Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 15)23 Apr, 2007
New MCAD Discussion Forum Live Online
CAD Manager (Column): Your Workplace Action Plan Implemented
Cadalyst Daily Update
NC Software Market Report Available
This Week's Software Tips
Send us your tip, code or shortcut for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, 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 a $100 gift card 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) and tell us which software version you use. By submitting code, 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.
Editor's note: Cadalyst bids farewell to Tip Patrol member Ben Young, who is heading to a job overseas. We thank Ben for nearly a year of excellent volunteer work on our Patrol and wish him all the best in his new position.
We are pleased to welcome frequent tipster Brian Benton as our newest Tip Patrol member. Brian joins our illustrious panel with much experience. A CAD technician for 14 years and the senior CAD technician for his office at Heidt & Associates. Brian not only assists users but led the team who wrote the company's CAD manual. Needless to say, we are very excited to have Brian join our Patrol.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all our Tip Patrol members for their time and effort. They are a great group of volunteers who work hard to ensure that the tips published in Tips & Tools Weekly are viable and useful.
"With the exception of the Windows-based Shortcuts, you can edit these keyboard commands through the CUI [Custom User Interface]. Click on Tools / Workspaces / Customize to bring up the CUI palette. Next, choose to edit all Custom Workspaces, or change an individual workspace and then select the workspace you wish to edit.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers agree that these are great shortcuts. One Patroller adds, "This list shows how predefined keyboard shortcuts have evolved over the years. Although the emphasis [in AutoCAD] these days is on the graphic user interface and having a heads-up view, I personally still believe the most efficient way to draft is to fully use the keyboard and its myriad shortcuts. The only issue is to how to remember all these hotkeys. Once you couple the built-in keystrokes with your own personal ones for simulating AutoCAD commands, you may need a Britannica-like memory. Too bad we can’t just install more RAM into our heads."
Get Model Space Measurement
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers believe that the Tipster is using dimensions and not distance for this tip. One Patroller explains, "With the system variable Dimassoc set to 2, you can insert dimensions in paper space while snapping to model space objects in a viewport, and the default dimension adopts the viewport scale while calculating the dimension. With Dimassoc set to 1, this associativity is turned off and the default dimension displays in true paper units. This runs a little deeper in that when dimensions are associated in this way, stretching or moving the object in model space updates the paper space dimension dynamically."
In addition, another Patroller shares an interesting tidbit about dimensions in paper space: If you go into FloatingModelspace and move the model, the dimension jumps to the new position when you go back to paper space.
Follow-Up: Toggle Tilemode with F4
The original tipster in the April 9 edition, Kevin Pohlgeers, concedes that Brian Benton's suggestion in the April 16 edition of using the Tabs is an option, but remarks that using tabs is "not really a method of switching between paper and model space. It's just for switching up and down a list of tabs. The F4 button can take you to model space and then back to the same tab you left."
Tip Patroller Mitchell Hirschklau also agrees with Brian Benton's assertions in the April 16 edition with one exception. He explains, "Without any CUI customizations or programming, there are already default AutoCAD keyboard toggles for a variety of commands and settings. Users should not look for LISP or other customizations to do occasional actions that they can do by default. In this regard, Ctrl + PageUp is an excellent example." However, he adds that streamlining frequent and regular uses with some customization benefits the user (and his or her employer) enormously. "Personally, I've always been a keyboard jockey. Here are a couple of my keyboard customizations:
All this discussion has Richard Gill thinking. He shares, "This sort of thing makes me wonder how many times a new LISP routine is created for a routine or function that is already an inherent part of the software. Has it gotten so complicated to learn the functionality of our software by reading the user manuals or Help file that it's just easier to program a line of code? I love the fact that these folks can program circles around those that put out the software in the first place. But, it still comes down to the fact that these new lines of code are not truly tips."
Editor's note: We love LISP, and so do Cadalyst readers -- but Gill has a great point. This is a timely reminder that Tips & Tools Weekly is always on the lookout for non-LISP shortcuts and workarounds for AutoCAD and all other CAD software. Send us your favorite tip today. If we publish it, you'll be in the running for our monthly $100 prize!
Follow-Up: Paths to Drawings
MicroStation Tip: Changing Text Style Names in DGNLIBs
You've now changed the original elements that used the now-renamed style, so you must change those original elements or they won't conform to the standard. If you have renamed multiple styles, you have to map these individually.
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: Brian Benton, Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Don Reichle, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda and Billy Wooten.
Deals & Freebies
Add-on for ArchiCAD 10 Available for Download
Free Beta IFC 2x3 Plug-ins and GSA-Complaint Space Object
Opportunities & Honors
Dominion Institute Sponsors Contest for Young Google SketchUp Users
MasterGraphics Sponsors Supermileage Competition
FreeDimension Wins 2006 Tech Innovator Award
Flowserve Receives Inaugural Award for Business Cooperation
Books & Training
Solid Edge v19 Workbook
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: Infinity WF
Hardware: DMX-SLT 100 SL Resin
Hardware: Arcam A2
Visualization: LightWorks v7.7
AEC: Revit Structure Extension
AEC: KCS Productivity Pack
AEC: MicroStation Extensions for V8 XM and PowerDraft V8 XM Edition
AEC: Tekla Structures v13
AEC: PipePak v10
MCAD: Teamcenter for MRO
MCAD: Tecnomatix v8
MCAD: Arbortext IsoDraw v7
MCAD: Rhino v4
MCAD: NX 5
Mark Your Calendar
Avatech's Autodesk 2008 Rollout Events
Rhino User Meeting for Architects
ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit
2nd International Conference on Rapid Manufacturing
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 Tips & Tricks Tuesdays free e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is available. All exclusively from Cadalyst!