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Thread: Multiple Layouts or Just One

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    Default Multiple Layouts or Just One

    Our firm is considering launching sheet sets but we're struggling with figuring out if we should continue to use multiple layout tabs for our drawings or one layout per dwg.

    We are a landscape architecture firm and our typical set might only have about 5 sheets and a really big set might only have 10-20 sheets.

    We currently xref in a civil drawing as an underlay and then setup multiple layout tabs for each sheet in our sets (planting, grading, layout, lighting, etc.). We lock our viewports and generally work only in the layout tab and not in model space. In 2008 we can now control lineweight and color within the viewports so it makes our current method even more attractive.

    It seems like we can continue to do this, right? And then import all of the layout tabs into the SSM. If we go this way should we include the titleblock in the layout tab or does SSM add it for you when you import the layout tabs?

    I know the preferred method is to use one layout tab and have a separate DWG for each sheet. The downside is that it's different from what people are used to doing and it creates many more files than you might expect for even the smallest project. You would have a base.dwg, layout.dwg, grading.dwg, planting.dwg as well as a corresponding numbered sheet L100.dwg, L101.dwg, L102.dwg, etc. For someone working on these drawings they might get confused as to which one to open. And if you open a drawing sheet from the SSM you can't actually edit the information because it is an xref - so you might as well be working in the actual file and not the numbered sheet drawing.

    Seems like SSM manager is great if you are managing multiple disciplines or really large sets but for small projects using just one dwg with multiple layout tabs and an xref'd attribute title block works just fine.

    Am I missing something? We are seriously leaning towards not using SSM at all so if someone thinks this is a major mistake please let me know.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    I work for a structural engineering firm & it sounds like our drafting method is the exact same. We use 1 dwg file for all of the plan work with multiple tabs. Each tab has the title block xref in paperspace. We also have our detail sheets as independent dwg files. By using SSM we import all of our multiple tab & single tab drawings, so we can publish sets quickly along with all of the many features SSM has to offer. SSM is a great tool for dealing with the entire set of drawings. Although, if all you have is 1 drawing file to manage, 1 cad file that is, then it may not be a worth while investment. Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    Quote Originally Posted by noah
    I know the preferred method is to use one layout tab and have a separate DWG for each sheet.
    dunno why you think that's preferred, or by who it's preferred, but I use SSM constantly to manage drawing sets, and frequently have multiple layouts in a single drawing as separate sheets in the SSM. Works great!

    I also have single dwg-single layout sheets, and using SSM makes it immensly easier to keep track of what's what. It beats the heck out of trying to remember file names after coming back to a job a couple of months later.
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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    Thanks all. That's very helpful. So it seems we can have our cake and eat it too! Multiple layouts and SSM.

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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag
    dunno why you think that's preferred, or by who it's preferred, but I use SSM constantly to manage drawing sets, and frequently have multiple layouts in a single drawing as separate sheets in the SSM. Works great!
    This is explicitly stated in several standards. For example, the DOD A/E/C CAD standard (based largely on NCS/AIA) calls for it.

    Some people like using Layer States, and even write programs that switch Layer States depending on which layout tab is active. (This might even be a new 2008 feature...?) But this is really something of an abuse of Layer States, and the 1 DWG = 1 Plotted Sheet works better in most ways.

    We tend to vary. The 1 DWG = 1 Plotted Sheet is too heavy-handed for some of the things we do. So sometimes we use it, sometimes we may have 1 DWG with several Plotted Sheets in it, and sometimes we will just have one DWG file with everything in it. It depends on the exact circumstances.

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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    I work in Landscape Architecture too. Good to hear I'm not the only one!

    We typically use one drawing for details, and one for everything else. Our methods are pretty exact to your's. When I use SSM to manage larger jobs, I mainly use it to aid in publishing PDF's. I'm trying to work in some of the attribute features, but just don't have the time right now.
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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    i guess i've never heard of this working for others.

    i've also never worked in PS before sheetsets. ~shrug~

    if it aint' broke, don't fix it i guess...

    my only Q is this: how do you start the original "master layout tab" file that's imported into ssm? i'm an archie, and use view callouts like crazy, but they aren't linked if brought into SSm after the fact.
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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    My company has a CAD committee that helps develop our standards. When we upgraded from R14 to 2002 (~5 years ago) we discussed this issue at length but never decided on what our standard should be. Instead we were going to experiment with multiple layouts on several jobs and address the issue at a later date. Well here it is 5 years later and we going to address it our next meeting.

    Over the past 5 years I would say that approximately 80% of our production drawings are done with one layout per drawing. Typically we use multiple layouts when a sheet needs to be in more than one sheet set or if the same plan needs two different title blocks but in both cases the model view is identical or almost identical.

    We also tend to use multiple layouts in a drawing if it is a two sheet set like an ALTA Survey, which consists of a cover sheet and one plan sheet.

    Recently one of our offices has starting making drawings with 10-20 layouts. For example, within a construction pan set for a subdivision they would have one drawing for the sanitary plan and profiles, one drawing for street P & P's, one for grading etc. The sanitary drawing would contain all the sanitary sheets (layouts), the grading drawing all the grading sheets and so on.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. I have listed a few Pros and Cons and was wondering what other advantages or disadvantages people see to these two methods. I think one of the biggest problems with multiple layouts is that you are limited to one person working on multiple sheets at the same time.

    One Layout Per Drawing
    Pros:
    Multiple employees can work on the drawings at the same time
    The plan can be clipped (xclip, image clip)

    Cons:
    Plan labels are harder to manager since they are in multiple drawings
    More time is wasted opening multiple drawings

    Multiple Layouts Per Drawing
    Pros:
    Less time spent opening drawings
    Plan labels are easier to manage in one drawing

    Cons:
    Only one employee can work on all the sheets in a drawing at the same time
    Less clear space for plan labels since the plan can't be clipped
    Changing drawings (layout) with scripts will be more difficult
    Jeff Paulsen

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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    Quote Originally Posted by sinc View Post
    This is explicitly stated in several standards. For example, the DOD A/E/C CAD standard (based largely on NCS/AIA) calls for it.
    Thanks sinc, It's ood to know! We've just gotten in a NavFac job, and I'm busy reading their docs.
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    Default Re: Multiple Layouts or Just One

    Hello,

    I noticed this is quite an old thread but I am in a similar dilema, we do civil plan sets which can be up to 70 sheets. Currently due to the many different services (i.e. water, sewer, stormwater etc) and large work sites each drawing file containing only the water layouts can have 2-5 sheets depending on the viewport scale on the layouts.

    My issue pretty much is to get the full use out of SSM one drawing - one layout works best for creating new sheets, updating titleblock, drawing schedule etc but for us having multiple layouts for each services as stated above means we only have the change the layer properties once in the xref to suit each service in each drawing file (as the colours lineweights etc can change with each).

    Hope this make sense, it would be good if SSM was more suited to multiple layouts per drawing file.

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