Sheet Set Manager

HomeHome BlogBlog TwitterTwitter YouTubeYouTube ContactContact
 
 
 

Blog Headlines


Subscribe to the blog


 

 

Sheet Set Manager

On my blog there is more about SSM.

Sheet Set Manager is available in AutoCAD and also in AutoCAD LT from version 2012.

JTB World's software for AutoCAD

Useful links

Sheet Set Manager Best Practices Series by Lynn Allen, Cadalyst columnist and Autodesk employee. Download - Introduction to the Series PDF, Download - Best Practices Series - Part 1 Organize Your Drawings PDF and Download - Best Practices Series - Part 2 Create a List of Sheets Instantly PDF

Sheets Happen PDF by Heidi Hewett, Autodesk.

Sheet Set Manager for AutoCAD LT videos

Lazy drafter on SSM.

Learning To Use AutoCAD Sheet Sets Training Video

From the AutoCAD 2009 help file

Work with Sheets in a Sheet Set

With the Sheet Set Manager, you can organize drawing layouts into named sheet sets. The sheets in a sheet set can be transmitted, published, and archived as a unit.

Quick Start for Sheet Sets

A sheet set is an organized collection of sheets from several drawing files. A sheet is a selected layout from a drawing file.

Sets of drawings are the primary deliverable for most design groups. Sets of drawings communicate the overall design intent of a project and provide the documentation and specifications for the project. However, managing sets of drawings manually can be complicated and time consuming.

With the Sheet Set Manager, you can manage drawings as sheet sets. A sheet set is an organized and named collection of sheets from several drawing files. A sheet is a selected layout from a drawing file. You can import a layout from any drawing into a sheet set as a numbered sheet.

You can manage, transmit, publish, and archive sheet sets as a unit.

Commands

NEWSHEETSET
Creates a new sheet set

OPENSHEETSET
Opens a selected sheet set

SHEETSET
Opens the Sheet Set Manager

SHEETSETHIDE
Closes the Sheet Set Manager

System Variables

SSFOUND
Displays the sheet set path and file name if a search for a sheet set is successful

SSLOCATE
Controls whether the sheet set associated with a drawing is located and opened when the drawing is opened

SSMAUTOOPEN
Controls the display behavior of the Sheet Set Manager when a drawing associated with a sheet is opened

SSMPOLLTIME
Controls whether plotting a sheet set, multi-sheet plot file, or plot spool file can be interrupted by other plot jobs

SSMSHEETSTATUS
Controls how the status data in a sheet set is refreshed

SSMSTATE
Indicates whether the Sheet Set Manager window is open or closed

Understand the Sheet Set Manager Interface

Using the controls in the Sheet Set Manager, you can create, organize, and manage sheets in a sheet set.

You can use the following tabs and controls in the Sheet Set Manager:

Sheet Set Control. Lists menu options to create a new sheet set, open an existing sheet set, or switch between open sheet sets.

Sheet List Tab. Displays an organized list of all sheets in the sheet set. Each sheet in a sheet set is a specified layout in a drawing file.

Sheet Views Tab. Displays an organized list of all sheet views in the sheet set. Only sheet views created with AutoCAD 2005 and later are listed.

Model Views Tab. Lists the paths and folder names for the drawings containing model space views to be used in the sheet set.

Click a folder to list the drawing files that are located in that folder.
Click a drawing file to list the named model space views that are available for placement in the current sheet.
Double-click a view to open the drawing containing the view.
Right-click or drag a view to place it in the current sheet.
Buttons. Provides convenient access for the most commonly used operations for the currently selected tab.

Tree View. Displays the contents of a tab.

Details or Preview. Displays either descriptive information or a thumbnail preview of the currently selected item in the tree view.

Actions Used in the Tree View

You can use the following actions in the tree view:

Right-click to access shortcut menus of the operations that are relevant to the currently selected item.
Double-click items to open them. This is a convenient method for opening drawing files from the Sheet List tab or from the Model Views tab. You also double-click items in the tree view to expand or collapse them.
Click one or more items to select them for operations such as opening, publishing, or transmitting.
Click a single item to display descriptive information or a thumbnail preview of a selected sheet, view, or drawing file.
Drag items within the tree view to reorder them.
Note To use the Sheet Set Manager effectively, right-click items in the tree view to access relevant shortcut menus. For access to shortcut menus in the drawing area that are needed for sheet set operations, the Shortcut Menus in Drawing Area must be checked in the Options dialog box, User Preferences tab.

Create and Manage a Sheet Set

There are several methods for setting up and organizing a sheet set. You can also include relevant information with a sheet set and its components.

Create a Sheet Set

You create a sheet set with the Create a Sheet Set wizard. In the wizard, you can either create a sheet set from scratch based on existing drawings or use an example sheet set as a template.

Layouts from specified drawing files are imported into the sheet set. The associations and information that define a sheet set are stored in a sheet set data (DST) file.

When creating a new sheet set using the Create Sheet Set wizard, a new folder is created as the default sheet set storage location. This new folder, named AutoCAD Sheet Sets, is located in the My Documents folder. The default location for the sheet set file can be changed, and it is recommended that the DST file is stored with the project files.

Note The DST file should be stored in a network location that is accessible to all sheet set users on the network and mapped using the same logical drive. It is strongly recommended that you store the DST and the sheet drawings in the same folder. If an entire sheet set needs to be moved, or a server or folder name changes, the DST file will still be able to locate the sheets using relative path information.
Preparation Tasks

Before you begin creating a sheet set, you should complete the following tasks:

Consolidate drawing files. Move the drawing files to be used in the sheet set into a small number of folders. This will simplify sheet set administration.
Eliminate multiple layout tabs. Each drawing you plan to use in the sheet set should have only one layout to be used as a sheet in the sheet set. This is important for access to sheets by multiple users. Only one sheet in each drawing can be open at a time.
Create a sheet creation template. Create or identify a drawing template (DWT) file to be used by the sheet set for creating new sheets. This drawing template file is called the sheet creation template. You specify this template file in the Sheet Set Properties dialog box or the Subset Properties dialog box.
Create a page setup overrides file. Create or identify a DWT file to store page setups for plotting and publishing. This file, called the page setup overrides file, can be used to apply a single page setup to all sheets in a sheet set, overriding the individual page setups stored in each drawing.
NoteA lthough it is possible to use several layouts from the same drawing file as separate sheets in a sheet set, it is not recommended. This makes concurrent access to each layout by multiple users impossible. This practice can also reduce your management options and can complicate the organization of your sheet sets.
Create a Sheet Set from an Example Sheet Set

In the Create Sheet Set wizard, when you choose to create a sheet set from an example, the example sheet set provides the organizational structure and default settings for the new sheet set. You can also specify that folders are created corresponding to the subset storage paths of the sheet set.

After you create an empty sheet set with this option, you can import layouts or create sheets individually.

Create a Sheet Set from Existing Drawing Files

In the Create Sheet Set wizard, when you choose to create a sheet set from existing drawing files, you specify one or more folders that contain drawing files. With this option, you can specify that the subset organization for the sheet set duplicates the folder structure of the drawing files. The layouts from these drawings can be imported into the sheet set automatically.

You can easily add more folders containing drawings by clicking the Browse button for each additional folder.

Backup and Recover Sheet Set Data Files

The data stored in the sheet set data file represents a significant amount of work, so you should take the same care to create backups of DST files as you do for drawing files.

In the unlikely event of DST file corruption or a major user error, the previously saved sheet set data file can be recovered. Every time the sheet set data file is opened, the current sheet set data file is copied to a backup file (DS$). This backup file has the same file name and is located in the same folder as the current sheet set data file.

To recover the previous version of the sheet set data file, first make sure that no one else on your network is working on the sheet set. Then, it is recommended that you copy the existing DST file to another file name. Finally, rename the backup file from the DS$ file extension to the DST file extension.

Organize a Sheet Set

With a large sheet set, you will find it essential to organize sheets and views in the tree view.

On the Sheet List tab, sheets can be arranged into collections called subsets. On the Sheet Views tab, views can be arranged into collections called categories.

Use Sheet Subsets

Sheet subsets are often associated with a discipline such as architecture or mechanical design. For example, in architecture, you might use a subset named Structural; and in mechanical design, you might use a subset called Standard Fasteners. In some cases, you might also find it useful to create subsets associated with a review or completion status.

You can nest subsets into other subsets as needed. After you create or import sheets or subsets, you can reorder them by dragging them in the tree view.

Use View Categories

View categories are often associated with a function. For example, in architecture, you might use a view category called Elevations; and in mechanical design, you might use a view category called Exploded.

You can display views either by category or by the sheet on which they are located.

You can nest categories into other categories as needed. To move a view to a different category, drag them in the tree view or use the Set Category shortcut menu option.

Create and Modify Sheets

There are several options in the Sheet Set Manager for creating sheets and adding views either through a shortcut menu or one of the tab buttons. Modifying a sheet should always be done from an open sheet set.

Following are descriptions of common sheet operations. You can access commands by right-clicking an item in the tree view to display the relevant shortcut menu.

Import layout as sheet. After you create a sheet set, you can import one or more layouts from existing drawings. You can initialize a layout by clicking on its tab to activate the previously unused layout. A layout does not contain any plot settings before initialization. Once initialized, layouts can be drawn upon, published, and added to sheet sets as sheets (after the drawing has been saved). This is a fast method for creating multiple sheets from layouts in several drawings. In the current drawing, you can drag a layout tab directly onto the Sheets area of the Sheet List tab in the Sheet Set Manager.
Create a new sheet. As an alternative to importing existing layouts, you can create a new sheet. When you place views in this sheet, the drawing files associated with the views are attached as xrefs to the sheet drawing. The sheet drawing file is created using either the AutoCAD 2004 format or the AutoCAD 2007 format, depending on the format specified on the Open and Save tab in the Options dialog box.
Modify a sheet. Double-click a sheet on the Sheet List tab to open a drawing from the sheet set. Use SHIFT or CTRL to select multiple sheets. To review a sheet, use the shortcut menu to open a drawing in read-only mode.
Note Modifying a sheet should always be done using an open sheet set in the Sheet Set Manager. This ensures that all data associated with the sheet are updated.
Rename and renumber a sheet. After you create a sheet, you can change the sheet title and the sheet number. You can also specify a different drawing file associated with the sheet.
Note If you change the layout name, the corresponding sheet title in the sheet set is also updated or vice versa.
Remove a sheet from a sheet set. Removing a sheet from a sheet set disassociates the sheet from the sheet set, but does not delete the drawing file or the layout.
Reassociate a sheet. If you move a sheet to a different folder, you should reassociate the sheet to the sheet set with the Sheet Properties dialog box to correct the path. For any relocated sheet drawing, the paths for Expected Layout and Found Layout are displayed in the Sheet Properties dialog box. To reassociate the sheet, click the path in Expected Layout and then click to navigate to the new location of the sheet.
Note You can quickly confirm whether a sheet is in the expected folder by looking at Details at the bottom of the Sheet List tab. If the selected sheet is not in the expected location, path information for both Expected Location and Found Location is displayed in Details.
Add a view to a sheet. From the Model Views tab, you can easily add a view to a sheet by placing a named model space view or the entire drawing onto the current sheet.
Note After creating a named model space view, you must save the drawing to add the view to the Model Views tab. Click Refresh on the Model Views tab to update the Sheet Set Manager tree view.
Add label blocks to views. With the Sheet Set Manager, you can label views and details automatically as you place them. Labels contain data associated with the referenced view.

Add callout blocks to views. Callout blocks is the term for the symbols that reference other sheets. Callout blocks have many industry-specific names such as reference tags, detail keys, detail makers, building section keys, and so on. Callout blocks contain data associated with the sheet and view that are referenced.
Note When you place a callout block with fields or a view on a sheet, make sure that the current layer is unlocked.

Create a title sheet and table of contents. The first sheet in a sheet set will usually be a title sheet that includes a description of the sheet set and a table that lists all the sheets in the sheet set. You can create this table, called a sheet list table, on an open sheet. The table automatically includes all the sheets in the sheet set. You can create a sheet list table from the sheet set level shortcut menu only when a sheet is open. Once a sheet list table is created, you also have options to edit, update, or delete the cell content of the table.
Note For access to shortcut menus in the drawing area that are needed for sheet list table operations, the Shortcut Menus in Drawing Area must be checked in the Options dialog box, User Preferences tab.
Create Callout Blocks and Label Blocks (Advanced)

If you create a block to be used as a callout block or label block in a sheet set, you can use a placeholder field to display information such as view title or sheet number. The callout or label block must be defined in a DWG or DWT file that is specified in the Sheet Set Properties dialog box. Later, you can insert the callout or label block from a shortcut menu on the Sheet Views tab in the Sheet Set Manager.

For the field to display the correct information about a view or sheets on which you later insert it, the field must be included within a block attribute, not text, when you define the block. To create the block attribute definition, insert a placeholder field as the value, select the Preset option, and specify a tag.

Note If you create your own label blocks and callout blocks, set any attribute definitions to Preset to avoid prompts when placing these blocks in a drawing.
For more information about fields, see Insert Fields.

Place a Sheet View (Advanced)

The Sheet Set Manager automates and enhances the process for adding views to a sheet. A view on a sheet, called a sheet view, consists of several coincident entities: an xref or geometry in model space, a layout viewport on a sheet, and a named view in paper space.

The sheet view can display model space from a different drawing file. In this case, that drawing is attached as an xref in your current drawing. The layers of that drawing file are displayed only in the sheet view that you create.
Note The xref is attached using a relative path. If you need to change the path to a fully specified (absolute) path, use the External References palette.
A layout viewport that displays the model space view is created on your current sheet.
A named view that encompasses the area of the layout viewport is created in paper space.
When you place a sheet view on a sheet, all the layers in the current drawing (including layer 0) are frozen in the new viewport created by the view. The layers are shown as frozen in the VP Freeze column of the Layer Properties Manager.

If you need to remove a sheet view from a sheet, you can delete the layout viewport to remove the view. However, to remove all unused items, you need to detach the xref and delete the named paper space view.

Note The easiest method for removing a sheet view immediately after placing it is to use UNDO.

Include Information with Sheets and Sheet Sets

Sheet sets, subsets, and sheets include several types of information. This information, called properties, includes titles, descriptions, file paths, and custom properties that you define.

Different Properties for Different Levels (Owners)

Sheet sets, subsets, and sheets represent different levels of organization, and each of these includes different types of properties. You specify the values for these properties when you create the sheet set, subset, or sheet.

In addition, you can define custom properties for a sheet and a sheet set. The values for custom properties for sheets are typically specific to each sheet. For example, a custom property for a sheet might include the name of the designer. The values for custom properties for a sheet set are typically specific to a project. For example, a custom property for a sheet set might include the contract number.

You cannot create custom properties for subsets.

View and Edit Properties

You can view and edit properties from the Sheet List tab by right-clicking the name of the sheet set, subset, or sheet. On the shortcut menu, click Properties. The properties and values that are displayed in the Properties dialog box depend on what you selected. You can edit the values of the properties by clicking a value.

Publish, Transmit, and Archive Sheet Sets

After you have organized drawings into a sheet set, you can publish, transmit, and archive the sheet set as a package.

Publish a sheet set: Use the Publish feature to output the sheet set to a plotter in either normal or reverse order. For more information, see Publish a Sheet Set. You can create single and multiple-sheet DWF or DWFx files from a sheet set or portion of a sheet set.
For information on DWF files, see Plot DWF Files.

For information on DWFx files, see Plot DWFx Files.

Set options for properties to include in a published DWF or DWFx file: You can decide what types of information to reveal in your published DWF or DWFx files. The types of metadata that you can include are sheet and sheet set properties, block properties and attributes, dynamic block properties and attributes, and properties contained in custom objects. Metadata is only included when you publish to DWF or DWFx; it is not available when plotting to DWF or DWFx.
Transmit a sheet set: Package and send a sheet set or a portion of a sheet set over the Internet. For more information, see Package a Set of Files for Internet Transmission.
Archive a sheet set: Package a sheet set or portion of a sheet set for storage. This is very similar to packaging a transmittal set, except that you specify a folder for the archive and you do not transmit the package. For more information, see the ARCHIVE command.
Use Page Setups

Page setups provide the settings that are used for publishing and plotting. When you create a sheet set, you specify a drawing template (DWT) file that contains one or more page setups for all new sheets. This DWT file is called the sheet creation template.

Another DWT file, called the page setup overrides file, contains page setups that can be specified to override the page setups in each sheet. You specify the page setup overrides file in the Sheet Set Properties dialog box.

When you publish a sheet set, you can use the page setups defined in each drawing file, you can use the page setup overrides for all drawing files, or you can publish to a DWF or DWFx file. For more information about page setups, see Use Named Page Setups with Sheet Sets.

Note With page setup overrides, you can use the PUBLISHCOLLATE system variable to control whether plotting a sheet set can be interrupted by other plot jobs or not.
Save a Selection of Sheets

You can select part of a sheet set for publishing and transmitting. On the Sheet List tab, you can select individual sheets using standard Microsoft® Windows® selection methods—press CTRL or SHIFT when you click items. You can specify all the sheets in a sheet subset by clicking the subset node.

You will likely need to perform operations on the same group of sheets in a sheet set repeatedly. To speed up selecting the sheets and to ensure that the same sheets are selected each time, you can use the Sheet Set Manager to reselect groups of sheets by name. These named groups of sheets are called sheet selections. You can create and manage sheet selections by using the Sheet Selections button at the top of the Sheet List tab.

Use Sheet Sets in a Team

You can use sheet sets in a team that can involve network access, Internet collaboration, and email transmittal. The team can also include people who use software that does not include Sheet Set Manager.

Work in a Team That Uses Sheet Set Manager

When you use sheet sets in a team, each member should have network access to the sheet set data (DST) file and the drawing template (DWT) files associated with the sheet set. Each team member can open the sheet set to load the sheet set information from the DST file into the Sheet Set Manager.

Any changes that any team member makes opens the DST file briefly and updates the information stored in that file. When the DST file is opened, a lock icon is displayed next to the sheet set name in the top left corner of the Sheet Set Manager.

A green dot in the lock icon indicates that the Sheet Set Manager session on your computer has temporarily locked the DST file.

A red dot indicates that the Sheet Set Manager session on a team member's computer has temporarily locked the DST file.

A yellow dot in the lock icon means that the sheet is in a special state; for example, its file properties may be set to Read-Only.

Other members of the team can automatically see changes to the sheet set in the Sheet Set Manager tree view.

If each member of the team has access to the sheet set DWT files, new drawing files and their sheets are created using the same drawing template file; page setups for these drawings are also standardized.

Note If two or more users access the same sheet files through different logical drives on a network, each will in turn be prompted to resave the sheet set using their own logical drive. To avoid unnecessary saving, users should map the same logical drives, if possible.
Status data for sheets in the current sheet set is also available to other team members. This status data is displayed in the tree view and indicates one of the following conditions:

The sheet is available for editing.

The sheet is locked.

The sheet is missing or found in an unexpected folder location.

The active sheets of other team members are automatically polled for status changes; the tree view is updated in your session of the Sheet Set Manager. The polling cycle skips the poll interval in your session when a command is active. To force a sheet status update, click Refresh Sheet Status on the Sheet List tab.

You can click any sheet to display more information in the Details area of the Sheet Set Manager.

Note A false lock icon may be displayed if there is a network problem or if the program terminates unexpectedly. If you suspect a problem, click the sheet to display more information.
Work in a Team That Does Not Use Sheet Set Manager

With some limitations, you can use sheet sets in a team with members who do not have network access, or do not have access to the Sheet Set Manager. These team members may be using AutoCAD LT or an older version of AutoCAD. In those circumstances, not all members of the team will have access to the DST file. However, relevant information from the DST file is stored (cached) in each drawing file, and sheet set information, such as custom properties, is preserved when the drawing file is shared by other team members.

After a member of the team changes information in the DST file, the information in several drawing files might need to be updated. With the sheet set open, update a sheet by opening and saving the sheet.

You can update all sheets in a sheet set automatically with the Resave All Sheets option in the sheet set shortcut menu. Drawing files saved in a previous DWG file format are saved without changing the format.

Note In a network environment, make sure that all drawing files used in the current sheet set that are opened by other users are closed before performing the Resave All Sheets operation.

Sheets are used to plot drawings of your building project. The sheet system in AutoCAD Architecture consists of these components:

Sheet: A sheet is a paper space layout that has been registered as a sheet. A sheet can contain one or more sheet views.
Sheet views: A sheet view is a paper space viewport created by dragging and dropping a model space view from the Project Navigator onto a sheet.

Model space view of plan detail

Sheet view placed on sheet

Sheet sets: A sheet set is a collection of sheets. Within the sheet set, sheets are organized in sheet subsets.
Sheet drawing: A sheet drawing is a drawing file containing one or more sheets.
Sheets, sheet subsets, sheet views, and sheet drawings are listed on the Sheets tabs of the Project Navigator.

Sheet with building plan view

Sheets and Sheet Drawings

The National CAD Standard (NCS) mandates that sheets should be stored in individual drawings, each with one sheet layout. The drawing name should be the sheet number in its sheet set. The AutoCAD Architecture Project Navigator follows this standard, so that each new sheet is placed in a new sheet drawing. You can, however, create multiple sheets in one sheet drawing, if necessary. For more information, see Importing the Current Layout as a Sheet.

Sheets and Annotation

Although it is recommended that annotation be placed in a view, you can add annotation, dimensions, and schedule tables in a view or a sheet, depending on your specific workflow and needs. Scheduling in AutoCAD Architecture makes it easy to add annotation in both views and sheets. For more information on annotating a project, see Annotating a Project.

Sheet Drawing Files

A sheet drawing is a DWG file. As opposed to other non-project drawing files, an XML file with the same name is created when you create a sheet drawing. The accompanying XML file contains information to connect the drawing file with the project.

NoteThe XML file is created and updated automatically. You do not need to edit it but be careful not to accidentally delete it in Windows Explorer.
Sheets and sheet views are contained within sheet drawings. There are no corresponding XML files for individual sheets or sheet views.

Sheet Categories and Subsets

Sheets are organized in 2 different methods. In the Explorer View, sheet drawings are placed in category folders. When you create sheets or sheet views within a sheet drawing, they are placed in the host sheet drawing.

Sheet tab with Sheet Set View of project (left) and Explorer View (right)

In the Sheet Set view, sheets are organized in sheet subsets. Sheet subsets are a logical structure rather than a physical one. This means that the sheet and subset organization may not reflect the drawing file organization on disk. You can logically rearrange sheets into a different subset within the Sheet Set View, but that will not change their physical location in the category or folder. The sheet category folder does not need to be identical to the sheet subset in which the sheet is placed. However, to avoid confusion, it is recommended to have parallel structures in the sheet set and the sheet categories. When you remove a sheet from a sheet subset in the Sheet Set view, only the reference to the sheet in the subset is removed; the layout itself and its containing sheet drawing are not deleted from the Sheets folder or subfolder. For more information, see Sheets.

Update Sheet List Table and Edit Sheet List Table Settings

via Between the Lines:

Some have asked about how to update or edit a Sheet List Table. It all depends on where you click on the Sheet List Table. Sometimes it is found when you right-click and sometimes it is not there.

Update Sheet List Table and Edit Sheet List Table Settings Dialog Box is possible to open by selecting any cell in the Sheet List Table except the Title cell (you cannot have the whole Table, a column or row selected), then right-click to open the shortcut menu, find Sheet List Table and click on either Update Sheet List Table or Edit Sheet List Table Settings.
If you still don’t find these menu options, it might be that you have moved the table from Paper Space to Model Space. It is not possible to insert a Sheet List Table in Model Space but it can be moved there using CHSPACE.

Want to do more than Sheet Set Manager can do? See SSMPropEditor.

If you want to create Sheet Sets and their properties in an automated manner take a look at our JTB Sheet Set Creator.

More Sheet Set Manager resources:


 
© 2001-2014 JTB World. All rights reserved.