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# Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 14, No. 34)

28 Sep, 2009

### This Week's Software Tips

Kendrick Schumacher sends a tip that involves editing the right-click shortcut menu to provide quicker access to frequently used commands. "Using the right-click mouse button drop-down menu is an efficient way of selecting AutoCAD commands; but by temporarily modifying the default drop-down menu using the CUI Shortcut Menus > Default Menu, you can increase efficiency." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Designer Robert Zipprich sends us a list of commands that you can use in AutoCAD with your mouse. "These AutoCAD mouse commands come standard out of the box as listed below, but they can be customized." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Jake Lucier gives us two small LISP routine macros to help adjust the UCS (user coordinate system) in AutoCAD. One adjusts the UCS to Plan View; the other returns to World View from Plan View. "I use these two routines while keeping civil site plans at true north with their real insertion points during my site plan layout exercises. This allows me to lay out orthogonal site plans with ease." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Automatically Dimension Objects
Patrick Sayo, a standards compliance and training officer, sends us a quick tip on dimensioning objects by selecting them. "When you enter a dimension command, such as DLI (for Dimlinear), press Enter twice to dimension the object automatically instead of picking points A and B." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Enter Distances in Fractions for Drawing Precision
Mike Thorne sends us an alternate method for entering distances that can be more accurate than more common methods. "Try entering distances of inches in a drawing set up for feet by using fractions like 4/12 for 4". Using fractions enters a true distance, unlike manually typing the distance and rounding it to .33 or .3333 feet." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

• 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.

Got Feedback? To share feedback about one of today's tips, navigate to the tip using the link provided above, then click Comment. The Comment tool is available to registered users of Cadalyst's CAD Tips site.

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. 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 for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

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

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### Resources

CIMdata Releases Product Review on CFD for Mechanical Design Engineers
Consulting and research firm CIMdata announced the availability of a new product review on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), A Paradigm Shift for Better Design. This report presents the business need for CFD analysis during product design and describes the FloEFD product available from Mentor Graphics. The paper is available as a free download from CIMdata’s web site.

Creaform Launches New Blog
Creaform, a developer and manufacturer of handheld laser scanners, unveiled its new blog where the Creaform 3D tech community can interact and share their experiences and opinions about 3D technology, learn tips and tricks, and get advice about Creaform’s products and technology from the company’s 3D scanning specialists.

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### Deals & Freebies

Free CFdesign Licenses For Student Engineering Teams
As a part of the Collegiate Competition Sponsorship Program, CFD software company Blue Ridge Numerics will provide free commercial-grade CFdesign licenses to student teams participating in the following collegiate engineering competitions: EcoCAR Challenge, Formula SAE, Solar Decathalon, North American Solar Challenge, Baja SAE, Formula Hybrid, and Formula Student.

Free Training and Tech Support with Autodesk Civil 3D Subscription
AEC software and training provider Engineered Efficiency now offers free instructor-led training, technical support, training video recordings, courseware, and live Q&A sessions to users of Autodesk Civil 3D products. The services are provided for no additional cost or increased fee when users renew their Autodesk Civil 3D subscription.

Sivan Design Offers Free Trial of CivilCAD 2010
Sivan Design recently released CivilCAD 2010, the company's construction and design software for civil engineers, and is offering it to customers as a free 30-day trial. CivilCAD 2010 software suite offers solutions for civil engineers including road construction and design, layout planning of infrastructure pipelines, and earthwork volumes.

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### Opportunities & Honors

Autodesk University 2009 Calls for Show Reel Entries
Autodesk has issued a call for submissions for its 2009 Design Show Reel and wants your latest and greatest material. Submit your recent animations, short film, commercial, reels, or episodic projects — particularly those in HD — created using any of the following Autodesk software: 3ds Max Design, 3ds Max, Showcase, Civil3D and Maya. Selected entries will be showcased at Autodesk University 2009 from December 1–3, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Deadline for submissions is November 6, 2009.

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### Books & Training

2010 Map 3D Training Book from Cadapult
Cadapult Software Solutions, an Autodesk authorized publisher, announced the release of its newest training book, Digging Into AutoCAD Map 3D 2010. The book has been revised to incorporate the changes in the current release of Map 3D. This edition introduces the most important features of the Autodesk software, including the completely new ribbon-based interface.

New Solid Edge Course Added to I GET IT
Training materials provider I GET IT has added a new course in Solid Edge v12 Part Modeling to its web site. The course provides insight into effective model creation in Solid Edge. Users learn how to define shapes with base profiles and protrusions and advance designs using closed profiles, nested profiles, open profiles, and constraints.

Certification for Autodesk 3ds Max Design Now Available
Autodesk announced that certification for Autodesk 3ds Max Design software is now available. Autodesk 3ds Max Design is 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software that offers integrated workflows with the AutoCAD and Revit software families of products. See the Autodesk web site for certification exam requirements and guides.

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Dassault Systemes Customer Conference 2009
October 6–7, 2009
Orlando, Florida
During Dassault Systemes (DS) Customer Conference, attendees will learn about new strategic business and planning opportunities and network with customers, partners, and DS executives and product experts. Read more

Bentley Plant Users Group
October 21–23, 2009
Biloxi, Mississippi
The Bentley Plant User Group Conference includes hands-on workshops led by Bentley personnel, technology/product updates, keynote presentations by Bentley executives, and user presentations. Read more

SYWARE Training Class: Mobile Application Development
October 26, 2009
Woburn, Massachusetts
This class from SYWARE offers instruction on using Visual CE and other SYWARE tools to create mobile data entry applications. The class is a full day of instruction and includes information on system design considerations. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com. Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to news@cadalyst.com.

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CAD Manager's Toolbox: How Can I Motivate Myself?
The past year has been hard on CAD managers, but it's time to get reinvigorated. Read more

What's the BIM Deal? Part 3
Managing expectations and planning ahead will help minimize stress and ensure a successful BIM implementation. Read more

The Print Factor
When selecting a wide-format printing system to streamline workflows, AEC firms must take market trends and software capabilities into account. Read more

 AutoCAD Tips! 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! Follow Lynn on Twitter