Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 13, No. 8)3 Mar, 2008
This Week's Software Tips
Billy advises us to follow the directions for downloading and installing the file because it's a little more complicated than a standard update (for example, Direct Memory Access must be disabled before installing). This update allows the burner to recognize the higher burn rate of the media. Although not all CD burners will have an upgrade (there are some physical limitations on the old ones), most can be updated to perform with the higher-speed media.
AutoCAD-to-Excel Table Link
To create a table in AutoCAD 2008 from an existing Microsoft Excel file:
Now you can do more with the table contents and linked Excel file. Click on the new table; it will look like a regular spreadsheet. At the cursor you will see the Lock Link symbol. Click in the upper left corner cell of the table to highlight rows and columns, then right-click the cell. In the popup menu, select Locking and Unlocked. Now you can edit table data in place. Right-click again in the pop-up menu and select Data Links and Upload User changes to Source File. Or, if you made changes in a linked Excel file and saved it, you can click Download Changes from Source File to update the table.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This is a very slick process!
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: A useful routine! Click on the Tag value, and all the similar blocks will highlight. In conjunction with the Properties Manager, this is a good way to change "like" attributes to another value.
Cleaner Drawings Button
Nice little macro -- especially the selection of the dialog box purge. We also like the reset of the current layer to 0. Here it is in an AutoLISP routine that can be assigned to a toolbar button:
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good tip and very versatile, similar to Quick Select. Plus, this trick is more powerful than many realize. In global (whole drawing) selection mode:
Import Page Setup
"These tools give my users a quick and easy way to create/update page setups in a drawing file. This makes for more consistent and easier automation. The routine will rename the layout tab to be the same as the file name; remove all page setups in the current drawing; and import all the page setups saved in the drawing file written in red and set the specific page setup written in blue to be current.
"Note: The drawing file needs to be within the AutoCAD Support search path. All of our drawing files use a single layout tab. To use this routine with multiple tab drawings, you would need to do some modifications."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Be sure to create a new page setup by right-clicking on the Layout Tab of the drawing being referenced. You may have to use forward slashes (/) instead of back slashes (\) in the path to the referenced drawing. Individual firms' usages may require more customization. The embedded plot configuration in this LISP program might be an issue for firms that frequently upgrade plotters.
Quick Text Styling
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: These are Microsoft Windows keyboard conventions that work in AutoCAD as well as other applications. They can be used in single-line and multiline text. Just be sure that the text is in edit mode and highlighted.
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good tip and works great. It instructs the user to choose the line first (no polylines!), then the text (or mtext). The only weakness is that it will allow the user to select more than one line before the user hits Enter to go on to pick the text (or block) to be rotated. We suggest using a name other than TR (it's an alias for the TRIM command).
Note: These follow-up tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Reverse Paging
Follow Up: Outside the Box
Paul Dempsey added that many such hidden keyboard gems are available throughout AutoCAD. "For example, CTRL+F in the Mtext box gives you the Field dialog box -- quick and handy without the need to right-click and scroll through the menu. If you have a repeated command, look for the keyboard shortcut, or perhaps create one."
MicroStation Tip: Fun with Function Keys
Back to Top
VectorWorks 2008 File Viewer
Deals & Freebies
Downloadable 3D Scanning eBook
Opportunities & Honors
Autodesk Announces 2007 Inventor of the Year
Books & Training
VectorWorks Architect Training Manual
AutoLISP and VLISP Tutorial
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: Imagenation v8.2
General Software: SharePoint
MCAD: CADDS 5
MCAD: EnSuite v2
MCAD: E3.series v2008
Mark Your Calendar
Webinar: Communication 2.0: Choice, Clarity, and Civility
VisMasters Design Modeling & Visualization Conference
GeoDATA 2008: The Road to Change
ICCE - Integration and Commercialization of Micro and Nanosystems
European PLM Summit
2008 ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS Summit
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!