Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 27)31 Jul, 2006
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Lynn Allen's Circles and Lines, Hot Tip Harry, Learning Curve, Bug Watch and all your other favorite AutoCAD columns can now be found online on Cadalyst's AEC, Manufacturing and GIS Web sites. Just link to your site of choice and look under AutoCAD Tips in the left column.
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This Week's Software Tips
Follow-Up to Arc-to-Circle
Draw Pipe Ends
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The Tip Patrol was divided on this AutoLISP program. One Patroller states that it works so well that he'll be using it in his work. He suggested, though, that we remove the (setvar "orthomode" X) lines. If you end up needing to reset your polar settings each time, delete the code lines that are red and you will be set. Another Patroller agrees that the routine runs and does what it says, but suggests an alternative that doesn't use AutoLISP. First, build a one-autocad-unit X one-autocad-unit pipe-end wblock. Second, place it in the My Blocks folder. Third, use the x and y values on insert to size the block as necessary. Then make it a layer-zero block with color and linetype BYLAYER too. Last, build it (or turn it into) as a polyline so that even if the block were accidentally exploded, it still wouldn't be three little line segments. Thanks for the great feedback, Cadalyst Tip Patrol!
Two-Fer: Erasing Layouts
Erasing Superfluous Layouts (Not Layers!). You can select or deselect multiple layout tabs the same way you do so with multiple files in Windows Explorer -- by holding down the CTRL or Shift keys while selecting with the mouse.
To delete all the layouts, hold down CTRL and select the first tab and then hold down Shift and select the last tab. If working in other than the Model tab, the current layout will already be highlighted.
With the mouse pointer over one of the highlighted tabs, right-click and select Delete.
AutoCAD won't delete the Model tab and always creates a new Layout1.
Whether your layout contains a viewport or not depends on your settings in the Options dialog box. If you don't want one created, go to the Display tab and uncheck "Create viewport in new layouts" in the Layout elements area.
Erasing Layouts. This takes Sam Styles' idea in the June 19 edition a little further and deletes all layouts by pressing one button.
AutoCAD won't delete the Model tab and always creates a new Layout1. Whether it contains a viewport or not depends on your settings in the Options dialog box. If you don't want one created, go to the Display tab and uncheck "Create viewport in new layouts" in the Layout elements area.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This is another handy AutoLISP program for cleaning up architects' drawings.
Stretch Associative Dimensions
"This tip saves you a lot of steps," Murray says. "Once you get the hang of using the TK trick, you'll practically be able to do it in your sleep."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: A very good use of AutoCAD's TK (Tracking) feature.
"After selecting, you can use the Change command or the properties tool palette or whatever command you want. Note that selection has to be made before or after the command depending on the method you are using to change objects. Often these two commands can be used in place of many AutoLISP routines that have been written to do the same or similar functions. These are one of most powerful selection tools in AutoCAD and the most under-used. Filter has been around since at least Release 12 and still works the same way as it did then."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Qselect doesn't let you do nearly as much as Filter and doesn't allow for a lot of variable such as selecting text of varying sizes, but they both still work well. The old Filter as well as the newer Qselect are generally under-used.
This Week's SolidWorks
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Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed by Cadalyst staff and the Cadalyst Tip Patrol before publication. Use tips at your own discretion, please, and watch later editions of this newsletter for updates and corrections. Many thanks to our volunteer Cadalyst Tip Patrol members: Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Don Reichle, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda, Billy Wooten and Ben Young.
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Advancing GIS for
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 Tips & Tricks Tuesdays free e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is available. All exclusively from Cadalyst!