Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 14)14 Apr, 2008
This Week's Software Tips
Congratulations March Winner!
Invoke Command without Dialog Box
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Great tip! Many users take advantage of the speed of keyboard commands. Type a "-" in front of any command to start the command without a dialog box. AutoCAD will display prompts on the Command line, often saving you time.
This is also an important tip for code writers because AutoLISP cannot read dialog boxes. (The March 25 edition of Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry's Code Class e-newsletter touches on this topic.) And, AutoCAD 2009 introduced a new feature called the Action Recorder, which works much like the macro recorder in Microsoft Office programs, recording frequently repeated actions you can play back as needed. It, too, can't read most dialog box windows, so placing a "-" in front of any command you wish to record is very important.
Scale List in Civil 3D 2008
(command "-scalelistedit" "R" "Y" "E")
"Make sure to save this file under one of your support file search paths located on the Files tab under AutoCAD Options. Putting the file here will ensure that AutoCAD loads the file each time a drawing is opened. You must then restart your AutoCAD session for the code to take effect.
"The Scalelistedit command is invoked using the Command line input method. Then I've added a Regenall command, which will make sure any fields or attributes you may have that are pulling off your viewport scales are updated and displayed correctly. There are of course many variants to this code. Every time you open a drawing, the Scale List is reset to the default. You are going to have to reset it anyway, so why not just have it automatically do it each time? You may say, 'Why don't you just make sure all your scale lists are set correctly in all your sheets and all your xrefs; then it will all work correctly to begin with?' That sounds good in theory, but in the real world with multiple users and using temporary xrefs for a quick piece of information, it's just not very realistic."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: It is good CAD etiquette to keep this annoying list as small as possible to help other users working with your files. Alternatively, you can use the Scalelistedit command while in the drawing. A new feature called Hide Xref Scales in AutoCAD 2009 will hide the xref scales for annotated scaling. It will not display any scales that are brought over from an xref.
"Most of the time I use Oops when I have to stretch something and there is something else in the way that I don't want stretched. Other times, something is in the way that I don't want to be affected by whatever else I am doing."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Oops is a sort of Undo command. Undo will undo the last thing you did, no matter what it was. Oops will undo the last object erased. So, if you erased something, and then ten commands later realize you need it, use the Oops command. As long as you didn't erase something since then, it will come back and you don't have to undo ten steps. You can also use Oops after Block or Wblock because these commands can erase the selected objects after creating a block. However, you cannot use Oops to restore parameters, actions, or grips in the Block Editor. Nor can you use Oops to restore objects on a layer that has been removed with the Purge command.
Note: These follow-up tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Snapang Command
Follow-Up: Middle of Two Points
MicroStation Tip: Optimized Fence Clipping
Today's MicroStation tip courtesy of The Envision Group.
VectorWorks Tip: Transferring Parameters with the Eyedropper Tool
The Eyedropper tool has two modes: Apply Attributes and Pick Up Attributes. You can switch between these two modes by selecting the correct one from the mode bar, or, with the tool active, press and hold the Ctrl key (Mac users press and hold the Command key) to toggle between the two modes.
To set which attributes are transferred, select the Eyedropper Tool Preferences from the mode bar. For example, to transfer the plug-in parameters along with other attributes from one door to another, select the plug-in parameters option in the Eyedropper Preferences dialog box. With the Pick Up Attributes mode active, click the door you want to transfer the attributes from, then press and hold the Ctrl key and click the door to which you want to transfer the attributes. All selected parameters will be transferred to that door.
Today's VectorWorks tip courtesy of Nemetschek.
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Opportunities & Honors
FIATECH Bestows Engineering and Technology Awards
3DSUG Announces Technical Competition Winners
Dirtworks Wins Landscape Design Awards
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Books & Training
SolidWorks Customization Book
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The Week's New CAD and Related Products
Hardware: SpaceNavigator for Notebooks 3D
Hardware: Contex HD Scanners
Hardware: Sheffield Cordax Pioneer CMM
Visualization: OPIDIS and Walkinside Bidirectional Interface
CAD: Autodesk Inventor 2009 Conversion Solution
MCAD: Parasolid v19.1
MCAD: Siemens PLM Software D-Cubed Component Products
MCAD: 3Data Expert v8
CAE: Abaqus for CATIA V5 r18.4
CAE: AutoTURN v6
CAE: Moldex3D-Mesh v9
CAM: STEPcenter Enterprise Server v5.3
CAM: Alibre CAM
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Mark Your Calendar
Webinar: Composite Analysis
Lecture: Using Revit in the Residential World to Facilitate Sustainable Design
Product Innovation Executive Summit
Lean Design: CPDA Expert Panel Discussion
For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com.
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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!