Bug Watch: Migration, Multiple and More Menu Matters

10 Mar, 2006 By: Steve Johnson Cadalyst

Bug Watch for March is brought to you by the letter M.

Migration Mayhem 1 (2005 to 2007, affects earlier releases)
If you set up your plotters using PC3 files in AutoCAD 2004 or 2005 and then upgrade and allow the Migration Assistant to do its thing, you will find that your earlier release has twice as many plotters after the install. If you do this twice, from AutoCAD 2004 to 2005 and then 2006, you will find that AutoCAD 2004 lists the plotters for 2004, 2005 and 2006. AutoCAD 2005 lists the plotters for 2005 and 2006. Not only do you have more plotters than you want, you will need to guess the right one to use or it may not work.

This bug is caused by the Migration Assistant making a copy of the existing PC3 files in a folder under the existing one and then using that copy for the new release. The idea is to keep the files separated to avoid any compatibility issues. However, the earlier releases can still see the copied files in the new folder.

Workaround: If you have already let Migration Assistant do its thing, you can move the new folder well out of the way and, using the Options command, point the new release at the new folder location.

Migration Mayhem 2 (2006 to 2006 SP1, affects earlier releases)
If you allow the Migration Assistant to migrate your various files, it occasionally can mess them up for the old release. For example, if you allow it to migrate your linetype definition files, it can make a successful copy of the ACAD.LIN file for the new release. However, when you use the old release, you will get a lot of linetype definition errors. Examining the old release's ACAD.LIN shows that it is now a 0 byte file.

Workaround: None known other than restoring your ACAD.LIN file from one of your safe backups. You do keep these things safely backed up, don't you?

Multiple Malady (2000 to 2007)
According to the documentation, using the Multiple option when selecting objects has two effects. First, it allows you to pick multiple points without highlighting the objects, which you may wish to do for performance reasons. Second, if you have two or more objects occupying the same space, you can pick the same point more than once and select a different object each time. The first part of this option is still working, but the second has been broken since AutoCAD 2000.

Workaround: You can use object cycling (Ctrl+click) instead of Multiple to select objects lying on top of each other.

Misplaced Menu Memory (2006 to 2006 SP1)
Surprise, surprise, another CUI bug! Shortcut menus in partial CUI files don't work. Whichever shortcut menu AutoCAD finds first will win. Commonly, that one is defined in ACAD.CUI. When AutoCAD loads a shortcut menu, it stores it in its registry and thereafter uses the registry copy. If you define shortcut menus outside the main menu, AutoCAD will ignore them. As excellent reasons abound for keeping the ACAD.CUI file in a pristine unmodified state, this situation is a problem.

Workaround: You will need to place all your shortcut menus in the same CUI file. But that's not the end of it. You usually need to use the main CUI file, so you might want to use your own customized file as the main menu and make ACAD.CUI a partial menu of either the Main or Enterprise menu. Other sound reasons for such an arrangement exist, but they are too complex to discuss here. You may wish to examine these arguments as put forward in threads in the Autodesk and AUGI groups. Beware, it's a long read. You will need to sign on to the AUGI forum first, but it's free.

A Lack of Dialog Revisited (2005 to 2006 SP1)
Last month I reported that AutoCAD sometimes loses various dialog box commands after performing a plot. Many people have responded, so this problem appears to be quite common. I can't respond to you all individually, but thanks to everybody who has provided me with more clues. Some people have reported that this problem also happens under circumstances other than plotting, such as when double-clicking on a hatch object to edit it. In such cases, the problem can recur every time you double-click on that hatch object, and you will need to erase and recreate it. Many, but not all, of the people affected have Xerox plotters. Some people find that if they keep working rather than restarting AutoCAD, AutoCAD becomes unstable and will crash eventually. If you have any more clues that will help me track this down, please let me know: I am particularly interested to know if AutoCAD 2007 still has this problem.

Workaround: Some people have reported that they can often jog AutoCAD's memory by starting up the Appload command and closing it. If this works, it is more convenient than closing and restarting AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
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