Sheet Set Manager
On my blog there is
Sheet Set Manager is available in AutoCAD and also
in AutoCAD LT from version 2012.
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
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
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.
Creates a new sheet set
Opens a selected sheet set
Opens the Sheet Set Manager
Closes the Sheet Set Manager
Displays the sheet set path and file name if a search for a sheet set is
Controls whether the sheet set associated with a drawing is located and opened
when the drawing is opened
Controls the display behavior of the Sheet Set Manager when a drawing associated
with a sheet is opened
Controls whether plotting a sheet set, multi-sheet plot file, or plot spool file
can be interrupted by other plot jobs
Controls how the status data in a sheet set is refreshed
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
A named view that encompasses the area of the layout viewport is created in
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
More Sheet Set Manager resources: