Setup Default Views from .plan to .layout


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Setup Default Views from .plan to .layout

I have found a way to set up and automate my default template .layout file using my default template .plan file.

In the video below I step through how to set up your .layout so that all your common views are already in place on your default template .layout file.

  • I use pre set Plan Views (with print ready layer sets) of each floor. (Set up in the default template)
  • I use pre set Cross Sections (My four elevation views). (Set up in the default template)
  • I use CAD Details to connect my common cross sections. (Set up in the default template)

I wanted to find a way to set up my default .layout file so that I no longer needed to send layout views from my .plan file to the .layout file any longer as that seemed redundant for 95% of my drawings. 

Let me know your thoughts or if there are other ways to achieve the same automation.

https://www.loom.com/share/ba8e075063df47f5b4229acb30f7b4a9

I realize that as I explain this that the listener has an understanding of Plan Views, the Default Plan and Layout Template.

Once again if I do not make myself clear, I set this up once using my Default Plan Template and my Default Layout Template, so that all future drawings will have all the Sections and Plan Views set up in the Layout once you connect your current drawing to the layout when prompted.

Thank you,

Steve

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, HumbleChief said:

Thanks Steve, I've got a system in place but will make time to watch your videos to see what I can learn.

 

Larry

Thank you! I am using it and it is working great for me. Mind you that I created a new common section CAD Detail which I should not have done. This was an issue only with connecting my new default .layout to older, incomplete .plan files. I have a few to get through and then I will be fine. The few new jobs I have done work perfectly! The old plans I only need to reconnect to my old common section file which takes a second, so not a big deal.

 

I may do a new short to the point video on how to make the .layout file.

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  • 1 month later...

interesting as I'm tired of sending to layout and then adjusting where it lands. . I'm not sure for your demo why after connecting the first plan, why you could not just delete it. i.e. instead of picking the default plan to put to layout, open the default plan, save as, then put those views to layout, then delete that plan. ..probably the same effect as what you have. The plot line thing is interesting. I'm almost thinking there may be a way to automate this...well I just checked and there is a way to automate this if and only if you maintained the same number of characters in the path. i.e. if your path on one project was:

C:\Users\Jason\Documents\CA\JohnnysDesign\JDPlan.plan

 

then your next project would need to be

C:\Users\Jason\Documents\CA\BobsDesign___\BDPlan.plan

 

The way to do this would be to alter the layout file with an outside program. I used a hex editor to replace all instances of the plan name, with the new name, in the layout file and then saved it, then opened in in CA and it worked. I tried the same thing with different file lengths but it did not work

 

so if you maintained same number of characters in the file path, you could automate this even further than you have.

 

As well, when I tested, you do not have to change the view or do anything for the updated views to show in layout. ..might not be a bad solution if one could live with the same number of characters in the plan. The layout filename size should not matter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, jasonn1234 said:

there is a way to automate this if and only if you maintained the same number of characters in the path.

Not true.  The key is parsing the path by using the "\" character.  

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2 hours ago, Joe_Carrick said:

Not true.  The key is parsing the path by using the "\" character.  

I just tested it by doing the following:

 

create a new plan called Untitled 12.plan

create a new layout called Untitled 12.layout

keep in same directory

 

send a camera, floor plan SPV, elevation, another SPV  form Untitled 12.plan to Untitled 12.layout

save

close CA

copy Untitled 12.plan to Untitled 13.plan

open CA. open Untitled 13.plan, change some walls, that change the roof. observe that the camera, elevation, floor plans have all changed

save

close CA

 

download a hex editor. open Untitled 12.layout in hex mode

change Untitled 12 to Untitled 13 in 4(or however many are created) instances in the file where it they have a view named (the other instances are for last file opened). These are at the end of the Untitled 12.layout file

save

open CA.

open Untitled 12.layout

observe that it shows the contents of Untitled 13.plan, not Untitled 12.plan

 

This means you can effectively change the referenced plan file in a layout file, outside of CA. IF and only if the path is same number of characters. i.e I tried changing to Untitled 123456 and it did not work

 

of course I  did not try to change the last directory, but I'll give it a go and post back

 

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so i just tried changing the directory and it works as well

 

I changed:

C:\Users\Jason\Documents\CA\test folder

 

to

C:\Users\Jason\Documents\CA\testy folde

 

and changed Untitled 12 to Untitled 14 and put in this new directory.

 

Then repeat the steps above

 

The only thing I missed is after you open the modified layout. Select Tools-->Layout->update all views to update the cameras. But this is no different than usual for me as I keep them as update on demand

 

so what this implies is you could create a layout like steven described, and save it as the template, but instead of using the default plan, use the plan in the directory structure you want to use(by copying the default plan to it). Or you could open the default plan and save it in the new directory and then send it to the template layout, either way works. as long as the template file is referencing a plan which follows your directory structure

 

For instance suppose this is your naming convention:

 

C:\CA\JOBDESCRIPTION\JOB NAME.plan

 

note that the path is 22 characters for the directory and filename

would be the one referenced in your template layout.

 

Then if you have a new job you would create a directoy called

C:\CA\JONS JOBSITE__\

and create a plan called Johns jo.plan

 

as the filler of __ and the truncation of job to jo maintain the same number of characters

 

then you would copy the template layout to

C:\CA\JONS JOBSITE__\

then rename the layout to whatever you want

then open up the layout in a hex editor and replace

C:\CA\JOBDESCRIPTION\JOB NAME.plan

with

C:\CA\JONS JOBSITE__\Johns jo.plan

 

and voila, when you open the new layout it will point to Johns jo.plan

 

when you start s new project plan you would then save the plan

 

ideally back in my younger years I'd create a little windows program to just setup the directory and create them, and create the new file name and copy the layout to that directory, rename, and replace the Hex.

 

There might be a command line hex editor which takes a search and replace as a parameter. If this was the case, it could all be done with a batch file

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Very interesting. I would not be interested in the same number of characters. For now it is working for me as I have laid out and seems to be straight forward for me. Download loom and do a video of your process. I am also interested in greater automation, but it sounds like I would be restricted to name length and having to copy an existing plan to a new plan. I am always updating my .plan and .layout templates tweak by tweak. 

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13 hours ago, stevenyhof said:

Very interesting. I would not be interested in the same number of characters. For now it is working for me as I have laid out and seems to be straight forward for me. Download loom and do a video of your process. I am also interested in greater automation, but it sounds like I would be restricted to name length and having to copy an existing plan to a new plan. I am always updating my .plan and .layout templates tweak by tweak. 

You would not have to copy an existing plan to a new plan. Effectively what it would do is instead of having your default plan in the CA directory you would put it in your own named directory and configure chief to get the templates from there

 

I was thinking about the naming and I'm not sure I'd be too worried about the name as it is only for the plan, layout could be whatever. And if the scripting was built correctly it would pad the characters for you. AS we print from layout, that would seem to be the important filename as it also defaults the PDF name

 

Let me play around with it and see, then yes I'll post a video. 

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so doing some more testing, it looks like the plan file name can be LESS than the one which created the layout to begin with. This is good news. What it means is I can create the template file like you did, except do it with a very long path name for the plan location. then as long as your pathname is less, everything would work.

 

This will be much simpler

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Jason,  I feel like you're investing an awful lot of time and energy to solve something that's really a very minor issue at worst (linking a re-named plan file to layout).  And to boot, the method you're using isn't something I think Chief ever intended and therefore you may end up having some notable problems if you or anyone else adopts it in their regular workflow.  What happens a month from now for example when Chief releases X13 and they suddenly change the behavior?  Will it have been worth all the hassle?  Just a thought.

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  • 2 weeks later...

found a programmer in France to do it up, $18

 

see attached video.

 

Where I notice this could be most useful is creating plan options for clients. I just did 5 options of the same plan in the same day for a customer. after option 2 I gave up creating new layouts and just made the changes betting they would not go back to option 2,3,4. So even though I had 5 PDFs of layout with different options, I only had two plans and two layouts. With this tool, I could quickly copy the layout and the plan to a new directory, run the tool, and KNOW that the previous plan and layout were never touched. Part of the problem with the whole renaming method, is I question as to if I "got all references" and am worried that I did not and am worried I will be altering the previous plan. So what I would do to mitigate this is copy off the plan and layout to a backup directory as well. Then on the first save I go and check the filedatetime of the plan file to make sure I am changing the right one. Kind of a pain if you are trying to get a bunch of options quickly in front of the customer, and you know the layout will not change.

 

 

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On 3/20/2021 at 8:58 AM, stevenyhof said:

Setup Default Views from .plan to .layout

I have found a way to set up and automate my default template .layout file using my default template .plan file.

In the video below I step through how to set up your .layout so that all your common views are already in place on your default template .layout file.

  • I use pre set Plan Views (with print ready layer sets) of each floor. (Set up in the default template)
  • I use pre set Cross Sections (My four elevation views). (Set up in the default template)
  • I use CAD Details to connect my common cross sections. (Set up in the default template)

I wanted to find a way to set up my default .layout file so that I no longer needed to send layout views from my .plan file to the .layout file any longer as that seemed redundant for 95% of my drawings. 

Let me know your thoughts or if there are other ways to achieve the same automation.

https://www.loom.com/share/ba8e075063df47f5b4229acb30f7b4a9

I realize that as I explain this that the listener has an understanding of Plan Views, the Default Plan and Layout Template.

Once again if I do not make myself clear, I set this up once using my Default Plan Template and my Default Layout Template, so that all future drawings will have all the Sections and Plan Views set up in the Layout once you connect your current drawing to the layout when prompted.

Thank you,

Steve

 

 

 

 

This is the correct way to use this software IMHO. I have been using a template .plan file tied to a template .layout for quite some time. I actually have a .layout for small sheet/11x17 'concept' layouts with 1/8 scale views, and the full .layout for my 24x36 sheets (and an 18x24 for smaller jobs)

 

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having a plan and layout already configured is a must for saving a lot of time. I have been doing that for 15 years using Chief.

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I find I am not there yet. sometimes it is full sets. i do a lot of basements, addtions, suites, but the size varies, so it is sometimes at 3/8, sometimes at 1/4. sometimes there is a stair section, but if I do not have to do two floors there is not. I tried to use my full set layout, but there were too many pages.

 

In thinking about this some more, to make it as general as possible, there should be as little unique plan info on the layout as possible. Today I have the section callout on the layout(I think I followed one of CA's videos) it keeps the callout label consistent size, which is nice. but I have to move them around if I have more or less sections. It would be easier to have this on the plan, and perhaps live with the callout label size inconsistency (and have to constantly place them on the section...which is why I think I moved them to the layout to begin with).

 

I guess where i am gong with this thought is, if you had to create mutiple options for the same plan for a client, and started a new template for each, it would be a bit of a pain to repopulate the layout with all of the details (that did not come from a plan) and do any other adjustments to the layout (notes). The only way to do this today would be to do the whole process of, save layout as new, rename linked plan, open layout, link to new plan, rename old plan back to original name. I'll try out the tool for a bit, and see how it works. If it seems useful, I'll post it. The other thing i might get added to it is a function to just not associate any plan file to the layout. This would essentially create a template layout from any layout without having to go through the rename thing

 

 

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2 hours ago, jasonn1234 said:

I guess where i am gong with this thought is, if you had to create mutiple options for the same plan for a client, and started a new template for each, it would be a bit of a pain to repopulate the layout with all of the details (that did not come from a plan) and do any other adjustments to the layout (notes). The only way to do this today would be to do the whole process of, save layout as new, rename linked plan, open layout, link to new plan, rename old plan back to original name. I'll try out the tool for a bit, and see how it works. If it seems useful, I'll post it. The other thing i might get added to it is a function to just not associate any plan file to the layout. This would essentially create a template layout from any layout without having to go through the rename thing

Either I am missing something or you are. I use the SAM method and absolutely do not rename plan files...ever...it's a terrible practice..if you ever want to rename something, rename the containing folder.
Save a template layout and template plan with as many cameras, SPV's, CAD details sent to layout as you like

Template plan is linked to template layout. Start a new plan, draft up your building. Save the plan file. Start a new layout, Tools/Layout/Referenced Plan Files/ change to the plan you just saved. No renaming at all. Plan file should always remain the same name, ie John Doe Project.plan. (save them in the same folder...210525-DRVA-V1-R0)


Have a different version, do the same process.

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4 hours ago, Renerabbitt said:

. Start a new layout, Tools/Layout/Referenced Plan Files/ change to the plan you just saved

well I totally missed that function, thanks for letting me know

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