Drafting Standards Checklist for Electronic Deliverables

QUICKLINKS: Drafting Standards | Pen/Color Reference Chart | Sheet Borders | CAD & Drafting Design Standards

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Project Setup
Drawing Practices
Page Setup/Plotting



Cover Sheet
The title sheet of a drawing set typically includes a map of the project area and index of the sub sheets.

Sub Sheet
One drawing of the printed set, but not the cover sheet. External Reference (xref) base drawings are not sub sheets.

External Reference (xref) Base
A drawing file which is linked into sub sheet(s), but is not printed directly as part of the drawing set.

Project Setup

  • All CAD drawings will be done in AutoCAD®.
  • Drawing files will be stored in the DSC folder structure, i.e. [park] \ [package or pmis] \ drawings \ [discipline]. See DSCCUG page 2-1.
  • Drawing filenames will conform to the DSC drawing file naming conventions. See DSCCUG page 2-1.
  • Each sub sheet will be created as an individual .dwg file, using external references for the sharing of information when necessary. One .dwg = one sub sheet.
  • Do not use multiple paperspace layouts to create more than one subsheet per .dwg file.
  • Begin new drawings using a template drawing (.dwt) of the appropriate discipline. Template drawings are included with the NPS AutoCAD Tools.

Drawing Practices


  • Use modelspace/paperspace where modelspace contains the model at "real life" size.
  • Paperspace contains the border/title block, and non-model related objects such as north arrow, scale bars, schedules, notes.
  • Printing is done from paperspace at 1:1 scale for full-size prints, 1:2 scale for half size prints. Drawing scale(s) are achieved with viewport(s). All drawings use color dependent plot styles, not named plot styles.

External References

  • Xref base files should be in the "DSC folder structure" (see DSCCUG page 2-1), and relative xref paths used. By using relative xref paths, when the project files are transferred to CD-ROM in the same "DSC folder structure", subsheets will open and load xrefs successfully. Creating a P: drive as mentioned in some versions of the DSCCUG is not necessary when using relative xref paths.
  • Attach or overlay at xrefs at coordinates 0,0,0 unless absolutely necessary to do otherwise.


  • Layer names will conform to the DSC standard and all objects will be drawn on the appropriate layer. Refer to DSCCUG page 2-4 for layer name conventions, and DSCCUG Appendix A for layer listings by discipline.
  • To import standard layers into an existing drawing, use these layer settings (.las) files. When beginning new drawings, use a drawing template.


  • All colors used in drawing files will comply with the DSC Pen/Color configuration chart. See DSCCUG page 4-3, or the NPS Pen/Color reference chart.


  • Only romans.shx and arch.shx are to be used for text characters, with the exception of special font files from Land Development Desktop or legacy drawings converted from Autotrol software. It is suggested to use the TWIZ (Text Wizard) command, which is included with the NPS AutoCAD Tools, to setup text styles that conform to the DSC standard.

Text heights used:

Use Printed Height Pen Width Colors
Standard text and dimensions 0.13 0.017 White (7), 39, 71, 103, 135, 167, 199, 231
Sub-titles, headings 0.14 0.021 Red (1), 33, 65, 97, 129, 161, 193, 225
Plan titles, detail titles, section or detail call outs. 0.175 0.026 Yellow (2), 34, 66, 98, 130, 162, 194, 226
Absolute minimum text height, used for stacked fractions, symbols 0.11 0.013 Magenta (6), 38, 70, 102, 134, 166, 198, 230


  • It is suggested to use the DWIZ (Dimension Wizard) command (included with the NPS AutoCAD Tools) to create dimension styles which conform to the DSC standard. See DSCCUG page 4-5.

Page Setup/Plotting

Paperspace/layout configuration

  • Drawings are to be plotted using paperspace.
  • Unit of measurement in paperspace is inches if imperial, millimeter if a metric drawing.
  • DSC's border/title block will always be inserted at full size (border is 21" x 31 3/4" or 533mm x 806mm).
  • Full size plots are achieved by plotting at a 1:1 scale. Half size plots are achieved by plotting at a 1:2 scale.
  • Create one Paperspace layout for both half-size and full-size prints. Do not create two layouts, e.g. one half-size layout plus one full-size layout. Using different page setup settings, one layout can easily be used to print both sizes.
  • Only one .ctb pen settings file is required (AutoCAD2000+) for both half-size and full-size prints.The trick is to Use the "Scale lineweight" feature.
  • Use the NPS supplied file, NPS_HP_Grayscale.ctb, accessible by unzipping NPS HP Grayscale.zip. This .cbt file is also included with the NPS AutoCAD Tools.
  • Standard paper sizes are 22" x 34" for full-size prints, and 11" x 17" for half-size prints.
  • All drawings (linework, text, etc.) must be legible when printed half-size.
  • Each subsheet will be created as an individual .dwg file. One .dwg = one subsheet. Do not use multiple paperspace layouts to create more then one subsheet per .dwg file.
  • No objects drawn outside the rectangular border lines (allows print area using "Extents").
  • Viewport objects should be visible (not on off or frozen layer). Use non-printing color to hide viewport border on print.

Drawings will be printable using the following page setup/plot settings:

  • Plot area: Extents
    Scale (full size prints): 1:1
    Scale (half size prints): 1:2 with Scale lineweights checked (AutoCAD r2000+)

Title Block/Border

  • Use DSC's title block, not a modified version. See DSCCUG page 3-1. Cover sheet, second sheet, plan and profile, and survey borders can be found on the Sheet Borders page.
  • DO NOT explode or "burst" the title block.
  • Paper-trim lines should not be part of the border/title block. If they are necessary, place on a separate layer that is frozen before drawing is submitted to the DSC.
  • All drawings shall include a drawing tag that includes date/time of last save, user name, the AutoCAD release version, drawing path and filename, and xref list. See DSCCUG page 3-4. An automatic drawing tag feature is included in the NPS AutoCAD Tools.


Folder structure on the following removable media must match folder structure as mentioned in Project Setup section. See DSCCUG page 7-1.

Acceptable media is CD-ROM, single session, finalized.

Questions or problems should be directed to dsccadsupport@nps.gov


Last updated: January 6, 2017