Multi-Drawings can be a somewhat confusing concept to new users. Even people who have been using SoftPlan for years don't always use them to their full potential.
Most people understand how to use Multi-Drawings to add a border to a drawing and maybe combine Elevations on to one page. But you can do so much more.
I'm going to show you how to set up your multi-drawings one time for your entire project and then print out the whole set with a single command. Once you have your project set up this way then any time you want to print a new set of plans it is a simple one step process. Not only that but you can copy these Multi-Drawings from Project to Project and use them over and over again.
When I first started using SoftPlan I would use Multi-Drawing to add a border to a plan. I would then add the appropriate information such as descriptive name, scale, and page number. The descriptive name was something like First Floor Plan. I would then print the First Floor. To print the Electrical Plan I would have to change over to Electrical Mode, change the plan description, change the plan number, and then print. This was repeated over and over every time I wanted to print out a set of plans. It didn't take long to figure out there had to be a better way.
...you can copy these Multi-Drawings from Project to Project and use them over and over again.
First of all let's discuss what Multi-Drawings are. Essentially, Multi-Drawings allow you to create views of other drawings. These views can be of varying scale and they can be of the entire drawing or just a portion of it. The files could be in the same folder as your current project or they could be somewhere else on your computer or even on a file server in your office.
One of the options you have when creating Multi-Drawings is to use System Drawings. System Drawings are typically drawings that are used over and over again and they are never changed. Some examples would be a Border or a standardized Typical Details Sheet. Personally, I don't use System Drawings. I want to keep my projects all self-contained and portable so I can zip up an entire folder and send it off and the person on the other end gets all of the same files I have. If you've ever tried to open up an AutoCad file that someone sent you and portions of the drawing are Xrefs referring to other drawings on their system you know what I’m talking about. You end up with error messages and only part of the drawing. The other problem I have with System Drawings is that it is too easy to accidentally make a change to the System Drawing that you had intended for another drawing. This change will then be replicated to every drawing that accesses that System Drawing.
Let's start out by setting up our page sets. These will be the Multi-Drawings that you will be printing.
Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com