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About CAD Standards

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You can create a standards file to define common properties in order to maintain consistency throughout your drawing files. Standards define a set of common properties for named objects such as layers and text styles. You or your CAD manager can create, apply, and audit standards in drawings to enforce consistency. Because standards make it easier for others to interpret drawings, standards are particularly useful in collaborative environments, where many individuals contribute to the creation of a drawing.

Named Objects for Standards-Checking

You can create standards for the following named objects:

  • Layers
  • Text styles
  • Linetypes
  • Dimension styles

Standards File

After you define standards, you save them as a standards file. You can then associate the standards file with one or more drawing files. After you associate a standards file with a drawing, you should periodically check the drawing to make sure it conforms with the standards.

How a Standards Audit Works

When you check a drawing for standards violations, each named object of a specific type is checked against the standards files associated with the drawing. For example, each layer in the drawing is checked against the layers in the standards file.

A standards audit can uncover two types of problems:

  • An object with a nonstandard name is present in the drawing being checked. For example, a layer named WALL is present in the drawing but not in any associated standards files.
  • A named object in a drawing matches the name of one in a standards file, but their properties are different. For example, in the drawing the WALL layer is yellow, but the standards file specifies red for the WALL layer.

When you fix objects with nonstandard names, the nonstandard objects are purged from the drawing. Any drawing objects that are associated with the nonstandard object are transferred to a replacement standard object that you specify. For example, you fix a nonstandard layer, WALL, and replace it with the standard ARCH-WALL. In this example, choosing Fix in the Check Standards dialog box transfers all objects from layer WALL to layer ARCH-WALL and then purges layer WALL from the drawing.

Standards Plug-Ins

The auditing process uses standards plug-ins, applications that define the rules for the properties that are checked for individual named objects. Layers, dimension styles, linetypes, and text styles are each checked against their corresponding plug-ins. You can specify which plug-ins to use when checking a drawing for standards violations. Autodesk or third-party developers may add standards plug-ins for checking additional drawing properties.

All plug-ins check all properties for each named object except for the layer plug-in. The following layer properties are checked when using the layer plug-in:

  • Color
  • Linetype
  • Lineweight
  • Plot style mode
  • Plot style name (when the PSTYLEMODE system variable is set to 0)

The following layer properties are not checked by the layer plug-in:

  • On/Off
  • Freeze/Thaw
  • Lock
  • Plot/No Plot

Standards Settings

A variety of settings that may be useful to CAD managers are available in the CAD Standards Settings dialog box. This dialog box can be accessed by clicking Settings in the Check Standards and Configure Standards dialog boxes.

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