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Layout And Plan Templates

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There are many ways to skin this cat, among them doing a 'Save As' also known as the 'Save As Method' or SAM (thanks Scott) and the other best known option is using templates for each Layout and Plan file.

 

The SAM method brings forward an older, though recent, plan and then gets 'Saved As" another plan file and work on the new project begins with all of the newest Anno Sets, Layers Sets, and various settings that might have changed to one's liking from the last plan file.

 

The same thing, in essence, happens to the Layout file. It gets 'Saved As' a new file and all current notes and Layout details get saved in this latest version of the Layout. Pretty slick and I use a bit of this and bit of that for my new Layouts and Plans.

 

Another method, and apparently now advised by the folks at Chief, is to use a template for both Layout and Plan files. Both templates, it seems to me, need to be periodically updated to keep any new settings or Layout/Plan notes etc. current and I suppose this is actually done using a very similar 'Save As' whereby you take your existing template, update it and do a 'Save As' as the new template file(s).

 

I'm assuming this Layout template has within it a Plan template as well and for every new project there is no reference to an other, older plan, and that plan template is opened from the Layout, renamed, as well as the Layout file to reflect the new project.

 

I've been using a variation of both methods and it's turned into a real mess. Nothing that can't be handled but too much work as I shift between both methods.

 

The problem is I am constantly making changes in both Layouts and plans. I have been adding note after note after note as each new plan checker at the city decides there's a new note that's required. If I have a Layout Template that template has to remain up to date so I can include all those notes - for each City. I end up opening the last layout file and using that (then Saving As) so I can preserve those changes, but should save as a new template perhaps?

 

I am also constantly adding or modifying Anno and Layer sets to reflect some custom view I've developed or a technique I just learned and feel like I can't let go of that last plan with those changes and use 'Save As' to preserve those changes and sometimes update a template file but not always.

 

It seems like the SAM covers everything but in a way I prefer having templates but they have to be updated or they become more work to update all the changes. Sigh. So what's my question?

 

Not sure but maybe just some insight from other users would be helpful.

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The problem I have is when you are working on 5 - 10 different jobs at the same, making changes to each as you go along. 

 

How do you get all the different changes into the latest Plan Template and Layout Template. Even the SAM method doesn't seem to work.

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The problem I have is when you are working on 5 - 10 different jobs at the same, making changes to each as you go along. 

 

How do you get all the different changes into the latest Plan Template and Layout Template. Even the SAM method doesn't seem to work.

That's EXACTLY what I'm going through now. I want to stop everything ( at least 10 jobs on my desk right now) and create some system but can't seem to stop anything right now long enough to create a system that really works.

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It would be a big help if once you have a layout with an associated plan that when using SAM it would also automatically create a copy of the associated plan with the new layout name and relink. This could also be applied when a plan is opened first which also has an associated layout, SAM would save the renamed plan and a new associated layout would be created and linked to the new plan.

 

Graham

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I use a slightly different approach.  I use any previous Project as a set of Templates. 

 

My system - macro based of course ;) ;) , copies the entire folder structure of whatever Layout/Plan I currently have open and renames the copy to the new project name.  Then all I have to do is relink the new Layout and clear out the Plan - as much as needed.  Sometimes there are some areas of the Plan that can be kept, but usually I delete everything except the Terrain Perimeter, CAD Details and Cameras.  Any secondary Plans (Detail Plans for example) linked to the Layout are automatically linked to the new Layout so I'm all set to go.

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I use a slightly different approach. I use any previous Project as a set of Templates.

My system - macro based of course ;) ;) , copies the entire folder structure of whatever Layout/Plan I currently have open and renames the copy to the new project name. Then all I have to do is relink the new Layout and clear out the Plan - as much as needed. Sometimes there are some areas of the Plan that can be kept, but usually I delete everything except the Terrain Perimeter, CAD Details and Cameras. Any secondary Plans (Detail Plans for example) linked to the Layout are automatically linked to the new Layout so I'm all set to go.

I'm curious if I'm missing something...How is that different than the SAM? It really all seems like semantics to me. Even Chiefs recommended template method is essentially the same as the SAM except that you do the save as to your profile plan rather than simply changing the name and using for a new job.

I understand there are a few differences, but at their cores they all seem essentially the same to me.

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I'm curious if I'm missing something...How is that different than the SAM? It really all seems like semantics to me. Even Chiefs recommended template method is essentially the same as the SAM except that you do the save as to your template plan rather than simply changing the name and using for a new job.

Michael,

 

Not much different at all.  You can save any Plan as a Template.  You can save any Layout as a Template.  Usually you would save those to Chief's Template Folder but even that isn't mandatory.

 

My system is designed to copy the entire Project Folder Structure along with everything in it and do the renaming of the Layout and Plan and any auxiliary files in a single step.  The macro that does this is located in a CAD Detail in the Layout.  I just open the CAD Detail, provide the new Job Name and everything is done.  Complete New Project ready to go.

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I'm curious if I'm missing something...How is that different than the SAM? It really all seems like semantics to me. Even Chiefs recommended template method is essentially the same as the SAM except that you do the save as to your profile plan rather than simply changing the name and using for a new job.

I understand there are a few differences, but at their cores they all seem essentially the same to me.

I see it the same way Michael and part of the reason for my post. Any changes to any template has to use the 'Save As' method too, as you have stated. 

 

The problem with using the SAM is that files can get huge and contain duplicated/useless data. How does saving a template 'as' another template alleviate this problem?

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Larry,

 

The Layouts never really get that big.  Most of what's in a Layout is just 2D graphics.

 

The Plan will grow or shrink depending mostly on the 3D objects contained in the model.  When you strip a Plan down to almost nothing, it will become fairly small.  There will obviously be some data that remains but I haven't found a case where it creates a problem.

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I suspect the real reason Chief doesn't recommend using the SAM has to do with the potential problems that could arise for less experienced and less knowledgeable users. If you don't know how to properly control your layer sets, plan materials, etc. and truly strip that plan back down you can easily make a mess pretty fast.

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At the UGM in Idaho they demonstrated an 'empty' file that was like 80MB in size and therefore recommended that a template be used, but the problem remains with any template in that it may also get huge through using 'Save As'. I know it makes little sense but that was the genesis of the warning to use templates instead of Save as.

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I suspect the real reason Chief doesn't recommend using the SAM has to do with the potential problems that could arise for less experienced and less knowledgeable users. If you don't know how to properly control your layer sets, plan materials, etc. and truly strip that plan back down you can easily make a mess pretty fast.

Very true,

 

Materials, Textures, and a variety of other things can get very cluttered.  Properly clearing out all unnecessary junk is critical.  Since I use separate Plan Files for Details, and only use CAD Details within my Project Plan for Schedules, some Text Boxes for standard notes, etc there isn't much to eliminate.  My Plans usually don't exceed 50 MB.

 

Of course if you start adding a lot of 3D Symbols, Terrain, etc with high-surface-counts you can jack that up very quickly.  OTOH, when you strip those from the plan it should go down pretty fast.

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Larry,

 

The Layouts never really get that big.  Most of what's in a Layout is just 2D graphics.

 

The Plan will grow or shrink depending mostly on the 3D objects contained in the model.  When you strip a Plan down to almost nothing, it will become fairly small.  There will obviously be some data that remains but I haven't found a case where it creates a problem.

I've never had a plan or Layout get too big from using 'save as' but the reason stated above, (even 'empty' files can get really large) was the reason given at the UGM. They showed, or told the story of a plan file with no walls, floors, roofs etc. yet was still very large and was giving the user a lot of problems. Therefore they recommended not using that method for new files. Still not getting it as a valid warning from my experience.

 

I think for me personally I'll have to spend some during a weekend and develop a strategy that works for me, and, for now, not pay attention to Chief's warning about the Save As Method simply because I cannot make real sense of it or see any real down side to it..

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Here's a question I have about new plans/layouts. Is it necessary/wise to begin a new Plan in the Layout so all the associations remain?

 

I ask because I've been using an old plan to begin a new plan and then trying to associate that file within the Layout but the elevations and camera views are all a function of the previous plan so they need to be re-done, kind of defeating the purpose of using an old plan/layout to create a new one.

 

Just drifting a little looking for some clarity.

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I use the template method. When I make adjustments to my plan and / or layout template I do not do a "save as". I just save it. No need to create an additional copy with a new name.

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I use the template method. When I make adjustments to my plan and / or layout template I do not do a "save as". I just save it. No need to create an additional copy with a new name.

 

What do you do when clients request revisions and there is the potential that they may not stick? I like to be able to go back to the pre revision version. Also, having individual plans/layouts saved by major revision points provides a solid record should there be a need to resolve, track down, an issue.

 

Graham

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I'll do save as for different versions of a project. I was referring to modifications to my template plan and layout files.

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I must be missing something here. A template is really no different than a regular plan or layout. I understand the concept and use it but in reality what is the difference between starting with a template versus using your latest plan or layout and editing it? I do the latter a lot, often much faster to edit than starting from scratch.

 

Graham

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I must be missing something here. A template is really no different than a regular plan or layout. I understand the concept and use it but in reality what is the difference between starting with a template versus using your latest plan or layout and editing it? I do the latter a lot, often much faster to edit than starting from scratch.

There is a difference, in theory, between using a template versus using the latest plan and editing it but those differences fade when the template needs updating. The difference is that a template can be used to create a new plan from over and over again. A template really doesn't need to be changed - ever. It can be used as the starting place for every new plan. It would be silly not to change it/update it occasionally but it doesn't have to change every time a new plan is created.

 

Using the Save As Method the plan is updated/changed with every new plan, every time.

 

I haven't had a template that I can use reliably because I'm constantly changing my Layers etc. and I have quite a few plans that have been in the works for weeks which contain all sorts of outdated Layers etc.

 

I've discovered the biggest error I've been making is that I've been using a version the SAM with my plans independent of the Layout, then referencing that new plan in the Layout. Instead of opening the last Layout (or Layout template) and creating the new plan from a view port there. I think I'll experiment a little this weekend and see if I can discover a system that works better.

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Another question/observation. Once the Layout template is polished why would one use a template 'plan'?

 

It seems like you could start with a template plan to create all your new plans from but then the best you can do is associate that plan file within the Layout file and I don't think everything, like elevations, will update because the elevations refer to the previous plan file.

 

On the other hand if you take the plan in your Layout Template and do a Save As, then re-associate that file(s) everything updates. Am I missing something there? Can't see a reason to use a template plan and no down side to using the SAM in this case.

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I do it as you just described.  It works really well.

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Using the S.A.M. method eventually you will have lots of junk in your plan . You will also have lots of useless layers and anno-sets, as you do Larry. I opened one of your plans and couldn't make any sense of it. Cleanup is a must anyway. I just don't want all the extra things to clean up. For me, Templates ,plan and layout is a must. It's very similar to the SAM method but without all the junk. My templates have all the layers and anno-sets and reference sets I need. Sometimes I will add one when needed.

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..... but without all the junk......

 

 

this reminds me that we can now delete MOST layer sets. 

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Using the S.A.M. method eventually you will have lots of junk in your plan . You will also have lots of useless layers and anno-sets, as you do Larry. I opened one of your plans and couldn't make any sense of it. Cleanup is a must anyway. I just don't want all the extra things to clean up. For me, Templates ,plan and layout is a must. It's very similar to the SAM method but without all the junk. My templates have all the layers and anno-sets and reference sets I need. Sometimes I will add one when needed.

My layers etc. have built up over time for special cases and haven't cleaned them up for a while and of course you couldn't make any sense of them nor could I make any sense of yours but I hope that's not the point of this thread.

 

Perry, Can I assume you use a 'Plan' template as well as a 'Layout' template? And I'm guessing they both live inside, and referenced to your Layout file? And every once and a while both are updated to reflect any setting layers etc. you see need changing? Which will use the SAM method but very sparingly.

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this reminds me that we can now delete MOST layer sets. 

Got to take advantage of that.

 

Are you still the SAM Scott? Or have you switched because of Chief's warning re:SAM?

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