Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 13)9 Apr, 2007
3D in AutoCAD? You Tell Us!
Cadalyst Daily Update
Auto-des-sys Releases Beta Version of form.Z RenderZone Plus v6.5
Digital Magazine Includes Interactive 3D Models
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.
Congratulations March Winner! Cadalyst awarded the March $100 prize to Andrew Venneman, who submitted the AutoCAD Dimensioning tip published in the March 12 edition. Venneman was selected in a random drawing of all submissions published last month. Send us your original tip now for a chance to win!
Toggle Tilemode with F4
He explains how he set it up: To begin, execute the CUI command. When the CUI opens, go to the Command list in the lower-left window pane and select Custom Commands from the Categories drop-down list. Then click the New button to the right of the drop-down list. In the lower-right Properties pane, name the command Toggle Tilemode. On the Macro line, paste in the following (all one line of code):
Press Apply. Next, in the upper-left pane, expand the Keyboard Shortcuts list and the Shortcut Keys list. Select the new Toggle Tilemode command from the lower-left pane and drag and drop it into the Shortcut Keys list. Once it's in the list, select it and choose the Access line from the Properties pane on the right and select the "…" button at the end of that line. Click in the text box, press the F4 key and choose the Assign button. Click OK to close that box and OK to close the CUI.
Now try out your new F4 key. Pohlgeers says he's become so accustomed to using this shortcut, he doesn't think he could ever work without it now.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The Patrol says, "This is one of those really useful tips that bears repeating for a new generation of users. There are a lot of settings that toggle an AutoCAD setting on and off, such as Ortho, Grid, Snap and the like. It's useful to be reminded that you can create your own custom toggles."
"One of the better features of this tip is that it provides a template to create other custom user setvar toggles. The following is a similar use that in this instance programs the Shift-F11 and the Shift-F12 keys to toggle the DIMSE1 and DIMSE2 dimension extension line suppressions on and off, respectively."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Excellent tip!
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: "Historically," our Tip Patrol says, "we've gone from 364K, 1.2MB and 1.44MB diskettes, then CDs and DVDs and now thumb drives to carry around individual and customized settings, templates, blocks, fonts, etc. I’ve reviewed the Web site offering and it seems, without testing it specifically on a thumb drive, to be a reasonable and practical description of this methodology."
The full tip references exporting your PROFILE.ARG file, which applies to full AutoCAD. AutoCAD LT users should copy their CUI file where the LT Workspaces are saved. In either instance, remember that the Options setups for where files can be found may need to be customized (or simplified) so that your portable AutoCAD configuration, on whatever delivery device you choose, does not routinely look for files, template(s), blocks, fonts and the like in places that the system you are visiting doesn't have."
Reminder to readers: Follow-up tips are not reviewed by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: March 26 Edition
Multiple Osnaps Customization. Wenner offers an additional way to set up Osnaps. He says, "We set up this little bit of code for multiple users and osnap settings. It’s a little easier than setting up multiple profiles on multiple computers."
(defun C:01 (/) (COMMAND "-osnap"
Paths to Drawings. Before adding a plot stamp, Wenner suggests, be careful what you specify for fields in your plot stamp for the file location. Some of them work fine when printing single pages, but when you publish, you may get a temporary publish location that doesn't represent your file location. Wenner chose this as his plot stamp with the slashes typed between each field: "Field Category: Document-Filename" \ "Field Category: Other-System variable-ctab" \ "Field Category: Plot-Login" \ "Field Category: Plot-Plotdate."
Keystroke Shortcuts in AutoCAD. To add to Jim Stewart's list of keystroke shortcuts, here are some more. Download KEYBOARDSHORTCUTS.DOC and add them to your lists.
Follow-Up: Multiple Osnaps Customization
(defun C:OC ()
(defun C:OE ()
Leonid Nemirovsky has super-simple approach to inserting AutoCAD drawings into Microsoft Word files that some users might find meets their needs. "To begin, open the AutoCAD drawing and a Word document side by side. Next copy (CTRL+C) the needed part of the AutoCAD drawing and paste it directly into your Word document. You don't need to change AutoCAD's background or anything else. In Word, you can stretch the image. Plus, if you double-click on the image in Word, a new AutoCAD drawing is started with part of that picture in Word, and it is then linked to a Word document. If you make changes in a new drawing and save it, the changes are updated in the Word document."
Michael Beall gives a big thumbs-up to Steve Knopf and his March 26 observations about using the Wmfout command. "The results are far and away better than PDF files that look like they've been done with a Sharpie. I would add that in AutoCAD 2006/2007/2008 and 2007 LT, you don't need to switch to a white background. I think Autodesk corrected that somewhere around AutoCAD 2002."
MicroStation Tip: Recover Missing Elements from Your MicroStation Files
Axiom offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
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
Adobe Unveils Preview of Acrobat 3D v8
Opportunities & Honors
PDF Solutions' CEO Receives Quality Award
Flowserve Joint Venture Wins Honor in India
Avatech Enters Autodesk Platinum Club for the 10th Year
Dimension Announces MV3dP Customer Awards Program
MasterGraphics Receives Platinum Club Award from Autodesk
Transoft Solutions Seeks Industry Input
GM Names UGS Supplier of the Year for the Second Consecutive Year
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: DOSLib for AutoCAD 2008
General Software: ZwCAD 2007
Visualization: Multiview Blocks for AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD Architecture
CAE: POLYFLOW v3.11
CAM: Bamboo, Rave, Drill Matrix, Mosaix, Shot and ElectrodeX for Rhinoceros v4
PLM: Agile 9.2.2
Training: AutoVue Course
Training: Customizing SolidWorks For Greater Productivity
Mark Your Calendar
2007 Topcon Positioning Systems Technology Roadshow
Webinar: 3D Imaging, Positioning, and Tracking Technologies for Plant Construction, Retrofit and Maintenance
Web Seminar: Working with CAD Data in ArcGIS 9.2
Delcam's North American Technical Summit
2007 ANSYS U.S. Regional Conference Series: Pennslyvania
The National BIM Conference
International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly
Click here to view the complete calendar of events at Cadalyst.com.
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!