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Non-Breaking Space in Sheet Set Templates in AutoCAD and Civil 3D

January 26, 2020

What do I mean by a non-breaking space using a field in AutoCAD?  Entering data using fields in AutoCAD is an extremely efficient way to connect the data and keep consistent throughout your design project, especially when using Sheet Set Manager.  In my class at Autodesk University 2019 we explored Advanced topics using the Sheet Set Manager. This class was a hands-on-lab with 15 exercises and one of those was entering Sheet custom data into our sheet set template.

In word processing and digital typesetting, a non-breaking space, also called no-break space, non-breakable space, hard space, or fixed space, is a space character that prevents an automatic line break at its position. Within the SSM you can insert a non-breaking space which will give you the ability to have a cleaner output by inserting a blank field.

We are going to review exercise 3 from my Sheet Set class and a video of the non-breaking space. The virtual computers at Autodesk University would not allow us to enter the non-breaking space but we were able to use %% or %%U to capture the same effect. You can perform this same function with your standard company title block to provide consistency on your design projects.

Start AutoCAD and open up a Sheet Set that already contains a sheet within the set.

Right click on the Sheet Set Project  (AU2019_Project Header shown in the image below), then select properties from the fly out menu.

Select Edit Custom Properties on the lower left of the dialog box.

For this task we will add sheet custom properties. We are going to edit sheet custom properties by adding 01-Drawn by and 02-Checked by.  Why the 01 and 02?  AutoCAD will sort these fields alphabetically and in our title block we want to enter the drawn by first then the checked by. To do this use a numbering sequence to keep organized.

The area underlined above in RED is where you have options to enter a Non Breaking Space to replace the word VALUE.  If you leave this area blank you would think that you would get a blank space, instead you will get 4 dashed lines —- that will print in your title block. To enter a blank space you can use %% or %%U which enable a blank field, but we are going to use a key combination or ALT+0160 for a blank field.

Although I find the %%U and %% helpful since you can see the characters, I have found many people that prefer the blank space. The key is to press and hold down the ALT key while you type 0160. The 0160 code will insert a non-breaking space and appear blank when plotted as shown below.  You do need a keyboard with the number pad to perform this function. The video below will show you how to add these custom fields using the Sheet Set Manager and the non breaking space.

My friend Jeff Bartels posted on about this very same topic on  Civil Immersion Blog except using the %% as the blank space. Both ways will work effectively but I wanted to post about the ALT+0160 variable since we covered this in class at Autodesk University 2019.

Please visit  Civil Immersion Blog for an extensive amount of AutoCAD and Civil 3D training videos and information from Jeff, Jerry, and Alan.

Have a good rest of your weekend wherever in the World you may be…..until next month….Sam

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