Eleven Efficiency Boosters for AutoCAD23 Jan, 2014 By: Lynn Allen
Circles and Lines: High-profile features are nice, but these subtle improvements will really enhance your productivity.
6. Xref linetypes and layers redo. Do you use xrefs? A couple of tweaks have been made to the display of xref linetypes and layers that won't really affect your productivity but might cause mild confusion if you aren't aware of what happened. You'll find that xref linetypes are no longer displayed in the Linetype drop-down list on the ribbon or in the Properties palette. No loss there, as you couldn't modify them anyway — and if you can't edit them, why display them? Xref layers are still displayed on the ribbon (so you can easily control their visibility), but you'll find they are no longer displayed in the Properties palette.
7. Easy xref-to-overlay changes. You're going to love the new, simple double-click in the Type column of the Xref Manager that changes attached xrefs to overlays (and vice versa). And how would you know that if someone didn't point it out? (You're welcome!) Have you been frustrated when you couldn't select multiple xrefs to change at one time in the Xref Manager? Now you can do this via the right-click menu.
8. Dtext gains a memory. We all still use single-line text (dtext) from time to time. Have you ever noticed that regardless of how you set the justification, it always returns to "starting point" the next time you use it? That's no longer the case; AutoCAD 2014 remembers the last setting and uses it as the default for the next use of the Dtext command.
9. Sheet set date fix. Are you a sheet set user? If not, you probably should be. And if you are, you may have noticed that whenever you create a new sheet, AutoCAD uses the creation date from the template file instead of the new sheet. That minor (but annoying) detail has been corrected.
10. ATTDIA change. When inserting a block with attributes, the default method of displaying attribute prompts is on the Command line. The new method displays the attributes in a friendly dialog box; ATTDIA is now set to 1 by default (figure 3).
Figure 3. Attributes now display in a dialog box by default.
11. New system variable. I'll end with one of my favorite additions to AutoCAD 2014. If you've ever added a baseline or continued dimension to your drawing, only to realize that you forgot to change the dimension style to that of the base dimension, you're going to love this new system variable. Set DIMCONTINUEMODE to 1, and baseline and continued dimensions will always reflect the same dimension style as the base dimension! You will also find that this is the new default behavior, so you don't have to remember the name of yet one more system variable.
Now you know some new tips for AutoCAD 2014; be sure to give them a try. I think you'll find that these minor, everyday features in AutoCAD add up to a major improvement in productivity. Happy AutoCAD-ing!
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!