Tips & Tricks — The Project Manager’s nightmare! How do you quickly renumber 237 sheets?

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Clearwater, Florida, USA — Imagine that your project is due out on Monday. Your project team spent the weekend putting the final touches on the job. All the 237 sheets have been plotted for the final check. Everything appears to be in order and the tension is starting to ease. Then all of sudden a blood-curdling scream resonates throughout the office. The sheet numbers are wrong. The sheet total is off by one on every sheet, and every sheet number higher than 17 is off by one.

Now raise your hand if you would manually open all 237 sheets to edit text? That is just how it has always been done and it works just fine as long you want to spend the entire afternoon editing text in 237 separate sheet files. If you can modify one sheet in one minute, stay on task, not get any phone calls, and not make any mistakes, then we are talking three hours and 57 minutes just to modify the text.

You can break it up and give sections to different people to hurry things along. That could make it go faster, or it could just make things worse and increase the chance for error. Lets round it up to four man-hours just for editing the design files. I don’t remember the last time that I had four hours uninterrupted.

A quicker way
There is another option. Using Title Block Manager, export all title block information to a database (Excel or Access). Then make changes in Excel and export all the corrected title block data back to your design files. It takes five or ten minutes and is less error-prone than having a team of ten CAD operators editing the text. Instead of a blood-curdling scream, the sites that have Title Block Manager would have a different scenario. You would hear “OK, time to use the Axiom tools.”

The steps are simple:

  1. Open MicroStation and start Title Block Manager.
  2. With Title Block Manager loaded, select Microsoft Excel (or Access) to edit the title block database.
  3. Click on <Edit Database>. It takes a couple minutes to use the automatic increment and the copy feature to renumber all the sheets and change the total sheets field in the database. Save and close the database.
  4. Click on <Select Files> to select all 237 sheet files.
  5. Click on the <Update selected files from the database> action.
  6. Edit your title block data in bulk with Excel and Title Block Manager.

    Renumber all 237 title blocks at one time.

  7. Click on <Start>, check your e-mail, get some coffee and four minutes later the job is complete. Times may vary slightly.

Now which scenario sounds best to you? Updates that take you four hours or just over six minutes — you decide.

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