Architects use sheet sets all the time to pull together the many required drawings into one package. Other disciplines use them less often, but if you need to deliver a number of drawings together, they can help you organize and maintain them.
Sheet sets have a reputation for being complicated and they are, if you use all of the features. But you can create a simple sheet set easily and you may find that they help you out a lot. For example, you can do the following with a sheet set:
- Number them
- Plot and publish them
- Open them
- eTransmit them
- ZIP them
A sheet set is a DST file that contains the properties of the sheet set. You start with drawings that have model space content; these are your resource drawings. One layout for each drawing becomes the sheet in the sheet set. Therefore, a sheet set is a collection of layouts, one for each drawing.
Follow these steps to create a simple sheet set:
- In a folder where you normally save drawings, create a new subfolder and name it so that you’ll recognize the drawings that will be in the sheet set.
- Create your drawings as normal and save them in the new folder. For easiest workflow, don’t put any other drawings in that folder.
- Start a new drawing, because you need an open drawing to create a sheet set.
- Choose View tab> Palettes panel> Sheet Set Manager or press Ctrl+4.
- From the drop-down list at the top of the Sheet Set Manager (SSM), choose New Sheet Set to open the Create Sheet Set wizard.
- Choose the Existing Drawings option and click Next.
- Enter a name for the sheet set and a description. Notice that there’s a default location for the sheet set, which is a DST file. This will probably be in Documents\AutoCAD Sheet Sets. Use the default, or click the Ellipsis button to browse to another location that you want to use, and click Open. Click Next.
- On the Choose Layouts page, click Browse, navigate to the folder where you saved the drawings for the sheet set, and click OK. You see the folder listed with a checked check mark. Click Next.
- You now see a preview of the sheet set’s properties, including its name and location. Click Finish. You should see your new sheet set listed in the SSM on the Sheet List tab.
- Click the Model Views tab of the SSM. Double-click the Add New Location text.
- In the Browse for Folder dialog box, navigate to the folder containing the subfolder that has your drawings. Chose the folder and click Open. You are designating a folder location for the drawings that the sheet set will use.
- If you haven’t already done so, you should create a layout that displays what you want to plot. To do so, on the Model Views tab, expand the folder if necessary. Then double-click the first drawing to open it. One task that the sheet set feature makes easy is opening multiple, related drawings.
- Each drawing needs to have a saved layout. Click the Layout button on the status bar, or click the layout tab. (The SSM works best when you have only one layout per drawing.) Create the viewport(s) and views that you want, and save the drawing.
- Do the same for all of the drawings.
- Click the Sheet List tab. Now, you can add layouts as sheets in your sheet set. Right-click the name of the sheet set and choose Import Layout as Sheet. In the Import Layouts as Sheets dialog box, click Browse for Drawings. Choose the drawings you saved in the subfolder (click the first, press Shift, and click the last) and click Open. Click Import Checked to return to the SSM. Congratulations! You now have a sheet set.
- To give the sheets numbers, right-click any sheet, and choose Rename & Renumber. You can then drag them on the Sheet List tab to reorder them.
- To plot the sheets, select them on the Sheet List tab, click the Publish button’s down arrow, and choose Publish to Plotter.
- To eTransmit them, right-click the name of the sheet set and choose eTransmit.
- To ZIP them, right-click the name of the sheet set and choose Archive.
Throughout these steps, you’ll see various settings that I didn’t mention. Investigate them to get the exact results that you want. To specify properties for the entire sheet set, right-click its name on the Sheet List tab and choose Properties.
The advanced features of sheet sets help you to automatically number and annotate text in title blocks, callout blocks, and label blocks.