Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 26)23 Jul, 2007
AEC Quick Poll: What Are Your CAD Standards of Choice?
Cadalyst Online PlanRoom
Cadalyst Daily Update
Free Outsourcing White Paper
This Week's Software Tips
Add Notes to Dimensions
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrol agrees that this is an excellent update to an old tip and that it works as described. One tester was able to get the routine to work on all of his versions: AutoCAD 2002/2006/2007. He adds other information: "As this routine is used, monitor the changes in the Properties dialog box of the dimension being changed (in the Textoverride line). Once you learn these options, you can make changes through the Properties dialog box. I suggest learning how to do this both ways."
Another patroller reminds you to place all of the components in your (pathed) LISP folder so that AutoCAD can access the files.
Regapps Purge in ACAD 2008
Also, keep in mind that the Command line version doesn't purge regapps using the All function; you have to purge regapps separately.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Yes, our Patrollers agree that Purge is a great way to slim your drawing down. One comments, "Unfortunately, like Narum states, registry applications aren't as easy to get rid of. Beware though: Purge removes many unused items, such as layers, linetypes, and blocks. Be sure that you won't need any of these items in future edits."
For more information, Avatech Solutions offers a good tip about purging on its Tech Tips site. Look for the tip titled, "AutoCAD: Remove Unused Information from Your Drawing."
Enterprise CUI Revisited
"First of all, it's read-only, so end users can't accidentally change it. Second, if there are any updates to the custom CUI, users don't have to reload it on each computer. Updating means just closing and reopening AutoCAD. The result is the same as loading good old MNS files on users' computers, but the procedure is a bit different. To begin, the CAD manager creates a project profile and attaches a partial custom CUI (or a partial menu and AutoCAD compiles it to a CUI), so it can be easily updated if needed. Then, at each end user's computer, create a new profile and set it to Current (with all path settings, etc.), save workspace as new to match profile. Next, select Tools / Options / Files / Customization Files / Enterprise Customization File and browse to the appropriate CUSTOM.CUI. Choose Apply and close the dialog box.
"The new partial menu appears in front of the main AutoCAD menu. You can leave it there or move it as needed. I prefer to leave it as it appears so that I can tell with a glance if the partial menu attached is read-only or is a regular menu."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: In addition to the above information, one patroller adds more details: Basically, the Enterprise CUI file is a customized menu file that's created and monitored by the CAD manager. It's usually kept on the server and is read-only. The purpose of this file is to establish drafting standards based on the particular project being worked on. The drafter loads this file (full or partial) to access these established standards. Certain features of this file can be transferred to an existing CUI file on the user's computer. Creation of an Enterprise CUI file is usually done via opening an existing CUI file and modifying it to whatever company standards are chosen. Once this file is modified, it is saved with a new name. Enterprise is a suggestion, but almost any name can be used. Check out this primer from Moss Designs (PDF file), which gives a brief explanation of the Enterprise CUI file. You can also find more information via the AutoCAD Help menu.
Follow-up: Zoom to Page Layout
In addition, reader Martin Kriewall adds, "No matter what size drawing I'm working on, I like to have some clear space around my titleblock. To do this, I've modified my Zoom Extents button and added 'zoom 0.95x' onto the end of it. This way when I use my Zoom Extents icon, no matter what size of drawing I'm working on, it zooms to the extents and then brings it in a little so I have a small area of clear space around my drawings. I've also added a little code at the end to do a quick save. So whenever I Zoom Extents, which usually happens after I make some minor changes, I know my drawing and the changes are saved." Here is the code for zoom extents:
MicroStation Tip: Fading Images
Yes. In the Raster Manager there are two settings: display gamma and plot gamma. Display gamma controls how the image is shown on the screen, and plot gamma controls plotted images. Set these to higher numbers (between 1.5 and 3.0 provides agreeable results) to make the image lighter.
Have you tried Transparency? Just double-click on your image area in Raster Manager and on the Color tab, click Transparent On and adjust the slider for All Colors.
Axiom offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
Deals & Freebies
Free Download Available for Real Architect 2007
Opportunities & Honors
Student Award Winner Designs Online
VectorWorks User Wins Design Contest in Italy
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Books & Training
CAD Management Guide by Robert Green Now Available
H. Edward Goldberg's AutoCAD Architecture Tutorial Published
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: Bluebeam PDF Revu v5.5
General Software: CellManager for MicroStation V8
General Software: Anark Core Platform
Visualization: CINEMA 4D Exchange for After Effects CS3
Visualization: Rendering and Ray Tracing Software
Visualization: AutoVue v19.2
AEC: Architectural Design Software
AEC: Attolist Collaborative Database Management
AEC: Newforma ProjectCenter Fourth Edition
GIS: Google Maps Mashup Service
CAE: PhotoToMesh v2
CAE: Rapidform XOR2/Redesign
CAE: Optical Communication Design Suite v4.7
Mark Your Calendar
Springback and Die Compensation Course
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!