Each landscape design practice needs to present its work in a consistent fashion. To that end, it makes sense to use similarly arranges title blocks in layout space. The title block may or may not have a border, but it is usual to find at the bottom right  some text describing the site location, a description of the job, the scale, drafter initials, date and filename etc.

The figures below show some examples of different uses of title blocks in landscape drawings.

A1 border  

eg

Making a title block

Step 1, start a new drawing with no template. An A1 sheet is 841 mm wide by 566 mm high, so start by placing a rectangle on layer 0 at coordinate 0,0 with 841, 566.

Rectangle

Our title block drawing (let's assume that it will have a border) has to fit neatly inside the A1 sheet, leaving appropriate size strips at the top, bottom and edges.

We will remove the majority of the first rectangle leaving 4 small markers indicating the edge of the sheet as shown below.

Tick box

A simple way to do that is to explode the rectangle (twice) and offset each line to the inside. I used 12 mm offset. Then use the TRIM command to clean up. As shown below, I have move the small tick marks denoting the edges of the paper to a layer called PaperEdge.

Paper ege

Now it is time to create the border and title block inside this sheet. The Australian standard specifies 20 mm borders all round on an A1 sheet with the internal space for the drawing occupying a space 801 mm wide by 554 mm high. As shown below, we have set a layer L-TITLE, color red and place a new rectangle 801, 554 at x=20, y=20.

Tip: When setting the new rectangle, give 20,20 as the coordinates of the first point, but use relative coordinates to denote the location of the other corner i.e @801,554. As shown below, the border is sitting correctly on the paper sheet.

As1100

The Australian standard for technical drafting suggests ruling off an area at the bottom of the sheet at 55 mm for A1 size sheets so we will draw a line from 20,75 to 821, 75 as shown below. Other countries will have similar standards.

rule

This gives a reasonable space to put all the title block elements. The figure below shows the Australian standard sizes for the various areas in the title block. Click the image to print a copy.

Title dimensions

Details on the information that should appear in the various areas are shown below [adapted from As1100]

Area A:  The name and address of the design authority [company, local gov authority etc.] whose identification and drawing number appear in the appropriate rectangular areas below.
Area B:  Drawing title.
Area C:  Drawing number
Area D:  Record of information relative to preparation of drawing including names of drafter, checker, approvals etc.
Area E:  Code identification number: e.g. ABN number
Area F:  Drawing sheet size designation
Area G:  Predominant scale of the drawing.
Area H:  Miscellaneous information e.g. sheet number for multi-sheet drawings
Area J:  Additional blocks as required.
 

ExerciseExercise: Build your own title block.

Using the information above, build an A1 size border and title block drawing.

A custom drawing sheet

You may well want to put your own stamp on a border and title block drawing, but stay close the the technical drafting specification for your country.

Here is an example:

Example

When we examined this drawing we note that MTEXT has been used for this single line of text (not good practice). They have also inserted the complex AutoCAD control codes to handle text style.

MTEXT

It is so much better to make a separate drawing of this section of the title block, creating a text style that uses the Time New Roman font (everyone has it) and use SINGLE line text rather than MTEXT. There should be no need for complex AutoCAD formatting instructions in text. All that does is make the drawing difficult to work with and bloat the file size.

New block

If rounded corners are required, it is also much more elegant to apply a fillet radius to a rectangle to make the enclosing graphic than to combine lines and arcs. The advantage of this approcah is that we have a Revision block that  can be saved and used in other drawings.

Fuillet

We apply the same approach to other sections in the title block and assemble as shown below. We aim for maximum flexibility.

Assemble

Line thicknesses

AS1100 suggest that the border lines should be 1.0 mm wide on an A1 sheet, the principal lines in the block 0.7 mm, and grid lines 0.5. In our view, these values are too high. We prefer 0.5 mm for the border, 0.35 for major lines in the title block and 0.18 for lines inside the block. These are easily adjusted inside the block and sub block assemblies like the revision sheet we are presently developing. In our view, it is best to set these values directly rather than rely on layer settings to control line thickness.

line thickness

The drawing can now be saved as a block and is ready for testing by printing a PDF file with the print settings as shown below (paper ISO-A1)

test print

and in preview, the drawing sits exactly where we want it to on the A1 sheet.

test pdf

Here is the drawing in Acrobat Reader

PDF

The sheet needs a logo

If your organization has a logo in use and you have a vector version of it (in dDWG/DXF), it's just a matter of inserting the logo into the sheet at an appropriate point. You may have to trace over a jpeg image of a version of the logo. If the image is complex as shown below, we recommend using lots of layers,

logo

layers

Test the block in a proper job

The image below shows a test plot. The title block information looks to be acceptable, but some attention needs to be applied to line thicknesses of some entities (e.g. dimensions).

Test plot

The above is just one approach to making borders and title block drawings. It is well worth experimenting with creating title blocks for various size sheets and changing the orientation and position of the elements on the sheet.

 

zoomed

An aside

If a PDF files is created using True Type Fonts (TTF), it is possible to search for text inside the PDF.

There are some conditions that must be met to ensure proper conversion of True Type Fonts in AutoCAD to PDF.  These are AutoCAD limitations in how it determines in the output stream to treat text. 

  1. The width factor must be 1.0. Modifying the width value in gCAD+ will prevent the TTF from converting as text to PDF.

  2. The oblique angle within the style must be set to 0.0. Modifying the oblique angle in gCAD+ will prevent the TTF from converting as text to PDF.

  3. The text style must not be set to "Fit"

  4. The text must have a Z coordinate of 0.0

  5. If the font is part of a block the X and Y scale factors must be the same.

In addition the Adobe PDF Specification specifies a set of 14 fonts that must be available to every PDF reader: Helvetica (normal, bold, italic, bold italic), Times (normal, bold, italic, bold italic), Courier (normal, bold, italic, bold italic), Symbol and ZapfDingbats.  So if you use only these fonts in your AutoCAD drawings you do not have to embed the fonts because even if the user does not have the font installed the software that they are using to view the PDF file is supposed to have them.  This is also true for Apple, Unix, and Linux systems.

Creating a title block drawing