Management

Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 29)

4 Aug, 2008


This Week's Software Tips

Easy Client-Specific AutoCAD Settings
Kathleen Clevenger shared a simple tip to save time when working on projects for several different clients: "Using AutoCAD 2005, I provide AutoCAD drafting services for several different clients and various types of projects. Almost all of my clients use different versions of AutoCAD, and I have come up with a simple way to ensure that I am saving to the correct version, along with some other options that are client-specific.

"First, once AutoCAD has opened, click on Tools and then on Options. This will bring up the Options dialog box. For each new client I first create a Profile by clicking on the Profile tab. Simply click Add to List, create a profile name for the client (I use the client's business name), and click on Set Current. Then go through each of the other Options tabs to set things that are pertinent to that specific client. For example, the Open & Save tab is where you can set to save as the version of AutoCAD your client uses. The System tab is where you can set client-specific AutoLISP programs to load automatically. As you explore the tabs, you will find that there are several items you can set for each specific client. Once you have finished, just click on Apply to save your changes. You can create profiles for each client using this method, then click on the profile name you wish to Set Current. Just be sure to set current the client you wish to work on each time you switch projects."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: We like this tip because we are constantly moving from one project to another, and the ability to call up the parameters for each is a time saver. Also, we might forget (or worse, forget one of them), start working, and not have the client-specific variables. This is easier now that your workspace is saved outside any profile you use, so it will remain in effect through all profile changes.

Delete Layer Filters
Trent J. Rynders sent in this AutoLISP routine he uses to set his ACAD.PGP with DF as a shortcut key, so typing DF will delete all layer filters from the Command line.

(defun C:df ()
(vl-load-com)
(vl-Catch-All-Apply
'(lambda ()
(vla-Remove (vla-GetExtensionDictionary
(vla-Get-Layers (vla-Get-ActiveDocument
(vlax-Get-Acad-Object))))
"ACAD_LAYERFILTERS")))
(princ "\nAll layer filters have been deleted.")
(princ))

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good way to get rid of all those pesky filters. We'd be better off without them, in our opinion.

Simplified Zoom Extents
Azfar Mahmood wrote to say, "Sometimes I can't successfully zoom extents because the DWG still holds some entities. To remove those unwanted entities, I have the following little AutoLISP routine to achieve desired zoom extent result."

(defun c:zex (/)
(command ".erase" "all" "r" "w")
(alert " Please Remove your Desired DWG Area from Selection Set..")
(command pause pause "" "zoom" "e")
)

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This simplifies things. It is not that much different from using the Erase command and then using a Window to remove what you want to keep; however, it is faster. Note that it doesn't allow for any turned off or frozen layers.

Note: These follow-up tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.

Follow-Up: Customize Copy with Basepoint
Toby Edwards sent an alternate version of the July 21 tip about copying with basepoint:

^C^C_copybase 0,0;

Follow-Up: Paste or Link Excel Files in AutoCAD
Samir Abdelmawla responded to our July 28 tip about using Excel files in AutoCAD. "Along with Paste or linking files in AutoCAD as OLE (Object Linking and Embedding), there are wealth of supporting commands and variables for OLE handling. Here is a list of commands and variables available in 2008:

  • OLE commands: OLEConvert, OLELinks, OLEOpen, OLEReset, OLEScale
  • OLE variables: OLEFrame, OLEHide, OLEQuality, OLEStartup

"An alternative to pasting Excel files as OLE would be the definition as DataLink. DataLink could be represented as a whole or part of an AutoCAD table, thus allowing for editing and scaling as AutoCAD native text entities. The command DataLinkUpdate controls the link update either to update from the source or to write changes from AutoCAD into the linked Excel file."


Submit Your Tip

Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, we'll send you a Cadalyst T-shirt, and each month Cadalyst editors will randomly select one published tip and send a $100 gift card to its author. Please remember:

  • Submit only code and other tips that are your original work (or provide the original source so we can include proper credit).
  • Tell us which software version you use.
By submitting code, 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.

Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed by Cadalyst staff and the Tip Patrol before publication. Use all tips at your own discretion, please, and watch later editions of this newsletter for updates and corrections. We're sorry, but editors and Tip Patrol members cannot provide assistance with technical problems; please refer to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry-Help discussion forum.

Sincere thanks to our volunteer Tip Patrol members: Brian Benton, Don Boyer, Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, Kevin Sawyer, and Billy Wooten.

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Resources

New Web Site for Arizona's Design Community
CADsoft Consulting has designed a new Web site to provide the Arizona design community with design technology information, news, and resources. Its interactive technical support page allows visitors to view support requests, download the latest service packs, and consult the CADsoft Knowledge Base for answers to frequent technical questions.

Czech CAD Portal Redesigned
XANADU, a supplier of CAD and IT solutions in the Czech Republic and an Autodesk PSP partner, launched a new, redesigned version of its CAD portal cadforum.cz. The free service offers a range of information, tips, discussions, and CAD blocks for download to CAD professionals worldwide.


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Deals & Freebies

History of CAD Book Available for Free Download
Cyon Research, a provider of analysis and consulting for engineering technology markets, released The Engineering Design Revolution — The People, Companies and Computer Systems That Changed Forever the Practice of Engineering. The book, written by industry veteran David E. Weisberg, covers the history of the CAD industry and is downloadable in PDF at no charge. Read more

Piranesi Adds Modo Support with Free Plug-In
Information Software International is offering an EPix file exporter that enables users of Luxology's modo 302 polygon/subdivision surface modeling software to create hand-rendered presentations of their 3D models with Piranesi 3D painting technology. The plug-in is available as a free download from the Piranesi Web site.


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Books & Training

Inventor 2009 Textbook Available
CADCIM Technologies released Autodesk Inventor 2009 for Designers ($57, 768 pages) by Sham Tickoo, Purdue University Calumet and CADCIM Technologies. The textbook covers the new and enhanced features of Autodesk Inventor 2009 and presents engineering solutions through progressive examples, illustrations, and detailed exercises. Read more

Revit Architecture 2009 Guide Published
Revit Architecture 2009: A Comprehensive Guide ($80, 444 pages), by H. Edward Goldberg, AIA, NCARB, was released by Pearson Education, a subsidiary of Prentice Hall and an Autodesk Design Institute Press publisher. The book focuses on a workflow methodology, covering the tools most necessary to build skills incrementally and become productive quickly. Read more


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The Week's New CAD and Related Products

Hardware: Contex SD Series Scanners
Large-format CIS-based SD scanners broaden the range of options that CAD/CAM Services offers. Read more

AEC: SITEOPS Single Pad v3
Software as a Service (SaaS) from Blueridge Analytics delivers design options and cost data months earlier in the land development process. Read more

MCAD: Anark Core v2
Automated solution transforms native 3D CAD data for use throughout manufacturing design, engineering, and support. Read more

CAM: PowerCAM
SolutionWare's lathe programming assistant works with feature-based solids and imported files such as solid IGES or solid STEP. Read more

CAM: CAM Express v6
Software from Siemens PLM Software covers programming requirements from high-speed machining to multifunction mill-turning to 5-axis machining. Read more


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Mark Your Calendar

Webcast: Document Management Wake-Up Call
August 6, 2008
1:30 p.m. EDT
This Webcast, sponsored by Synergis, promises to show how Adept document management can bring order to your document chaos and make your organization more efficient and productive. Read more

GIScience 2008
September 23-26, 2008
Park City, Utah
GIScience brings together scientists from academia, industry, and government to explore emerging topics and basic research findings across all sectors of geographic information science. Read more

Sustainable Development, Green Retrofit & Construction Congress
October 29-31, 2008
Baltimore Inner Harbor, Maryland
Particpants will gather to discover how to implement the next generation of technologies in today's facilities and obtain immediate benefits from current environmental initiatives. Read more

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
March 22-27, 2009
Las Vegas, Nevada
The AAG 2009 meeting will welcome 8,000 geographers, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists from around the world for the latest in research, policy, and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. Read more

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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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

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!
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