Composing Drawings Blog Series: Drawing Boundaries, Named Boundaries and Fields - Blog 3 of 3

Inserting Fields in the Composed Sheet’s Title Block

In the previous blogs (Blog 1 and Blog 2), we learnt how to create drawing boundaries in seed files, create new sheets from these seed files and populate the drawing boundaries with content from named boundaries. In this blog, we will complete the work flow by inserting Fields in the title block of the composed sheets to fill relevant information.

A Field is a part of text, whose content is sourced from properties of objects associated with it.  There are distinct types of fields. For example, a Field derived from Model Properties will display the property of the model, it is associated with. If it is associated with the name of the model, this field will automatically update when the model name is changed. Properties of elements, models and files can be used as sources for the field content.

Following are the different types of Fields:

  • Fields derived from Element Properties
  • Fields derived from Model Properties
  • Fields derived from File Properties
  • Fields derived from Sheet Index and Sheet Index Folder Properties
  • Placeholder Fields derived from parent cell properties
  • Placeholder Fields derived from Digital Signature Cell Properties
  • Placeholder Fields derived from Link Target attached to a parent cell

Fields can be inserted in any active model or in a seed file. Inserting fields in a seed file is recommended.

To understand Fields better, let us look at the following example:

We will insert fields in the Title block of the Drainage Structures Part Plan sheet for Drawing Title, Drawing Scale and Sheet number using the Model Properties and Element Properties Field types.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open Drainage Structures Part Plan sheet model in the DRAINAGE STRUCTURES.dgn file (..\MSBasicsCivil\Standards\Dgnlib\DrawComp\Roadway\DRAINAGE STRUCTURES).
  2. Select the Place Text tool and right click in the Text Editor window.
  3. From the pop-up menu select Insert Field.
    The Select Field Type tool setting window opens.
  4. From the Field Type drop-down menu, select Model Properties and click OK:

    The Fields Editor dialog opens.

  5. Select NameDrainage Structures Part Plan in the Fields Editor dialog and click Ok.
  6. Select the desired Text Style in the Text Editor window.
  7. Zoom into the bottom right of the sheet and click to position the text in the DRAWING TITLE section of the Title block.
    The text field Drainage Structures Part Plan is displayed in the Drawing Title section. Since this text field is derived from the sheet model’s name, it will automatically update if the model name changes.

Similarly, we will place a text field in the SHEET section of the title block for sheet number. If this sheet is added to the sheet index, this number is derived from the sheets sequence in the sheet index. It will change with any changes made to the sheet number in the sheet index. If it is not added to a sheet index then this field will update based on changes in the sheet number in the model’s properties.

We will now associate the text field in the DRAWING SCALE section with the drawing boundary scale. For this we will use the Element Properties Field Type. This field will derive its properties from the drawing boundary and will automatically update to reflect any changes. Follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click in the Text Editor window and select Insert Field.
  2. In the Select Field Type tool setting choose Element Properties in Field Type and click Ok.
  3. Select the drawing boundary annotation callout.
    The Fields Editor dialog opens.
  4. Select Detail Scale – 1:500.
  5. In the DRAWING SCALE section of the title block click and drag to position the text field.
    The Scale is displayed.

Whenever any changes are made to the drawing boundary’s scale, the text field in DRAWING SCALE of the title block will automatically update to reveal the changes.

Alternatively, these fields can be inserted in the Civil_DrawingSeed.dgnlib seed file. The fields for Drawing Title, Drawing Scale and Sheet number will reevaluate and update once the seed file is referenced in a new sheet model in DRAINAGE STRUCTURES.dgn.

In the first blog where we placed the drawing boundaries in the seed file, the fields in the drawing boundary’s annotation callout are Placeholder Fields. The callout’s properties are evaluated when it is placed in a drawing view and the fields update accordingly. The Drawing identifier, Name and Scale are derived from the Drawing boundary properties and the Sheet number is derived from the sheet model’s properties.

You can follow the workflow described in blogs 1 and 2 of this series before trying out the above steps or you can use the Sample DRAINAGE STRUCTURES.dgn to directly try out these steps in a composed sheet.