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Multiple Preference Sets: Things to Watch Out For

You’ve decided that your office needs to maintain multiple Preference Sets.


You may have this need because:

  • A frequent client or municipality may require different style standards, such as callout type.
  • Your office might work in both metric and Imperial units, and you need a Preference Set for each.
  • You might need different styles for different types of project, such as residential vs. commercial designs. (For example, you may need different fonts for Plant Schedules in different projects.)


The decision is up to you, and you’re aware that maintaining multiple Preference Sets will require great care for consistency.

Read up on Preference Sets.



Some warnings

Here are a few pitfalls to look out for while maintaining multiple Preference Sets:



You can't import a setting from one Preference Set to another.

If you find that a common standard needs to change over time – such as a new official Detail Template look, or the fonts you use – you’ll need to make the same change across multiple Preference Sets.



Some items can’t change in a new Preference Set.

This limitation primarily applies to actual blocks. For instance, you can’t have two different styles of Detail Block. Instead, you’d need to pre-define the block in a drawing template (DWT). You’d then need to start drawings from that template when using the alternate Preference Set.

More about drawing templates (DWTs)



Different styles (e.g., Text and Dimension styles) won’t work well with different details.

If you need two different fonts for different details, you won’t achieve great results trying to use the same detail for both types of project. Instead, it’s best to create a new copy of your standard detail in a folder that’s specific to the secondary Preference Set.


Dimension Styles (DimStyles) in details will be particularly tricky. Again, create different details for different Preference Sets in this scenario.


Bottom line: Trying to maintain the same detail for different Preference Sets could import the wrong Text Style or DimStyle from the one you want.



Your custom blocks won’t have their line colors change by default.

While our default blocks will follow multiple block color settings, your custom saved blocks won’t have their colors converted by default.

You can use our steps for changing block line colors manually, on your custom blocks, but our default block colors will give you the best results.



You won't be able to organize your details differently in different Preference Sets.


The Detail Library folder that's set in the Details Preferences (pictured to the left) is tied to an installation – not the actual Preference Set.


Instead, use an organizing system within the Detail Explorer to separate out the details from one Preference Set to the next.



Protect your Preference Sets with our Permissions settings.


Make sure you use Preference Set permissions to ensure that somebody in your office doesn’t try to “fix" your settings while thinking they’re in the wrong Preference Set.

Last modified on Mar 26, 2019


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