Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 7)26 Feb, 2007
Bug Watch (AutoCAD Tutorial)
Cadalyst Labs Review: Sharing 2D Designs Is Easy with Today's Publishing Options
Cadalyst Daily Update
TurboCAD Users Gain Access to ThomasNet.com 3D Drawings
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.
Layers and VISRETAIN Tip
"My solution is to rename the layer. For example, layer EXWATER may be color 11 in the xref. If I need to change it to color 2 in all the drawings, I rename the layer to EXWATER-1. The drawings that use that xref see it as a new layer and assign color 2 to that layer. This is simple, quick and easy."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our volunteer Tip Patrollers view this as an option, but say users should be aware that using it will burden your files with unreferenced layer names. One Patroller explains, "If you modify an xref, any files that use that xref prompt you with a dialog box saying that the xref has been modified, and when you click it, the modifications come through all the drawings."
Patroller #2 adds, "Although you will end up with unreferenced drawings, at least if you increment the layer name with a suffix such as -1, -2, etc., you keep some control. This is a perennial problem that I hope Autodesk will address soon. There are numerous forum threads requesting methods of updating xref layers with more flexibility. We can only wait for the solution from Autodesk as nobody seems to have come up with a suitable add-on or routine to solve this issue."
Another Option for Revcloud
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrollers agree that Object is a great option. Kevin Sawyer says, "The Object option of the Revcloud command is my most-used method whilst clouding my revisions. Occasionally I may use a polygonal polyline, but mostly I can cover things with a simple rectangle, which speeds things up even more. Using the method of dragging the path of your cloud around your drawing can have some interesting effects when you pan or zoom using your mouse wheel in the middle of the command." To further improve the Revcloud command, read on.
Revision and Hold Clouds
Share Palette Groups
^C^C(command "*_TOOLPALETTEPATH" "T:/Autocad/ToolPalettes/Annotations")
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patroller reminds users that this is an option, but "it's still simple enough to import tool palettes from any location, networked or local."
3D in AutoCAD
She states, "This lets you work in the isometric view and switch drawing planes by clicking in whatever view you wish to work in. For some reason though, if you change back to one view, then back to four views of your drawing, this function doesn't work in the new releases. I'm not sure about AutoCAD 2007 as I have not had a chance to use it."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patroller confirmed this useful tip, which is also outlined in AutoCAD Help. Some AutoCAD users don't like viewports because they're too small, he says, "But for those who do, this is a handy idea."
Follow-Up: System Variables Report
After reading Lloyd's original tip in the February 12 edition, Ed Jobe wrote in to remind users that AutoCAD ships with ACADINFO.LSP in its \Support folder. It has a subroutine called (Vars2Scr) that you can use to save your current sysvars to a script file and rerun the scr later to reset your sysvars. Just type (load "acadinfo.lsp") and then "vars2scr".
Follow-Up: Delete Hidden Layers
"To deal with the mess, I wrote QT.LSP, a very basic AutoLISP program that toggles the QTEXT variable on and off, followed by a Regenall and a ZoomAll. Of course, I make sure all layers are thawed and turned on. If you're working on a very large drawing, you might want to get rid of the Regenall in the code to speed things up.
"His null entities then show up as clouds of dots that I can erase. This works faster for me even though it is a manual task, because different layers are involved. One thing to watch for is that some of the dots on screen are nodes for associated dimensions, which I don't wish to erase. As my cleaning of the drawing gets closer to my current work, I watch to see if any selection highlights entities in that area. If so, I can remove them from the selection set.
"I follow this with a Purge All to get rid of layers and the like that were retained by the null objects. I have dealt with files that were 8,000KB+, and reduced them to 400KB by getting rid of this junk. It rarely happens anymore, but there are still a few legacy files popping up occasionally that must be addressed." Note to readers: This follow-up tip was not reviewed by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Delete Hidden Layers Continued
(defun c:FLD ()
(if (= (logand f 1) 1)
Note to readers: This follow-up tip was not reviewed by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Wblock vs. Purge Essay (and Deleting Layer Filters)
MicroStation Tip: Loading Frequently Used Dialog Boxes
The following key-in easily opens the Level Manager dialog box: mdl keyin lvlmangr levelmanager dialog open. Assign it to a function key and you can work faster. Click here for more key-ins to load frequently used dialog boxes.
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
Autodesk Quietly Giving Away Design Review 2007
LISP Tools for AutoCAD, BricsCad and IntelliCAD
Opportunities & Honors
General Motors Sponsors Bright Minds Mentor Program
Plastics Processors Sponsor Design Competition
SolidWorks Contest Winning Entries Online
Computer-Aided Products Awarded Number One in Customer Satisfaction
CMSC Invites Conference Paper Submissions
Graphics Systems Honored as Top DriveWorks Reseller
Books & Training
AutoCAD and CAD Management Training Materials
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: PhotoModeler v6
General Software: AutoSolids 2007 and AutoSolids EXPRESS 2007
General Software: AcceliCAD 2007
General Software: AutoVue v19.1.3 Format Pack 2
Visualization: JetStream v5.3
AEC: Unifier with AutoVue Professional
GIS: Cadcorp SIS Map Modeller v6.2.4
MCAD: KOMPAS-3D Model Recognition System
MCAD: 2007 CoCreate OneSpace Suite
MCAD: PAM-QUIKFORM for CATIA v5
MCAD: LucidShape v1.6 and LucidDrive v1.1
MCAD: FreeDimension v1.1
MCAD: Maple-NAG Connector
MCAD: ABAQUS and STAR-CD
CAM: MachineWorks v6.4
Mark Your Calendar
Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.
2007 Better Injection Molding Tour
Webcast: Autodesk Architectural Desktop: Create Between the Lines
Webcast: Civil 3D Quickstart Class
Application-Oriented CFD for the Aerospace and Defense Industry
Plastic Parts Innovations Conference and New Product Design Competition
Developing a Design/Simulation Framework
23rd Annual CMSC (Coordinate Metrology Systems 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!