How to automatically re-sequence sheet numbers in title blocks with Title Block Manager

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  • Title block data consistency easily accomplished

    CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USATitle Block Manager helps CAD managers and MicroStation users bring about a consistency of title block data in all of a project’s MicroStation files, fast. How? Read on.

    By synchronizing title block data from many design files with an Excel spreadsheet, it is possible to easily make a number of changes right in the spreadsheet and then have Title Block Manager automatically make those changes for you in the affected design files, thereby establishing uniformity of title block data.

    In this article (a follow-up to the January 2004 MicroStation Today article entitled Axiom releases Title Block Manager 1.0!), we will go over how to do this. We will discuss how to handle sheet numbering when inserting a new drawing into a project.

    Let’s say our project has one hundred design files in it, each with its own sequential drawing number. Now let’s say we want to add a drawing to this project, and have it be “Drawing #25”. This means we need to re-sequence the existing drawing numbers in 76 files to make room to insert the new drawing. With MicroStation alone, we would have to edit all 76 design files by hand. With Title Block Manager, we need only re-sequence the drawing numbers in an Excel spreadsheet (which can be done with a single command), and Title Block Manager updates the design files for us automatically. This is how it works.

    Start Title Block Manager from the Axiom menu in MicroStation. This brings up the main Title Block Manager dialog box.

    First, we will update an Excel spreadsheet with the title block information from the design files. Under “Mode:”, choose “Update database from selected design files.”

    Click on the <Edit List…> button and add all the MicroStation files in the project to the list of files to process, including the new file which has not yet had a drawing number assigned to it. Then press <OK>.

    Back in the main dialog box, press <Start>. Title Block Manager will prompt you for the name of the spreadsheet to update. If the spreadsheet doesn’t exist, it will be created. Push <OK> to accept the default spreadsheet.

    You will now see the design files you selected flash by as their title block information is used to update the Excel spreadsheet. When the process is complete, you will be presented with a summary list like the following:

    Now open the spreadsheet to see what Title Block Manager put in it. In our sample spreadsheet below, you will notice that all of the sample files have their “Drawing #” fields filled in except for the new file.

    At this point, you would write “25” in the “Drawing #” cell of the 26th spreadsheet row. The spreadsheet now shows two drawings assigned the number 25 (see below).

    Now, to re-sequence all the drawing numbers, you will use Excel’s ability to update number sequences. To do this, click over the Excel cell with the number 24 in it, and drag the mouse down to the first cell with the number 25. The result will look something like this:

    Now, click on the little black square (called the fill handle) located on the bottom-right corner of the Excel selection set (seen above) and hold it down. Now, to re-sequence the cells in increasing order, drag the selection box down until you get to the last title block drawing number and release the mouse. Once you release the mouse, the numbers will be automatically re-sequenced. The drawing numbers are now properly re-sequenced up to 102 in Excel! The spreadsheet now looks like this:

    After you have made your changes to the spreadsheet, save it and close it. Back in Title Block Manager’s dialog box, change the “Mode:” to “Update selected design files from database.” and press <Start>.

    Press <OK> to accept the default spreadsheet selection. Now, Title Block Manager will update the design files with the information from the modified spreadsheet. When this is complete, you will be presented with a box summarizing the changes that were made. If you were to look at the title blocks in these sample design files now, you would see that their drawing numbers have all been re-sequenced with very little effort thanks to Title Block Manager.

    Title Block Manager gives its users the ability to create title block templates that ensure consistency throughout a project’s title blocks. If you’re looking for an application that takes the work out of managing and maintaining hundreds, even thousands, of your shop’s title blocks by allowing you to make whatever modifications you need, in batch, you need Title Block Manager. Contact Axiom today for more information on this new MicroStation utility.

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