Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Working with SSMPropEditor in AutoCAD

If you are new to the Sheet Set Manager and Sheet Sets this tutorial is for you.

CAD applications supporting Sheet Sets are AutoCAD and its verticals, BricsCAD, GstarCAD and NanoCAD Plus/Pro.

This is a Guest Article by Acuity Training. See also the previous article: An Introduction to Working with Sheet Sets

SSMPropEditor is a third-party appl that you can install from the Autodesk App Store. It costs $50 but there is a free 30-day trial available as well. The purpose of SSMPropEditor is to automate tedious tasks like updating drawing properties when working with a Sheet Set or with multiple sheet sets. It displays Sheet Set and Sheet properties in a far more effective manner than the default AutoCAD Sheet Set window. As such, SSMPropEditor takes the concept of Sheet Sets a step further giving us previously unavailable automation options. AutoCAD is not the only program that is compatible with SSMPropEditor, it also works with GstarCAD and BricsCAD and AutoCAD Architecture’s Project Navigator.

AutoCAD doesn’t come with SSMPropEditor pre-installed, so before you can use it, you have to download it–which you can do here. Remember, you must have an Autodesk account to download this (or any other) appl through the Autodesk App Store. Make sure before you download it, that AutoCAD is not open. After you’ve gone through the installation process, you can open AutoCAD. Once open, you should see a dialogue pop up in the top-right corner that looks like this:

Image 1

(Figure 1)

If you navigate to the Add-ins Tab on the Ribbon, you will now see a new icon. The SSMPropEditor icon. Click it, and the SSMPropEditor applet will open.

You immediately notice the user-friendly interface and the ease of accessibility

Image 2

(Figure 2)

If you would like to follow along with this tutorial, you should download these files. 

In the SSMPropEditor window, click File, then Open. Navigate to the Tutorial Folder, then the Sheet set dst folder, and then double-click on the file SheetSetTutorial.dst.

Let’s do some bulk-editing of these files. Select the 3 Plans by clicking on the first one, holding down on SHIFT, and clicking on the last one.

Image 3

(Figure 3)

Click the fill box next to the “Category” Property, and type “Plan.” Click anywhere in the Navigation Browser (White box on left) and a dialogue will come up asking you if you want to apply your changes. Apply these Changes, and remember to always apply changes in this tutorial unless told otherwise.

Now all 3 Sheets are identified as the Category of “Plan”. We can even see this on AutoCAD. Before you can view any Sheet Properties on AutoCAD however, you have to unlock them. Click “Sheet Set Tutorial” in Navigation Browser, then click Unlock.

Image 4

(Figure 4)

Go to SheetSet in AutoCAD. If you right-click on any of the plans and click Properties, you will see that the word “Plan” is in the Category Property.

Image 5

(Figure 5)

You can use this method for bulk-adding your name or other similar properties.

It can become really tedious having to retype the same properties across multiple Sheet Sets. This is where SSMPropEditor comes in. We can use the applet to transfer properties from one Sheet Set to another Sheet Set.

Go back to your SSMPropEditor window, and re-lock the Sheet Set. Afterwards, type this in the Description Property box of the entire sheet set: “ This Sheet Set is for the purpose of tutorials.”

Image 6

(Figure 6)

Click Copy Properties.

Image 7

(Figure 7)

After you’ve applied your changes, save everything and go to File>Open. Open the other Sheet set file, Sheet Set Prop Tutorial.dst.

Click Paste Properties. The description will have transferred, along with other Properties.

You can even use SSMPropEditor to choose which Sheets will and will not be printed. This is really useful in the instance you are sending the sheet set to multiple people for print, but only want certain people to print certain sheets. In the past you would have had to create custom files for each person, but now you can send the same file to multiple people with only a property changed.

Go back to the previous Sheet Set. Click on 1 - Floor Plan and change the “Include for Publish” property to No.

Image 8

(Figure 8)

After unlocking, go back to AutoCAD and open up the Sheet Set Print dialog. As you can see in Figure 9, only Sheets 2 and 3 have been marked for print.

Image 9

(Figure 9)

SSMPropEditor has other useful features not available in AutoCAD. You can select any Value and by clicking “Increment Value”, increment that value by one.

Image 10

(Figure 10)

In our tutorial, the Foundation Plan is a different .dwg file than the other 2 Plans. But what if someone drew up a Foundation Plan on the other dwg? Well you could easily change the File Name by making it the same as the other ones (houseonedone.dwg). In 3 – Foundation Plan, change the File name Property to houseonedone.dwg. Apply and Save. In the future, opening the Foundation Plan Sheet won’t open the foundation drawing.

Tip: make sure that you are hitting Apply, and also Save as frequently as possible

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. See also the AutoCAD course for Architects with some free chapters.

JTB World also has several apps that further helps working with Sheet Sets.

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