Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 11, No. 43)4 Dec, 2006
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Autodesk Enhances Peer Community Web Site
PARTsolutions Content Now Accessible on Autodesk Site
This Week's Software Tips
Send us your tip, code 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, and each month Cadalyst editors will randomly select one published tip and send $100 to its author. Please submit only code and other tips that are your original work, or provide the original source so we can include proper credit. By submitting code to Cadalyst, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your code in print, digitally and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to the code; published code is not to be used for commercial purposes.
Correction to Filter Objects with SSX
Filter Objects with SSX, Addendum
Brian Strandberg reminds Autodesk Civil 3D users that you can also use Select Similar. Simply left-click on an object, right-click to bring up the context menu and select the command. It adds all the other objects of the same type with the same properties (layer, color, etc.). He says it’s important to be aware of all the global selection options and use the one that’s appropriate for your situation.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers agree this is a good reminder and offer some additional tips. When you use the Trim command, you can trim and extend in the same command. Just hold down the Shift and Ctrl buttons. Other commands that are useful are CP (Crossing Polygon) and WP (Window Polygon) to fence large portions of a drawing. Press F3 to turn off snaps while you create the polygon. You can also use the option of picking a point in space and window right or, better still, crossing left if selecting a single fence row of entities.
“Set the DIMASSOC variable to 2. Then, in your Dimension settings, under the Fit tab, activate the Scale dimensions to layout (paper space). These settings let you dimension in paper space because together they scale the dimension to the proper length. Also, your arrows (or ticks) and your text will be the proper size.
“If your viewport does move, simply use one or both of these commands to fix it: Dimregen and Dimreassoc. Dimreassoc lets you to reassociate the dimension to whatever points you need. Just follow the prompts.”
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: One Tip Patroller who reviewed this tip shares that he dimensions in paper space whenever possible (or whenever the client allows it), as it’s the only way he likes to work with files.
Our second Patroller says, “With Dimassoc set to 2 and Dim settings scaled to layout, even moving the viewport or moving the model shouldn’t affect the dimensions in paper space, all thanks to the great new system variable DIMASSOC. However, not many people I know dimension in paper space. If you’re adding notes to your model, you may not want to go to paper space to find things clashing with dimensions in paper space. Having said that, I guess if you dimension in paper space, then it’s a fair assumption you notate in paper space also.”
He continues, “I believe the original intention of paper and model space was for users to enter all non-xref data in paper space so only a single text height, etc., was applicable. However, users soon realized the shortfalls with dimensioning in paper space and reverted to model space for notating and dimensioning while resetting dimscale to each scaled detail that was worked on. In my office, we have a customized toolbar based on typical scales used in our engineering, such as 1:10 and 1:20, together with a user scale for any not on the bar. These buttons preset the dimscale, ltscale and a universal variable name used throughout our in-house custom user interface and routines.”
Program Your Mouse, Revisited
"I use this feature on my Logitech MX-610 cordless laser multibutton mouse and have been using the following technique for about eight years after ditching my digitizer tablet. Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I got this technique, or I would give the credit as due.
"Any shortcut menu in the CUI file can be activated on-screen with a short DIESEL command that calls the menu name. This is a trick from the old-style menu days. I assigned F-key shortcuts to those DIESEL strings. Then in the Logitech SetPoint program, I added AutoCAD to the list of managed programs and assigned specific mouse buttons to those F-keys. I can just as easily call up those cursor menus by pressing an F-key. Also, any cursor menu can be assigned to the shortcut key and the shortcut key can be a key combination as well. The only real code needed is the DIESEL string that calls the cursor menu. For instance, my F7 key is assigned this DIESEL script:
"If you replace TDJ_MODES with any shortcut menu name, F7 brings up that menu. TDJ_MODES is one of my custom menus. You could add a shortcut key for Ctrl+Q to run the script
and that would bring up the Command menu when you press that key combination.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good tip. When I pensioned off my digitizer all those years ago, I wondered how I would ever manage with only a two- or three-button mouse. Thankfully, evolution has seen the humble mouse transform into a full-featured input device with multiple configurable buttons, optical reading (no moving parts) and, best of all, a wheel. Couple this with the programming above and you can improve it even further. It’s not limited to Logitech devices, either: Microsoft Intellipoint also lets you configure buttons specifically for AutoCAD, Microsoft Office and other programs, plus assign code to buttons.
Make Global Updates
(setq $JOBNO "040362") (setq $REVISIONNO "2")
and the like, so these LISP variables load with the profile. In each drawing, in related attribute fields, I insert the field and select the LISP variables settings. Now, whenever a revision number changes, I just update the code in the MNL file so the number is updated on all the drawings. Change it from
(setq $REVISIONNO "2")
(setq $REVISIONNO "3")
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers agree this is a good tip, but remind us that it works only for projects that have the same revision number on all drawings. In addition, this approach will work efficiently only with a stand-alone AutoCAD setup assuming the variables are in the main CUI. If that's not the case, you must set these variables in your CUSTOM.MNL so you don’t affect everyone using an in-house menu. To avoid inherent problems with manipulating fields via an MNL file, be sure you have fairly rigorous controls in place to ensure compliance with your CAD standards.
MicroStation Tip: Flattened DWG?
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
CADalytic Media Releases SpecifiCAD Beta for Autodesk
ConVisia Seeks Construction Project Managers
Opportunities & Honors
Georgia Tech Students Rank First in National Design Competition
CMSC Society Announces Call for Papers
3D InterOp Model Contest Deadline Extended
Books and Training
UGS Teamcenter Book
CADCIM Technologies Releases Two New Books
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: VX2235wm, VX2035wm and VX1935wm LCD Monitors
Visualization: Stitcher Unlimited 5.5 DS
Design Visualization: Anark Studio 4.0
AEC: e-SPECS 3.2
MCAD: Add-Ins for SolidWorks
MCAD: 3D QuickForm Professional for SolidWorks
MCAD: Alibre Design 9.1 and Acrobat 3D Bundle
CAE: Icepak 4.3
CAE: AceGen, AceFEM
Facilities Management: ShowRack 4.0
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
Business Process Modeling Workshop
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!