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Data Tag - Reference Database?

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Good afternoon everyone,


We're using data tags to call out material in our detail drawings. As we are using them right now, the text portion of the tag is set to "User-entered Field" so that we can put the number/letter combination we need for the project. Right now it's kind of random and we just number 1 to whatever but we are in the process of setting up an office standard.


Ideally I would like to have a database that has all the materials numbered and grouped (ie "1A" where "1" is for fasteners and "A" is the specific screw and "2A" where "2" is for existing conditions and "A" framing etc...)


The database would be ideal so that if we changed a number on one material or vise-versa, all tags would update with the correct information.


I know this is possible with callouts but we like the way the data tags look and the method of placing them over callouts (which always seem a little messy for detail callouts..)


Attached is a photo of the data tag callouts and how we represent them in the material legend. They are two different data tag instances (one with a leader and the other without). It would be fantastic if the text beside the symbol in the legend could also populate based on the data base. 




Thanks for any help/ideas!



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Hi Dylan, I'm implementing that workflow on a project for the moment.

I've done it like this :

  1. Create a record format with all kind of information you would need in your future report ( I have : ID number, Description, Sheet detail, related Sheet details, Specifications, Manufacturer, Product Name, Size, Thickness, Color, Finish, etc)
  2. Attach the record to every object that you will need to be scheduled
  3. Create your worksheet and link all the data from your record format.
  4. Create different report depending on what you want to show. 
    E.g. I have a report showing just : ID number, Sheet detail, Related sheet detail. ( this is on my general material plan)
    Another one for the size, color, finish, manufacturer, specifications etc. ( this is for my material schedule)
  5. Create a custom data Tag to show your ID number. 

I have for example :
1. Masonry (category)

1.1 Retaining wall (Element)

1.1.1 Blockwork (Parts)

1.1.2 Render( Parts)



Note : You can create a report with just 2 column to create your legend. 

The good thing with that workflow is that you can modify you ID number directly from your worksheet and all the same number at once.

Here is a chart of my workflow


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Hi @Frederic_Vbc,


That's an interesting workflow. So in your method when you're annotating details, would you assign a record format to each element? As an example, we draw in the air/vapour barrier with a dashed line, would you then assign a record format to that line and have the data tag call that out? The same being done with all other elements in the detail?


The chart is a great help!


I've got some ideas on how to implement this into our workflow. I'll have to experiment with it when there's some downtime in the office (a very rare thing these days!)


Thanks again Frederic!



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@Dylan  No worries 😉

Yes, Everything that needs to be scheduled.

Note that you can also attach a record format to a group. And you can copy/past record format with Eyedropper. So if you've got a nice class structure you can easily select apply/modify an entire bunch of object. (e.g. bring a symbol with the vapour barrier record format attached and copy/past the record format to the group of line).

Plus you can also select from your worksheet (e.g. every element having ID number 1.1) and modify the record format of those elements from your worksheet.
So it's a pretty flexible solution. Takes a bit of time to implement at the beginning but you get your money back with the annotations and schedule process.



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