- Reference Notes Manager Overview
- Adding Reference Notes
- Using Reference Notes to Spec Amenities from Manufacturers
- Assigning a Detail to a Reference Note
- User Fields and Values
- Leader and Callout Style Options
- Placing Reference Notes
- Highlighting RefNotes in Your Drawing
- Docking and Undocking the RefNote Manager
- Referencing Multiple Sheets in One Drawing
- RefNotes and MultiLeaders (MLeaders)
- Importing Reference Notes from a Template or Project
- Reference Notes Callouts and Schedules
- Reference Notes Preferences
- Adding Color to RefNote Hatches
- Electrical Symbols
- Related Webinars
Want to place a site object or hatch? Try using Reference Notes. Our Reference Notes (RefNotes) tool allows you to place site amenities, mulches, and any other site object you can think of – while also assigning data such as cost by unit, area, length, or volume.
Did you know you can quickly convert generic blocks (graphics) in your drawings directly into RefNotes with data, costs, etc.? Find out how!
Reference Notes Manager Overview
Open our Reference Notes tool:
F/X Site ribbon, RefNotes flyout
F/X Details ribbon, RefNotes flyout
F/X Site menu
Graphics RefNotes toolbar
or type RefNotes in the Command line
The Reference Notes Manager will open.
1. The Division menu allows you to filter the list by reference note division.
2. Check this box to see your RefNotes in Grid View.
3. The Reference Note Type menu allows you to filter the list by type of Reference Note.
4. The list of Reference Notes shows results from each filter individually, or results from both filters combined.
7. Click this button to Dock the RefNote Manager to the side of your AutoCAD installation.
The Four Reference Note Types
We offer several types of Reference Notes, each of which has its own specific function in adding items and data to your drawing. To learn about the different Reference Note types, visit our documentation sections on:
- Notation Reference Notes: Place a numeric symbol referring to a text notation.
- Amenity (Object) Reference Notes: Place one or more site objects, and calculate quantities and costs automatically.
- Length Reference Notes: Place an item of linear quantity, and calculate data such as cost per foot.
- Area/Volume Reference Notes: Place a material such as a mulch in your drawing, represented as a hatch, and calculate data such as cost and square or cubic footage.
You can select a Reference Note Type in both the Reference Notes Manager and the New Reference Note dialog box, which opens when you go to add a new Reference Note.
TheReference Note Type menu in the Reference Notes Manager allows you to filter the list of RefNotes that have been added to your project by type, or to see all added Reference Notes at once by selecting All.
When adding a new Reference Note to a project, you'll select the type of Reference Note to add. Note that Area and Volume Reference Notes are combined into one category in this dialog box.
The Reference Notes Manager includes a Grid View option, pictured to the right.
Check the Grid View box to see your RefNotes in a grid format, with columns for the RefNote Code (number), Note (title of the RefNote, and Detail (the detail you've assigned to a RefNote, if applicable).
The text within each of these columns is editable, which allows you to edit your RefNotes on the fly.
Uncheck the Grid View box to return the Reference Notes Manager to standard mode (pictured above).
Adding Reference Notes
Before you can place a Reference Note in your drawing, you'll first need to add it to a Land F/X project.
To begin adding a Reference Note to a project, click the New button in the Reference Note Manager.
Select a Reference Note Type at the top of the New Reference Note dialog box.
Because each Reference Note type has its own set of data, this dialog box will have different options depending on the Reference Note type you selected. Pictured above are the options available for Notation Reference Notes.
For instructions on adding a specific Reference Note type, visit our documentation sections on:
- Adding a Notation Reference Note
- Adding an Amenity (Object) Reference Note
- Adding a Length Reference Note
- Adding an Area/Volume Reference Note
Adding a Note
The Note field, available for all four Reference Note types, is the most commonly used portion of the New Reference Note dialog box.
At its most basic level, a Reference Note is a text notation to some aspect of the project. Our Reference Notes system includes three types of notes. You could easily use all three types in a project, or primarily only one type. The three note types are:
- Basic Numbered Note: This simply applies a number from 1 to 99 to notes as you enter them. This type of note is best used if your project requires only a limited number of notes, such as a simple project where you want to enter a few notes. Remember: It's often of value to use this system even if you think you have only one note to enter. In many cases, you may think of another note later ... then another ... and pretty soon, you regret not using the system. Even with a very small number of notes, the system is of value.
- CSI Division Organized Notes: These are notes that are organized by Construction Specification Institute (CSI) Division of construction. This type of organization is especially valuable in two ways: (1) You have a fairly large number of notes, and this system allows the notes to be organized and grouped by construction division, for easier retrieval and organization. (2) The notes you use on a project are organized by Division of construction, and just a list of the notes may be of value to your specification writer for the project.
- One-Two Letter Identifier: These identifiers can be helpful in organizing notes in a user-friendly system relating to the note type, such as, D for Demolition, P for Paving, F for Fence, ST for Stairs etc. This system also allows the notes to be grouped by the topic.
If you want, you can even mix any and all of the above methods of notes on any one project.
You can add a cost factor to the note to keep track of costs of that item. You can also add a detail reference to any of the notes, where a detail will be added to our Detail System.
Using Reference Notes to Spec Amenities from Manufacturers
With Reference Notes, you can spec products from specific manufacturers' catalogs. Because of our Manufacturer Connection, you'll always have access to accurate, up-to-date information from the catalogs of manufacturers who choose to be included in our database. More information >
Assigning a Detail to a Reference Note
When adding or editing a Reference Note, you have the option of referencing a detail with that Reference Note (also known as assigning a detail to that Reference Note).
Assigning a detail to a Reference Note offers two main advantages:
- For one, you can reference the details in a schedule (the Reference Notes Schedule). The schedule will reference the actual sheet where the detail was placed, along with the detail number on that page. You can also choose to export that information out to a spreadsheet. That way, you have an easy-to-copy list of detail locations to include in a bid sheet for contractors, giving them a quick way to reference the detail while bidding. More information and instructions
- The second benefit comes into play when you're using project templates. If you import a Reference Note from a template, and that Reference Note is referencing a detail, it will also import the detail into the project. This lovely feature saves you an extra step of having to also import that detail before you place it on your sheet. For more information, see our Templates documentation page.
To assign a detail to a Reference Note, click the Assign Detail button in the Add Reference Note or Edit Reference Note dialog box.
The Detail Manager for the current project will open.
Here, you can select a detail to assign to the Reference Note. Once you've selected the detail you want to assign, click OK.
If the detail you want to assign to the RefNote hasn't been added to your project yet, click New and add the detail to your project.
You can then select the detail and click OK to assign it to the RefNote.
Listing Details in the Reference Notes Schedule
As mentioned above, assigning a detail to a Reference Note means you can list that detail in the Reference Notes Schedule.
The Reference Notes Schedule will include all details assigned to RefNotes you've placed in your drawing.
User Fields and Values
You can add your own custom user fields to your Reference Notes, to be listed as columns in the Reference Notes Schedule. Before you can assign a field to a RefNote, you'll need to assign that RefNote with a Division.
To create a new user field for a RefNote, click Add Field. Enter a name for the field and a column width for its listing in the schedule.
We'll add Color as an example.
Click OK to add the field. Because we have the General division selected for this RefNote, our custom field will be added for that entire division, available to assign to future RefNotes.
Once you've assigned a field to a RefNote, you can add a value for that field. Click the area beneath the field to add the description. Once you've created a field value (example: Terra Cotta), it will be available to select from this menu in order to assign it to the selected RefNote.
In this way, you can build your custom user fields as you need them when creating or editing RefNotes. This list will populate with new field values as you create them.
In our example, you'd be able to choose to include a Color column in the RefNotes Schedule. The RefNote in our example would have a listed color of Terra Cotta in that schedule.
You can also add and edit user fields in the RefNotes Preferences for the purposes of creating standards. You won't be able to create new field values in the Preferences, but you can edit existing values there once you've created them.
Leader and Callout Style Options
To assign a leader and callout box style to the callouts that will label your RefNotes, use the leader and callout options at the bottom of the Add Reference Note dialog box.
We've provided the ability to give each RefNote its own distinct style for callouts, should you want to do so. If you want all your RefNotes Callouts to look the same, take care to set the leader and callout styles the same in each RefNote you create or edit.
The options for leader types, each with its own arrow style, are all pictured directly beneath the Leader Type heading.
For no leader at all, select the X option on the far right.
You can choose to have your callout boxes appear as rectangles (Square), hexagons (Hex), or circles (Circle).
You can also choose to have your callout boxes include a Screen Fill and/or a Drop Shadow.
Placing Reference Notes
When placing RefNotes, you can press the F8 and F9 keys to toggle between Ortho and Snap modes, respectively. This will allow you to lock your leaders at certain angles.
When you place the note in Model Space (the preferred method), ensure that the scale is set correctly. For more information, see our Set the Scale page.
To place a Reference Note, click the Place button in the Reference Note Manager.
Note that each Reference Note type has its own set of options and methods of placement. For information on placing one of the Reference Note types, see our documentation sections on:
- Placing a Notation Reference Note
- Placing a Length Reference Note
- Placing an Area/Volume Reference Note
- Placing an Amenity Reference Note
Highlighting RefNotes in Your Drawing
The RefNote Manager includes a Highlight button that allows you to highlight all instances of the selected RefNote in your drawing.
This button triggers our Highlight tool, which helps you locate specific plants, RefNotes, and other specific objects in your drawing.
Docking and Undocking the RefNote Manager
You can now choose to dock the RefNote Manager on the side of your AutoCAD interface. Docking the RefNote Manager keeps it active, allowing you to work in your drawing while keeping the RefNote Manager open.
To dock the Reference Notes Manager, click < Dock.
The RefNote Manager will now be docked to the side of your interface, allowing you to work in your drawing while still managing your RefNotes.
To undock the RefNote Manager, click Undock >.
Referencing Multiple Sheets in One Drawing
You may often find yourself wanting to reference several different sheets in one drawing. In these cases, you may want to differentiate between symbols and leaders on different sheets. The RefNotes tool is definitely the best tool to use for those notes.
However, using RefNotes for this purpose will require you to update your standards. We recommend using a single symbol style for all such notes. If you used just the Square style note for all note types, for example, you would technically have the ability to have all notes numbered 1 through 99 by sheet. However, we also recommend against that standard.
You can gain a great amount of capability by grouping your notes by Division. This type of grouping will make it far easier to import notes from other projects. It will also allow to generate a single overall schedule. This would only require setting a single-letter prefix – so your notes could be numbered D-01 through D-09 and S-01 through S-99, for example.
You could then still maintain the different symbol styles, although we do not recommend this practice. The system was engineered assuming there would be a single note style. So, for example, as you create Demo, Layout, and Grading notes, you would have to be careful to select the correct symbol style each time. The chance for error means errors, in our book.
Finally, the simplest way to group the notes by sheet is to have each sheet on a separate DWG file, which follows best CAD practices for sheet setup anyway. Within the same drawing, you could instead place the notes into Paper Space.
RefNotes and Multileaders (MLeaders)
The AutoCAD MultiLeader (MLeader) tool is now built into the following items:
- Length RefNotes
- Notation RefNotes
- RefNotes Callouts
An MLeader is a native AutoCAD feature that renders the leader, arrow, and callout box into a singular, contiguous entity. For more information, see our MLeaders documentation page.
Importing RefNotes from a Template or Project
If you find yourself adding the same RefNotes to multiple projects, we recommend setting up a project template and then adding your commonly used RefNotes to that template. You can then import them into a new project from that template. This practice can save you immeasurable amounts of time, considering all the data you need to fill out for each RefNote you create. With templates, you only need to add and configure your RefNotes once, then import them – along with all attached data – into the present project.
For more information and instructions, see our Importing Reference Notes page.
Reference Notes Callouts & Schedules
Reference Notes Preferences
Organizing Your RefNotes
RefNotes are organized by division and subdivision. Our RefNotes Preferences screen allows you to customize the organization of your RefNotes by adding or editing these divisions and subdivisions.
For a full breakdown of the divisions and subdivisions, please see our RefNotes Organization page.
Customizing The Text in Your RefNotes
Our software includes several default Text Styles, which are fully customizable. Several of these Text Styles govern the font, point size, and other characteristics of text that appears in your RefNotes, as well as RefNote callouts and schedules. Please see our Customizing the Default Text Styles page for further information.
Adding Color to RefNote Hatches
You can use our Color Render tool to add color to your RefNote hatches for a color presentation. See our documentation on adding color to RefNote hatches.
Electrical symbols will be displayed in the Reference Note Schedule with thumbnail images of the symbols, and will not require a “note” callout.
You will want to add your own electrical symbols to the library. Use our Save Block tool to do this.
- Hardscape Design: Hardscape design with Land F/X is all about Reference Notes (RefNotes). Learn about the myriad options available within our RefNotes tool that will streamline your project's workflow. We'll go over all the basics of RefNotes, including setting up and placing a RefNote, calling out your features, and placing a schedule. (1 hr 2 min)
- Understanding the Manufacturer Connection: The Manufacturer Connection is a dynamic and invaluable relationship that we at Land F/X have pioneered into an exclusive, easy to use tool that benefits both designers and manufacturers. Learn about the work we put into manufacturer content and how to enhance your CAD design and specification processes for site amenities, lighting, and hardscape. (1 hr 1 min)
- Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer, including a segment on the Reference Notes Manager. (1 hr 2 min)
- Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including Reference Note User Fields. (1 hr)
- How The Manufacturer Connection Works: The Manufacturer Connection works in conjunction with our Reference Notes tool to help you spec site amenities and hardscape materials from specific manufacturers. Learn all about it here. (53 min)
- Using RefNotes & Cost Estimates: Setting up a project with RefNotes right from concept can help speed up the process to produce accurate detailed drawings, and construction drawings, with cost estimates at every step along the way. We'll go through some advanced-user tips with RefNotes using an actual project. (46 min)
- Importance of Lines in Design: Lines, partitions, and edges are some of the most powerful design tools in a landscape architect's arsenal. Daniel Martin from Permaloc explains the significant economic and environmental benefits of edging with expertise. (54 min)
Reference Notes Schedule Issues