Author Topic: Layouts!! (?)  (Read 7462 times)

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craigr

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Layouts!! (?)
« on: July 27, 2007, 11:26:54 AM »
I have seen layout tabs used as different paper sizes in CAD files from other companies. We usually print to either 11x17 or Letter size, so I have made macros that do this & have never bothered to learn about Layout Tabs.

We have always had seperate files for every page of a set of dwgs. I opened a CAD file from another company and they have a 10 page set of dwgs in ONE CAD file, a Layout Tab for every page.

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking this might be something to look into.

I have a couple of questions up front though that I figure some of you may be able to answer -

What are the advantages / dissadvantages of having all of your dwg pages in ONE CAD file?
Is there a limit to the number of Layout Tabs in one CAD file?
Is there a way to plot all tabs in order from AutoCad? - (We use Multibatch to print a set of dwgs).

I'll stop here until I decide if this is worth learning about.

As always, thanks in advance,
craigr

deegeecees

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2007, 11:47:28 AM »
Quote
What are the advantages / dissadvantages of having all of your dwg pages in ONE CAD file?
There are advantages for 3D geometry, but it depends on what discipline/standards are for your companies needs.

Quote
Is there a limit to the number of Layout Tabs in one CAD file?
255

Quote
Is there a way to plot all tabs in order from AutoCad? - (We use Multibatch to print a set of dwgs).
Try CABs' PlotTabs routine, it's just what you need.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 12:07:36 PM »
Quote
What are the advantages / dissadvantages of having all of your dwg pages in ONE CAD file?
There are advantages for 3D geometry, but it depends on what discipline/standards are for your companies needs.

I use 3d and limit my files to one layout per file.  I like the organization better that way.  I use xrefs to make up for what you gain, I imagine.... actually I don't even have any model inside my sheet files.  I keep model files seperate and xref them into dwg's that are meant to be plotted.  S-01 will actually not have any  model in it, but rather will have (X-Model.dwg) xref'd into it.  I also split up my models into multiple files at times, for organization on larger projects.

Quote
Is there a limit to the number of Layout Tabs in one CAD file?
255

Quote
Is there a way to plot all tabs in order from AutoCad? - (We use Multibatch to print a set of dwgs).
Try CABs' PlotTabs routine, it's just what you need.

You can also use the regular Publish command to print all tabs and in all open files, and organize them before sending the plot.

I personally used to do multiple layouts per file, but found it to be a big confusion.

I first tried just having a file named after the job "Eraste Landry Medical Complex" or what not... and would have all tabs named after sheet name.
-I didn't like this because only one person could work on it at a time, and the file size was huge.

I then tried having a file called "Architectural" "Structural" "Specifications" "Civil" and so on... having all A-series sheets in the architectural, and so on...
-Ran into the same problems but to a lesser extent, and it was a pain organizing xrefs.  If I xref the architectural into the structural, I have the whole elevations, sections, details, roof plans, wall sections, blah blah blah, to try and xclip away... just a hassle.

I then split back into using one layout per file.  All organization is fast and convenient.  No confusion is created.  Xref's are easy, convenient, precise, and quickly maintained.  File sizes are nominal.  If a project is gettin' hot, 3 of us can tackle a different sheet at a time and get it done 3 times faster.

I find plotting to be equal all around for the tools we use to plot.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 12:08:44 PM by Josh Nieman »

Jeff_M

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2007, 12:09:15 PM »
And, as always, it's a matter of a combination of opinion, work style, number of users that work on the project, and other things.

In my office, generally only one person works on any project at a time. So we can easily use 1 drawing file for a complete set of plans. Our typical Plan set is 8-20 sheets, so our files will have 8-20 layouts.

A downside to this is file corruption. If you manage to mangle your drawing so it is no longer usable you lose everything, so a good backup system is mandatory (one always is, but this method takes it to another level, IMHO). But in the 7 years we've been doing it this way we haven't lost 1 drawing.

And after working this way for so long, I find it a real pain to work on a project that is split up 1 sheet per drawing. Especially since the LDT verticals only allow 1 drawing per session to be open.

deegeecees

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2007, 12:14:03 PM »
^^^^ all that n then sum.

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2007, 12:57:56 PM »
If you're doing 2D work where every sheet is stand alone, it can limit the number of people working the package at one time.  So if a change occurs and you have to replicate that change over six or ten different drawings, only one designer can be employed if all the sheets are in one file.  That's the ONLY real draw-back I've found with multi-sheet files.

Advantages are numerous, (too numerous to mention for 3D work).  A primary advantage for drawings is for drawings that span several sheets (matchlined).  You have one "plan" in modelspace, and viewports in multiple layout tabs viewing the one "plan.  Changing one element in the one model changes it in all viewports.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2007, 12:59:16 PM »
Advantages are numerous, (too numerous to mention for 3D work).  A primary advantage for drawings is for drawings that span several sheets (matchlined).  You have one "plan" in modelspace, and viewports in multiple layout tabs viewing the one "plan.  Changing one element in the one model changes it in all viewports.

xrefs?

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2007, 01:05:32 PM »
A downside to this is file corruption.
This is one reason that ALWAYS comes up in a discussion of multiple sheet files, but is it really a problem??  How many files do you have corrupted beyond repair in a year? We build thousands of files a year and have for some time and I can count on one hand the ones that have been corrupted beyond repair in the last ten years (well since R13C1).  Even in those cases, the backup was never more than a day old, so "lost everything" means eight to twelve hours work.

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2007, 01:13:06 PM »
Advantages are numerous, (too numerous to mention for 3D work).  A primary advantage for drawings is for drawings that span several sheets (matchlined).  You have one "plan" in modelspace, and viewports in multiple layout tabs viewing the one "plan.  Changing one element in the one model changes it in all viewports.

xrefs?
Use 'em a lot, what about 'em? If you mean "instead" of multiple sheets, that is IMO, a poorer choice that leads to a multiplicity of effort, especially if you annotate in PS (where it belongs).  Updating the "model" requires a reload of that model in EVERY file to which it is referenced.

deegeecees

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2007, 01:23:45 PM »
xrefs?

Disadvantage:
You can't use "Solprof" on an xref. Least not in '04.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2007, 01:24:36 PM »
Advantages are numerous, (too numerous to mention for 3D work).  A primary advantage for drawings is for drawings that span several sheets (matchlined).  You have one "plan" in modelspace, and viewports in multiple layout tabs viewing the one "plan.  Changing one element in the one model changes it in all viewports.

xrefs?
Use 'em a lot, what about 'em? If you mean "instead" of multiple sheets, that is IMO, a poorer choice that leads to a multiplicity of effort, especially if you annotate in PS (where it belongs).  Updating the "model" requires a reload of that model in EVERY file to which it is referenced.

yea, but that takes very little effort at all.  We practice our methods in a way very similar to yours from what I've read, but we make sure we keep one layout per sheet, and that's it.  There is absolutely no loss of efficiency (and actually a gain in some circumstances) by using one layout per drawing.

The main issue there is when you want more than one person to work on a project.  This include matchlined drawings.  I've actually come into a scenario where both me and my boss are working on annotating the floor plan and construction plans (all off one model, but it's xref'd into each sheet) whereas if each piece that matchlined into another was in one drawing, I'd have been on my own.

Reloading xref's is such a miniscule problem, imo.  There's a bubble that tells you it needs reloading (if you don't turn it off) and if you do, there's an icon that will tell you so as well (that is admittedly easily overlooked, but if you're working with xref's it's user negligence to ignore it)  that's all aside from the simple process of hitting "xr" then rclick xref, reload... whenever it may be necessary.  Or command line, reload em all.  Whatever floats the boat.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2007, 01:25:54 PM »
xrefs?

Disadvantage:
You can't use "Solprof" on an xref. Least not in '04.

uh oh... put your Randy deflectors on.

I don't use solprof though.  I used to and that was a big hinderance for me at one time, but I overcame it by improving changing my ways to make a seperate 2d static portrayal obsolete.

deegeecees

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2007, 01:39:19 PM »
Yeah, I hear ya. The one thing I use "Solprof" for is when creating proposals. Clipping planes just don't work like I'd like em to, and I need to make clear what the intent is without a bunch of clutter. And besides, I'm the only one here, so I can do whatever the heck I want. Nyaaaa!

 :-)

craigr

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2007, 02:11:00 PM »
Thanks for all of the responses, I knew I could count on you folks.

From what I have heard, I don't think we will switch to putting all pages on tabs within one dwg.

Probably the biggest thing that I didn't think about is the 2 people working on a different page of the same set of dwgs. The next thing is the lack of being able to print all tabs without the prg'ing(?) mentioned above. Another thing that comes to mind is the rev's part - We include the Rev number at the end of our file name. We often update only one page of a set of dwgs, using the tabs would make it difficult to retain old revs of a dwg - which is required for some customers.

Thanks again for all of your responses,
craigr

Jeff_M

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2007, 02:13:08 PM »
A downside to this is file corruption.
This is one reason that ALWAYS comes up in a discussion of multiple sheet files, but is it really a problem??  How many files do you have corrupted beyond repair in a year?
From the same paragraph you took that quote from:
Quote from: Me
But in the 7 years we've been doing it this way we haven't lost 1 drawing.
I threw it out there because it CAN happen. Especially if the vertical product is Civil3D.....many reports of munged drawings with C3D, I happen to have had just one. *knocks on wood* Which was a test project.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2007, 02:35:51 PM »
Yeah, I hear ya. The one thing I use "Solprof" for is when creating proposals. Clipping planes just don't work like I'd like em to, and I need to make clear what the intent is without a bunch of clutter. And besides, I'm the only one here, so I can do whatever the heck I want. Nyaaaa!

 :-)

Being the only one there is a big advantage, eliminating the need to make sure others can follow what's going on!

Clipping planes has it's limits, that's for sure, I'll admit.  After working with both Solprof and 3dclip for a while... I find that the flaws in solprof I didnt like (aside from the making linework seperate from the model issue) were just as numerous as the issues I come across with 3dclip.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2007, 02:37:11 PM »
Thanks for all of the responses, I knew I could count on you folks.

From what I have heard, I don't think we will switch to putting all pages on tabs within one dwg.

Probably the biggest thing that I didn't think about is the 2 people working on a different page of the same set of dwgs. The next thing is the lack of being able to print all tabs without the prg'ing(?) mentioned above. Another thing that comes to mind is the rev's part - We include the Rev number at the end of our file name. We often update only one page of a set of dwgs, using the tabs would make it difficult to retain old revs of a dwg - which is required for some customers.

Thanks again for all of your responses,
craigr

Look up "publish" in the help file.. it's a standard command.  I am pretty sure it's in LT, but can't verify.  Publish prints all tabs in all open drawings, you can add/remove/reorder all plots and send it as a single job or seperate jobs to the printer.

deegeecees

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2007, 02:44:58 PM »
Being the only one there is a big advantage...

It's probably one of the worst things about my job. I think I need to start a new thread in the Vent...

craigr

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2007, 02:53:45 PM »
Look up "publish" in the help file.. it's a standard command.  I am pretty sure it's in LT, but can't verify.  Publish prints all tabs in all open drawings, you can add/remove/reorder all plots and send it as a single job or seperate jobs to the printer.

I found the publish area but the only option is to publish to .dwf, not to a printer.

craigr

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2007, 03:06:26 PM »
Look up "publish" in the help file.. it's a standard command.  I am pretty sure it's in LT, but can't verify.  Publish prints all tabs in all open drawings, you can add/remove/reorder all plots and send it as a single job or seperate jobs to the printer.

I found the publish area but the only option is to publish to .dwf, not to a printer.

craigr

type publish at the command line.

Beneath the list of things to be plotted, there is a section called "Publish to" where you have two radio button selections to choose from... "Plotter named in page setup" or "DWF File"

Pick the page setup one... then you can specify, in the middle column, what page setup to use to plot.

craigr

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2007, 03:16:53 PM »
type publish at the command line.

Beneath the list of things to be plotted, there is a section called "Publish to" where you have two radio button selections to choose from... "Plotter named in page setup" or "DWF File"

Pick the page setup one... then you can specify, in the middle column, what page setup to use to plot.

"Plotter named in page setup" must not be available in LT.

There is that 'LT' problem again.

Thanks anyway,
craigr

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2007, 03:26:55 PM »
type publish at the command line.

Beneath the list of things to be plotted, there is a section called "Publish to" where you have two radio button selections to choose from... "Plotter named in page setup" or "DWF File"

Pick the page setup one... then you can specify, in the middle column, what page setup to use to plot.

"Plotter named in page setup" must not be available in LT.

There is that 'LT' problem again.

Thanks anyway,
craigr

just to double check:

craigr

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2007, 03:29:28 PM »
Nope. That part is missing on mine.

craigr

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2007, 06:07:56 PM »
xrefs?

Disadvantage:
You can't use "Solprof" on an xref. Least not in '04.
AAAACCCKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhh just go ahead and explode all the blocks and dims in the drawing while you're at it.

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2007, 06:16:19 PM »
yea, but that takes very little effort at all. 
There is absolutely no loss of efficiency (and actually a gain in some circumstances) by using one layout per drawing.
I have a single structure package with twenty-three drawings, to do the final clean up on the file prior to issue will require all twenty-three files open at the same time to quickly move from one to the other and an XREF reload each time the model changes.  That's a LOT more effort than I care to do.  What efficiency gain could offset that hairball?

The main issue there is when you want more than one person to work on a project.  This include matchlined drawings.  I've actually come into a scenario where both me and my boss are working on annotating the floor plan and construction plans (all off one model, but it's xref'd into each sheet) whereas if each piece that matchlined into another was in one drawing, I'd have been on my own.
Look closer at the efficiencies there.  Quickly replicating a change across several drawings in a single file can more than offset two designers making simliar changes to two different files.

Reloading xref's is such a miniscule problem, imo.  There's a bubble that tells you it needs reloading (if you don't turn it off) and if you do, there's an icon that will tell you so as well (that is admittedly easily overlooked, but if you're working with xref's it's user negligence to ignore it)  that's all aside from the simple process of hitting "xr" then rclick xref, reload... whenever it may be necessary.  Or command line, reload em all.  Whatever floats the boat.
And that takes time, especially twenty-three times.

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2007, 06:19:58 PM »
Yeah, I hear ya. The one thing I use "Solprof" for is when creating proposals. Clipping planes just don't work like I'd like em to, and I need to make clear what the intent is without a bunch of clutter. And besides, I'm the only one here, so I can do whatever the heck I want. Nyaaaa!
Where'd the "clutter come from???

Try THIS

Kate M

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2007, 01:15:26 PM »
Nope. That part is missing on mine.

craigr

Y'know, I understand why they left a lot out of LT that they did, but some stuff just makes you say "Huh?" :|

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2007, 05:33:11 PM »
Nope. That part is missing on mine.

craigr

Y'know, I understand why they left a lot out of LT that they did, but some stuff just makes you say "Huh?" :|
There is a reason it is a LOT cheaper.

Josh Nieman

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2007, 05:53:41 PM »
Nope. That part is missing on mine.

craigr

Y'know, I understand why they left a lot out of LT that they did, but some stuff just makes you say "Huh?" :|

Yea, I don't think it was a case of crippling a command, in this case, so much as it was promoting DWFs.

Publish in it's entirety was probably something to be left out to trim the fat, whereas DWFs was a huge thing they want to make sure everyone knows about, and thus trimming the publish command to be only DWF is an efficient way to do so.

Thank god I don't have LT, that's for sure!

Guest

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2007, 08:32:26 AM »
Is anyone out there using Sheet Set Manager to do their plotting?  You can either have the drawings plot using the default page setup or select a page setup override.  For instance; Let's say your default page setup plots to a PLT file.  You can have multiple page setup overrides that would send the drawings to an 11x17 sheet (scaled down), a PDF file, or anything else you want to set up.  I've found that to be MUCH easier than using the straight PUBLISH command.

In the image below, I can quickly create PLTs for 79 files with a simple click of the mouse using the default page setup.

hudster

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2007, 08:51:44 AM »
If you're doing 2D work where every sheet is stand alone, it can limit the number of people working the package at one time.  So if a change occurs and you have to replicate that change over six or ten different drawings, only one designer can be employed if all the sheets are in one file.  That's the ONLY real draw-back I've found with multi-sheet files.

You could Xref your final layouts into one drawing and have a different layout for each one.
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craigr

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2007, 11:37:55 AM »
There is a reason it is a LOT cheaper.

I've got a feeling that the 'higher ups' are thinking about switching to Visio :cry: :cry:

Our IT guy and a couple of others think it may be easier / better for what we do. - Cheaper?

I hope not, I like working here.

craigr

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2007, 12:46:03 PM »
If you're doing 2D work where every sheet is stand alone, it can limit the number of people working the package at one time.  So if a change occurs and you have to replicate that change over six or ten different drawings, only one designer can be employed if all the sheets are in one file.  That's the ONLY real draw-back I've found with multi-sheet files.

You could Xref your final layouts into one drawing and have a different layout for each one.
Only model space entities xref.

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2007, 12:47:44 PM »
There is a reason it is a LOT cheaper.

I've got a feeling that the 'higher ups' are thinking about switching to Visio :cry: :cry:

Our IT guy and a couple of others think it may be easier / better for what we do. - Cheaper?

I hope not, I like working here.

craigr
wha??  What do you guys draw that would be "better" in Visio fer Pete's sake??  org charts??

craigr

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2007, 12:51:59 PM »
I don't see anything but MUCH longer time in producing dwgs in Visio, but I doubt they would see that.

They are going to just look at the overall purchase price of the software.

craigr

ronjonp

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2007, 03:51:26 PM »
Is anyone out there using Sheet Set Manager to do their plotting?  You can either have the drawings plot using the default page setup or select a page setup override.  For instance; Let's say your default page setup plots to a PLT file.  You can have multiple page setup overrides that would send the drawings to an 11x17 sheet (scaled down), a PDF file, or anything else you want to set up.  I've found that to be MUCH easier than using the straight PUBLISH command.

In the image below, I can quickly create PLTs for 79 files with a simple click of the mouse using the default page setup.

IMO Pagesetup overrides with SSM are the only way to go  :-). Glad to hear someone else out there plots this way as well.

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ELOQUINTET

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2007, 08:42:43 PM »
gosh i can't imagine not using layouts and took a look at this topic mostly out of shock that someone is not using them and was even more shocked to see so many people not using them. i can understand many of your reasons for not using them but for me it was a no brainer. I've been using layouts since they came about and wouldn't consider having a drawings per sheet. a few things for me make this a no brainer. 1 i usually work on projects by myself and if others are working with me we are working on parts that don't bleed into one another enough to cross paths often. our jobs are not huge and we usually split a job by disciplines. our drawings usually consist of a plan/schedule drawing, an elevation drawing (this drawing may be xrefed in the plan dwg), a details drawing and various wiring diagrams. we have multiple layout tabs in each of these drawings but rarely more than 10 for any. we have many lisp routines which work across multiple layout tabs thanks to the guys here at the swamp which make making global changes a snap. i don't know how many of you juggle so many files. i know it's dangerous putting all your eggs in one basket but as someone said earlier that's why you have a backup and really it's pretty rare i ever have any problem. i think whether or not you should use layouts or not ultimately depends on what type of drawings you do. i can only hope that you never send me one of your jobs  :lmao:

Cabs61

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2007, 09:54:30 PM »
Hi.. Newbie alert... Don't pillory me.  :wink:

I could not imagine working without layouts in my drawings. Been doing it that way since about 2000 or so.

Currently I'm spec'ing kitchens and bathrooms. I generate all my geometry as true 3D objects in modelspace. I can 3dorbit all I want and see where the problems might arise.

By using multiple layouts in the same drawing I can reference to that model and be sure everything except dimensions updates when I change the model. (I use transpatial dimensioning). Everything remains consistent. No risk of duplication errors. I sometimes have 15 - 20 layouts in a single drawing. All titleblocks are from the same xref with appropriate fields set to various system variables.

Just my 2 cents...

Cabs61

Kate M

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2007, 09:26:45 PM »
Nope. That part is missing on mine.

craigr

Y'know, I understand why they left a lot out of LT that they did, but some stuff just makes you say "Huh?" :|
There is a reason it is a LOT cheaper.

Yeah, but there are logical things they left out to make it cheaper (3D, programming), and less-logical (imagaeattach).

Shinyhead

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2007, 10:01:42 AM »
type publish at the command line.

Beneath the list of things to be plotted, there is a section called "Publish to" where you have two radio button selections to choose from... "Plotter named in page setup" or "DWF File"

Pick the page setup one... then you can specify, in the middle column, what page setup to use to plot.

"Plotter named in page setup" must not be available in LT.

There is that 'LT' problem again.

Thanks anyway,
craigr

If you are using LT08 (not sure about prior LT versions) you can actually get that by right clicking a layout tab and selecting all layouts. Then right clicking again and "publish selected layouts" When publish comes up you will have the radio button available again.  Don't know why and it took a while to figure out, but it does work.

CADaver

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Re: Layouts!! (?)
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2007, 11:20:07 AM »
Nope. That part is missing on mine.
craigr
Y'know, I understand why they left a lot out of LT that they did, but some stuff just makes you say "Huh?" :|
There is a reason it is a LOT cheaper.
Yeah, but there are logical things they left out to make it cheaper (3D, programming), and less-logical (imagaeattach).
Some things were left out just to make it cheaper, other things were left out to make you re-consider buying the complete program.