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Christiaan

Make it easier to split existing projects up into multiple files

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In order to make it easier to split up existing projects into multiple workgroup referenced files we'd like the ability to replace existing Design Layers when creating a new Workgroup Reference (with Layer Import method).

 

Splitting a project into multiple files has some disadvantages (mostly stemming from the need to manage workgroup references but including the inability to edit the model in Edit In-Place mode) so we tend to start a project off in one file and split it up only at a later date if it gets too large to manage.

 

But splitting a file up is not straightforward. The kind of split we tend towards is to have the model in one file and sheet layers in the other(s).

 

To do this we use the following steps:

  1. In the original file identify any design layers with Design Layer Viewports and rename these design layers with a “ref” prefix to easily identify them later, save file.*
  2. Duplicate original file.
  3. In the duplicated file delete all existing design layers (except for any of the ref layers identified in step 1 that have design layer viewports)
  4. In the duplicated file make sure Reference Settings are set to use the Layer Import method, then create a new Workgroup Reference to the original file, selecting all the layers (except for the ref layers).
  5. Because we've deleted the original design layers we now have to go through all the Sheet Layer Viewports (and the Design Layer Viewports on the ref layers) and reconfigure Layer and Class visibilities (the quickest way being to use the Eyedropper tool from the original file's viewports)
  6. Now that we have all the sheet layers configured in the duplicated file we can delete the sheet layers in the original file (except perhaps sheet layers with Section Viewports so you can continue to edit the model using Section In-Place)
  7. This newly created file can easily be split further into multiple files, but bear in mind if you want to merge them again you'll need to manually create the sheet layer viewports.

 

It's step 3 and the cumbersome step 5 that could be omitted if we could instead choose to replace design layers when creating a Workgroup Reference.

 

*This method won’t work if you have design layers with a mixture of design layer viewports + other objects, because the design layer viewports will be deleted when the Layer Import reference is created.

Edited by Christiaan

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We find we get a good balance of immediacy in working vs smaller faster working files if we keep plans and sections sheets in the main working file but move out Elevations and other largely rendered sheets to separate sheet-centric files using a method not dissimilar to your method above.

 

For easy of use and editing I tend to create a single reference layer per source file then split then duplicate the file if a sheet layer needs a different configuration of the source file or if one sheet is getting to memory heavy.

 

Everytime I do it it strikes me as something that could be automated.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/1/2019 at 7:25 AM, Matt Overton said:

We find we get a good balance of immediacy in working vs smaller faster working files if we keep plans and sections sheets in the main working file but move out Elevations and other largely rendered sheets to separate sheet-centric files using a method not dissimilar to your method above.

 

I tend go the other way round; keep the elevations and sections in the main file in order to retain the ability to edit the model in Section In-Place mode.

Edited by Christiaan

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