Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 4)29 Jan, 2007
Where's Your CAD Power?
Spatial Tech Column: Animating Geospatial Data
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Cadalyst Daily Update
Enhanced Beta Presentation Software at Autodesk Labs
Multi-CAD Benchmark Report Now Available
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.
Start Up Switches
"To begin, right-click on your AutoCAD Icon, select Properties and go to the Shortcut tab. At the end of the Target line add this list of switches, making sure to leave a space between the end of the existing target in quotes and the new switch. For example, "C|Program Files\AutoCAD 2007\acad.exe" /nologo. You can also include multiple switches in your icon, just keep them separated with a space."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Both Patrollers who reviewed this tip agree it is very useful, especially if you are a CAD manager. One Patroller was able to modify the AutoCAD 2007 shortcut tab from the Properties window, but in 2005/2006 versions the shortcut tab was not available and he was not able modify the target textbox. He shares, "The closest I came to making any modifications in the past, with older versions of AutoCAD, was to copy the AutoCAD desktop icon and then follow the same procedure of right-clicking the icon and selecting properties. Then from the Properties window I modified the text from the 'Start in:' text box to look in a specific folder."
The second Patroller reminds users that some of these switches may apply only to certain releases. For example, the /w switch does not work in 2006 even though 2006 has workspaces, and the Sheet Set Manager switches would not apply to releases prior to 2005.
Drawings TABS for AutoCAD
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: While one of our Patrollers had difficulty with this program, the other found that it works as advertised on AutoCAD 2006/2007. For more Drawing Tabs programs, check out the list from Cadalyst Tip Patroller R.K. McSwain.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Everyone agrees! This is a useful and well-commented tip!
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Your faithful Patrollers agree, "Yep, the Spell command has its benefits. A reminder: If there is a word not included in the dictionary and you know it's a proper word, click on the Add button and the word is appended to your custom dictionary."
Follow-Up: Solid Solprof
Jim Dee says, "The one unfortunate thing about the Solprof command is that it doesn't work on viewports that are in perspective view. The solution I use to flatten viewports in perspective view is to plot to a DXB (data exchange binary) file. To do this you need to install the AutoCAD DXB File plot driver and then plot to a file using this driver. This creates a DXB file that you can then import into AutoCAD using the Dxbin command. This technique is great if you want to add trees and people to your perspective drawings in AutoCAD. There are a few limitations with the DXB driver, per the AutoCAD Help file. The driver produces 16-bit integer DXB files containing only vectors, DXB output is monochrome; all vectors are color 7, raster images and embedded OLE objects are not supported and the driver ignores object and plot style lineweights. "
Dick Figueras points out that "AutoCAD 2006 also has the Flatten command that works somewhat in the same way. When you use the Flatten command, the original model is no longer there, it's simply flattened (z is set to 0 for all entities). After using it, I then recommend using the 'overkill' command, which removes redundant lines and arcs and results in small 2D models."
Follow-Up: Framed Text
MicroStation Tip: DGNLIB Color Numbers in V8
Answer: There's a user preference in Workspace/Preferences/Reference called Remap Colors on Copy. Turn it off and you should be good to go.
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
Free Conference CD Covers Multiphysics Simulations
Adobe Updates MCAD Translators for Acrobat 3D
Opportunities & Honors
FIATECH Conference Call for Papers
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: SYCODE Plug-ins
General Software: CADopia v6.3
Visualization: VizUp Reducer v2.2.8
Visualization: Strata 3D CX v5.1
MCAD: PDXpert PLM
MCAD: Portfolio Management Solution
MCAD: CMMWorks v3
MCAD: Universal Mechanism Express
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
Webcast: Autodesk Civil 3D - Survey
UK CAD Managers Forum
Webcast: Autodesk Revit Structure
CIMdata 2007 PLM Vendor Forum
WinEstimator's 2007 User Conference
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!