Making a Layout Template with Title Block for Sheet Set

This is the first article in a series dedicated to sheet set in AutoCAD.

This is my first article in a series related to the sheet set of AutoCAD. A sheet set is a great tool for managing project files efficiently without depending too much on Windows Explorer or other third-party file management tools. A sheet can not only be used to organize aset of layouts, but it can also be used to batch plot multiple drawings or to archive your entire project files with just a few clicks, which otherwise is a time-consuming task.

This series of articles is aimed at enabling you to understand all of the nitty-gritty concepts of a sheet set from scratch. Before we start to make a final sheet set, it is necessary to create data files, which will be required for creating the sheet set. Drawing elements like a layout template, override templates, a callout and label blocks should be prepared beforehand.

In this article, I will explain the method of making layout templates for our sheet set.

Page Setup

To start making a sheet template, we will start with creating our page setup settings. Open a new session of AutoCAD and then move to the layout tab and delete any existing viewports on the layout. Rightclick on the layout1 tab and then select the Page Setup Manager from the contextual menu.

Select Layout1 from the page setups list, and click on the modify button. Specify the plotter from the Printer/Plotter panel. For this example, I am specifying DWG to PDF.pc3 as my default plotter. Select the paper size from the next panel. For this example, I am selecting an ISO A3 420-x297-mm paper size. Select the layout option from the plot area drop-down menu, and set the scale to 1:1.

Select the Grayscale.ctb plot style table as well as the Plot Object Lineweights, Plot Transparency and Plot with Plot Styles checkboxes. Select the landscape orientation, and click on “OK” to save the settings. Then click on “Close” from the page setup manager window.

Page setup window.

Page setup window.

Making a Title Block

Now that we have our page setup prepared, we can make a title block with a ruler and other geometries in the layout view. You can also import a title block from any drawing if you have it previously prepared. For the current example, I will import a simple A3 title block from a drawing. You can download the title block that I have used in this example from this link.

To import the title block, type “I” and press Enter. Click on the browse button from the insert window, locate the drawing containing the title block and click on “Open.” Uncheck the Specify Insertion Point Radio button if it is checked, enter 0, 0, 0 as the coordinates of the insertion point and click on “OK.”

The block will be inserted in the layout view. You can reposition the block to place it properly with respect to the plotter margins. Select the title block type X on the command line, and press Enter to explode it. You can also use the PURGE command to remove the title block from the block library. To remove the block from the drawing library, type “PURGE” on the command line and press Enter. Expand the block option from the All Items tree, and select the title block from the list of blocks. Click on the Purge button, and then close the purge window.

Layout with title block.

Layout with title block.

You can also make a title block from scratch using simple draw and modify commands. As an example, make a rectangle with a length of 420 mm and a width of 297 mm along the edges of the layout (the dimensions mentioned here are of an ISO A3 paper). Offset this rectangle in an inward direction to a distance of 10 mm, and erase the original rectangle. Make other areas within this rectangle for entering title block–related information, and use “MTEXT” to add any text content in it.

Adding Fields to Tile Block

The current title block has only geometries and no fields for showing information related to the sheet set. To make this title block useful, we will add fields that can fetch information automatically from the sheet set. We also need to ensure that an appropriate text style is assigned to the fields.

To make a text style, type “STYLE” on the command line and press Enter. A new Text Style window will pop up. Click on the New button, give this style a name and click OK. I have named this text style “Title” for this example. Now change the font of this text style to Dim.shx from the Font Name drop-down menu. Also, change the height of text to four units from the height field. When all of these changes are made, click on the SetCurrent button and close the Text Style window.

Text Style window.

Text Style window.

Now we can add fields to our title block with the Title Text style. Let’s start with adding the Current Sheet Number field in the title block. Type “ATT” in the command line, and press Enter to open the Attribute Definition window. Click on the Preset and Lock position checkboxes from the Mode panel. Type “SNUM” in the Tag field of the Attribute panel, type in “Current Sheet Number” in the prompt field and click on Field box from the default section of the Attribute panel. A new Field window will pop up; select SheetSet from the field category drop-down menu, and select Current Sheet Number from the Field Names panel. Select None from the format panel, and click on OK. You will notice that number symbols will be placed in the default section of the Attribute Definition window.

Select the proper text justification from the Text Settings panel, select Title as the text style and click on OK. Place your field in the appropriate location of the title block. Similarly, place other fields in the title block as well, and save your drawing.

Title block with fields.

Title block with fields.

Saving Layout as a Sheet Template

To save the newly created layout as a template, click on the application button and select “Save as.” Alternatively, you can also use its command equivalent, SAVEAS. From the Save Drawing window, change the format to DWT from the Files of Type drop-down menu. DWT is the native drawing template file type of AutoCAD. Specify the location where you want to save this template, and click on Save.

Making Template Override

The layout template that we created in the example above is made with a paper size of ISO A3, but we can also create multiple override templates with different settings. Let’s make a new override template with an ISO A4 paper size. Open the layout tab of a new drawing, and open the Page Setup Manager window. Assign the paper size to be ISO A4 297 x 210 mm and your desired plotter. Keep other settings as they were in the A3 template, and click on OK. Save this drawing as a template file for further use.


Layout templates are an important element if you are planning to create a well-organized and intelligent sheet set. With the help of fields, the template and title block help in keeping information related to a sheet set organized and up to date. In addition, any change made in a layout can easily be propagated throughout the sheet set file using this layout template.

In the next article, I will explore a method of making a label block and creating a sheet set from existing layout drawings.