March 01, 2020

ACA: Sheet Keynote Symbols

The out-of-the-box Sheet Keynote symbol in the US Imperial content features a hexagonal "tag" (not a Schedule Tag, but a Block-type Multileader that has a User Block assigned to it).
If your office standard is to use a differently shaped symbol, for whatever reason, that can be done; just follow the instructions that follow.
  1. You will need a non-annotative block to serve as the User Block of the Multi-Leader. The block will need to have a non-annotative Attribute Definition to hold the Sheet Keynote value, along with whatever other graphics you need. The Multileader that gets inserted can be annotative, if so specified in the Multileader Style; the User Block needs to be set up such that 1" in the Block Definition will end up plotting at the AutoCAD Architecture Annotation Plot Size when plotted for the active annotation scale assigned to the Multileader. Assuming that you want the Sheet Keynote text to plot at the Annotation Plot Size, it needs to be 1" high. Size the additional graphics to suit.
  2. The Attribute Definition's default value needs to be set up with a Field, that is set to show the Sheet Key value (only), as shown in the image below. Set the Field category to AEC Keynotes, the Field names to Sheet Key only, the Format to Uppercase and check the Insert as a placeholder toggle. Your field expression should look like what is shown in the image.
  3. You will need a Block-type Multileader Style that has the leader set up the way you want for your Sheet Keynotes. The Multileader Style can be set up to use your User Block, if you like; even if you do not, the settings in the Tool Palette tool that will be created to insert the Sheet Keynote will take care of setting your block as the User Block.
  4. You can make the process of creating the block definition with the required Field easier, by placing an instance of the out-of-the-box Sheet Keynote in the file where you are going to create the Block Definition. For the US Imperial content, that will bring in the SheetKey_Hexagon_na Block Definition. Insert an instance of this Block Definition, select it, right click and choose Copy Block Definition and Assign from the context menu. Enter a new name for your block. Now edit the block in place. Keep the Attribute Definition as is, and edit the hexagonal Polyline, or erase it and replace it with your own graphics. Inserting an instance of the out-of-the-box Sheet Keynote will also bring in the Block (Straight Leader) Multileader Style (US Imperial content). If you like that leader style, use it. If not, make your own or rename the Block (Straight Leader) Multileader Style and then edit it to create the leader you want. Keep the type set to Block.
  5. Save the file that contains your Block Definition and Multileader Style in a location that will be accessible to everyone who will need to make use of the Tool Palette tool that will reference this content. A shared network location is ideal for this, but you can also set it up on a local drive if everyone has the same location.
  6. Create a Sheet Keynote type Tool Palette tool for your content, on an editable Tool Palette. You can either copy the out-of-the-box tool and edit its properties, or add a copy of the one called Sheet Keynote in the Stock Tool Catalog > Drafting Tools. NOTE: Setting up an editable tool palette, and then sharing it with others is beyond the scope of this article. Perhaps I should write about that in the future.
  7. Right click on the Sheet Keynote tool, and choose Properties from the context menu. Edit the tool's properties to suit your needs. Give the tool a meaningful Name, that clearly indicates that this is your Sheet Keynote tool. You can include an extended description in the Description property; this will be shown in the tool tip when a user hovers over the tool. To have the tool use your content, set the Multileader style location and Symbol location properties to the path/file that holds your content, and then choose your content using the drop-downs in the Multileader style and Symbol properties. Verify that the Content type property is set to Block. Set any other properties as you prefer.
  8. Select the OK button to ratify the changes you made to the tool's properties.
  9. Start a new drawing, and test the new tool by selecting it, and verify that it places your Sheet Keynote Multileader correctly. Make any adjustments to the content or the tool properties as needed. If you do not have any AEC Content in the file from which a Sheet Keynote can pull the Keynote reference, you can press the ENTER key when prompted to select an object, and then manually choose a Keynote in the Select Keynote dialog.
  10. Place several Sheet Keynote symbols in your file, then use the out-of-the-box Document > Annotation > Sheet Keynote Legend tool, selecting your Sheet Keynotes, to verify that they show in the legend.