Creating a SG Diagram Template

This Tech Tip explains how to create a SG diagram template from an existing drawing

It is advisable to first familiarize yourself with the setup and procedure of the SG diagram function. Do this with the default title block file and ini file provided with the AllyCAD installation (C:\Program Files\AllyCAD33\Examples\SG_Files). Once you're comfortable with the function, the setup dialog and ini files, you can customize by creating a template that you want.

Open the drawing and ensure it has the overall appearance that you want. Proceed to the Drawing Settings and make the scale 1:1, units of millimeters, in a Cartesian coordinate system and a page size of A4 portrait. The dialog should look like the one on the above.

You might need to rescale the drawing so that the page is indeed 210x297mm (A4 size) and rotate it so that it is in portrait mode.

Open the SG diagram setup dialog. As it is always easier to modify than to start from scratch, load up a template such as our default one, choose [Save As] and type in a new name so as to create a copy.

Change the Title block drawing field to point to your drawing. Close the dialog by clicking [OK] to return to your drawing. Closing the dialog by clicking [OK] always saves the changes you made. Clicking [Cancel] will not save any changes.

The setup dialog takes horizontal and vertical coordinates in millimeters and to one millimeter accuracy. The origin of the coordinate system is the bottom left hand corner of the diagram's frame (not the paper edge, but the linework). The paper edge must not be drawn in with lines as this will interfere with the final positioning of the erf figure.

To measure the coordinates, you can do so in two different ways.

  1. Select the whole drawing and move the bottom left hand coordinate to coordinate 0 0. Then, querying an entity will give you the position already in the correct system.

  2. Measure a distance from the bottom left hand corner to the position you want. The x and y distances are then the vertical and horizontal coordinates respectively that you want.
The advantage of (1) is that you also see the text height, lorg, and pen value, which you also will need. The disadvantage is that once completed you will have to remember to recenter the paper, and that will change the origin. However (2) is always easier once you're testing an almost-ready template.

Now for each text entity which is generated in the course of the function, query/ measure it's position and note the text font, size, lorg and pen value. Open the setup dialog and make sure that the name of the ini file in the title bar is the same one that you just created with the Save As command. If not, load that ini file. Find the corresponding row in the grid and enter those values you measured. The coordinate values need to be rounded to the closest millimeter.

Click [OK] to return to the drawing and proceed with the next item. You need to do this for all the rows on each of the "Questions", "Text", "Lines" and "Data table" page. If there is a row that you don't want, leave the default text column blank.

This is fairly simple for the once-off items like the survey date. A bit more complex are those text entities like the trig/tsm details and beacon descriptions for which you don't yet know what the vertical coordinate will be, as it depends on the erf data. What you do is to enter LF instead for the vertical coordinate. LF stands for linefeed and means it will be positioned below the previous entity. You do however need to enter the horizontal coordinate.

Just like some text depends on the erf data, the vertical lines separating data table columns have their length dependant on the data. The "Lines" page allows you to draw lines by specifying their start and end coordinates. Again if you don't yet know the length, specify the end vertical coordinate as LF.

As you might define lines that extent to the diagram frame, it is advisable to ensure that the top and right hand side frame lines have vertical and horizontal coordinates respectively that are a whole number of millimeters, i.e. not having a fractional part.

All the items defined in the setup dialog must not be part of the template drawing. You need to delete them so that you are left with a drawing that only has entities that are not created during the function. Typically, you will be left with the lines defining the SG and Deeds office blocks and text entities within them that the land surveyor does not fill in, the data table headings, a north sign, etc.

You will find that many coordinate values are repeated and you should start to get a feel for the values. If you get stuck, open the default template drawing we provide, and load the default ini file we provide into the setup dialog and then compare the settings and the drawing to see how it is done there.

If you were measuring coordinates by querying entities as in (1) above, you will need to re-center the paper. Either way make sure your paper edge is as required by the SG. Save the drawing and test by creating a diagram in the usual way.

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