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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 12)

5 Apr, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

A Note from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: These tips are advice for improving the use of Microsoft Excel data in AutoCAD. Although there is some overlap in the information they contain, we share them all in full because each has value on its own.

Bring Spreadsheets into AutoCAD
Electrical designer Paula Jones uses Microsoft Excel on a daily basis, and shares with us her method for bringing spreadsheets into her CAD program. "This is the best way I know to show my information — it's quick and easy." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Linking Spreadsheet Data
Senior Drafter Fran Golding describes how to link spreadsheet data in an AutoCAD file. "If you've never tried to link spreadsheets into AutoCAD, you will be surprised by how easy it is. I use linked spreadsheets in civil drafting, but once you master it, you will find there are many uses." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

View Linked Spreadsheets in AutoCAD
Jack Foster shares with us his work-around method of displaying Excel spreadsheet files in AutoCAD so that they will update if new cells, rows, or columns are added to the spreadsheet. "This may not be the easiest way, but for me it is the least aggravating way to attach Excel files and have them automatically update." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create Spreadsheets from inside AutoCAD
Tipster Jesse Moore thoroughly describes how to get your AutoCAD data into a spreadsheet or table in AutoCAD. "Tired of the basic table in AutoCAD? Wish you could use Excel instead? Not a problem. Wish you could port some information from a block's attributes? It's as easy as eating pancakes! The hardest decision will be to figure out where you want this information to reside." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Submit Your Tip

Review Cadalyst's Tip Submission Guidelines, then Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a gift card you can use to purchase a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store. Please remember to submit only code and other tips that are your original work (or provide the original source so we can include proper credit) and to 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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Deals & Freebies

SST Offers Free Evaluation of Data Translator for Piping Systems
SST Systems, a provider of software solutions and services for piping design and analysis, has introduced to its dataTRANSLATORS a capability for reading piping model data from various third-party formats and translating them to CAEPIPE stress analysis software and other compatible formats. A free evaluation copy is available from the company's web site.

GEOMATE Discounts GrafiCalc Design Simulation Software This Month
Engineering decision-support software provider GEOMATE has announced a limited-time offer expiring April 30, 2010, for purchase of GrafiCalc Standard 2010 software for $99, a reduction from the list price of $229. The software's graphical calculation technology reduces arithmetic, trigonometry, and equation solving during the conceptual engineering process. GrafiCalc Standard 2010 can be used as standalone software or as a companion to Microsoft Office and popular CAD applications on any PC running 32- or 64-bit Vista or Windows.

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Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin

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Opportunities & Honors

Furniture Design Contest Honors 2009 Winners, Invites 2010 Entries
The 2009 Doug Mockett & Company Design Contest, an international competition for furniture parts, components, and accessories, has given first place awards to two entrants: John O'Connor won for his design for a shelf support, and Jeffrey Bolen won for a table leg. Deadline for entry into the 2010 contest is September 1. 

Winners of ESRI's Mashup Challenge Announced
Dave Bouwman took the top prize of $10,000 in the ESRI 2010 Mashup Challenge with his entry, Executive Compensation Mashup, which compares top U.S. executive salaries with the total income for selected U.S. counties. Other winning entries included Daniel Bradshaw's Fluttr: The Human Story in Realtime, which automatically populates an international map with live feeds; Mark Laudon's Floor Plan Mapping, an interactive building floor plan with employee search capabilities; and Ernesto Giron's Drought Timing for Agronomic Screening, an interactive international soil map.

Lightworks Opens Annual Image Competition
Lightworks, a leading supplier of rendering solutions for developers of 3D computer graphics software, has announced the launch of the 2010 Lightworks Image Competition. The competition is open to all users of Lightworks rendering, and entries can address any market, theme, or style. The competition is open until June, and the best entries will be featured on the Lightworks web site.

FIATECH Bestows CETI Awards on Innovators
Industry-led capital project consortium FIATECH recognized nine organizations and individuals for their work in developing and deploying engineering and construction technologies at the annual CETI (Celebration of Engineering & Technology Innovation) Award Gala on March 31. Winners were announced in each of 10 categories, including Automated Design; Integrated, Automated Procurement and Supply Network; and Real-Time Project and Facility Management, Coordination, and Controls.

John G. Voeller Honored for Technology Leadership
FIATECH has also presented the James B. Porter, Jr. Award for Technology Leadership to John G. Voeller, a 2003-2008 ASME White House fellow and senior vice-president at Black & Veatch. The award for Technology Leadership was established in 2007 to honor and celebrate Porter's vision, leadership, technical acumen, and commitment to people and to advancing the industry and the goals of FIATECH.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Books & Training

Industrial Press Publishes Introductory SolidWorks Textbook
SolidWorks for Technology and Engineering ($69.95), written by James Valentino and Nick DiZinno, is now available from Industrial Press and other book retailers. This book presents a thorough introduction to SolidWorks for students with little or no prior experience, and can be used as an educational text, a reference for on-the-job use, or as a self-study manual. A CD provided with the text contains files that are keyed in sequence to the selected examples, so students can follow along with the text interactively.

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Mark Your Calendar

Avatech Solutions' Autodesk 2011 Tour and Webinars
April 2–May 6, 2010
Various cities
Avatech Solutions is offering a free series of local events and online webcasts showcasing the new Autodesk 2011 product releases. Read more

Sacramento Revit User Group: Revit Curtain Wall Forum
April 14, 2010
Sacramento, California
This moderated discussion will explore this powerful tool and how it meets (or doesn't meet) reality. Topics will include intriguing uses of the curtain wall tool and the experience of an architecture and design firm. Read more

COE 2010 Annual PLM Conference and TechniFair
April 18–21, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
This user-driven PLM event offers education and training on usage and implementation of Dassault Systèmes PLM solutions. Read more

Webinar: Autodesk Seize the Opportunity Virtual Event
April 19, 2010
7 a.m.–2 p.m. PT
This webinar from Autodesk will demonstrate how to design, visualize, and simulate ideas in the digital world before they're in the real one. Read more

International Aras Community Event (ACE) 2010
May 10–11, 2010
Schaumburg, Illinois
This conference will bring together business and IT professionals, enabling them to connect and collaborate on the PLM solutions from Aras and the benefits of the enterprise open-source approach. 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

HP Thinks Small with New Desktop and Mobile Workstations
Less can be better with hardware that consumes less space, less energy, and less of your budget. Read more

AutoCAD 2011: A Look at What's New
There's a new version of AutoCAD in town, and it's sporting an updated UI, improved 2D and 3D functionality, and much more. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: ReadyBoost for Windows 7
Need more memory on a budget? Try this Windows feature, which increases your memory resources while keeping costs in check. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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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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