Bug Watch: May 2003

1 May, 2003 By: Steve Johnson

Commentary: AutoCAD 2004

So, a new release of AutoCAD is here again. Unlike 2000i and 2002, which were little more than minor updates pretending to be new releases, AutoCAD 2004 is the real thing. A more compact new drawing format, interface improvements, and useful new features and commands indicate a welcome return to the days in which AutoCAD upgrades were worth the money. As usual, many old bugs and problems are fixed by the new release, some things that used to work are broken, and the nice new features will introduce nasty new creatures. The word on the street is that 2004 is a stable release, and I haven't seen any catastrophic new bugs reported yet. Watch this space over the coming months to see what shakes out as more people start using the new software.

Blind Find 1 (2004)

Submitted by Jimmy Bergmark.

The Find command in AutoCAD 2004 fails to find some mtext strings that are obvious to the naked eye and that AutoCAD 2002 finds flawlessly. To understand this problem, you first need to understand that though mtext may be WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), it is not WYSIWAS (what you see is what AutoCAD stores). To handle mtext's various formatting capabilities, AutoCAD stores formatting codes in each mtext object together with the text you see on the drawing.

For example, let's say you use the Mtext editor in AutoCAD 2002 to create the text "HELLO WORLD" and apply font overrides to portions of the text. The mtext object may contain something like this:

{\Fromans.shx;HELLO} {\Fromand.shx;WORLD}

In AutoCAD 2002, the Find command finds the words as expected. If you open this drawing in AutoCAD 2004, the Find command find neithers HELLO nor WORLD.

Note that if you try to reproduce this bug entirely in AutoCAD 2004, the bug is not immediately obvious. The AutoCAD 2004 Mtext editor formats the above example like this:

{\Fromans.shx|c0;HELLO} {\Fromand.shx|c0;WORLD}
The AutoCAD 2004 Find command seems to expect the extra color codes inserted by the Mtext editor. It finds HELLO and WORLD in the above example without problems. However, the Find command won't correctly handle mtext created by earlier releases, or by mechanisms other than the AutoCAD 2004 internal Mtext editor.

No known workaround.

Blind Find 2 (2000 to 2004)

Submitted by Fred Wilson, Jr.

In dimensions, you can force the text to be split above and below the dimension line by using the \X code. Any text before \X appears above the line, and any text after it appears below. For example, the dimension text "<>\XOVERALL" displays the normal dimension text above the line and OVERALL below it.

What's the problem? The problem is the Find command. It doesn't find anything after the \X code. That's something of a problem when you search for dimension text, but it's potentially disastrous when you replace dimension text. If you find and replace anything before the \X, the \X itself and anything after it are erased from the drawing!

No known workaround.

Faulty default (2004)

Submitted by Alireza Parsai.

The Revcloud command lets you specify a minimum and maximum arc length. For each setting, it correctly displays the current value as a default. However, if you accept the default by pressing <Enter>, the setting always change to 0.5, regardless of the value of the current setting.

Workaround: None known, other than explicitly entering both lengths.

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