Project Management – Adding Drawings to the Drawing log

For this installment, we will work on importing the PDF shop detail drawings for the Project Management job. We will review the following:

  • Making sure the Drawings save to the correct location in your FabSuite database
  • How to verify the Drawing Number Input Type matches between Production Control and Project Management and why this is important
  • How to make only the drawing number show in the drawing log and why we need that
  • How to import the drawings

One of the most common problems new FabSuite users have regarding drawings is that, after importing, only the user who uploaded the drawings may see them.  This condition is caused by an incorrect setting in Default Directories. If you are a new user, it is good to check the ‘Default Directories’ selection for ‘Drawings’, making sure that the folder in which the drawings are being saved is the same folder for all system users.  Network systems should be pointing to the ‘Drawings’ folder on the server, and all FabSuite users should be pointing to the same location.

To check, click the ‘File’ drop down at the very top left of the FabSuite screen, and then click to select ‘Default Directories’.  View the selection for ‘Drawing’; check to be sure the save location is pointing to the server folder.  Check to make sure other users are pointing to the same server location.









When the location is not correct, click the blue button to the right of the ‘Drawing’ field, opening the ‘Browse to Folder’ window. Browse to the correct location, click OK.  If already correct, click the red ‘X’ at the top right of the window to close.  Once you are sure all is well, continue with importing drawings.

Open the Project Management job to view the window.  See the ‘Drawing Log’ option at the top center.  There are two tabs, one for ‘Design’ and the other for ‘Detail’.  These tabs open separately in Fabsuite, and both options are available for importing drawings.

The selection for ‘Design’ may be used for importing the design drawings or the Architectural and Structural drawings for the job.  Note that the project specifications and any other PDF files may be imported into this section for ease of use.  For now, we will be working with the Detail section of the Drawing Log.

It is important to remember two things about importing the shop detail drawings:

  • FabSuite matches the Product Management drawing numbers with Production Control Drawing numbers, enabling users to open the shop detail drawings in Production Control
  • The ‘Drawing Number Input Type’ selection for Drawing Setup in Project Management needs to match the selection for the same In Production Control, so Remote Link users may also view the shop detail drawings.

When drawing numbers do not match between Project Management and Production control, users will not be able to see the shop detail drawings in Production control.  When the Drawing number input types in Project Management and Production Control do not match, Remote Link users will not be able to view the shop detail drawings.

To see or change the selection for ‘Drawing Number Input Type’, click the ‘Drawing Setups’ button at the top right of the Project Management window:






In the screenshot, the selection for ‘Drawing Number Input Type’ is set to option ’13 – Any Input – Logical Sort’.  This selection means that any drawing number character sequence type may be imported, and the order will be in a logical fashion (putting drawing number 10 after 9, instead of listing 1, 10, 2, etc., as computers tend to do).

To verify that the same selection for Drawing Number Input Type is used for the linked Production Control job, open the Production Control Job Edit window, click the ‘Input Settings’ tab to view.

Our ‘Drawing Number and Input Type’ selections match, so we are good to go for our Remote Link users.

Return to the Project Management window and review the selection tabs for the Drawing Log.  Note that the tabs for ‘Design:’ and ‘Detail:’ appear with a quantity of ‘0’.







As files are added, the quantity of available documents will show to the right of the entry tab.

When saving the PDF files on your system for import, make a new folder which contains only the drawings to be imported into FabSuite.  Importing drawings is easiest when the drawing number is the name of the drawing.

Importing drawings which have other nomenclature in the drawing name may be accommodated as follows:

  • Notify the steel detailer to resend the drawings with the drawing number as the drawing name
  • Manually change the drawing names to be the drawing number
  • Use the options for ‘Prefix’ and ‘Suffix’ in the ‘File Insert’ window

File ‘Prefix’ and ‘Suffix’ are designed to be used when the drawing number is flanked by characters other than the drawing number.  All character entries in the boxes for Prefix and Suffix will ‘cancel out’ the extra characters.  How this is accomplished is explained in detail as we continue.

Returning our attention to the Project Management window, click the tab for ‘Detail’ to open the Detail Drawing Log folder.  When the Detail Drawing Log opens, a new drop down for ‘Drawing Log’ appears at the top of the FabSuite window.  Click the Drawing Log drop down, and then click to select ‘Batch Insert – From Files, opening the ‘File Insert’ window.

In the ‘File Insert’ window, click the ‘Directory’ button to open the ‘Browse to Folder’ window.











Browse to the folder in which the shop detail drawings have been saved, click ‘OK’.  Note – you will not be able to go inside the folder, the selection stops at the folder level.  FabSuite imports all files inside the folder, eliminating the added step for users to select specific drawings.

Returning to the ‘File Insert’ window, the directory from which the drawings are being imported shows at the top.  Click the button for ‘Add Revision’ and enter the revision number of the drawings.  Revision numbers are important, as FabSuite does ‘Stack’ the latest drawing import on top of existing versions.

This stacking process does three things:

  • Enables users to view and use previoius drawing revisions in Project Management
  • Prevents duplicate drawing entries in the Drawing Log
  • Preserves the ability of opening drawings in Production Control and Remote Link. Only the most recently imported drawings will be available for viewing in Production Control and Remote Link.











Click to checkmark ‘Copy files into Drawing Directory’.  This selection is what puts those PDF’s in the Drawing folder on the server, allowing everyone on the system to view the drawings.  The ‘File Prefix’ and ‘File Suffix’ will auto-populate from the ‘Drawing Setup’ window if entered there – or enter yourself now if needed.

FaSuite will cancel all digits entered in the ‘Prefix’ and ‘Suffix’ boxes, but they must match exactly for all drawings being imported.  When entered incorrectly the import will fail.  Note also that drawing names with more than 25 characters will not import at all.

For this example, we are using the asterisk (*) and then the dash as the cancel digits, as the drawing names are ‘Shop-101-Rev0’, all carrying the same prefix and suffix, with only the drawing number changing.  Fabsuite sees the ‘*’ to cancel all characters BEFORE and AFTER the dash, and then the dash cancels itself out.  The drawing will import as only the drawing number, no prefix, no suffix, no dash. This method does not require me to make an exact match character entry in the boxes for ‘Prefix’ and ‘Suffix’ before and after the drawing number.  With the dash as a separater in my drawing name, entering  the *- and -*, for ‘Prefix’ and ‘Suffix’ is easy.

Steel detailer methods and situations vary widely, and the ability to cancel out flanking digits in the drawing name using the Prefix and Suffix system was designed to accomdate as many conditions as possible.

It is easiest is to use the drawing numbers as the drawing name, then make the folder name indicate the revision of those drawings.  Once Imported, FabSuite keep track of the drawings, which makes the import so worthwhile.

When filled out, all entries for Revised By, Date Revised, Date Received, Checked By, Revision Number will be entered the same for all drawings being imported.   Leave boxes blank (Description, for example) which may be different for a select group or individual drawings.

Click to checkmark the box for ‘Update Approval Status’ and click to selection the Approval Status.  Click ‘Add’ to import those drawings!  See the screenshot for a drawing log example:








This list may be edited as needed. Add the drawing ‘Descriptions’ either individually or by global edit for select groups.  In the right center of the Detail Drawing Log, notice the blank area by ‘Transmittal #, Issued To, Date Issued, Due By and Date Returned.  This area will auto-populate as drawings are attached to outgoing transmittals, and is very helpful for tracking activity.  Watch for it in the next installment for Transmittals.

We covered a lot of detail for importing drawings, as we wanted to provide a bit of background on how the program works while explaining the working steps.   There are only four steps to the import process:

  • In the Project Management window, click the ‘Detail’ tab
  • Click the Drawing Log Drop Down; select ‘Batch Insert – From Files’
  • Click the ‘Directory’ button, browse to Folder
  • Enter the Import data; click the ‘Add’ button

And that’s it! Though this segment is titled ‘Project Management Setups – adding Drawings to the Drawing Log’, we included some trouble shooting skills for help with resolving some common new user issues.

We have shown you how to:

  • Make sure the Drawings save to the correct location in FabSuite
  • Verify the Drawing Number Input Type matches between Production Control and Project Management and why this is important
  • Make only the drawing numbers show in the drawing log, and explained why that is important
  • How to import the drawings

Close out of the Drawing Log window to see how the Project Management window looks now that we have some data in there.  You can see how many drawing there are in the log now.  We will discuss adding revised drawings after we have sent this batch out for approval in the next segment for Transmittals!

Next up:  Project Management Setups – Transmittals!  Take Care till then!


Written by Kerri Olsen

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