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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 14, No. 37)

19 Oct, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Sheet Set Tricks
Thanks to all who answered the call for AutoCAD sheet set tips. Read on to learn two options for cleaning up blank sheet set fields, a terrific tip for using the same drawing twice in a sheet set, and several sheet set tricks that automate data changes — saving you time and headaches.

Ensure Empty Sheet Set Fields Stay Empty
Two tipsters sent advice to address the fact that when you leave a regular or custom property blank in AutoCAD’s Sheet Set Manager, the referencing field in your drawing will display and print "----" instead of blank. To get this field to show up blank, Scott Loadman recommends: "Enter "%%U" in the property box." CAD Manager Jeff Paulsen offers an alternate method: "Type Alt+0160 as the value for the custom property, and the field will turn out blank." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Automate Sheet References
CAD Manager Jeff Paulsen also sends us a tip that details the steps needed to automate sheet references in your AutoCAD drawings using fields and sheet sets. "Almost all plans require you to reference another sheet in the plan set. Most times you will see a label near the edge of the plan stating 'SEE SHEET #' that indicates where to look for related information. The numbers in these labels can be automated using fields and sheet sets." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Use the Same Drawing Twice in a Sheet Set
Designer Marta J. Quinlan gives us a tip on how to get one drawing into your sheet set more than once. This is handy if you need to use one drawing for two different projects or for two different phases of the same project. "Sheet Set Manager uses the Layout tab in drawings to establish a sheet in the drawings set. It only lets you use a Layout tab once in a sheet set and will give you a warning if you try to use it a second time." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create Custom Fields for Sheet Sets to Minimize Manual Data Changes
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky shows us how to create customized data fields to use in our sheet sets. "Open a sheet set, highlight the name, and right-click. Now select the Properties option. In the lower left corner of the dialog box, select the 'Edit Custom Properties' box you will see something that resembles the figure below." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

View Project Files through Sheet Set Manager
Leonid Nemirovsky also demonstrates tools in the Sheet Set Manager that will allow you to browse through the files of a sheet set or project folder without opening a single CAD file. Len offers two methods: one is through saved views and the other one looks at what is in the Model Space tab of each file. "If you have several views (or just one) saved in the paper space of the drawing, you can view them from Sheet Set Manager; just click on the Sheet View tab. Note that the size of the view can be set to Small, Medium, or Large (pixels); just right-click in the Sheet Set area." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

And More Tips!
Following are this week's reminders, tidbits, and miscellaneous updates from the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.

Making Sheet Set Subsets: It is a good idea to create subsets under the main sheet set, especially if there are multiple discipline categories among the drawings in the set. (Some examples would be: general [cover sheet, abbreviations, etc.], civil, structural, and electrical.) This allows you to print (or eTransmit) in subset groups.

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.

 

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'sCAD 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

Anark Offers Article on Collaboration, Automation, and CAD Transformation
Paul Perreault, senior product marketing manager at Anark, has published an article on CAD collaboration with Anark Core and Adobe PDF. The free PDF download discusses the hidden costs in the design process and PDF document-based collaboration and data exchange.

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Deals & Freebies

CAD Schroer Offers Free Trial of STHENO/PRO ADVANCED
Engineering software provider CAD Schroer is offering a free 30-day trial version of STHENO/PRO ADVANCED, a 2D drafting package fully integrated with Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/INTRALINK, and Windchill PDMLink. The software includes SMART Edit parametrics on demand, drilling tables, tolerance tables, and symbol libraries for 50 DIN/EN/ISO standards.

Free Trial of StrucPLUS Available for Full AutoCAD
CAD International, a CAD training and support provider, is offering a free trial of StrucPLUS steel, concrete, and civil detailing software. The software is intended for users who already have full AutoCAD and want an add-in that will automate structural detailing.

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Opportunities & Honors

Bentley Announces Be Inspired Award Winners
On October 13, Bentley Systems honored the winners of the 2009 Be Inspired Awards. The awards, given in 17 categories, recognized Bentley users' achievements in improving and sustaining all types of infrastructure. The ceremony was part of the Be Inspired: Infrastructure Best Practices Symposium and Awards event, which was held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Right Hemisphere Honored with Excellence in Enterprise Integration Award
Right Hemisphere announced that it won the 2009 Excellence in Enterprise Integration Award from the Association for Enterprise Information (AFEI). Each year, the AFEI names two winners: one from industry and one from the government sector. This year's top industry honors went to Right Hemisphere for its Aircraft CAD Integration Information project.

CISSE 2009 Paper Submission Deadline Extended to October 26
Due to numerous deadline extension requests from potential CISSE 2009 (International Joint Conferences on Computers, Information and Systems Sciences, and Engineering) authors, the CISSE organizing committee has decided to extend the paper submission deadline to October 26, 2009. CISSE 2009 provides a virtual forum for presentation and discussion of state-of the-art research.

FIATECH 2010 Calls For Presentation Proposals
FIATECH is accepting presentation proposals for its Technology Conference and Showcase until November 13, 2009, for the following breakout tracks: Emerging and Market-Ready Solutions for Interoperability, New and Innovative Technologies, and Achieving Success in Safety, Sustainability, and Energy Efficiency. Speakers will be notified and confirmed in mid-December.

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Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin

Books & Training

Tukatech and IAM Launch Fashion Innovation Lab in India
Concept to Consumer is the theme of a new lab in the Institute of Apparel Management (IAM), which will train students and apparel industry professionals how to work digitally at every stage of the apparel production process. Fitted with software by Tukatech, students will begin their studies with instruction from IAM's Tukatech-trained staff. Staff will cover ideation, story-boarding, pattern engineering, marker making, and virtual prototyping.

ASCENT Releases AutoCAD CIVIL 3D 2010 Update Training Guide
RAND Worldwide, a technology solutions provider, announced that its courseware division, ASCENT — Center for Technical Knowledge, has released the AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 Update for 2009 Users training guide. It is designed for those civil engineers and surveyors who have previous experience using Autodesk Civil 3D software.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Mark Your Calendar

AutoCAD 2010 Tour
Through October 22, 2009
Various locations
Attendees are invited to "See the Difference" with AutoCAD 2010 Tour, hosted by AutoCAD Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen and Autodesk Platform Technology Evangelist Shaan Hurley. Read more

Webinar: Mathcad for the AEC Industry
October 21, 2009
1 p.m. EST
This webcast from PTC focuses on Mathcad use within the AEC industry and demonstrates how Mathcad can help verify designs and perform structural analyses. Read more

San Francisco Revit User Group
October 21, 2009
San Francisco, California
Join Desiree Ratley, an active member of Ideate's Sacramento Revit User Group, as she shares an overview of her upcoming Autodesk University presentation entitled "Leveraging Revit Structure as an Engineer." 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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What's New at Cadalyst.com

Generative Design Is Changing the Face of Architecture
New technology allows humans to harness computational powers for practical ends and to generate building design options that couldn't otherwise exist. How did it develop, and where will it lead us? Read more

What to Do When Old Tools Won't Work on New 64-Bit Operating Systems
CAD Manager's Toolbox: The upgrade to a new OS can spell trouble in the form of incompatible peripherals. Read more

Survey: CAD Managers Reveal Effects of the Economy, Part 1
Results of the mini-survey are in, and they suggest that conditions have worsened this year. Read more

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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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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