Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 5)5 Feb, 2007
Harry Names Another Winner!
Get a T-Shirt, Win $100
Cadalyst Daily Update
Graphic Systems Launches SolidNotes Tech Blog
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.
Wblock vs. Purge Essay
"I tell my apprentices to remember that when they use Wblock, invisible items are also copied -- items that they really may prefer not to have added to their newly created blocks. Specifically, when you Wblock an object (or a group of objects, text, dims and the like) you are also Wblocking out your current active layer, your current text style and your current Dim style. Your intent may have been to Wblock out objects on Layer 1, as well as Text entities in Text Style ABC on Layer 2, plus a dimension string on Layer 3 (in Dim style 1eq50f that contains dimension text in text style DEF). However, because your active layer, at the time of Wblocking, was Layer 9, our active text style was UVW and your active Dim style was 1-8eq1f that contained text style XYZ, you have added an extra layer, an extra Dim style and two extra text styles to your supposedly pristine wblock.
"I emphasize to my users that a wblock is really a mini drawing. If you want it as clean as possible so that it’s useful for years and on hundreds of projects, then you must be very careful and precise when creating it. Typically you should separately load (and purge, etc.) this file.
"You should also remember that a wblock, despite your selection of a base insertion point in the wblock’s creation, also retains the parent's drawing origin. This is why an insertion of a wblock as an unexploded block in the new drawing might not center on display. The on-screen drawing is centered, it’s just that there's now a block built with an old drawing parent's origin point, which is way out there in left field!
Auto-Numbering with Mtext
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: As usual, we ran this tip past two Tip Patrol members for review. One told us, "Wow, this is a really nice trick. Works just as described, and it will come in handy."
Patroller No. 2 agrees that this is a workable tip, but has his own take on the topic. He suggests using features already present in the AutoCAD Mtext text editor. "For example, in AutoCAD LT 2006, you can turn the numbering option on and off, and it renumbers lines that were not initially numbered and remove the numbers on those that were." Another concern is that this tip necessitates that users be conversant with changing their default Mtext editor (and back again later) via the Tools / Options / etc., he notes. "This is not a bad thing, per se, as long as users remember to switch back when they are done."
Autodesk Map Partial Delete
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This tip works just fine, Patrollers report -- even in AutoCAD (but not LT).
Follow-Up: Get Gatte
Follow-Up: Continue Arcs
Follow-Up: Spell Check and Solid Solprof
Kevin also notes that he has difficulty with the Flatten command that was mentioned in the January 29 edition in regards to January 22 edition's discussion of Solprof. He states, "The Flatten command is no longer available in AutoCAD 2007, and I don't recommend using it. Simply draw a 10 x 10 x 10 cube and flatten it (using AutoCAD 2004) and it will no longer be 10 x 10 in 2D. The Overkill command is not foolproof, either. I have had geometry change from using it."
MicroStation Tip -- Permanent File History
Answer: You can use key-ins newfile design_file or RD=design_file. Both key-ins open the design_file. Then write a simple macro that writes out one or more text files that do a newfile to the files you want to open and then assign function keys or menu items to those text files. You can also hardcode these commands into menu or function keys.
Find this and many other MicroStation Tips on Axiom's 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
UGS Releases Solid Edge 2D Drafting in 10 Languages
ZwCAD Offers 30-Day Trial of 2D/3D Software
Opportunities & Honors
Autodesk Launches Student Inventor Contest
CAD Society Accepting Nominations for 2007 Awards
EEE Names Recipient of 2007 Donald O. Pederson Award
Oce Receives Platinum Award in Readers' Choice Survey
UGS Honored with Two Awards
Slater Associates Receives 2006 MD ASLA Merit Award
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: EIS Supra
General Software: Bluebeam PDF Revu v5
Visualization: Conduit for Google Earth Pro v4
AEC: Real Architect 2007
AEC: SmartPlant Enterprise 2007
AEC: ProjectWise Navigator
AEC: VersaCAD/Parking Structure
AEC/GIS: Leica TruView
MCAD: Trace Pro v4
MCAD: Seemage v4
CAE: STAR-CAD Gateways V4.1
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
Data Management Seminars
AUGI CAD Camp
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!