CAD Manager Jeff Paulsen also sends us a tip that details the steps needed to automate sheet references in your AutoCAD drawings using fields and sheet sets.
"Almost all plans require you to reference another sheet in the plan set. Most times you will see a label near the edge of the plan stating 'SEE SHEET #' that indicates where to look for related information. The numbers in these labels can be automated using fields and sheet sets.
"To start, you must be using the sheet numbering functionality of the sheet set. You can specify a number for each sheet in the set by right-clicking on the sheet and picking Rename and Renumber. Once you have assigned sheet numbers to the sheets, you are ready to create the sheet reference.
"Begin the Mtext command.
Place the label in the desired position on the sheet.
Type SEE SHEET (as text) and then right-click and select Insert Field (or type Ctrl+F). In the upper left corner of the Field dialog box, change the Field category to Sheet Set. (This helps reduce the Field Names list.) Under Field Names, select SheetSet. Under Sheet Navigation Tree, browse to and select the sheet that you want to reference. Under Format, select the desired format. I have found that uppercase is used most often. Under Property, select SheetNumber.
"In the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box, a preview will show you what the field value will look like. It should display the selected sheet number.
"This may seem like a lot of work the first time you do it, but soon it will become second nature and take only a few seconds. The time spent will be well worth it the first time you have to add a sheet to the set and renumber the sheets. Let's say you have a 30-sheet set and have to insert a new sheet 2. That would require renumbering 29 sheets and all of the sheet references within the set. The old way could take several hours of redlining and revising. Now you can update the entire set in a matter of minutes by changing the numbers in the sheet set manager."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: If your drawing sets only have a couple of sheets, you might not want to use sheet sets. However, if you have data (not just drawing numbers) that are displayed or referenced many times in your construction or permitting drawings, you should consider using sheet sets. Any bit of information that could change during the lifecycle of your project — such as a number, date, or frequently referenced name — only needs to be updated once if you are using sheet sets and reference that data just as it is described above. That is the beauty of sheet sets.