Recreating Problem Drawings Part 4: Layout Recreation

January 25, 2021 Archie Dodge

Recreating Problem Drawings

Part 4: Layout Recreation

In this blog series, we will be covering a method that I regularly use to recreate problem drawings that crash too often, or even corrupted to the point that it will no longer open. If you have experienced these types of drawings and are looking for a potential solution, read on!

In Part 1 of this blog series, we covered the topic of cleaning up our drawing in preparation to recover our problem drawing. Purging and auditing your drawings on a regular basis will help keep your drawings from exhibiting the issue we are trying to correct in this series. If you missed part one of this blog series, you can find it here.

In Part 2 of this blog series, we covered the topic of the Layer States Manager, a tool we use to save the current state of our layer properties to be called upon later. If you missed part two of this blog series, you can find it here.

In Part 3, we inserted the problem drawing into a newly created drawing using the block palette.

After inserting our problem drawing into our newly created drawing, we should now have a nearly recreated drawing that we can open much more reliably than what we started with. Our final task is to recreate the layouts in our newly created drawing.

To do that, we are going to utilize the Design Center to share assets, such as layouts, between two drawings.

The Design Center is a fantastic tool to share assets between drawings. These assets can include layers, blocks, annotation styles, line types, and even external references, among others. The Design Center can be called upon by typing DC into the command line, or using Ctrl+2, and as always, various palettes can be displayed by using the View Ribbon Tab > Palettes Panel Drop-down > Design Center Button.

Like other palettes, the Design Center can be hidden or docked, so it may always remain open for quick access.

If you can open the problem drawing without issue, do so now, along with the newly created drawing that we created in Part 3. This allows us to switch to the "Open Drawings" tab in the Design Center, allowing quick access to the pertinent assets for our task at hand.

If you are not able to open the original drawing, you may still be able to retrieve the layout using the Folders tab in the Design Center. In any case, the newly created drawing from Part 3 must be open and set to the currently active drawing in AutoCAD/Civil 3D.

Whether you can open both drawings the workflow is the same with the exception that you may be utilizing the Folders tab in favor over the Open Drawings tab within the Design Center. For this blog, I will be utilizing the Open Drawings tab.

On the Open Drawings tab, expand the asset tree for the original drawing. Note all the assets that can be shared. In our workflow, most of these assets are brought into our newly created drawing in the insertion process in Part 3 of this blog series. The layouts, however, were not recreated. Select the Layouts category to see all layouts associated with the original drawing. Insert the necessary layouts by right-clicking on each one and choose “Add layout(s)”. Doing so will recreate each layout in the currently active drawing. Note that you can hold shift or control to select multiple assets to insert them all at once.

Now that the original layouts are present in the new drawing, ensure that the viewport orientation and layers are set correctly.

If the layouts were not able to be retrieved due to a severely corrupt drawing, layouts may need to be recreated from scratch. Do so as you normally would brining in title blocks and recreating viewports to scale and orientation. To set all layer states to the original drawing layer properties, we will call upon the Layer States we saved in Part 2 of our blog series. This is a less desirable option than using the Design Center, but still far more efficient and easier to recreate layer properties manually.

In this blog series, we covered a set of tools to help us recreate problem drawing to help eliminate issues going forward in our project, with minimal effort and typically a high level of recovery. Not all files will be recoverable depending on their corruption or issues related to them.

The tools introduced in this blog are tools that are very powerful for many workflows, not only drawing recovery. I recommend keeping the Design Center in mind the next time you need to share an asset between drawing.

Finally, purging and auditing on a regular basis can help prevent problem drawings in the future. I recommend getting into the habit of doing a purge and an audit at the end of each drawing session.

I hope this series has helped you save time that would otherwise be used in recreating a drawing from scratch, saving you time and money in the life of your project!

About the Author

Archie Dodge

Civil Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>Over 12 years of experience in geotechnical engineering design, and land planning design, ranging in projects from dams, gypsum stacks and coal ash piles, to subdivisions, parks, and an airport expansion. Autodesk Certified Professional in Civil 3D and an expert in Autodesk infrastructure software. Trainer and consultant with IMAGINiT Technologies.

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Previous Article
Automated Property Set Data - Part 1
Automated Property Set Data - Part 1

Next Article
Recreating Problem Drawings Part 3: Drawing Insertion
Recreating Problem Drawings Part 3: Drawing Insertion

Covers the topic of inserting a drawing into another drawing in a drawing recovery process.


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