The Agony of Renumbering an Entire Set of MicroStation Sheet Files

title blocks

Do you like doing the same thing, over and over, for hours on end?

Clearwater, Florida, USA — How do you handle the sheet numbers and sheet counts in title blocks after inserting a new sheet into a set? Do you edit the affected values in every title block in every sheet manually? While plodding through a set of design files, one at a time, typing little numbers into title blocks, did you ever think to yourself, “Is this what I went to school for?”

Okay, so someone comes along and says you gotta add an additional sheet file into a set of 237 nearly completed project design files. Now your numbering system is all screwed up. Somebody’s got to fix it, but let’s face it. Manually renumbering sheets is a pain in the you-know-what.

What if we told you that in less time than it takes for you to figure out who you hate the most, you could handle the whole thing and get that long-overdue respect you deserve? (Now this may not be your exact scenario, but think with me here. Have you, or someone else you know, ever had to make some changes to lots of title blocks?) What if we said you could knock it out in about five minutes? Ready? Let’s do it:

    1. After inserting that new sheet file into your set of design files (making 238 files now, in our example here), open MicroStation and start Axiom’s Title Block Administrator. Title Block Administrator is the batch processing half of the two tools, including Title Block Client, known together as Title Block Manager.
    2. With Title Block Administrator loaded, press the <Select> button next to the “Design Files:” field in the main Title Block Administrator dialog box. This will load the “Choose Files to Process” dialog box that allows you to select the sheet files for processing. Choose all the sheet files in your set.


You can quickly and easily renumber all title blocks in your set at one time.

    1. Now set “Action:” to “Update database from selected design files.”
    2. Click <Start>. This will create a spreadsheet (database) containing all the title block values in each sheet file in your set, including values from the new sheet you added to the set. In this example, let’s say the sheet you’re adding is sheet number 2.

Technical Note: If your title blocks use tags, they’re automatically supported by Title Block Administrator. If your title blocks use regular text or text in cells, you need to run Title Block Administrator’s “Upgrade existing text to TBMgr text” from the “Action” menu before creating this spreadsheet. That will add the self-awareness to your title block text elements that Title Block Administrator needs to perform its time-saving miracles.


With Title Block Manager, you don’t have to waste your life opening each design file individually to make changes to title blocks. Title Block Manager allows you to update your design files in bulk from changes you quickly made in Excel or Access. Read this article. You need it.

    1. Click on the <Edit Database> button on the Title Block Administrator main dialog box. This will open the database created in step 4 above in Excel.


Once you create a database in Excel, you can quickly access it by selecting it and then clicking on the button. Now you can make any changes you want to any or all the title blocks of all your project design files in minutes or even seconds.

  1. Increment the values in the “Sheet” and “Total” columns of the spreadsheet to accommodate the renumbering. Specifically, add a sheet number for the new sheet, change existing sheet numbers to accommodate the newly inserted sheet and change the total sheet count in the “Total” column to “238”. By the way, while you are in Excel, you can change any title block field value you want. So if you need to make any other changes while you are in there, feel free. And keep in mind that you can make changes to any of the title blocks represented in the database — you are not limited to editing one title block at a time.
  2. When done making your changes in Excel, close the spreadsheet.
  3. Back in Title Block Administrator, set “Action:” to “Update selected files from database.”
  4. Click <Start>.
  5. Check your Facebook wall, get some coffee, brag to your peers about how you are saving them loads of time even as you are sipping your morning cup of Joe and by the time you get back to your desk, the job will likely be fully complete. Heck, depending on how many design files you have, it may be complete before you stand up.

Which scenario sounds better, the one that takes you four hours or the one that takes about five minutes?