An Introduction to AutoCAD Sheet Set

AutoCAD Sheet set manager is just like any normal palette of AutoCAD but it also has very powerful features in it.

With the help of Sheet Set, you can organize layouts of your project in meaningful subsets. You can plot multiple sheets or entire project files with just a few clicks and with consistent page setup. You can plot layouts with override templates that can have different page setup too.

A typical sheet set Manager palette looks like the image 1 shown below.

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Fig 1 – Sheet set Manager palette

Sheet set manager can be used to organize layouts, drawing views and other project related information in meaningful categories called subsets. Each subset of the palette can have project layouts related to a particular discipline.

Using sheet set you can also reduce dependency on windows explorer or other third party tools for file management and it can be used even when you have hundreds of layouts or drawings to manage.

Creating sheet set from scratch:

If your drawing is in model view then you need to prepare layouts from that for using in the sheet set. Before creating layout views it is also advisable to make title block, label and callout blocks with fields and attributes that can be used to build intelligence in the layouts and for cross-referencing data.

For this case, I will assume that you have already prepared a set of layouts containing title block and views and you have all of these layouts in a single folder on local or network drive. For this example, I have placed all of my layout drawings in the SheetSet folder on the desktop.

Now open a blank drawing and type SSM on the command line and press enter. Sheet Set Manger palette will open, click on the drop-down menu at the top of this palette and select New Sheet Set from the list. Select Existing drawings radio button from Create sheet set wizard and click on next.

Enter the name of your sheet set in the Name Field and also a description if you want, I am naming it as Example Sheet. Click on the box next to Store Sheet set file field and specify the folder where you want to save this sheet set file, I am specifying the SheetSet folder of the desktop for saving Sheet set file.

The sheet set file is saved with DST extension and it contains all the information related to your sheet set.

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Now click on Sheet Set Properties button as shown in the image above. Specify Project number and Project name in Project Control panel of Properties palette and click OK then click Next.

Now click on browse and add the SheetSet folder containing all layout views to it. You will see a list of all drawings with layout views in a hierarchical order.

Uncheck the layouts which you don’t want to include in the sheet set and click Next then click Finish. The sheet set will be created and a list of all layouts will be populated in the sheet Set Manager palette.

Creating Subsets:

Currently, you will see a list of all layouts in the Sheet List tab, you can organize these layouts in subsets. To make a subset right click on the Sheet set name and select New Subset from the contextual menu. Specify the name of the new subset and click OK.

You can now move layouts under the subset by selecting them and moving then under the subset by simple drag and drop. You can select and move multiple layouts by pressing CTRL key as well.

Sheet creation templates:

You can specify some properties to the Sheet Set like a default template and override template, when a new sheet is created in the Sheet Set Manager it will take the properties from the assigned template.

To set the default Sheet Set template select the sheet set then right click and select properties from the contextual menu. Locate the Sheet creation template option and specify the template which you want to use.

You can also assign the Page setup override template in the Sheet Set panel of properties palette as shown in the image below.

AutoCAD sheet set

Publishing Sheet Set:

To Plot all of these layouts select the sheet set then right click and select Publish then publish to Dwfx, pdf, Physical plotter or any other format which you require. You can also publish layouts selectively, for that select the layouts which you want to publish using CTRL key then right click and select Publish option.

Getting more from Sheet set:

There are more great features of this tool which you can explore in this AutoCAD Sheet Set course from Pluralsight.

If you have questions related to this article let me know in the comments below.

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