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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

Property Sets, Tags, and Schedules


Property Set Definitions consist of data that you can define for the purpose of scheduling or tagging an object. Youll see property set data in the Extended Data tab of the Properties Palette.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

Property Sets
To access property set definitions in your drawing, youll need to return to your old pal, Style Manager.

Your drawing is divided into several categories of types of objects and then further by types of styles. For Property Data Formats, Property Set Definitions, and Schedule Table Styles well find everything we need under Documentation Objects.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


When using Tags, they are considered Multi-View Objects and are found under Multi-Purpose Objects. Classification Definitions are also found under Multi-Purpose Objects. Classifications allow us to further define, or pigeon-hole, if you will our data.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Property Data Formats

The base of our properties, and in the end the data we want to use for schedules and tags, are the Property Data Formats. This is not an area where you need to visit each time you work with schedules or tags, but you should understand that this is what defines how your data will appear. There are many formats listed here. If you select one or two and look at them you will see that much like dimension formatting, they spell out how you want your numbers to appear. Length for instance can be set to use dimension style information or set to read in feet-inches, or any other format you would prefer. If you dont choose a format in later steps we will cover, you may be displeased with the schedule or tag appearance. Therefore, it is always important to check the Property Data Formats in your Property Set Definition. This will make a lot more sense as we look at Property Set Definitions.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

Examples of Property Data Formats

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


The Property Set Definitions can be set by object or style. Here are a few that come in the outof-the-box template I used.

The Duct Object Property Set Definition is set by Object. This means that each object could have different information attached to it. For example, an air terminal might be the same size and material, but each one you would want to have a different number.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


This also only applies to Duct, Duct Custom Fitting, Duct Fitting, and Duct Flex objects. It does not apply to doors, windows, pipe, or any other type of object. That is also helpful to know because when you are prompted to select objects you can safely select the entire drawing and only these types of objects will be selected.

To create a new property set definition, you can right-click on Property Set Definitions and choose New.

Lets create one by Style this time instead of by object. When you create by style, every object of that style on the drawing will have the same properties. Its much easier if you are going to add manual information rather than adding it to each individual object. More about that later.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Well select Duct Flex Style only. This will allow us in the end to create a schedule adding all the length of flex duct of each size in our drawing. This isnt something that you can do out of the box.

There are different types of property set data. Automatic property set information is indicated by a lightning bolt and comes directly from data the program already knows. It can sometimes be tricky to know which ones you want to select. My recommendation would be to select more than you want the first time through. Then test your property set with an object and see what type of information youre given. You can then note which ones you want to keep and which ones you can delete. Remember, you can always come back here and modify the property set.
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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


The manual property set data is created by the button that looks like your enter key on your keyboard. It is manual because it is wide open for any information that you want to apply. Thats why its easier if you can apply it to a style, though that may not always be the easiest to do in every situation. Manual property sets allow you to type in what you want included. Since its manual, YOU must be the one to tell the program what information you want in those fields of information. An example of this is manufacturer and model numbers.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


You can also create formulas for property sets.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


You may create a property set in a drawing you are working on as the need arises. To get the property set to another drawing, you simply copy and paste as with any style in Style Manager.

To apply your new property set definition to an existing object, you can right click on the object and select Edit xxx Style. In this case, it is Edit Flex Duct Style. That is because our property set definition is Style-based, not object-based.

Under the General tab, choose the button for Property Sets and add your new property set.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Property sets must be attached to the style or the object. Without that step, you will not be able to use any of that valuable information.

Use the button in the lower left corner of the Extended Data Tab of the Properties Palette to add property sets by object. You can choose which ones you want to add.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Schedules
Now, lets put your new property set to work and create a schedule. There are lots of schedules that come with AutoCAD MEP out of the box.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


If you open the schedule table styles from Style Manager, youll see more architectural schedules than MEP schedules.

Opening Content Browser from the Window pulldown menu in AutoCAD MEP 2009 will give you several MEP catalogs of content.

The Documentation Tool Catalog will provide you with plenty of out-of-the-box schedules and tags that you can modify to fit your needs.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


To begin a new schedule, well return to Style Manager and go to Documentation>Schedule Table Styles. Right-click to create a new style.

Well name this one Flex Duct Schedule. The Applies To tab looks just like when we made a property set definition. Well choose Duct Flex for object type. We then have additional Classifications. You can create your own classifications under Multi-Purpose Objects. You might want a classification for new and existing or for items you are going to fabricate and objects you are going to contract out or buy. You must have the classification made prior to choosing it from this area.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Now were ready to add columns to our schedule. When you select the Add Column button, you will see all property sets associated with Flex Ducts in this drawing. Scroll down until you find the Flex Duct property set we made.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Were going to select columns one at a time to add to our schedule. You can move them around to change the order. For our Length Column, we want a total for the total length needed of flex ducts.

The tabs for Default Format and Layout tabs allow you to choose fonts. The Sorting tab allows you to sort by a specific column.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

We dont have to have the schedule on our Tool Palette to be able to test it out. We can choose any schedule from the Tool Palette Tag & Schedule tab and then change to our Flex Duct Schedule from within properties.

We can schedule through Xrefs and blocks. We can also select in the Properties Palette to Add new objects automatically or to update automatically.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


If you dont choose to update automatically, a hash mark will appear across the schedule to remind you that the schedule has changed. You can right-click on it to update schedule.

If you choose a schedule out of the box, or dont have your property sets applied to objects yet, you will get question marks in your schedule. You can right-click on the schedule to apply all property sets. You can also export your schedule to Excel to use with an estimating program or your own Excel spreadsheet. You can edit your property sets or schedule at any time.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Tags
To add a tag to our drawing, we can choose one from the Tool Palette or from Content Browser. We select the tag and are prompted to Select Objects. The information from the properties of the object feed the tag the same way the schedule was fed.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


The property sets must be attached to the object. If they are not, you can select the button in the lower left hand corner of the Extended Data tab to add property sets.

Once you have the property sets there, you can add information to any manual property set as I did here as an example for Manufacturer and Mount.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Custom Tags

Now lets create a custom tag. Do create a tag, you must create a piece of text first. You can use either Mtext or single line text. If you use single line text you have the added ability of being able to create a tag with multiple property sets attached.

Once youve created our text, go to the Format pulldown menu and choose Define Schedule Tag.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

You name your tag and select objects. If you have a piece of geometry such as a circle, you can select that as well. You want to choose Property for Type and not Text. Click in the area to get a drop down arrow. Once you select that you are choosing Property, you will be able to choose the property set and definition.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training

Heres our tag at work.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


When you start to use a tag, you will be prompted with a dialog box to edit property set data. This allows you to add manual property sets if you want to do so. If you find it annoying, here is how to turn it off.

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Introduction to AutoCAD MEP Training


Other Information
Youve created property sets, tags, and schedules now. Practice using them, but work on organizing them. Youll ultimately want these new tools on your own tool palette. Create a new tool palette just for them. You may also want to share them with others in your office. You can do that by using Content Browser to create a catalog and make palettes to share. The best practice is to create a new drawing and save it in your CAD Standards folder. Name it Schedules or Tags or MEP Annotation. Put all your newly created tags, schedules, and property sets in this drawing. There will be one location to read from and one location to edit when needed. For more information on any of these topics, be sure and request information above and beyond the webinars for classroom training. Youll also find helpful resources at Autodesk University.

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