Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 20)4 Jun, 2007
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Cadalyst Daily Update
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 t-shirt, and each month Cadalyst editors will randomly select one published tip and award 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 any tip or code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute that tip or 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.
"To save space on the desktop, create the Toggle for Dashboard command. Type CUI at the Command prompt, locate the Dashboard command and drag it to Keyboard Shortcuts / Shortcut Keys section, assign it a shortcut key from the Properties window under Access. It's as simple as that. I usually assign NUMPAD keys to extra commands like this because I don't use NUMPAD for inserting numbers. By doing this, it only takes one keystroke to toggle the Dashboard on and off."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Both Patrollers give this tip a big thumbs-up. One adds that it is particularly useful if you customize your interface. "Keep track of your changes and document what you have done, how you have done it and how to repeat the process at a later date if necessary."
Sheet Set Tips
Tip 1. If you use a drawing layout in a sheet set, you can't use it in another sheet set. Normally, to use it in another sheet set, you must remove it from the previous one, which isn't very convenient. However, there is a way around it! In the drawing, create a copy of the desired layout. Right-click on the layout, select Move or Copy, check the Create a Copy box and click OK. Now you can use Layout Copy in another sheet set.
Tip 2. Once you create and name a sheet set, there are several cool things you can accomplish. To begin, let's name a new, blank sheet set MYSHEETSET, open it and highlight the name. Right-click and select Properties. In the Sheet Set Properties dialog box, you can set Project Number, Project Name, Project Phase and Project Milestone. If you need more information, click the Edit Custom Properties button and add more.
Now you can insert fields in the title block where appropriate instead of regular text, or replace some of the attributes (in the Field dialog box, select All and find SheetSet under Field names). Then, use it for your drawings as usual.
When done, add drawings to the sheet set. If a project number changes down the road or the project phase changes from A to B, update these properties in the Sheet Set Properties dialog box and resave the sheet layouts. All the drawings will update accordingly.
Len credits David Allison for helping him figure out all the details.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: The tips passed muster with our Patrollers, one of whom comments, "Sheet sets are relatively new. I haven't used them to their full potential only because I still work with architectural firms that aren't investing time in changing their well-established standards of producing construction documents."
Attach Details to Site Plans
"I developed the following code after reading an article by Lee Ambrosius in AUGI World's September/October 2006 issue. So, thanks Lee, for the inspiration. Also note that all these measurements and settings are metric.
"This code attaches angle and length information to site plan boundaries, solving the problem of manually typing and rotating text to match linework, especially in big complex sites."
"If you have created file libraries of styles using member names, such as 310UB40 (W12x27), this is additional code for inserting AEC member names when labeling elements. I use it for structural plans and the like, so that if a member is amended at any stage, the labeled text is automatically updated. It's a great way to avoid errors."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Paul's code worked as described for the Tip Patrol. One Patroller offers this feedback: "The first LISP code works as described, although there are some global variables that should be declared local. As a general note, you can get the complex field syntax by creating a field. When you set the parameters to your liking, don't press OK in the dialog box right away, but look in the lower part of it. As an example, this code would create a field that prints the color of a line:
"Of course, as shown in the code above, you have to insert the ObjectID of the object in question programmatically." The second LISP code also works, the Patroller reports, but he couldn't produce a valid result because he doesn't have an Architectural Desktop drawing with member objects.
Correction: Explore to Drawing Folder
MicroStation Tip: Converting a Complex Chain to a Single Element
Answer: If the complex element doesn't contain any arcs, convert it to a shape using the Modify Element tool. Ensure that the Smartline Modification settings are set to minimize the number of linear elements, then snap the same vertex twice. Then reset so the element is not altered in appearance.
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 Tip Patrol before publication. Use all tips at your own discretion, please, and watch later editions of this newsletter for updates and corrections. We're sorry, but editors and Tip Patrol members cannot provide assistance with technical problems; please refer to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry-Help discussion forum.
Sincere thanks to our volunteer Tip Patrol members: Brian Benton, Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Don Reichle, Kevin Sawyer, Ivanhoe Tejeda and Billy Wooten.
Deals & Freebies
Free Report Touts Visualization in PCB Process
Opportunities & Honors
SolidWorks Honors Student Designers
Randal E. Bryant Receives IEEE Award
Daratech Updates GIS Market Study
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Books & Training
Revit Architecture 2008 Workbook
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General Software: Acrobat 3D Version 8
General Software: Astoria On-Demand
General Software: TurboCAD Professional 14
General Software: TrueView 2008
Visualization: Stitcher Unlimited 5.6
Visualization: AC3D 6.2
Visualization: trueSpace 7.5, V-Ray 1.5
AEC: JetStream Version 5.4
GIS: STORM Viewer
CAE: Simulation Option for Knights Camelot CAD Navigation
CAE: Direct Coupling Interface
CAM: NX CAM Express 5
Mark Your Calendar
eSeminar: Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional for AEC Professionals
Shoe and Conceptual Design Seminar
CAD Triple Play -- An Afternoon of Baseball and CAD
Dassault Systemes DEVCON Conference
Material World New York
DELMIA 2007 Customer Conference
COMSOL Conference 2007
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!