What is Topo & How to do it Better?


Many of you would have been laughing while you were clicking on this post. Let us once and for all get rid of the so called dark secret of the profession. Let us understand what topo is, How it’s done and how we can improve on it?

So first things first, let us understand what is topo? ‘Topo’, is basically referred to as the practice of tracing sheets in architectural colleges in India. So generally, if you are late on your work, you trace your sheets to get your work done faster. This is generally frowned by the faculty of any college for that matter as it basically is cheating. Many a ‘legend’ or stories have gone down the annals of many a college when Topo sheets have been caught by faculty members of the respective college. So as the saying goes, if you got to cheat, do it intelligently.

So now that most of you have understood what it is, let us understand how it is done.

  • First Step- Ask your friends for completed sheets that you want to copy. This is a hurdle as many your peers may not choose to share their sheets as it impairs the sheets quality if carelessly done.
  • Second Step- Get your set up ready. The following is a list of things that you need to get for doing topo.
  1. A Piece of Glass ( Transparent)/ Glass Table suitable for placing your sheet on it
  2. A Stand or apparatus to place the glass on
  3. A light or a lamp which you can place under the glass table
  • Third Step-Arrange the apparatus like shown in the image below.


  • Fourth Step-Place the sheet that you want to copy on the glass and stick it with the help of a tape.
  • Fifth Step- Place your blank sheet over it, place the light below the glass and switch it on.
  • Sixth Step- Now Start Tracing.

We hope that the steps above will help you ‘topo’ that is if you need to. Let us know focus on some of the things that gives away a topo sheet when compared to a drafted sheet.

  • A trace of lead left behind from the copied sheet. A solution to this to erase this trace from the back of your sheet with the help of an eraser.
  • Incomplete lines, typography errors and other drafting mistakes made, can also lay waste to your ‘hard work’. So make sure that you give a thorough look at your sheet before submitting it.
  • Missing Guidelines is also something which gives away your topo sheet. So make sure to draw some guidelines which makes it look authentic.
  • Another something which may help you is to go through the tracing process slowly. This will also help you increase the quality of your topo sheet.

We hope that this post clears some of the doubts in relation to this dark secret of the profession.

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