How to Do Four Hours of Title Block Changes in Just a Few Minutes


No matter whether you use MicroStation or AutoCAD

If you work with title blocks in MicroStation or AutoCAD, most likely you’ve had a situation where a DGN or DWG file was added to a project, requiring you to now renumber all or a large portion of the sheet files in the project. Whether working in MicroStation or in AutoCAD, manually making changes to title blocks across entire plot sets takes a lot of time. Isn’t there a faster way?

How to Quickly Renumber 278 Sheets
Imagine that it’s late Friday afternoon and your project is due out on Monday. Your project team spent the last few days putting the final touches on the job. All the 279 sheets have been plotted for the final check. Everything appears to be in order; the sheet files all seem to be ready and the tension is starting to ease. You decide to do one final check and — horror — discover that the sheet totals and sheet numbers are wrong. The sheet total is off by one on every sheet and every sheet number higher than 5 is off by one.

If you can modify one sheet per minute, stay on task, not get any phone calls, and not make any mistakes, then you’ll need four hours and 39 minutes just to modify the title block text on all 279 design files. Well, you could stay really late or maybe come in and work over the weekend and do all that work, but part of Axiom’s purpose is to “get you home on time”. Title Block Manager — available for MicroStation and for AutoCAD — brings this part of our purpose to life. With Title Block Manager, all the sheet files can be updated in about five minutes. Here’s how:

1. Open MicroStation or AutoCAD and start Title Block Manager. (Note: Title Block Manager for MicroStation is split into two tools — Title Block Administrator for batch processing, the most important part of what Title Block Manager does; and Title Block Client for helping you place or edit title blocks in individual sheet files, a less important function. To keep things simple, this piece will call Title Block Administrator for MicroStation Title Block Manager so that it is consistent with the AutoCAD version.)

2. Set “Action:” to {Update database from selected design/drawing files}. If you don’t have a database already, Title Block Manager will create one automatically for you. (Because Title Block Manager supports Access MDB databases in addition to Excel spreadsheets, we call both XLS and MDB files the “database” for consistency.)

3. Press the {Select...} button next to the “Design/Drawing Files:” field and select all 279 sheet files in your set. (See Figure 1.)

Note: MicroStation examples are used in this piece, but Title Block Manager is available for MicroStation and for AutoCAD.

Figure 1. With Title Block Manager, you can quickly and easily renumber any number of title blocks at one time. MicroStation example shown.

4. Then, click on the {Start} button. Title Block Manager will take the title block field values (such as title, sheet number, sheet count and more) from all the title blocks in all the sheet files you specified in step 3 and put those into the Excel spreadsheet or Access database file specified in the “Database:” field, one title block per row with a column for each unique title block “field” (such as Sheet, Total and so on). You can save this database wherever you like.

5. Now, click on the {Edit Database} button. This will open the database created in step 4.

6. In Excel, increment the values in the “Sheet” column to accommodate the renumbering. (See Figure 2.) Save and close the “database”.

Figure 2. Title Block Manager allows you to easily make changes — in batch — to all your title blocks. This graphic shows that a new sheet has been added to a set of files (Before). It only takes a few seconds to update all of the title block values (“Sheet” and “Total”) in the Excel spreadsheet (After) and then update all the applicable sheet files from the Excel spreadsheet, using Title Block Manager. MicroStation example shown.

7. Set “Action:” to {Update selected design/drawing files from database} and click {Start}.
8. Check your e-mail, get some coffee and, in mere minutes, the job is complete.

Why spend over four hours on something that can be done in a few minutes? Wouldn’t you rather use that time to play some golf, catch a movie, watch a game, read a good book, or brush up on your barbecuing skills?
Start Saving Time Today!
For more information on Title Block Manager or to receive a free trial version to see the benefits for yourself, contact an Axiom Consultant today! Call 727-442-7774, e-mail or visit Axiom on the Web at now!