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Sheet numbering/organization

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I'm wondering how people organize their sheet layers with regards to names/numbers and how they coordinate that with the drawing number in the title block and on section/detail markers?

I have numbered my sheets using the OIP>Edit Title Block>Sheet>Drawing Number field.

My sheet names in the Organization/Navigation palettes have a number prefix that corresponds to the drawing number so that my sheets show up in the Navigation palette in the same order that I want them to print.

When keying sections or details, I enter the drawing number into the marker symbol.

The problem is that when I find I need to add a sheet or rearrange a few sheets, it is a huge task to renumber all the sheets in the Navigation palette, and then renumber all the title blocks and markers.

Is there an easier (automated) way to do this?


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There's no automated way I know of. It's definitely a bit of a bottleneck. We number our sheets layers to suit file names for our PDF exports:

phase | drawing number | revision - description - job number

e.g. C301A-GA_1st_Plan-05918

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Not sure if this helps but adding a sheet is a classic problem. Most architects structure their standard sheet numbering to accommodate this. They'll set up a standard number for each type of sheet (1 for demo, 2 for floor plans, 3 for elevations, etc.) and then use a decimal system for successive sheets of each type (1.1 for first floor demo, 1.2, for second floor demo, 2.1 for first floor construction, 2.2 for second floor construction, etc.) Not sure if you're in the US but the National CAD standard also allows for this type of approach (100's for plans, 200's for elevations, 300's for sections, etc). Either of these systems will allow you to add a sheet without having to renumber the set.

Rearranging sheets is another matter.

For what it's worth, I believe that ArchiCAD automates some of the sheet numbering process to help with this kind of problem.

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We use the following:

a1.x series for site plan and zoning building info

a2.x series for floor plans

a3.x for elevations

a4.x for building sections and and details

a5.x for assemblies and schedules

a6.x for interior elevations

for batch printing to pdf on winxp paltform

we then use 11 21 etc

and then make a book using acrobat (we have version8)

we do a layout of all the sheets we will need before we start our working drawings.

this system is really good when you did not produce the drawings

and you want to find info when talking to contractors

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Christiaan, Bill, & cbaarch,

Thanks for the replies.

Based on a random sample of three, it seems that there are a myriad of ways which are tied to the office standard in use.

I guess I'm sort of creating my own office standard right now.

What I'm thinking is it might be helpful if the sheet layers in the Org/Nav. palettes were able to be rearranged and dynamically numbered (in the palette) similar to the way the design layers are. There would be an option to sort them alphabetically by clicking on the column header, also similar to the design layers.

The "Drawing Number" in the Edit Title Block window would then have a field that could have an option (activated by checkbox) of populating automatically using the number from the Org./Nav. palette. There would need to be a "Prefix" and "Suffix" field which could accept static data for those with more complicated systems.

By unchecking the option checkbox, the main number field would accept information as it does now, or the prefix or suffix fields could be used by those who find the numbers inconvenient.

Perhaps the numbering system in the Org/Nav palette would have the ability to number in various ways, to accomodate those using a "200.xx"system vs a single number system? Can't think how that would work at the moment.

This could be the type of thing that might make things easier for many but frustrating for a few that are not accounted for if the implementation is not flexible enough.

What do you think, is this worth wishlisting?

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KISS! cbarch's system is simple and straightforward. I cannot imagine a CI/sfb system being useable in real life. Communicate to your target audience - structure your drawings in a way that is understandable and useable to them.

The blokes who do the work (as opposed to those who manage the project) are not highly educated, and they are certainly not interested in 'arty farty; nonsense systems thought up by 'smart aleck' architects. All they want is to know what they have to do, and to be able to find that information quickly and easily (for them time is money).

Don't fall into the trap of trying to be too clever. If there a convention in your local building industry use it. If you feel compelled to develop your own system keep it simple so that even the most apathetic and disinterested building worker can find the information he needs quickly and easily.

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CI/sfb can be used in the full mode, which we didn?t do, or it can be used in a simple mode, which we did. We used this to create the drawings (100?s of drawings) for large commercial projects.

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The blokes who do the work ...are certainly not interested in 'arty farty; nonsense systems thought up by 'smart aleck' architects. All they want is to know what they have to do, and to be able to find that information quickly and easily...

If there a convention in your local building industry use it...keep it simple so that even the most apathetic and disinterested building worker can find the information...quickly and easily.

Reminds me of a recent Commercial Port Project. The General Contractor asked me to re-do the entire Civil Planset.

The local Subcontractors needed dozens of individual tabloid size shopdrawings ( each with Plan, Section, Details ) keyed to the Master Planset & Specs.

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for large projects we used to use the CI/sfb numbering system for our drawing numbers:


it is flexible and powerful. It allows you to break up the project into chunks and add drawings easily.

Just bought this manual but it the latest reprint is a abridged.... and the section they abridged? The section on production drawings!

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Islandmon -- sounds like a nice add services opportunity.

The general point I think is that there are industry standards for numbering conventions and using them makes life easier for everyone involved. I suppose in a one person shop renumber sheets might not be a problem. But when I have ten people on a team sheet numbers are set at cartoon stage and stick. Occasionally we get a sheet on the cover that is "not used" because it has been deleted. This seems archaic when I look at it written out but I can't imagine trying to keep everyone up to date with an every changing set. Keeping them straight on the building is enough work!

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