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Fields in modelspace not updating

Message 1 of 33
4044 Views, 32 Replies

Fields in modelspace not updating

I have a project where 60 drawings will be duplicated for each of a dozen sites.  Each site has a four digit prefix (i.e. 800X) that is added to the drawing number, equipment callouts, leaders and various notes throughout the sheets.  Even using Find/Replace, this is a lot of work to revise every time I copy them, so I’m thinking that this is a job for fields, no?


Well, I had no problem making a “global” field called SiteNo and inserting it into the title block.  Then I inserted the same field into a couple of references in the general notes as well, where it works fine.  But when I put it into several leaders sprinkled throughout the drawing I found a problem:  regen or regenall will update the title block and note references (all in paperspace, of course), but not the ones in model space.  I’ve tried putting the field in both mtext and dtext, and I’ve checked to be sure FIELDEVAL is set to 31.  Nothing makes fields in modelspace update.


But I know that the field is set up correctly.  If I doubleclick any modelspace occurance (text or mleader), then right click and choose “update field”, it fills in the right value.  This however negates my goal.  If I have to select each one, I might as well put it in as text and use FIND/REPLACE on each individual drawing.


I was REALLY hoping that I could go to the properties of the sheet set, change one box, and see all occurrences in all drawings for that site update, which is my understanding of the purpose and power of fields.  I've spent a lot of time searching the web, seen a lot of issues and solutions, but nothing that quite hits my problem. What am I missing?


Thanks for any assistance.

"Always remember: nothing difficult is ever easy."
Message 21 of 33
in reply to: doni49

Doni: Thanks for your input. It occured to me that I need to start with a "clean" drawing and see if I can recreate a simple one that works. I'm CERTAIN it did before right at end of a Fri, but when I opened it up following Mon, NUTTIN! We only work half days Fri, so I'm going home and forget about it over weekend. I'll tackle it again next week. Thanks for your help.

Roger Mc
"Always remember: nothing difficult is ever easy."
Message 22 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

Oh well. I'll keep my eye out. If I find anything over the weekend, I'll post on Monday.

If this response answers your question, Please mark this response as "Accept as Solution"

Rocky Brown
AutoCAD 2020 / Inventor 2020 / Plant 3D
Message 23 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

I'm coming in late on the conversation.  Are the fields that don't update inside external references?  If so, the refresh may not occur until after you use the sheet set manager to change the value or add the same field to the current sheet.  I added a custom sheet set property and then added a field in a titleblock that I externally reference into the sheet.  Changing the value of the sheet set property and then using regen did not update the field.  After I added the same field to the current drawing both the field in the xref and the field in the current drawing updated on regen.


All the OOTB layouts for sheets have the fields placed out of the block definition and when a new sheet is created by using the sheet set manager, it creates a layout from that sheet template.  That means that all of the fields are exposed in the sheet file rather than in an external reference. Expect problems if you nest the fields.

Architect, Registered NC, VA, SC, & GA.
Message 24 of 33
in reply to: dbroad



Early or late, I'd appreciate any insight you have.  Would you (or anybody else) review my goal and approach to see what bonehead thing I'm doing wrong?


I'm just looking for a way to copy and update (on average) 60 drawings that have maybe a dozen references per drawing to a site designation (say, 8001).  The text appears in the titleblock, maybe once or twice in general notes (mtext) in uppper right paperspace, then in 10 or so leaders, callout bubbles or occasional mtext located in model space.  While there may be an xref in any particular drawing, the fields are not part of it, they are local to the drawing. I am presently not using a template, we created the first 60 drawing set from scratch, so templates really aren't a factor, and all subsequent sites are simply copies of the first set.


It was my understanding of the SSM that I should create a CustomSheetSet field (which I call "SiteNo") and set it's value to 8001.  For the second job, I copy all drawings to a new directory, create a new sheet set using an example sheet set (the one from 8001).  I import all copied drawings into the new sheet set.  When I open a drawing, all the fields show 8001, as expected. Here's where I'm losing it:  I go to the properties of the sheet set, find my CustomSheetSet property and change the value to 8002, type regen all, and everybody updates to refer to the second site.  Simple, right?


Not so much.  When I regen (or regenall), the fields in the titleblock and the general notes (all in paperspace) will update to 8002 as desired.  But any leaders, notes, ect in modelspace still display 8001.  If I go to modelspace and regen, nothing happens.  I've tried FIELDUPDATE, and select fields individually or select all, still nothing. But I know that they are looking at the right CustomSheetSet property, because if I pick just one of them, doubleclick, then rightclick and select "Update Field" it will immediately change to 8002.  Problem is, I would have to open every drawing and update every one of them individually. I might as well make all references as mtext or mleader and use Find/Replace, it would go faster than this...


I thought this was the whole PURPOSE of a "global" (CustomSheetSet) field.  Enter a value in one place (in Sheet Set Manager property), and it should update every occurrance of that associated field in every drawing without doing anything else.  And most frustrating of all (see above posts), I'm CERTAIN that at one point I had it so that both modelspace AND paperspace occurences of my SiteNo field would update.  But it appears that I've done something to mess that up, I can't find a previous version that still does it, so now I'm trying to recreate it.


Any help from any direction would be much appreciated.


Thanks all.




Just an afterthought...


If I get some spare time I may create a new sheet set and change value of SiteNo to 8002 BEFORE I import the copied drawings.  If the new dwgs all display correctly, it will serve the immediate need, but it won't explain why I can't go in at any time, change a value, and see all locations update when I regen.

"Always remember: nothing difficult is ever easy."
Message 25 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

You may be running into a snag where the drawings were part of one sheet set and the internal fields don't recognize the changed sheet set.  It seems like what you are doing should work but I avoid using the same sheets (or copies of them) on multiple projects so have little experience with your bug.


If you suspect that AutoCAD is not operating correctly, try submitting a bug at  You should get a response.

Architect, Registered NC, VA, SC, & GA.
Message 26 of 33
in reply to: dbroad

I thought that that was the method recommended by Autodesk...  How else would you use very similar previous drawings in a current job than copy them?  Are you thinking problem comes from copied drawings or copied sheet set?  Not sure what you're proposing... please clarify.

"Always remember: nothing difficult is ever easy."
Message 27 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

Well assuming that it should work, Acad might treat files created via template vs copy differently.

Try creating a "new" file using one of you 8001 files and then assigning the file to the new SSM file.

Just do one file for now to confirm or deny the theory.

Don Ireland
Engineering Design Technician

If a reply solves your issue, please remember to click on "Accept as Solution". This will help other users looking to solve a similar issue. Thank you.

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Message 28 of 33
in reply to: doni49

Is this solution worth a Beer??


I had a similar issue in Autocad Architecture a few years back.


There is a fix via Fields linked to SheetSets Custom Props, and will update in both spaces as well as across all drawing in the Set.


Greek2Me try this:

1. Create your custom Sheet Set Property as you have.

2. In PS Create as field in Dtext, Mtext, Attributes, etc.

3. Then reference the SheetSet "Field Name" instead of the "CurrentSheetSetCustom" field. select Sheet Set, then Property. (refer to image below.)

4. Copy/Paste the text or field expression anywhere in the drawing or project.

5. save or regen to see the update.


See attached image. If you save to another SheetSet project edit the path in the Field Expression to reflect the new project name.

the GUI (the unique 35-digit identifier at the end) may have to be updated as well.


Hope this helps!






Oh, say hello to Mark!!

Message 29 of 33
in reply to: freedom1k

THATS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Thanks so much, I've been wrestling with this most of a month, and couldn't believe that there wasn't some way to accomplish this, it seems SO obviously useful.


Mark says he'll be seeing you sometime real soon, so I'll send along a "beer certificate" for your use.


Thanks again!


Roger Mc

"Always remember: nothing difficult is ever easy."
Message 30 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

You're welcome! Glad it's working.

(As you mentioned in Message #15, I've seen it work before to.)


Amazing how some solutions are "right under your nose".


Please note Topic as "solved"


We'll toast to your success when I see Mark after the holidays.  Smiley Very Happy








Message 31 of 33
in reply to: freedom1k

Hmmmmmm..... this seems to be only a partial fix. While everything within the current sheet set is working as I wanted (a single property to update all occurrences), I can't make a copy of the drawings, create a new sheet set based on the previous one, and then import the copied drawings to create similar sites.


Well, I CAN, but when I copy the drawings to a new directory it retains the path between the fields and the previous sheet set. The only way to make it reference a new sheet set is to use "edit field" on each one, the very thing I was hoping to avoid. The field code is field specific anyway and "greyed out", so I can see it, but not change it. I don't see anyplace that changes it for the entire sheet set.


As a workaround, I found that you can go to Drawing Utilities and create a Custom Property (field?) called "SiteNo" for the drawing. Now when I insert a field into the drawing, select the "Document" field catagory,  SiteNo shows up as an option.  That field can then be copied into both MS and PS, and all will update in either location. This bypasses the Sheet Set Manager completely and at least allows me to update all occurrences within a drawing. A usable workaround if I only had a few drawings with multiple references, but still not the "global update" for larger projects that I was hoping for. Getting closer though...  Maybe somebody else out there needs this.


Other suggestions?

"Always remember: nothing difficult is ever easy."
Message 32 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

Earlier post about multiple layouts being able to belong to multiple sheetsets was correct.  Tested by deleting all layouts but 1, and fields in MS now update.  Add second layout and fields stop updating automatically.  Add this one to the wishlist.  Shouldn't matter, because field is current sheet set, so even if 4 open, only the top or open sheet set would be the current, my problem not theirs if that causes me a headache.  Example of Autodesk trying to hard to protect me from myself.

Message 33 of 33
in reply to: Greek2Me

My coworker and I were scratching our heads about this one too. For what it's worth, I found the "source of the problem" in official AutoCAD documentation:


"An invalid field displays pound signs (####). For example, the CurrentSheetName field, which is valid only in paper space, displays pound signs if it is placed in model space." (


Thanks for all the great discussion and help here!

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