Management

Keep Track of Your AutoCAD Drawing Time

12 Oct, 2015

It’s nice to know how much time you’ve spent on an AutoCAD drawing. It also comes in handy when you want to see how much time someone else spent on a drawing! Join Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen as she shows you how to keep track of your drawing time and turn on a timer with the Time command.

Video Transcript

Hi there. This is Lynn Allen. Thanks for joining me for another AutoCAD tip, thanks to Cadalyst magazine. Today I'm going to share with you a tip that I was reminded of when I was looking the IMAGINiT blog. I like to give people credit. It's the good old Time command.

I used to teach this to my students a long time ago. This is for those of you who are very conscientious, and you want to know exactly how much time you spent working on an AutoCAD drawing. Or you are just curious. Or sometimes it's best not to know. Or, I would say, the Time command also comes in handy if somebody's been working on drawing. They told you they were worked on it for 10 hours, and you come in here and it says they only worked in it for eight. Well then, then I'd kind of want to know what the deal was. Just saying!

If you take a look at the Time command, it's very simple. It tells you when it was created. You can see the drawing is over 5 years old. The last time it was updated, the last time it was saved. And this is it right here -- the total editing time. Incidentally, that's minus lag time. That doesn't count for lag time, which is good.

You'll also see there's a time that really should be the exact same number as the editing time because as soon as you open the drawing, the timer s turned on. But we're going to change that actually here in a second. And the next time there's going to be an automatic save if for some reason you want to know that information, if it's important to you.

First off, I'm going to turn the timer; I'm going to turn it off. Now we're going to sit around for a second, and we're going to talk about the weather. The weather is pretty nice here in Northern California. Now let's do a Display again. You will see now that the timer has a lower amount of time than the editing time. Right? Because we turned the timer off.

What if you wanted to time yourself doing something in AutoCAD? I have no idea why. Maybe you are having a race with somebody else in the office to see who can get things done the fastest. Well then you can reset the timer. Let's reset it and then do a Display to look at it. You can see now the timer is off, and it's set to zero.

Now you and your buddy are going to have a race to see how long it takes to do heaven only  knows what. So then you are going to come back, and you are going to say On. I'm going to go out of the command. Let's come back over here and just... blah... blah... blah... Let's draw some lines, we do whatever. You just do whatever, whatever, whatever.

You have your race. Your race is over. You go back into the Time command, and you'll be able to see exactly how much time it took for you to do it. You probably want to stop it right then and there. You would say Off so that it didn't continue to keep time. And then when your friend caught up -- because you are, of course, faster than he is -- then you'd be able to truly claim that you were the winner. Because you used the Time command. Oh, yeah.

Hey, it comes in handy. Great for billing back and things like that. You can prove how much time you spent in a drawing file. So use the Time command. Thanks for joining me. I will see you back here in two more weeks.


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Comments

Re: Keep Track of Your AutoCAD Drawing Time
by: CT_Yankee
on:
October 12, 2015 - 12:55pm
The TIME command is helpful, but awkward. Total editing time is never reset, which can sometimes be an issue. I often start a project that I know will result in multiple DWG files (i.e. one file for each floor or level). I will establish as much of the common elements in a file for the lowest floor (or a 'base' drawing), then do a SAVEAS for the subsequent level. Total editing time does not get reset. I can work around this by using my base drawing as the template for a NEW drawing (using File|New and migrating to the appropriate folder). Doing this, the total editing time is reset to zero. The real problem with the TIME function is that it simply records the time that a file is open in AutoCAD. It does NOT offer the ability to record active editing time (i.e. when the mouse moves or keyboard commands are executed). I may have multiple files open (to make it simple to copy elements between drawings) and the timer in each continues to run even though I am not working in them. My need is for an intuitive application that will record actual ACTIVE editing time. This way I have a fair basis for billable hours. It does not make sense to include bathroom, coffee & phone call time in the hours attributed to a particular client, nor is it practical to consistently turn the timer off and on for those events. This functionality seems to only be available in 3rd party applications.
 
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Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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