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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 30)

23 Aug, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Open DWG Files in Various Versions of AutoCAD
Mechanical Designer Brian James Lottis sends us a tip that he uses to open AutoCAD files in different versions of AutoCAD. "My usual method of opening a drawing is to double-click on the file in Windows Explorer. The problem is that sometimes I'm not sure which version or profile I was using last." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Count Blocks Quickly with Select Similar
Tipster Andria Lynch sends us a tip that allows users to quickly determine the number of blocks in a file. "This shortcut will select all instances of the block you wish to count — keep in mind that they must be on the same layer." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Oldie but Goodie: LISP Routine Manager
Long-time AutoCAD user Andy Ferguson recently reminded us about a terrific routine by Jeffery P. Sanders. LISP Manager (Tip #1996) displays a library of your AutoLISP routines inside AutoCAD and allows you to add a custom note for each one — keeping your routines organized and your memory refreshed! Originally published by Cadalyst in 2004, this tip was rated "brilliant!" by Hot Tip Harry.

Do you have a favorite AutoCAD tip that was published by Cadalyst? E-mail us the details, including a few words about why it's a favorite, and we'll share your suggestion with fellow readers of the Tips & Tools Weekly.

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'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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Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin

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Resources

GrabCAD Launches Free, Cross-Platform CAD Library
GrabCAD, an open-source library where CAD engineers can share 3D models, has launched the beta version of its library platform. Members can set up a portfolio, interact with others, rate and give feedback, and solicit help with projects. The company also intends to develop a CAD engineering marketplace and charge brokerage fee for services ordered through the site.

Alibre Unveils Social Media Site for 3D Designers
Alibre, a developer of professional 3D design solutions, has announced AlibrePowered.com, a new social media website for 3D designers, digital fabricators, and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Users can share their Alibre designs, announce new product launches, ask questions, and publicize their products within the community.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Deals & Freebies

PKH Lineworks Releases Free Revit Tools
Paul Hildebrandt refers Tips & Tools Weekly readers to his PKH Lineworks web site, where he's sharing several new, free tools for Revit users. ReVVed is a collection of Revit extensions that are designed to convert repetitive tasks into one-click commands. These commands work with the Architecture, Structure, and MEP flavors of Revit 2011.

CAD Gorilla Provides Free Trial of Revit and Inventor Training Courses
Training materials developer CAD Gorilla is offering registered users a free trial of its video training courses ($99–199) for Autodesk software. Courses include Revit for Beginners, Inventor for Beginners, and the newly released Inventor Essentials. The latter is designed for both new and experienced users, and comprises 97 lessons, hands-on exercises, downloadable part files, and assessment exams.

JMHsoftware Offers Two-Week Trial of Stretch Utility
Tips & Tools Weekly reader Ted Kruysman alerted us to a 3D stretch command for AutoCAD that he finds useful. Users can try JMHsoftware's Quick Draw 3D Solids Stretch Utility ($35) free for 15 days.

Intergraph Offers CADWorx University Discount to Early Birds
Intergraph has extended its discounted registration deadline for the 2010 CADWorx University event to August 31, 2010. Registrants can save $200 when signing up for the plant-design and engineering-creation conference, which will be held September 27–29 in Houston, Texas.

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Opportunities & Honors

Lightworks Announces Image Competition Winners, Opens New Contest
Lightworks, a supplier of rendering solutions for developers of 3D computer graphics software, has announced the results of the latest Lightworks Image Competition. Hans Zijffers produced the winning image with trueSpace software. Users can submit images created with the Lightworks Rendering toolkit to compete for an Apple iPad in the current Lightworks Image Competition.

BuildingSMART Alliance Seeks Industry Input on National BIM Standard
The buildingSMART alliance, which is both a council of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and the North American chapter of buildingSMART International, is developing the United States National BIM (building information modeling) Standard (NBIMS). The opportunity to participate on the NBIMS Project Committee and throughout the development process is open to all members of the alliance and NIBS.

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Mark Your Calendar

Graphics Systems User Conference & SolidWorks 2011 Premiere
October 6–7, 2010
Delavan, Wisconsin
This event comprises more than 35 training sessions and focuses on SolidWorks solutions. Conference tracks include SolidWorks 3D CAD, Simulation, Data Management, Technical Communication, and Management. Read more

Autodesk University 2010
November 30–December 2, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
This learning and networking event, intended for Autodesk product users and design professionals, will include classes, hands-on labs, and free on-site Autodesk Certification Exams. Please note that the registration dates have changed; general registration now opens September 14, with advance registration for AU members beginning September 7. 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

3D Design Turns Shipping Containers into Lifesavers
With the help of the nonprofit C2C and volunteers armed with ArchiCAD, steel boxes are transformed into health-care facilities for resource-strapped communities. Read more

Australian Utility Maps Meters with Customized GPS Software
A made-to-order handheld application helps Goulburn Valley Water's field workers collect data quickly and accurately — without becoming GIS experts. Read more

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Using Design Review with Autodesk Inventor Files
A paperless review process enables designers and reviewers to electronically measure, mark up, and track changes to 2D and 3D designs. Read more

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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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