Wednesday, October 05, 2016

When Good Sheets go Bad

If you use Civil 3D across multiple years and use Sheet Set Manager you might run into a problem of bloated Sheet Sets. This happens when you open say Civil 3D 2016 and modify the Sheet Set Publish options. This adds some special AEC items into the Sheet Set. Then when you open the Sheet Set in Civil 3D 2013 and modify the Sheet Set Publish options the program doesn’t know what to do with the added AEC Items.

Now a normal response might be to take that data and say I don’t know what to do with it so I’m going to ignore it. Unfortunately AutoCAD says I don’t know what to do with the data so I’m going to copy it and put it into a junk draw. Which is fine if it only did this once. Instead when the Sheet Set Publish item is saved again, AutoCAD finds the same bad data, says I don’t know what I’m going to do with it so copy it again and put the new copy in the same junk drawer. So now I have at least 3 copies of the data. The original and two copies. Do it again and the problem doubles. Keep the actions going and now you’ve got a monumentally bloated sheet set.

So how does one solve this issue? Well the first think I did was search for a solution on line. I didn’t find anything directly related. Only vague reports of something going wrong. This led to an old forum post on AUGI by RK McSwain which pointed to JTB World tools to see the data in an XML file and delete it and then magically the XML file was to turn back into a Sheet Set. Well it looks like from that post to now modifying the XML file no longer turns it back into the same Sheet Set.

So I contacted JTB World to see if he had a solution and it just so happened he did have one in development. This however didn’t benefit me since I had an immediate need for it so I wrote my own App to handle the removal of the bad data. I haven’t had time to publish the App, but JTB World has. You can not only purge bad data, but also merge and merge copy Sheet Sets. You can find more information about the app from this location: JTB DST Tool

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