Plan Sets

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Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Plan Sets
SoftPlan Version:
2014 Plus

The new Plan Sets in 2014 are way cool. I've attached an example page in PDF format.

All of the variable information included in the title block is generated using Information Stamps. Even my address and contact information in the logo are information stamps. If anything changes all I have to do is update my Company Information in System Options and all of my borders update with the new information. The date in the Copyright is an information stamp as well.

The page number is automatically generated. I created several Plan Set Groups for this project. For instance the construction documents are in Group "C". Details are in Group "D". So the page number reflects that this is the first page within the D group or D1. The word "Elevations" down below the page number is generated from an information stamp as well. It reflects the name of the plan set page.

One great benefit to using Plan Sets instead of Mult-Drawings is that all of the Information Stamps show in the Plan Set the same way they will be when you print. Also if you move your pages around or add or subtract pages the page numbers update to reflect their new position within the plan set.

In this page I have 3 different views of the front of the house. These are all live views. In other words if I change the plans these views will all update to reflect the changes.

Lastly, I added an Area Schedule to the border. If I change the plan I can go to the border and regenerate the Area Schedule to reflect the new area sizes for the entire plan. I am actually using 6 areas in this plan. 2 each for the main floor, garage, and upper floor. Each showing the framing and veneer areas.

PDF icon Example Plan Set Page902.61 KB

Bill is the owner and maintainer of

cbe's picture
Thanks for the info, Bill.  

Thanks for the info, Bill.  

I see some nice advantages for the plan sets.  I haven't spent much time on them at all.  My first glimpse seems like that I will need to change a few things that I do on a regular basis.  For example, if I place a drawing on the multi-drawing that isn't 1/4" scale I always place a speed note on the multi-drawing page so the speed note will be at 1/4" also. With plan sets, I don't see an option to add speed notes or schedules.  I liked adding schedules on the multi-drawing b/c I could easy move them wherever I needed them to be.


Another small issue I see is that I have a default multi-drawing page that I use for each: electrical, HVAC, & foundations.  This way the electrical page always starts off with my electrical notes and my riser detail.  The foundation multi drawing always starts off with footing details.  etc.  unless I am missing something, am I just going to need another way to accomplish these things?

- Cory

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Plan Sets

Cory, look over the example Plan Sets I sent you when you get a chance and let me know if you have any questions.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Your thoughts

For those of you who have started using Plan Sets in version 2014 what are your thoughts? I think they are a vast improvement over Multi-Drawings.

My thoughts are:

  • Easy to assemble drawings. Just drag and drop either onto the page name in the Navigation Panel or directly on the page.
  • More intuitive scaling by selecting a scale such as 1/8"=1'-0" rather than having to use decimals such as .5
  • Ability to scale drawings by using Adjust. A digital readout will display the current scale as you adjust the drawing size.
  • Automatic page numbering, optionally including groupings.
  • Easy renumbering of pages by simply dragging them into a different order.
  • Ease of moving drawings around on the page and aligning them with each other by using Move.
  • Remove a drawing by either right clicking its name and selecting Remove From Page or using the Item Erase tool.
  • Show partial drawings by using the Crop tool.
  • Align drawings using the Align To Edge tool.
  • No more having to deal with Workspaces causing the page to zoom way out.
  • No more having to make a drawing active in order to move it on the page.
  • The ability to add live elevations, cross sections, interior cross sections, and any other 3D view directly to the page. These live views can be regenerated to update them as the plans change.
  • The ability to include saved 3D Views by simply dragging them onto the page.
  • Information Stamps display the same as they will be printed.
  • Simple to print or export to PDF by right clicking on the the name of the Plan Set, Plan Set Group, or Page that you want to print.
  • Pages show on the screen just as if they were actual paper pages allowing you to visualize exactly how the drawings will look when printed.
  • You can create multiple plan sets in the same project, each with a different paper size if you choose.
  • If you use System Borders you can select the appropriate border when setting up the Plan Set and the border will be included on each page.
  • Add or remove Watermarks to all pages within the Plan Set by selecting a watermark in the Plan Set edit dialog.
  • You can't move individual elements around. For example if you have a floor plan in the plan set and it includes some text or a schedule that you want to reposition you can't reposition just the text or schedule. You have to move the entire drawing. To get around this limitation you can open the drawing in another window if you have dual monitors or in a Horizontal or Vertical Tab Group and make the adjustments to the drawing and the Plan Set page will update to show the new position.
  • You can add drawing elements such as shapes and text directly to a Plan Set page but not Speed Notes, Symbols, or Schedules. You have to insert them into a drawing that is on the Plan Set page.
  • When adding a border using the Plan Set edit dialog the border selections go directly to the System Borders. There is no local border selection. However you can still select a border that is within your Project by browsing back to the project. Since I don't use System borders I would much prefer that a local selection option was available. I would use System borders if we had the ability to define our own custom Information Stamps. As it is, there is information I need to include on the borders such as Subdivision, Lot, Block, County, etc that is not available as an information stamp.

In my opinion the Pros far outweigh the Cons. Hopefully in future versions Plan Sets can continue to be improved upon.

What are your thoughts?

Kelly Strickland
Kelly Strickland's picture


Regarding one of your cons about custom info stamps, just use the ones that will never be used as shown in the screen capture and add as much text as needed.

Also, do you know of a way to export a Plan Set file as a dwg? Many of my files are multi drawings exported as dwg to my engineer. I'd like to avoid having to create two versions of the same file - one in plan sets and one in multi drawing. thx

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Exporting Plan Sets to DWG

You know, it has been such a rare occasion that I have had to export anything to DWG to send to someone else that I didn't even notice that you couldn't export a Plan Set to DWG. Everything I send out to non-SoftPlan users I send in PDF.

I had thought about using some of the extra Information Stamps like you suggested. But I'm trying to pressure SoftPlan to add the ability to create custom Information Stamps so shhhhhh....mum's the word on the work-around. ;-)

John Vanderwoerd
John Vanderwoerd's picture


I garee that we should be able to add custom information to the project information area and have this come in on plan sets as custom information stamps.

I am really liking plan sets!