CADnotes CAD Tutorials and Best Practices for professionals and students Fri, 29 May 2015 01:38:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What’s new in AutoCAD 2016: New features roundup Fri, 29 May 2015 01:28:53 +0000 Autodesk has released AutoCAD 2016 in March 2015. We have covered the new features in the last few weeks. In this article, we summarize the new features.

In case you missed the older article, we provide links to the detailed review of each topic.

Interface Enhancements

There’s no significant changes or new feature in AutoCAD 2016 interface. Autodesk has improved some features, but they are definitely not new. Personally I like it. There’s no benefit for us if they change the icon, the background color or dark/light color scheme. Unless it would be useful, no need to change the interface just to make it different with previous release.

The New Tab in AutoCAD 2015 is now called Start Tab. It’s become persistent and stay open after you create a new file. Clicking the plus sign in files tab will immediately create a new file. In AutoCAD 2015, it will open New Tab first, then you can create a new file.

Autodesk fixes the layout when you drag layout tab. Now it scrolls automatically when the target location is hidden. The status bar now can be displayed in two rows, if your screen resolution is low.

AutoCAD 2016 status bar

Now you can add Lock UI and Isolate Objects to status bar.

Gallery view that was introduced in AutoCAD 2015, now can be turned off. You can turn it off by switching GALLERYVIEW system variable to 0.

Read the complete article about AutoCAD 2016 interface here.

System Enhancements

The most interesting new feature in this category is the System Variable Monitor. AutoCAD saves the configurations in system variables. There are many options available and many are not available in option dialog box. When a system variable change, it often cause confusion to AutoCAD users. Especially for novice and occasional users.

System Variable Monitor will notify you when a system variable has changed.

AutoCAD 2016 system variable monitor

Unfortunately, it only can notify changes if system variable is in the list. There are some common system variable already and you can add your own.

I wish there’ll be a log all system variable that has changed for troubleshooting purpose. Also having ability to export and import the list would be helpful.

AutoCAD 2016 has higher geometry display setting. You can use it when the hardware acceleration is turned on. The interesting thing is, AutoCAD 2016 looks much faster than the previous version.

The REGENAUTO behavior also improved. You can zoom out very far without having to regenerate the drawing. In the past, you will be stuck and need to regenerate the drawing before you can zoom out further.

The security option is simplified to match the Windows User Access Control UI.

Autodesk improve the PDF plotter driver. Now you can change the PDF quality to get better quality or smaller file size. The PDF file now can have hyperlink and capture AutoCAD fonts.

Read the complete AutoCAD 2016 system enhancements here.

Drafting and Annotations

My favorite in this area is the new DIM command. DIM command is now smarter. You only need to use this command to create different types of dimension. It can be linear dimension, angular dimension or diameter/radius dimension.

You can also set default layer for dimension. It will ignore active layer and use the dimension layer instead.

If you click and place new dimension above existing dimension, AutoCAD now can offer a solution for overlapping dimension.

AutoCAD 2016 on overlapped dimension

The revision cloud tool is improved. Now you can create rectangular, polygonal or freehand Revision Cloud. Editing Revision Cloud is also easier. You can use Revision Cloud grips.

Another highlight in this area is the geometric center snap. Now you can snap to a center of rectangle or polygon easily.

Read the complete AutoCAD 2016 drafting and annotation enhancements here.

New rendering engine

The new Rapid RT rendering engine is very good. It’s great for engineers who need to render occasionally. You can create good quality rendering in short time with very simple setup.

The IBL environment will help you to setup lighting easily. It also has 3D background for environment setup.

AutoCAD 2016 rendering result

Read the complete article about AutoCAD 2016 rendering here.

What do you think?

Have you tried or installed AutoCAD 2016? Do you like it?

What is your favorite enhancement and which one that you don’t like? Share with us!

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Why I Don’t See Arc Grid in Elevation/Section Views? Tue, 19 May 2015 09:06:08 +0000 We published about Revit column gridlines are not showing in certain level. When you open some floor plan view, you don’t see the grid lines.

This issue is typically because you added more levels after you created the gridlines. The gridlines won’t show if the new levels are higher or lower than existing level.

To solve it, you need to drag the gridlines control point in elevation or section view.


Now the other problem is when the gridline is arc. You don’t even see the gridline in elevation view or section view. So how can we fix the issue if we can’t see the grids?

In this example below, we have several arc gridlines.


When I open the South elevation view, I only can see Grid C.


I can’t see the other gridlines, so I can’t drag it above. How can I fix this?

How to see arc gridlines in elevation/section view

You can only see arc gridlines in elevation/section views under 2 conditions.

Perpendicular to view

First, when the section/view is perpendicular with the gridlines. This applies to linear and arc grids. That’s why linear Grid C is visible, but the others are not.

You need to create a section perpendicular to the grid. You can override snap to perpendicular by using SP shortcut.


The view line coincides with the grid center

Second, when section line through the grid center. Check this image below. Make sure you use snap to center (override it by pressing SC).

And yes, certainly when the section line coincides with the grid center it also means it’s perpendicular with the grid.


Now you can see the arc grids in the section view. Because the grids are arc, you see the Grid 1 and 2 twice.


Basically, it doesn’t matter if the gridline is linear or arc, it will only show if it’s perpendicular with your view. The reason why I use arc grid as example is because most questions are asking about arc grids.

Now after you can see the gridlines in elevation/section, you can drag the control point. To let you can see the gridlines in other views.

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What’s New in AutoCAD 2016: Rendering Thu, 30 Apr 2015 02:20:50 +0000 This is the 4th article covering new features in AutoCAD 2016. If you missed them, previously we covered these topics:

  1. Interface enhancements.
  2. System enhancements.
  3. Drafting and annotations enhancements.

In this article, we cover about new AutoCAD rendering. This feature has changed significantly, so I decide to cover it in separate article.

The New rendering Engine

First, in AutoCAD 2016 it uses new rendering engine: Rapid RT. This new engine is physical based lighting rendering. Let’s not cover how it works in details. What we want to emphasize is: it can produce good result in a short time. The settings are simplified; every beginners in rendering can create great result after learning in few minutes.

However, it means that your older model might not render correctly in AutoCAD 2016. You may need to update your old lightings to current version.

Read about it in details here: About the Differences Between Rendering In the Current and An Earlier Release.

Render Presets

If you don’t want to change anything, you can choose any of available default presets. You can choose between low, medium or high quality. You can also choose presets defined by expected rendering time. For example, the coffee-break quality will render your model in 10 minutes. If you have 12 hours, you can choose Overnight Quality.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever use it though.

AutoCAD 2016 render presets

If you are an adventurous person, you can try to change the settings by clicking Manage Render Presets… You can save your own settings if necessary.

The settings are much simpler than the previous version. Every settings are basic and easy to understand.

See the comparison between the old render settings and in AutoCAD 2016 below.

autocad 2015v2016 render settings

I tried to render this model without setting any lights, and the result is good enough. You will not get this result easily in previous version. Not with default lighting.

First AutoCAD 2016 render attempt. No lighting defined.

New Environment Settings

The most interesting thing in Rapid RT rendering is the Image Based Lighting (IBL) environment. You can quickly setup lighting and background to get great result. If you are interested to know more about IBL, you can read the details here.

Some IBL environment presets have background image. And the others only affect the lightings. Setting up lightings probably is the most difficult task in rendering. With IBL, it’s very easy.

We’ve seen how the render result with default lighting. This is the result when I use Rim Highlights environment. Rim Highlights environment doesn’t have background image. We can use this lighting setup for consumer products, parts or assembly rendering.

Rendering with RIM highlights environment

This one uses Sharp Highlights.

AutoCAD 2016 Rendering with Sharp Highlights

It is very easy to use different lighting effects, and it doesn’t take too much time. Each image above only take about one minute to render. Certainly, if you look it close enough there are some geometries are not rendered smoothly.

But for a minute rendering it’s very nice, isn’t it? I only change the IBL environment and render preset to high. No other setting is necessary.

*The fuse holder model in this article uses model by Dyakoff from GRABCAD.

For exterior design, you can use predefined IBL image as background. Unfortunately there’s no support for custom IBL images. You can use static image like JPEG or BMP for background, but not IBL image.

This image below was rendered using Dry Lake Bed environment.


IBL environment is 360deg environment. If you rotate the environment, you will see the light source changed. And the background is also rotated.

This environment is rotated to 90deg, no change to the camera view.


The house model uses sample model from Revit Architecture, imported using FBX file as intermediate format.


AutoCAD 2016 rendering has changed dramatically. The old rendering was good. But it’s not easy to use. I’ve seen many people confused because they only get black image as result.

The 2016 rendering is very simple. You can learn in few minutes to create a compelling result. You don’t need to change many things. Actually, there are not much settings you can change in the rendering palette.

I think this feature is a major change. I believe you’ll like it. What do you think?

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What’s new in AutoCAD 2016: Drafting and Annotations Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:16:54 +0000 We have reviewed AutoCAD 2016 new features in interface and system enhancements. Let’s review what’s new in drafting and annotations.

Again, there are no significant enhancements in this area. I expected something big like when Autodesk introduced Dynamic Block, Annotation Scaling, or Sheet Sets. However, some features do look very useful. You might like them.

Let’s have a look at the new features you can use in AutoCAD 2016 for drafting tools.


Annotations haven’t changed much for many releases. Annotation Scaling was probably the last major enhancement for annotations.

Let’s review the enhancements.

Revision Cloud

In AutoCAD 2016, we now have more options for drawing a Revision Cloud. Previously we only had the freehand method, now we have two more options: Rectangular and Polygonal.

For me, these methods are much easier than using the Freehand method. In the past, I had always made my Revision Cloud by converting polylines or circles.

Revision cloud


If you select an existing Revision Cloud in your drawing, you will now see the Revision Cloud grips. This allows you to modify the revision cloud easily.

Revision Cloud Grid ON

In previous versions, you would see a grip for each arc like below. It was impossible to modify the Revision Cloud with these grips and we usually deleted the existing Revision Cloud and recreated it.

Revision Cloud Grid OFF

So if you don’t like the Revision Cloud Grips for any reason, you can turn it off by changing the REVCLOUDGRIPS system variable to OFF.

Revision Cloud tool now has Modify option. This option allows you to add a segment and delete unnecessary segments. Activate the Revision Cloud tool and choose modify from the tool options.

Modify Revision Cloud


In the example below, I have added three line segments to a rectangular Revision Cloud. Then I can delete a segment to form a new Revision Cloud.



There are some interesting enhancements in dimension tools. These features should have been available in AutoCAD many years ago, but it’s always better late than never.

Dimension Layer

Open Annotate tab. In Dimensions panel, you will see a layer dropdown list.


Here you can choose the layer in which AutoCAD will create the new dimensions. You don’t have to change the layer every time you draw a dimension.

I find this quite handy; unfortunately it’s only available for dimensions. No layer options for Text, Table, or Leader.

New DIM command behavior


You might notice that the dimension tool has a new icon. As in previous versions, this icon will show the last dimension type that you used.

In this version, you can use the same tool for different types of dimensions. One tool for everything.

For example, if you choose a line, it will then create a linear dimension for that line.

If you pick two points, AutoCAD will create an aligned dimension.

If you choose a circle, it will create a radius or diameter dimension.

And if you select two non-parallel lines, it will create an angular dimension.

You only need DIM command to create various types of dimensions!

Automatic Overlapping Dimension

When you create a dimension and click above an existing dimension line to place it, AutoCAD will offer to fix the overlapped dimensions. You can choose to move the existing dimension, break up, replace, or just ignore it. A very nice feature.

Automatic Fix for Overlapping Dimension


Dimension tools remains active

As in the previous version, after you placed a dimension, the tool becomes inactive. If you want to create another dimension, you must activate it again. But that’s easy to do; just press Enter or Space to reactivate the command.

It’s efficient now because we can use the dimension tool for any type of dimension. And that includes Continue or Baseline Dimension.


Here is a simple enhancement in Multiline Text. Now you can set a Multiline Text frame.


Unfortunately, I can’t find the option to change the frame margin distance from the text. Apparently, we need to accept the default margin for the frame, for now.

Drawing Tools

In this section, let’s review what’s new in drawing tools. The Geometric Center Snap is my favorite in this area.

Geometric Center Snap

I’ve been waiting for this feature in AutoCAD for years. Finally, we have it in AutoCAD 2016. Now you can snap to the center of any closed geometry.


You can also snap to the center of rectangle or polygon easily. This is much easier than using Object Snap Tracking.

Isometric Grid Lines

Isometric Grid snap is not new. In previous versions, you could use it but the snap wouldn’t follow the cursor if you changed the ISOPLANE. Now in AutoCAD 2016, the grid will align to the isometric plane that you are using.


Other Enhancements

You can change the selection effect color. Make sure you have Hardware Acceleration turned ON to see the effect.


Autodesk claims that there are some significant performance improvements in this version. They say this for every new version. But honestly, I don’t feel that these are very significant improvements.

In this version, move and copy preview is generated quicker, allowing you to work with complex drawings with less frustration. There is also an improvement in property preview where it shows quicker.


There is no significant improvement in drafting and annotations. But I do like the new dimension tool and Geometric Center Snap. The other features might be useful for you, but I don’t use them much.

So what do you think? Do you like the enhancements in this area?

Thank you to John Brandt of John H Brandt Acoustic Design for helping with the editorial review.

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What’s new in AutoCAD 2016: System Enhancements Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:13:15 +0000 We have reviewed the new features in the AutoCAD 2016 interface. There is nothing really new in AutoCAD 2016 look and feel. This time we will cover more about the system enhancements. What configurations and tools are added apart of the drafting tools.

This area is much more interesting than the interface enhancements. Let’s review it.

Graphic Enhancements

AutoCAD 2015 required higher graphic performance from your machine. There are some issues related to unsupported graphic cards. In this release, Autodesk has further visual improvements. I expect that it will require more power from your graphics card.

Autodesk adds “High Quality Geometry” toggle in Graphic Performance option. You may not notice the difference immediately as it takes a while before I can notice the difference, and I have to set the line weight high enough to see it.


Note: You need to have DirectX 11 installed to use this option


Have you ever zoomed out your drawing so small that it’s stuck? You can’t zoom out further unless you regenerate the drawing using REGEN command.

In AutoCAD 2016, AutoCAD will automatically regenerate the drawing when the display zoomed out very far. REGENAUTO system variable will regenerate your drawing as necessary. This variable is turned on by default. I wonder why it took so long for them to make it this way.

Security Options

AutoCAD 2015 already has Security Options, but it was called Executable File Settings. Now the name of the button is changed to Security Options.


(1) The Security Options dialog looks a bit different. The top most part (no.1) was Secure Loading in AutoCAD 2015, now it’s Security Level. It was a radio button, now it’s a slider.

Apparently Autodesk is trying to make it look and feel like the User Access Control (UAC) in Windows 7. The function is exactly the same.

Now we can also add trusted folders with this dialog. We can still add it from AutoCAD Options> File tab. It seems that many people were confused about where to add a trusted location in the previous release, so they put this option here.

(2) There is another option added: When searching for executable files. You can exclude/include in the search for executable files in the Start In or the drawing file folder.

The Start In folders means the AutoCAD icon folders. If you double click the AutoCAD icon on the Windows Desktop, the Desktop will be the “Start In folder”.


If you start AutoCAD by double clicking a drawing file, the folder containing the drawing is the “drawing folder”. For this example below, the drawing folder is D:\drawings. AutoCAD will search executable files in this folder if you double click a drawing in this location.



You can control this option using system variable LEGACYCODESEARCH.


System Variable Monitor

AutoCAD stores these settings in the system variables. We can access most of the settings from options or drafting settings. But many of them need to be changed from command line.

Sometimes the system variables change without you noticing it.

Many users are confused when a variable has changed, and think that the software is corrupt. The popular example of this is PICKFIRST and FILEDIA system variable. If the system variable is saved in the Windows Registry, reinstalling AutoCAD won’t solve this problem.

System variable can change because of a poorly written AutoLISP code. Sometimes it just changed for an unknown reason. It’s a simple fix, but frustrating for many users.

AutoCAD 2016 now has System Variable Monitor. It will notify you when a monitored system variable is changed.

By default, below are the monitored system variables. You can add/remove them and set the value(s) to your personal preference.


By default, it will notify you in Command Line like below.


This notification can be missed easily. If you want better visibility, you can turn on Enable balloon notification.

You won’t miss it because it will appear like this.


When a listed System Variable has changed, you will see the warning in System Variable monitor.


Unfortunately, it will only notify you if the System Variable is listed. If it’s not in the list, you will not see any notification.

I hope in the next update we can have a log, which System Variable has changed. It will be very useful for troubleshooting.

PDF Enhancements

In AutoCAD 2016, Autodesk has added four more PDF plotters. Basically they are the same plotters, but they are configured for different resolutions. You can choose the best quality or smallest PDF file size from the list.


Notice the PDF option button. It allows you to override the PDF quality when necessary. You can also choose what data you want to include in your PDF file.


As you can see below, layer information option is placed here. And now it supports hyperlinks, saved view, and capture AutoCAD fonts.


The saved views will appear in PDF bookmarks.


This is a nice enhancement, but I still wish AutoCAD would support plotting to 3D PDF in the future.

Navisworks and BIM 360 Support

In this version, now you can attach Navisworks Cache file (.nwc) and Navisworks Document file (.nwd).

In External References panel, now you can find the Attach Coordination Model menu.


If you select the Navisworks model, you will see these options in the contextual tab.


Navisworks model is only for visual reference. You can’t snap to the model to get a reference point. I also find that the display is doesn’t show when I turn on the perspective view. This is probably related to my graphics card. So don’t expect too much if you don’t use certified graphic cards.

AutoCAD 2015 already has BIM 360 support. In this version, you can attach a model from BIM 360. I don’t have a BIM 360 account, but I expect that it works the same as attaching a Navisworks model. You can only use it as a visual reference.


New REGENAUTO behavior is nice. System Variable Monitor has potential, but right now it is still very limited. The security option has better visibility to avoid confusion.

The PDF plotters seem better and allow us to add more data in our PDF files.

Attaching Navisworks and BIM 360 models can be useful if you use vertical products, like AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP. I’m not sure if I need it when I use vanilla AutoCAD.

What about you? Do you think these enhancements are useful?

Thank you to John Brandt of John H Brandt Acoustic Design who did editorial review of this post!

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What’s New in AutoCAD 2016: The Interface Mon, 06 Apr 2015 08:57:42 +0000 Autodesk has launched AutoCAD 2016 at the end of March 2015 in US. We in other countries can download it few days (or maybe weeks) later. As usual, when a new version is released we cover the new features here.

Let’s start with the AutoCAD interface.

The first Look

It’s good to see that Autodesk doesn’t waste much time in changing unnecessary interface. The most obvious, the splash screen is still the same in the last 3 versions. The icons and theme color is the same.

Hopefully it means Autodesk spend more time to work on real enhancements.

There’s a little change in trial installation. If you install it as trial, there is an interesting thing: you need to login to Autodesk account before you can install it.

It means Autodesk can find out if you install trial version a few times.


After you install it, AutoCAD 2016 doesn’t look that different with previous version.

Start Tab

In AutoCAD 2015, Autodesk introduce the New Tab. In AutoCAD 2016, the name is changed to Start Tab. It may sounds weird to change the tab name, but I think they change the name because the behavior is also changed.


AutoCAD 2015 New tab gives you options to create/open files and several other things. But after you open the file, the New Tab will disappear.

AutoCAD 2016 Start Tab do the same thing, but it is persistent. It will stay as the left most tab after you create a new file.

In AutoCAD 2015, when you click the plus (+) tab, it will open the New tab to allow you create a new file again.

In AutoCAD 2016, (+) icon will immediately create a new file (similar to QNEW). The Start tab will remains open at the left most tab.

So now you can click the (+) icon to quickly create new file. And if you want more options, you can go to Start tab.


There is a new command introduced with the Start tab: GOTOSTART. You can type it or press ctrl+Home. This command will bring you to Start tab without having to click the tab.

There is also new system variable: STARTMODE. You may have guessed correctly. Yes, you can disable Start tab by changing the value to 0. Change to 1 (default) if you want to show it again.


In AutoCAD 2016, there is a new command: CLOSEALLOTHER. This command will close all drawings, except the current tab.


This command is only available by typing the command at command line. This command is not available from ribbon.

This command would be useful if you want to close unnecessary drawings to free some computer resources.

Layout scrolling when dragging

In AutoCAD 2015, when you have too many layouts AutoCAD will hide some of the Layouts. You can only arrange the layout order by dragging if the Layout name is shown.

For example, you can’t move Layout 1 to after Layout 12 because it’s not visible.


In AutoCAD 2016, you can drag to the end of Layout tabs and AutoCAD will scroll to the next hidden Layout. Allows you to arrange it, even if the Layout location is not currently visible.


Status Bar

Status bar appearance has changed since AutoCAD 2015. Autodesk has implemented minor changes in this version.

New Items on Status Bar

Now you can turn on/off Lock UI and Isolate Objects. Isolate Objects is already here before, but you can’t turn it off in AutoCAD 2015.


Status Bar layout enhancement

In AutoCAD 2016 if you resize AutoCAD window narrow enough, you will see the status bar will be displayed in 2 rows. This will make AutoCAD can display all status bar icon when you have lower screen resolution.


And no, AutoCAD will not display it to 3 rows. AutoCAD will hide the icons if the status bar can’t display it in 3 rows.

GALLERYVIEW system variable

In AutoCAD 2015, Autodesk introduced Ribbon Galleries. It will display thumbnails of blocks and annotation styles at ribbon.

In this version, you can turn it off using GALLERYVIEW system variable. It looks like not everyone like Gallery View.

GALLERYVIEW = 1 will display Ribbon Galleries and changing it to 0 will turn it off.

To Sum up

So nothing is really new in AutoCAD 2016 interface. Many of them are the fix for features implemented in previous version.

For me, this is actually not a bad thing. There are several new features that you might find useful. We will cover more in the next article.

What do you think? Do you find the enhancements useful?

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Controlling Revit Appearance: View Overrides Wed, 01 Apr 2015 03:30:52 +0000 We have learned how we can control object appearance in Revit using Object Styles. As we learned, settings in Object Styles will apply to all views. In our design, we often need to change the appearance in a specific view but not the others.

For example, we want to show the furniture in interior design but not in structural design. Or maybe you want to show more colorful drawings for presentation drawings but not in architecture drawings.

Let’s see how you can change the object appearance in specific views.

Visibility/Graphic Overrides

Visibility/Graphic Overrides has the exact same settings as Object Styles. The only difference in this setting is: it only apply in one view. You can override model and annotation categories by switching to another tab.

If you change the overrides in 1st Floor Plan view, it won’t affect 2nd Floor Plan View and other views.


You can access Visibility Graphic from Revit ribbon> View tab> Visibility Graphics.


You can also open Visibility/Graphics Overrides by pressing VG as shortcut


Still in Visibility/Graphics Override, you can also use document filters. Document filters allow you to control objects in multiple categories at once.

You can filter objects by their properties and then change their appearances. (Read: 3 Benefits of Using Revit view filter). It means that you can also change appearance of objects in the same category, but have different properties.

You can access document filters from Visibility/Graphics Override dialog> Filters tab.


To create a new filter, click edit/new button at the bottom.


Click new to create a new filter.


Next you can define the object categories that you want to include in this filter.

In the 2nd column, you can choose what category you want to include. In this example only walls in selected.

In the 3rd column, you can define rules if you want to filter objects by their properties. You can use multiple rules here. In this example, only exterior function is used here.


After you define the filters, click OK to go back to Visibility/Graphics Override.

You have defined the filters. Now you can use them here.

Click Add to add filters that you want to use.


After you add the filters, you can override their appearance similar to what you can do with Model Categories in Visibility/Graphic Overrides.


This is an example how you can set different colors for walls. The red walls are exterior walls, and the blue walls are interior walls.


Where is this exterior/interior function defined? It is saved in the type/instance properties. For wall function, it is saved in Type Properties.

You may need to explore the properties further to have better control when using filters.


View Templates

To get visualization that you want, you may need to change many settings in a view. If you want to apply the same settings to other views, you don’t have to do all the settings again. You can save it to a view template.

You can create view template by saving from a view or you can change the settings manually.

If you already have a view that you want, you can save the settings.

Open the view that you want to save the settings, click Create Template from Current View. You can access it from View tab> View Templates.


To apply the template, open view that you want to override then click Apply Template Properties to Current View.

If you are more adventurous, you can explore the settings in Manage View Templates.

All view templates are listed here. You can change any view settings from this dialog. If you change the settings here, all views that use the template will be updated with the new settings.


If you use View Template, you can’t override View Categories in that particular view. The settings will be greyed out and can’t be changed.

Override Category/Elements View

You can also change elements view by overriding individual object or selected objects. Select objects that you want to change, right click and choose Override Graphics in View> By Element.

An example of using this override is when you want to make far objects look thinner.


The other options, By Category and By Filter is the same as using Visibility/Graphics Override. If you change the view properties here, the settings will be applied there also.


I found that many people fear that they can’t change view appearance in Revit easily. Revit actually has many options to do that quickly and easily.

If you want to change appearance for objects in all views, use Object Styles.

If you want to change appearance for objects in specific view, use Visibility/Graphics Override.

And if you want to control the appearance further, use filters.

You can save all the settings so you can reuse them in other views, using view templates.

You can override single or multiple objects without following any rules too, by overriding the settings by element.

It’s quite easy, isn’t it?

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7 Benefits of using AutoCAD Sheet Set Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:06:20 +0000 AutoCAD has Sheet Set feature since version 2005. Yes, it’s been that long. More than 10 years already! But still not many people use it.

Sheet Set can be very useful, it gives more benefits than using regular layout. By using layout alone, we can get many benefits (read: 10 Reasons to Use AutoCAD Layout).

engineering drawing sheets

You can get more benefits by implementing Sheet Set in your workflow. Let’s see what Sheet Set offers.

1. Manage similar drawings in Subsets

Sheet Set works like folders in Windows. But instead of managing files, it manages your sheets. You can create Subsets under the main Sheet Set. You can create Subset under a Subset if you need to classify the drawing further.

This is how Sheet Set looks in Sheet Set Manager.


This probably doesn’t feel significant. But there are many benefits of managing the drawings in Sheet Sets. We will see them in the next point.

2. Publish drawings

You can use publish command without using Sheet Set Manager. However, if you manage the drawings in Sheet Set properly you can publish multiple drawings faster.

You can choose to publish the whole drawings in the whole Sheet Set. Or if you want to publish only architectural drawings, you can publish drawings in a Subset.


You certainly can save the sheet list in Publish command. But as the project grows, you also need to update the drawing list regularly.

You don’t have to do that if you use Sheet Set. The drawing list in Sheet Set will also grow if you use it.

3. eTransmit drawings

eTransmit is a great tool to pack and send your drawings. Similar to publish command, you can use this tool separately. However, accessing this tool from Sheet Set Manager will add the drawings quickly than add the drawing individually to eTransmit.


You can pack and send (or backup) all drawings in your project with all dependent files quickly.

4. Automatic Title Block texts

Sheet Set can fill required text in title blocks automatically, for all sheets in Sheet Set. Every time you create a new sheet in Sheet Set, AutoCAD will fill the text for you.


If you have to change the drawing information, you only need to do it once. The value will be updated in all sheets.

This will reduce time and error when creating your drawings.

5. Automatic drawing list

You can create drawing list from Sheet Set easily. Similar to the other tools, you can create sheet list from the whole Sheet Set or just a specific Subset.


Not only the drawing number and drawing name, you can include all necessary properties like drawn by, check by and approved by like below.


6. Automatic view title

Sheet Set doesn’t just manage sheets. It also recognize your views in model and sheets. When you place your views using Sheet Set in sheet (if you are confused, we used to call it layout) AutoCAD will also filled view title with information.

In this example, AutoCAD will fill the sheet number, drawing name and drawing scale automatically.


You need to input the drawing number manually, but AutoCAD has done the most work!

7. Automatic callout number

You can add callout to refer to other drawing in Sheet Set. If you guess Sheet Set Manager will fill the information automatically, you are right.

The drawing number and sheet number where the detailed drawing is placed, shown in the callout bubble.


Drawing Management with AutoCAD Sheet Set e-book

To get all the benefits, you need to learn and prepare several things. You need to create title block, view title and callout to retrieve the information from Sheet Set. You need to create Sheet Set with custom properties.

If you are interested to learn more about using Sheet Set in AutoCAD, check our e-book here:


It has free chapter to try the Sheet Set benefits as described above. Download the sample chapter here.

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