Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 34)25 Sep, 2006
What's New at Cadalyst.com
Calling All CAD Managers!
Time for a New Job?
Cadalyst Daily Update
GIS News and Information
Kubotek Announces Redesigned Web Site
New Domain for Lenny's SolidWorks
IT Resources for HPC Users, Engineers
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.
Follow-Up to Layer Control
Follow-Up to Editing Text Objects
Beall says he is an avid proponent of AutoCAD's Express Tools, but this alternative approach allows his AutoCAD LT peers to take advantage of this editing tip as well.
Rename Those Layers
"To begin, I save a copy of the original file as a backup, just in case there's a problem later on. Then, I purge all unused layers and rename the outside files' layers to our standard layering conventions. This is usually simple because most companies use some sort of logical system for layer names. I then insert that file into our template file that includes all our standard layers. The outside file's layers then take on all the attributes (linetype, color, etc.) of the predefined layers in our template file, and I only had to edit the names. All done!"
"Now the file plots with our drawings and we can read it. Changing the names of the layers in Rename is easier than in the Layer Manager because it's not as bulky. On the other hand, if you want to see linetypes and color while changing the names, you can do the same thing with the same results by changing their names in the layer manager. You can also use Rename to change the names of blocks, dim styles, line types, text styles, UCSs, viewports and views."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Another solution would be to use the old Express Tools layer translator, Laytrans, which is useful when receiving data from consultants or other outside parties. It lets you save the settings so that when the next file comes in from the firm in question, all that's necessary is to first import the settings that were used on the prior file for an instant match.
On the other hand, translating drawing properties between companies can be tedious as well as time consuming. Purging unused layers can turn out to be a problem when the drawing is returned to that particular company. One alternative: Talk with said company in an attempt to establish mutually beneficial CAD standards. If such an agreement cannot be reached, then, based on your current release of AutoCAD, you can use the standards checker included with latest versions. Keep in mind that if these drawings are to be returned to the company, your layering conventions and other standards are secondary and your clients' needs are primary.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Also, did you know that '_zoom_a for Zoom All zooms to your plotted paper size, which is nice for seeing a little area outside your border? However, this doesn't work if objects are drawn outside the area -- it then acts similarly to Zoom Extents.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This procedure is beneficial for those who don't use a wheel mouse. You can make adjustments in paper space via the Properties box. Very seldom are any of the other zooming features needed. For those that are, the Zoom toolbar is readily available. The wheel mouse has become the ultimate tool for navigating AutoCAD drawings.
For more about this approach, see "AutoCAD Tip: Easy Zooming with Mouse Wheel" by Tip Patrol member Billy Wooten.
Your Favorite Tools
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: One
tipster suggests that Profile setups (under Options) are another useful
tool for toolbar placement and selection, eliminating the need for a
note box. Refer to AutoCAD's Help file for instructions.
MicroStation Tip -- Your
Mouse and View Control
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.
Deals & Freebies
Free White Paper Describes Market Trends
Free SolidWorks 2007 Update Training
Books & Training
E-learning Training Library for Bentley
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Plants -- Palms
MCAD: MEDEA 2006
MCAD: 3DSearchIT for SolidWorks
MCAD: UGS NX CAM
MCAD: Federation Express
CAE: Coupled Hybrid Inverse
CAE: Engineering Toolkits
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
Webinar: Extending the
Value of ERP for Custom Product Manufacturers
SAP Business Forum 2006
Future Industrial Applications
of Additive Fabrication
Primavera 23rd Annual
ESRI Business GeoInfo Summit
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!