Markup Set Manager… Not Your Father's DWFAuthor: Steven LaKose, CAD & Computer Consulting
Date Published: December 14, 2009
How many times have you taken a redline hard copy, placed it next to your CAD station, and then transposed the changes between the hard copy to the drawing file?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then read on…
Autodesk DWF versus Adobe PDF
When Autodesk came out with the DWF format, which was basically a competitor to the industry-standard PDF format, they had a daunting task. Both formats have their own strengths and weaknesses, but when working with Autodesk products, DWF is by far the easiest to work with because it provides the user with the greatest amount of flexibility.
DWF and PDF formats share a number of similarities:
DWF and PDF formats have three major differences:
The Review Loop (in Theory)
Reviewers get the DWF file from the publisher and open it in Design Review to verify the content (a 2D drawing, 3D model, or image).
Reviewers add digital comments and markups to the DWF file using callouts, text, shapes, dimensions, stamps, and custom symbols, and save changes to the DWF file.
Reviewers send the marked-up DWF file back to the original publisher.
The designer uses the publishing software to import the marked-up DWF file, referring to comments in context to revise the original design quickly.
After revising the original content in the publishing software, the designer republishes an updated DWF file, a new sheet set or model, to begin the digital design workflow again.
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Yogi Berra
The Review Loop (in Practice)
Create a DWF
Create a DWF, either standalone or multipage. You can either use the plot command (standalone) or use the publish command (standalone or multi-page). For this article I will be using AutoCAD 2010.
Send for Review
Send the DWF to be reviewed and marked up using Design Review. This method is similar sending someone a hard copy or a rack set, except it is done electronically-emailed instead of shipped via FedEx. Have them send the DWF back when they are done.
Note: The process fails right here if they print the DWF out, scribble on it with a red pen and then scan it and send it back to you. They need to stay in the loop.
Once all markups have been completed, the DWG files are saved, and comments have been made in the Markup Manager, the DWF file can be republishedâ€”either all sheets or only sheets that have markups. This is done in order to incorporate the updated DWG files into a DWF. The markups still remain, making it easier for a reviewer to check the changes made. The republish process can be initiated through the Markup Manager, just like publishing a sheet set to a DWF file in the Sheet Set Manager.
Note: Using the Publish method outlined in Creating DWF files with the Publish function of AutoCAD removes any Markup History.
Of Interest and Note
Saving the DWF
Once you have changed the status of your markups and saved, the Markup History changes (saves the DWF). Now open the DWF file. You will notice that the markup graphics are highlighted: green indicates a question, yellow indicates done, blue indicates a review. This is very helpful if someone needs to check your status.
Model Space and Paper Space Markups
When you double-click a model space markup in the Markup Set Manager, the original drawing file opens in model space and reverts to the view rotation that was current when the drawing was published. If you then change the view rotation, the markups will not be shown in the drawing until you double-click a model space markup and revert to the published view.
If a DWF file contains multiple sheets, the Markup Set Manager only displays those sheets that have markups. Double-clicking a markup entry will take you to that drawing sheet, even if it needs to open the drawing to do so.
Republish Markup DWF (Alt+1)
Choices are Republish All Sheets or Republish Markup Sheets.
View Redline Geometry (Alt+2)
To show or hide redline geometry (markups) in the drawing area:
View DWG Geometry (Alt+3)
To show or hide DWG geometry for drawing sheets with associated markups:
View DWF Geometry (Alt+4)
To show or hide DWF file geometry in the drawing area:
Show All Sheets
Displays all sheets in the DWF, both markup sheets and non-markup sheets.
Hide Non-Markup Sheets
Hides any sheets in the DWF that do not have markups.
Displays the details about the DWF file.
Displays a preview of the DWF file.