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I have inherited a set of templates for creating drawings for solar panel projects. Each set is about 12 pages and only 2-4 pages are different between projects. Several pages are actually just embedded PDF cutsheets of the equipment used.

The person that created the template has everything in one drawing - all of the PDF, several different versions of one line and three line drawings that might be used, blocks of language, etc are all scattered about the model space.

There are layouts for each page that have a view port zoomed into the content for that page.

is this a standard practice? I feel like it's a disorganized mess and am looking for a better way to do it. My thought was to split things out into individual drawings, and used sheet sets or a template to reference everything.

is using a combination of sheet sets and a template for new projects the way to go here?

Should I have an individual drawing for each PDF? Or maybe a cut sheet drawing that contains all of them?

Looking for some guidance on how this is typically done. I'm very new to autocad and am not sure how a set of drawings is organized.

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    $\begingroup$ I would say its pretty normal. having all in one file has advantages and disadvantages. Having multiple files has advantages and disadvantages. $\endgroup$ – joojaa Aug 12 '17 at 12:05
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Yes and no. My experience is that it is something of an outdated method of formatting an autocad file. I believe the vports interfacing of autocad matured quite a bit in the 2000's.

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I have had a single drafter that did this, the rest did not. I found this method worked better in the long run for complex projects, but was poor on simple projects.

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AutoCAD has made great advances in recent version when it comes to dynamic blocks. If you have a lot of line work which is repetitive and just needs some scaling, stretching or rotation dynamic blocks are very helpful.

You can even create drop-down boxes to select various options you created...

One should use blocks as much as possible

  • You only use what you need, the rest remains in the blocks list (no more orphaned information. Once the drawing is complete, your can purge the unused blocks to reduce size.

  • You can move blocks around, rotate them etc. no battle with items on hidden layers which don't move or rotate along

  • You edit the block only once, and everywhere you have used it, the changes apply (caution for dynamic blocks though)

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