Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 30)21 Aug, 2006
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This Week's Software Tips
Do you have a favorite tip or shortcut that you use every day in your CAD software? One that saves you time? Makes life easier? Share it with other readers and, if we publish it, we'll send you a “ Cadalyst: CAD the Way You Want It” t-shirt.
Followup to Two Leader Line Tips
"I'm an obsessive champion for Command line routines because I'm not fond of the waiting involved with some of the newer dialog boxes' loading time. Several years ago, I began to prefix my layer names with - (minus sign) and use script files to repetitively create all of my layer sets. I automate most recurring tasks rather than recycle old drawings that may or may not have the data states I require. This placed all my layers above the 0 layer in the old Layer Manager, making them easier to find where multiple xrefs were loaded. As AutoCAD updates its Layer Manager look with each upgrade, my display order remained constant once I set MAXSORT reasonably high.
"I also created specific layers for each of my xrefs, with the format Xr_@, with @ replaced by the specific xref name, generally shortened to a single character. For example, G for ground floor plan, 1 for first and 2 for second. Placing each xref on a separate layer means that when the layer is frozen, the xref is frozen without having to alter the xref's layer state. When layer filters were introduced, I created three filters to cover all eventualities of layer filtration that concerned me:
"This lets you see only the layers thawed in the current viewport, layout space and model space that are not xref layers -- see naming protocol above.
"This lets you see only the layers frozen in the current viewport (invisible on screen) and then thaw them in the current viewport individually.
"This shows only the layers that won't plot so that they are visible on-screen and you don't waste precious paper.
"Combined with Invert filter, Apply to Object Properties toolbar and Show all Xref dependent layers, I can filter just about anything."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: AutoCAD allows for so much flexibility that it's possible to customize any drawing habits to your personal preference. If this tip works for the user, great! On the other hand, I'm sure others may comment on the complexity of this solution and offer their own layer customizing techniques.
On another note, you don't need to place each xref on its own unique layer. For years now, I've placed all of my xrefs on layer 0. If I don't want to see the xref, I simply unload or detach it from the current drawing file. I can even use the Command line by typing -XR to unload it instead of using the xref dialog box.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: For those who don't want to deal with AutoLISP routines or reactors, I recommend the tool palettes or Designcenter.
Copy More Entities
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The prompting is a little unorthodox.
The following revised code is a little cleaner with less confusing prompting.
Send us your tip or shortcut for your favorite CAD software. If we publish it, we'll send you a "Cadalyst: CAD the Way You Want It" t-shirt.
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.
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: ThinkPad T60p
Hardware: NextDimension FlexTop
General Software: Deep Exploration CAD Edition 4.1 and Deep Server 4.1
General Software: PhotoModeler 6 Beta Version
General Software: trueServe
Visualization: RenderPipe AV5.5
AEC: AutoTURN 5.1
AEC: JetStream v5.1
MCAD: Seemage 3.2
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
ASQ’s Design and Construction Division’s Annual Conference
ESRI User Group Meetings
SolidWorks World Australia Conference
AUGI Manufacturing User Groups Bedford and Waltham Chapters Quarterly Meeting
Meridian Systems’ Tenth User Conference
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In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Technical Evangelist 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!