Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 1)8 Jan, 2007
What's New at Cadalyst.com
I'm Worth It
Cadalyst Daily Update
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Study Finds Increased Intellectual Property Risk
AEC White Paper Reports on Improved Project Execution
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.
Follow-Up to Dimensions, Take 2
"I agree with most of the comments on my tip, although I somewhat disagree with the statement, 'Generally, it's my view that it's a dangerous and lazy practice to dimension in paper space.'
"I agree that it is a preferred practice to dimension in model space and not in paper space. I have often dimensioned in paper space when I have multiple tabs in a file. This does work best for 2D view-type drawings. In fact, all types of dimensioning work best in a 2D environment, model or paper space. Why would a drafter want to dimension an object that was not in a true view (regardless of model or paper space)? As long as your dimensions are on the same plane, you can dimension an isometric object in both model space and paper space. I have done this in both and on board drawings. Providing a true length dimension on a rotated view of an object is incorrect drafting practice, as the true length is not properly shown.
"Dimensioning in paper space for multiple-tabbed drawings can be useful to avoid double dimensions showing up from the model, and it helps eliminate dimensions in strange rotations from the model.
"The arguments against dimensioning in paper space are moot because those same arguments can be made for model space dimensioning. It is my professional opinion that a drafter should dimension in model space. If the case warrants (as in multiple-tabbed drawings), then you can use paper space just as easily and provide many more benefits not there in model space."
In addition, Lionel Camara wrote to say that his company dimensions and uses text in model space to help with reusing drawings.
Follow-Up to Revolve
Thomas Barger -- a surveyor who says he has worked with AutoCAD since about 1986 and has experience with numerous coordinate, transformation and rotation issues -- offers another way to rotate AutoCAD drawings for visual purposes.
He shares, "I'm not sure of the origin of this code, but it has always worked for civil-type roadways and route drawings. A line is drawn for your desired rotation and then a view set to match the line. World UCS is maintained (mandatory for survey stakeout) and the snap angle can be set to the same line for labeling.
"Name the view and it's reset quickly with the VIEW command (my company names views M1-M99 and uses another routine to restore views). I also use this for rotating odd-shaped parcels to match my rectangular plots."
Merle Hall also has a program to share. Merle has used this routine (UCSROT.LSP) for years and isn't quite sure where it came from. Merle says, "There's almost always an entity on the screen that's oriented the way you need the UCS to be rotated. Basically, this routine lets you indicate a West point and an East point and the program rotates the UCS accordingly, saving you figuring out degrees and the like. When you want everything to go back to normal, just type in UCS, press Enter twice and you're back. My only pet peeve with this code is that there doesn't seem to be a way to save the current view and restore it after the UCS change. Instead, it always does a zoom extents."
Follow-Up to Textmask Tidbit
Link to a Web Site from AutoCAD
This example has the Web address set to Cadalyst.com.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: A workable tip, yes. Another simple option is to add a link to Internet Explorer in AutoCAD's Launch bar and click it when needed.
Land Desktop Tip
"Line and curve labels are MTEXT with nodes in this version. This can be a problem if you're trying to snap a line to a node of a point and mistakenly pick the node of the text. To turn off these nodes on MTEXT, change the default value of OSNAPNODEGEGACY from 0 to 1."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Our intrepid Patrollers were unable to test this tip, so check this out before you use it.
BATTMAN to the Rescue
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Both BATTMAN and ATTSYNC commands work in AutoCAD 2006 and later. BATTMAN was once an Express Tool. Both are very useful, although one Patroller says that many folks won't know about them because many don't use attributes much.
Eliminate Construction Lines
When copying an object multiple times from a specific base point, some people draw construction lines (or working lines) and offset them at specific distances prior to copying the object, to then place it at the desire location. Josh finds it faster to use the COPYMULTIPLE command and then the SnapFrom button after selecting an object.
Type COPYM, press Enter and then select the objects. Next, press Enter, select the base point and click on the Snap From button. Go to your desired station on the grid, click on it, then move your mouse right or left and type the distance from the location. Then go to your next place and repeat as needed, or just click where you want to place it. Try it a couple of times, and you'll get the idea. Then you won't need those extra lines that you usually have to delete afterward.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Both Tip Patrollers this week offer an alternative to using construction lines. Turn on Polar Tracking vectors and the Osnap extension so you can copy things a certain distance away from another object. Once you try this, you'll wonder why some still use Ortho Tracking.
Also, in AutoCAD LT 2006 (as well as AutoCAD 2006 and later), you'll find that the COPY command is now, as a built-in feature, always in copy-multiple mode. In addition, your "lastpoint" generated by even a single copy within the COPY command is now always your original copy base point or the starting point, not the ending point. The From snap mode is actually what Autodesk calls a command modifier and as such, it cannot be made a running Object Snap Mode.
Like so much else in AutoCAD, you have six ways to do one thing. Pick the one that's most efficient for you.
Measure Any Area
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This macro works very well on simple areas, but not so well on extremely complex areas. This is definitely a step up from using the old trick of bounding the area with a polyline and reading the area on the object properties dialog box.
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
IDEAL Offers Free Trial of MyArchiveCenter.com
Opportunities & Honors
GITA Kicks Off New Site Launch with a Dozen Giveaways
Informatix Image Competition Now Open
Innovation Awards Slated for April
Books and Training
Vectortasks Launches Free Training Podcasts
New eBook for Rendering with AutoCAD
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: imagePRO 42 Scanners
Hardware: Oce TDS
General Software: Slick! ViewPlus v2.0
General Software: AutoVue 19.1 Service Pack 1
General Software: Adobe Reader 8
General Software: PeerSync for CAD Collaboration
General Software: Net-It Central 7.0
General Software: ConceptShare
Visualization: Foreground Plants -- Zones 2-7 Foliage
AEC: PowerCAD SiteMaster Solutions
AEC: VectorWorks 12.5, Spanish Edition
AEC: MyAssistant for Sage Timberline Office
AEC: Graphisoft Virtual Construction 2007
AEC: ArchT 2007
GIS: Stereo Analyst for ArcGIS 9.2 and Image Analysis for ArcGIS 9.2
MCAD: Teamcenter/Rhapsody Integration
MCAD: Industry Solutions BPC V5, Third Release
MCAD: Geolus Search
MCAD: JetStream 5.2
MCAD: Product Browser
CAE: Optimization Lab Codes
CAE: ABAQUS for CATIA V5 Version 2.4
General: OpenMind 2 Business Edition
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
2007 ESRI GIS Solutions Expos
European VisMasters Design Modeling and Visualization Conference
15th Annual Autodesk University
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 free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!