Composing Drawings Blog Series: Building Design Blog 3 of 4

Managing Sheet Index

In the previous blog, we customized the drawing seed and used it for automating dynamic views. In this blog, we will add sheets to the sheet index and customize the sheet numbering.

Creating Sheet Index Structure

You can organize the sheets in a sheet index by different categories. For example, by discipline such as Plumbing, Electrical etc. Each category is a different folder in the sheet index. For our project, let us create folders for each sheet type.

Note: Please get the updated WorkSet from here.

  1. In design-composition.dgn, open the Explorer and expand the Sheet Index tab.
  2. Enable sheet index editing by clicking the Open Sheet Index for Edit    icon.
  3. Click the Create Folder icon  . A folder is created and displayed in the sheet index. Rename it to Elevations.
  4. Select the sheet index root (MSBasicsBldg) and again click the Create Folder icon   . Another folder is created in the sheet index. Rename it to Sections.

To create a sub-folder, select the folder in which you want the sub-folder and then click the Create Folder icon.

Adding Sheets to the Sheet Index

As we learnt in the Basics blog, there are multiple ways to add a sheet to the sheet index. Let’s use one of the methods and add sheets to the sheet index.

  1. Select the Elevations folder that you created in the above procedure.
  2. Click the Add Sheet icon    and navigate to the \Composing Sheets folder in this WorkSet.
  3. Select the Building_Elevations.dgn file and click Open.
  4. In the Add Sheet dialog, press <Ctrl> and select all the sheets.
  5. Click OK. If you have the Auto-Save Design Changes preference turned off, you will get pop-ups that ask you to save the file, click Yes.
    The three sheet models are added to the Elevations folder in the sheet index with appropriate numbering.
  6. Similarly add the two sheet models in the Building_Sections.dgn file.

Customizing the Sheet Numbering

Sheet numbering is the numbering that you apply to sheets in the sheet index. Following is how a typical sheet number looks in a sheet index:

You can customize this numbering to match your organization’s sheet numbering standards. Following properties are provided for customizing numbering a sheet index:

  • Show Leading Zero - If on, adds leading zeros to the sheet number.
  • Number of Digits - Sets the number of digits for the sheet number, default is 3.
  • Inherit Naming Rule from Parent - (Applicable to folder properties only) If on, the naming rules are inherited from the sheet index.
  • Automatic Naming of Sheet - If on, automatically names the sheets in the sheet index.
  • Sheet Number Suffix - Sets the suffix that you want to be added to the sheet numbers. No suffix is added by default.
  • Sheet Number Prefix - Sets the prefix that you want to be added to the sheet numbers. The default prefix letter is “A”.
  • Increment - Sets the value by which the sheet numbering will be incremented. The default value is 1.
  • Start Number - Sets the number from which the sheet numbering will start. The default value is 1.

The customization of sheet numbering is possible at sheet index level as well as folder level. To customize the numbering before creating a new folder, you can use the Manage Properties dialog (clicking Manage Sheet Index icon).

To customize the numbering before creating a folder:

  1. Click the Manage Sheet Index icon  .
  2. In the Manage Sheet Index dialog that opens, click the Folder tab. 

  3. Do the following settings:
    • Change Number of Digits to 2.
    • Change Sheet Index Prefix to D.
    • Turn off Inherit Naming Rule from Parent.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Select the sheet index root (MSBasicsBldg) and click the Create Folder icon.
  6. Name the folder as Details and press <Enter>.
  7. With the Details folder selected, click the Add Sheet icon.
  8. Navigate to the \Composing Sheets folder, select the DETAILS.dgn file, and click Open.
  9. Select the Details sheet and click OK. If you have the Auto-Save Design Changes preference turned off, you will get pop-ups that ask you to save the file, click Yes.
    The sheet is added with the updated numbering.

To change the properties of sheets in a folder after creating the folder, use the Properties dialog.

Excluding Sheets from Numbering

There could be a case where you want a specific sheet to be excluded from sheet numbering. To do so, you can use two special properties, namely, Exclude From Auto Numbering and Exclude From Sequence Number. These properties are accessible from the Properties dialog.

Using the combination of these two properties, you can achieve different types of sheet numbering exclusions. Following table describes the effect of different combinations of the two properties:

Exclude From Auto Numbering

Exclude From Sequence Number

Result

Off

Off

(Default) Sheet numbering is displayed properly.

Off

On

Invalid selection. Avoid this setting as it would display invalid sequence number.

On

Off

Sheet index displays the model name, followed by (Excluded). The sequence number is unchanged.

On

On

Sheet index displays the model name, followed by (Excluded). The sequence number is set to zero.

Following are the links to the previous blogs of this blog series:

In the next blog, you will learn placing the sheet index as a table and generating reports.