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Creating New by Example Sheet Set

Creating New by Example Sheet Set

Welcome to part 3 of our deep-dive into AutoCAD Sheet Sets. In the last part, we explored creating new Sheet Sets to manage existing drawings. This is an excellent option obviously when you have drawings created outside a sheet set, yet you still want the options to manage them. This does limit the usefulness somewhat, as you are pulling together existing drawings which may or not be setup correctly to utilize the Sheet Set information to its fullest.

So, when you want to build a new Sheet Set, essentially starting the project .use the Example Sheet Set option. This uses the selected Sheet Set as the template to build the structure and default settings for the new sheet set. This does not copy any of the sheets from the existing Sheet Set, but once the new Set is created you can import layouts from any drawing.

Using the Wizard

Creating a new Sheet Set starts from the Sheet Set Manager. Using the drop-down select New Sheet Set…

AutoCAD-Sheet Set Manager-New Sheet Set

The first step of the wizard is selecting the Beginning” type. Wanting to create a new Sheet Set, not collecting existing drawings, select the An example sheet set option. Think of this as selecting the template for which the new set is based.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Example Sheet Set

The second step is selecting the desired Example Sheet Set. This can be from one of the provided Autodesk templates or by browsing and selecting any existing Sheet Set.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Sheet Set Example

The selected Example will set the default details and settings. Use the next step of the wizard to tweak and adjust the details (Name, Description, DST location) and properties. We’ll be exploring the properties in much more detail in upcoming posts.


When everything set you get one last chance to review the configuration. If satisfied, click Finish to generate your new Sheet Set.

AutoCAD Sheet Set New Confirm


Live and in Action


What’s Next? Using the Sheet Set Manager to be all it can be!




Feature Image Old Sheet Music Page by Renee

Creating New Sheet Sets (Collecting Existing Drawings)

Creating New Sheet Sets by Existing Drawings

Are you looking for project management tools within AutoCAD? Never fear, AutoCAD Sheet Sets are here! AutoCAD provides two methods for adding new Sheet Sets: Using an Example and Existing Drawings.

When you already have the drawings, there is little need to go through the rigmarole of defining the new set, building views, creating new sheets, adding the views to the sheets, etc, etc. Why would you? Especially considering you already have the sheets with the views!  However, just because you already have the drawings doesn’t mean you cannot use Sheet Sets to help manage these drawings.

The only catch is the drawings must be using Paper Space Layouts, AutoCAD will ignore drawings with no layouts.

Creating a New Sheet Set

The process starts from the Sheet Set Manager. From the main drop-down select New Sheet Set.  The first step is selecting the type. An example allows you to select an existing Sheet Set which is used as the template. When you have existing drawings and you don’t want to start from scratch, use the Existing drawings option.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-Manager-New Sheet Set

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set New Existing Drawings

Next, we set the Details. This includes the name, description, and location for the sheet set data (DST) file. The DST stores the details about the Sheet Set.

With the details set, select Sheet Set Properties to adjust the properties. This includes meta-data and also template type features including the View Lable blocks, Callout blocks, Model view, and other settings [We’ll be talking about these in much more depth in future articles].


Now, browse and select the folder or folders containing the drawings to add. Although all the drawings from the selected folders are added automatically you can deselect any drawing not required or wanted. The Import Options provide options to prefix the sheets and to create subsets automatically based on the folder structure.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set New Choose Layouts


The final step is reviewing the details before creating it. If satisfied with the settings click Finish.

AutoCAD-Sheet-Set-New Confirm


So the process of creating a new Sheet Set collecting existing drawings is very quick and easy. It provides a method to manage these existing drawings without requiring any changes to the drawings. Really, is there any reason why you shouldn’t be using Sheet Sets?



Feature Image “Sheet” by Jason Pratt.

The Five Reasons You Need to be Using AutoCAD Sheet Sets!

AutoCAD Sheet Sets

Autodesk introduced AutoCAD Sheet Sets a long time ago. In fact, it has been a feature within AutoCAD for 10-plus years. Sheet Sets provide project management type tools to manage a collection of drawings. They also provide a mechanism for multiple people to work on the same set of drawings, smartly, without tripping over each other.

This is our first in a series of posts looking at Sheet Sets. So we’ll start at the beginning with the key benefits of using Sheet Sets.

Project Organization

The Sheet Set Manager provides a project level view of the drawings, views, and other content that the sheet set manages.  Further to viewing the drawings you can organize the data into Subsets. Each Subset can be configured, meaning as you add a new drawing to the section it automatically uses the correct template. A Subset (and its sheets) can be quickly published or eTransitted.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Organization

  1. Subsets act as folders to group and organize the drawings contained within the Sheet Set.
  2. There is no limit to the number of drawings each Sheet Set can contain.
  3. Tabs provide separation between the different types of data the Sheet Set contains and manages.

As a palette, the Sheet Set Manager can be resized, docked, anchored, and set to auto-hide.  Only a limited set of buttons are available, most features are accessed via the right-click menu, making it very user intuitive.

Multi-User Support

The Sheet Set Manager lists properties about each sheet (drawing) contained within the Set. This includes file properties, a preview, AND who’s currently working on the drawing. Yes, this kicks ass, you know exactly who to bug about closing the drawing and giving you access!

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Manager Sheet Properties

Even a lock icon appears on the Sheet so that you can visually see that it is currently in use.

Smarter Blocks and Callouts

More than just tying blocks and attributes to properties within the drawing, with Sheet Sets you can access Sheet Set level property information. This includes the sheet set properties, the sheet number, the view number, and the number of pages. As the Sheet Set changes, so does the associative information.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Smart Callouts

Publish & Sharing

Use the Sheet Set Manager to quickly publish the Sheet Set, Subset, or a selection of drawings. This includes publishing to a plotter, to DWF, and to PDF. I love the AutoCAD Publish command, and this is based on it. However, this significantly streamlines the process as there is no browsing for drawings!

AutoCAD-Sheet Sets Manager Publish


Use the Sheet Set Manager to quickly archive the project. Relying on the pack-and-go features of eTransmit, Archiving collects all drawings and related information of the Sheet Set and quickly saves to the location you desire.

AutoCAD Sheet Sets Archive

See it in action!

So hopefully this wets your palate to learn more about Sheet Sets. As mentioned earlier, this is only the first in the series, so make sure to check out the others. Or are you ready fo

Or are you ready for the next one? Take a look at creating new Sheet Sets by collecting existing drawings.




Feature Image Piano Sheets by włodi

A closer look at the AutoCAD Region command

The AutoCAD Region command is a special kind of 2D object that has physical properties like centroid and moment of inertia that can be calculated using MASSPROP command. These geometries can also be converted into complex geometries with the help of Boolean operations Union, subtract and Intersect.

AutoCAD Regions can be created using closed objects with line, polyline, circle, arc, revision cloud, ellipse or spline. To create a Region, select the Region tool from the expanded Home tab on the Draw panel, then select all geometries forming a closed loop with which you want to create the region and press enter.

In a similar way you can create multiple regions for performing Boolean operations. To explain the Boolean operation with a region, I will use three regions created with a circle, rectangle and ellipse as shown in image below.

AutoCAD Region Circle, Ellipse, Rectangle


Using Union command you can merge all regions into a single unit in such a way that only extreme boundaries of all regions are retained and all internal boundaries are merged. To use this command type UNION at the command line, press enter, then select all three regions from drawing area and press enter again. The final region will look like this.

AutoCAD Region Union


Using the subtract command you can remove an overlapping part of one region from another. To use this command type SUBTRACT at the command line and press enter, then select the region from which you want to remove the geometries. In this case I am selecting the circle as my primary region, after selecting circle press enter, then select the ellipse and rectangle regions, ending by pressing enter again. In this case overlapping parts of the rectangle and ellipse are removed from the circular region giving it a shape which looks like geometry shown below.

AutoCAD Region Subtract


Intersect command will create a region that comprises of only the common regions of all meshing geometries. To use this command type INTERSECT at the command line and press enter, then select all of the regions in the drawing area and press enter again. You will get combined geometry which looks like the image shown below. You can clearly see that in this case only the common area of all these three regions is retained.

AutoCAD Region Intersect

More about AutoCAD Regions:

When a region is created with 2D geometries, the geometries are deleted and the region is created. But if you want to retain the geometry as well as the region, then change value of system variable DELOBJ to 0. By changing the system variable you will force AutoCAD to create a region retaining the 2D geometry with which it was made.

You can even apply materials to the region, just like a 3D solid or surface entity. In the image below I have applied Mahogany Natural Low Gloss wooden material to the rectangular region and then rendered it.

AutoCAD Region Materials

About the Author:

Jaiprakash Pandey is CAD Corporate Trainer specializing in AutoCAD, CATIA and other CAD software’s. He is an Autodesk AutoCAD Certified professional and an Autodesk expert elite. He is a regular contributor to AUGI World magazine and he has also developed AutoCAD video courses for pluralsight, his own platform SourceCAD and other E-Learning businesses. For free AutoCAD tutorials by him visit SourceCAD.

AutoCAD 2016 What’s New Review

Spring always brings new beginnings, including the new releases from Autodesk. This year is no different as the new version of AutoCAD is upon us. Although nothing earth-shattering like last years user interface “refresh”, this years version still proves to be chocked full of enhancements that will make your day-to-day life easier, as well as adding new features and functionality to take your design and collaboration in new directions.

What’s New?

Others might slice-and-dice it differently, but to me the new features and improvements fall into five categories

  1. User Interface
  2. Documentation
  3. Design
  4. BIM
  5. Installation and Configuration

The User Interface (UI) enhancements is a continuation of what they introduced with the darker / sleeker 2015 interface. Take for example the File tab introduced in 2015. It is now known as the Start page and is persistent, but based on user feedback, can be disabled during installation. Layout tabs are drag-and-dropable (finally), the status bar automatically wraps to the next line, and the help makes it easier to find things.

AutoCAD 2016 Wrapping Commandline

The new System Monitor is constantly watching those troublesome system variables that seem to have a mind of themselves. It lets you know that they have changed and allows for a reset directly from the status bar.

AutoCAD 2016 System Variable Monitor Dialog

Documentation Enhancements? Yep, its got them…

Revision Clouds behave more like polylines, making modifications significantly easier and actually achievable now… no more deleting and redrawing.

AutoCAD 2016 Rev Cloud Stretching Grip

The enhanced DIM command will make you seriously reconsider how you dimension from now on. Think of it as Quick Dimensions but on steroids. Its a one-stop, do-all dimension feature which actually previews the dimension before you make your selection.

PDF support? Still there of course, but now it’s much more flexible, with its own publishing dialog and options. It should also be much faster.

Reality Computing (Point Clouds) got its fair share of loving too, including support for sectioning, transparency control, point cloud-specific object snaps, and Dynamic UCS support.

Any visualization changes? Oh yeah! The Render engine has gone, replaced with a new and improved version. It is physically based, making it easier yet creating much better results.

Design & BIM based collaboration gets some love. External Reference support is expanded to include Navisworks Files (NWD or NWC). This allows for the attachment of the “Coordination Model”, for an additional collaboration option.

What’s Next?

Over the next week (or so), we’ll be posting deeper dives into the new features.

Autodesk 2016 Products Download Links – Including Suites

The Autodesk product launch season always offers up a mixture of excitement, disappointment or trepidation. Have they delivered the improvements you had been hoping for? Will the software be stable straight out of the box? Will your team of designers be as excited as you are about the features you got to use during beta? This post gets you one step closer by showing you where you can find direct download links for the latest and greatest releases of your Autodesk CAD tools.

The primary location for downloading your Autodesk products this year can be found in the new Autodesk Accounts site. You can get there via, since that will take you straight to the Products & Services download or activation page:

Autodesk 2016 Product Download

This is the best place to get the latest stable builds of your Autodesk applications; AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, Vault, 3ds Max, Maya etc and all the extra subscription goodies for you to get your geeky mitts on. And what an absolute joy it is to use compared to the now retired Subscription Center, THANK YOU Autodesk. Oh and with this site… if you fall off Maintenance Subscription, bad idea, but if you do, you will still be able to access this site and download the last version you paid subs for. It was always an absolute mission trying to find download links for previous release installers when you weren’t on subscription.

But occasionally the Autodesk Virtual Agent is a more direct and therefore handy location to get what you need (Download links will likely take longer to appear on here than on the Autodesk Account portal). Of course both of these locations will also have links for all the Autodesk Suites.

Autodesk Virtual Agent direct download links

Either way, the Autodesk launch season is upon us, so which ever method you use to get your software, keep an eye out on Design & Motion for 2016 What’s New & Review posts.

Autodesk 2016 Product What’s New Reviews:

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