Novedge Webinar #67: Q&A with Brian Benton

April 02, 2013 4 min read

Brian Benton delivered a great webinar on AutoCAD Sheets for Project Management and many of you had questions for him. Here are his answers to those questions that couldn't be answered during the live Q&A session.

Q: How do you add a sheet to the Sheet Set?
A: With the Sheet Set open, click, hold, and drag a Paper Space Tab for the file you want to add and drop it into the Sheet Set you want to add it to.  You have to have the file opened and it must be current.  The Sheet Set you want it in must be opened and current.  A second method is right-click on the current sheet set and click on the Insert Sheet option.  Browse to the file and select the paper space tab you want to insert.

Q: What is the difference between the sheet view tab and model view tab?
A: Both tabs reference saved named views in files.  You can save a named view in a file and list it here.  Clicking on the saved view in the Sheet Set Manager will open that file and zoom to that view.  Model Views are for views in model space.  Sheet Views are for views in Paper Space.

Q: Can you import excel data into sheet set?
A: No. You have to enter Sheet Set data manually.

Q: Do sheet sets work with AutoCAD WS, ADT, and MEP?
A:  They work the same way in all AutoCAD Verticals.  AutoCAD WS cannot handle Sheet Sets, but if you upload your file (that was using Sheet Sets) to AutoCAD WS it will bring the current Sheet Set data with it in the mobile platform.

Q: Is there a way to automate the updating of the Sheet Index after it's generated and new sheets are added, or they are rearranged, renumbered, etc.? Currently, the only way I know is to select the Index, rt-click and select to update the data links.
A: Yes. The command is "datalinkupdate".  Add it to your acad.lsp or acaddoc.lsp file like this:

(COMMAND "datalinkupdate" "u" "k")  

When AutoCAD opens a file it will run this script and will automatically update the data links.

Q: Does Sheet Set only work for Paperspace? Will it also work for model space?
A: It only works for Paper Space and you can only assign a tab to one Sheet Set file at a time.  A Tab can not belong to more than one Sheet Set.  If you have a model space file that you want to add to your Sheet Set (I do this with area base files) create a paper space tab for it anyway and add that tab to the sheet set.

Q: Can we use SSM with a file document manager where we check drawings in and out? When
checking in files they are removed from our local drives.
A:  I do not know about third party Document Managers, but it will work with Autodesk Vault.

Q: Will renaming the Path to the drawings mean destroying the link in Sheet Set?
A:  Yes.  Sheet Sets are path dependent.  If the path or file name changes you can repath the drawing by right-clicking it in the SSM and changing the path that is saved in the properties option.

Q: Can I export Data-information from Sheet Set to an Excel document ?
A:  No.  If you have created a Sheet List Table it can be extracted to a spread sheet.

Q: What about a link between Data-information of Sheet Set and BIM database?
A:  No.  Sheet Sets can’t link to other data bases.

Q: Looks like Sheet Set acts similarly to Autodesk Inventor project files or are they different?How?
A:  They are similar but are limited to simple data and file references.

Q: re: SheetSetPlaceholder and ViewportScale placeholder type — I can automatically display the
viewport scale within a View Label block, but cannot control the format. AutoCAD has 7 built in
formats for viewportScale, but none are the one I need. I also tried copy/pasting the field expression into the "formula" field, but the block then returns "####". Is there any way to customize the viewport Scale format? Is there a "trick" to getting the formula field to work? Thanks.
A: I have also struggled to get the formula field to work in a block.  I have also had little luck with place holders.  I have set up my template file (.DWT) and the Sheet Set file I use as a template Sheet Set file to work.  My DWT file looks at my default DST file.  I don’t use placeholders.  This tends to work more often than not for me.

Q: Please note that dragging a layout tab into the SSM does not work if the SSM is docked.
A:  I learned something from this.  I did not know that but I tested it and you are correct.  It will not drag and drop the drawing unless the SSM is undocked. I typically don’t dock my SSM so I have never run into this issue.  Autodesk, please fix this.

Q: I recommend SSM Properties Editor by JTB World for extra SSM editing power.
A:  JTB World produces quality products and is one of my favorite CAD based websites.  I have not tried this product myself but it has been recommended to me several times.

Q: What is the limit of sheets you can have in a sheet?
A:  I do not know if there is a limit.  I have not reached it yet.  Right now I have a Sheet Set open that has about 50 drawings and 7 subsets.  So it will handle at least 50.  I apologize for not having a more definite answer.

Q: When two people are using two different sheets in the same sheet set and one is xref'd into the other, how do they affect each other?
A:  They affect each other no differently than if they were not in a Sheet Set.  The rules of xref’s govern their behavior.

Q: Can you have custom fields in subsets?
A: No but that would be a great idea.  Autodesk please make this happen.


Looking for more webinars? Check the complete series on our website.

And don't forget to visit Brian Benton's CAD-a-Blog and to get his full training program.


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