and callout blocks are still derived from the master template file.
To access sheet set properties, right-click on a sheet set in the Sheet Set Manager.
The following are the properties you can set:
Name: Title of the sheet set.
Sheet set data file: Full path and name of the DST file that stores the information about the sheet set.
Description: Optional field where you can make text notes—for example, a history of changes to the sheet set or information about who created the sheet set and when.
Resource drawing location: Optional field that lists directories that contain model space drawings that can be referenced into new sheets in the sheet set.
Label block for views: References the template file that contains the label block you want to use for the sheet set. The Sheet Set Manager automates view number through use of a label block. That means views are automatically renumbered any time there is a change to the numbering system.
Callout blocks: Similar to layout blocks, callout blocks automate the numbering of callout blocks. This field refers to the template file that contains the callout block or blocks you want to use.
Page setup overrides file: You can preconfigure page setups to be used when plotting the file and place them in a single template file that governs the entire set of drawings. You don’t have to worry about the page setups of the layouts in the individual files, and you can finally plot sheets in the order you prefer.
Sheet storage locations: This field specifies the storage location of any new drawings you create within the sheet set. No more putting the drawing anywhere you want.
Sheet creation template: This field specifies the location of the master template used when new drawings are created within the sheet set.
Prompt for template: Set this to No if you want all sheet set users to use the master template specified in Sheet Creation Template whenever they create a new drawing. Set it to Yes if you want to allow them to override the master template file.
Sheet custom properties: Here you can create your own fields that have unique values for each drawing in the set. These might include information typically found in a title block, such as Created by, Checked by, and Creation Date.
Sheet set custom properties: Here you can create your own fields that have a constant value for all drawing in the sheet set. These might include project name and number.
To add custom properties to an existing sheet set, select the Edit Custom Properties at the bottom left of the Sheet Set Properties window. The Custom Properties dialog box appears, displaying current custom properties, their default values, and whether they are sheet or sheet set properties.
Caption: Custom Properties window lets you add and delete custom properties for both sheets and sheet sets.
To add a new property, select the Add button at top right. In the Add Custom Property dialog box, you can assign a name and default value. Under Owner, specify whether the property can vary by sheet or is constant for the entire sheet set.
Caption: Add Custom Property dialog box.
Stay tuned for Success with Sheet Sets, Part 2, for more on automating sheet set setup.