So… how are your sheet sets coming along? I hope you have been enjoying the easy access and quick plotting capabilities of the Sheet Set Manager. One of the attendees in my SSM class at AU told me that his department has only implemented enough sheet set functionality to plot from the SSM but that capability alone makes the SSM worth while! I’m happy to hear that but don’t stop now! There is so much more!
You can continue to take advantage of sheet set functionality by publishing your sheets to a DWF file. If you are not familiar with DWF, just try it and see what happens! DWF (Design Web Format) enables you to share your design data with other people in a secure and lightweight format. It is like plotting to PDF but better. Unlike PDF, DWF files are vector based so you get better quality with smaller file sizes. You can post the DWF to a project site or send it via email. The recipient can then view and plot it to scale using the free DWF viewer.
Prior to publishing your sheets to a DWF file, you can set various options.
1. Set DWF publishing options.
- Right-click in the sheet list and choose Publish>Sheet Set Publish Options.
- Set various options. You can specify the location where the PDF file will be created and you can specify either a single-sheet or multi-sheet DWF. If you select single-sheet DWF, a separate DWF file will be created for each of the sheets that you select from the sheet set and the DWF file names will correspond to the sheet names. If you select multi-sheet DWF, all of the sheets that you select will be sent to a single DWF file. By default, the DWF file name corresponds to the sheet set name. You can enter an alternate name in the sheet set publish options or you can ask AutoCAD to prompt you for a name during the publish operation. Regardless of whether you publish to a single- or multi-sheet DWF, you have the option of including a password with the DWF file. If you include a password, the recipient of the DWF file will be prompted to enter the password before viewing the DWF in the viewer.
One of the many advantages of using DWF over PDF is that you can include intelligent data with you files including layers, sheet and sheet set information, and block information. You can even specify a block template file that defines which properties and attributes to publish from selected blocks. The block template is similar to using a data extraction template to create a table with block data. The more information you include with your DWF file, the more flexibility the recipient will have when viewing it.
- Choose OK.
3. Select sheets to publish. In the SSM, select the sheets you want to publish. You can use the Shift and CTRL keys to specify a range or specific sheets. You can also select subsets or the entire sheet set.
4. Publish selected sheets.
- Right-click and choose Publish>Publish to DWF. You can also select the Publish to DWF button in the upper right corner of the SSM. The DWF file(s) will be created using the current sheet set publish options. By default, the DWF file is published in the background, similar to plotting. You will be notified when the publish operation is complete.
- Close the Plot and Publish balloon notification.
5. View the DWF file. The DWF viewer is automatically installed with AutoCAD enabling you to view the DWF file before posting or emailing it.
- Right-click on the Plot/Publish icon and select View DWF File.
- In the DWF viewer, select different sheets to view and try viewing some of the data such as layers, blocks, etc.
Publishing to DWF is just that easy! The recipients of your DWF file can view and plot the sheets while you rest assured that the design data remains unchanged. If the recipients of your DWF files are using DWF Composer, a more advanced DWF viewing tool, they can measure and markup the DWF file and then return it to you. For more information about working with DWF files visit www.autodesk.com/viewers. You can also check out the Viewer and Markup videos in my October “AutoCAD Awareness” post.