Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 34)

27 Sep, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Don't Forget to Tip
Do you have any tips for using AutoCAD — or any other CAD software tool — more effectively and efficiently? Send them to us! 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. Use the Submit Tip button below to send us your tip today!

Rotate the UCS
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky sent us a bit of code he just made to help rotate the UCS in AutoCAD. "First I was doing it manually, but then I wrote this simple code that rotates the UCS on the z-axis between two selected points." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Navigate to Previous Folder
Murray Clack sends us a tip on navigating to a previously browsed folder in AutoCAD. "Have you ever noticed that when you use the Open command and navigate to a particular folder on your network, then use the Files of Type pull-down menu to select the DWT format, the folder automatically redirects itself to the AutoCAD default folder where DWT files are kept?" View the complete tip and post your feedback.


September Tips from Hot Tip Harry

List Lookup Function
Unlike most other tips you see here, this function from Sanjay Kulkarni is meant to be used as part of a larger routine. When executed, it will return the smallest integer in the list that is larger than the first argument. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create a Field-Referenced Copy
This routine works like the built-in Copy command, except that copied text or mtext entities are referenced to the originals using fields. Leland Leahy's code offers a good example of how to create fields with LISP code. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Calculate Total Length
This routine from Robert Zipprich will return the total length of any number of lines, arcs, and/or polylines that you select. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Place Point Objects with DivideLine
Richard Schwier's DivideLine routine works in a similar fashion as the built-in Measure command: when you select an object and enter a length, Point objects are created along the object at the interval you select. The difference with DivideLine is that the distance you enter is treated as a maximum distance and the Points are created at the same interval along the object. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Protect LISP Code
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky shares his method for protecting LISP code. It consists of three functions separate from the main program. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Apply Length Labels at Entity Midpoints
Lee McDonnell is back again, this time with a routine that labels AutoCAD entities with their length. This routine works for circles, lines, arcs, and polylines. 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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Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin

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Deals & Freebies

Free Google SketchUp 3D Modeling Program Updated to Version 8
Users can freely download the recently released Google SketchUp version 8 for personal use (SketchUp Pro is $495). The new version features model geolocation with Google Maps, improved interaction with Google Building Maker, solid tools, scene thumbnails, and support for the DWG/DXF 2010 format.

Vuuch Offers Introductory Price on Social Software for Product Development
Enterprise social system developer Vuuch is offering introductory pricing of $250 per year per Vuuch page creation license, for a limited time. The social software enables a product development team to work together in new ways using familiar CAD and desktop tools. The recently released version 3.0 includes a new "product" page type and web user interface enhancements, and supports import from Microsoft Excel.

Android, iPhone Apps Developed for Aras PLM Suite
Product lifecycle management (PLM) implementation consultant Porchys has developed free Android and iPhone mobile applications for the Aras Innovator suite of enterprise PLM solutions. The Android app is available from multiple Android marketplaces; the iPhone app will be available from Apple in the near future.

QuadriSpace Provides Free Pre-Release of Document3D 2011
Users can download Document3D 2011, a 3D communication and documentation tool set, from product communication software developer QuadriSpace for up to 30 days of free use. This major version upgrade includes a materials ribbon and linkable text boxes that let users stream text from one box to another.

64-Bit Version of Free ReviewShare Reader Available from AVEVA
Users implementing or wishing to evaluate AVEVA ReviewShare can freely download release 1.3 of the ReviewShare Reader, which is now available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The company also provides sample plant and marine 3D model files for use with the reader. AVEVA ReviewShare is a complementary product to AVEVA Review, an application for 3D design communication.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Opportunities & Honors

GITA 2011 Call for Abstracts Open Until October 8, 2010
The Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) is seeking relevant, credible, new, and innovative presenters for the GITA Geospatial Solutions Conference to be held April 10–14, 2011, in Grapevine (Dallas), Texas. The association is soliciting presentations for various markets including public sector/local government, electric, gas, water/wastewater, and public safety.

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Books & Training

CAD Gorilla Releases 2011 AutoCAD Essentials Video Training Course
CAD Gorilla, which develops training materials for Autodesk software, has released a self-paced video curriculum titled "2011 AutoCAD Essentials" ($99). Designed for both new and experienced users, the course comprises more than 110 lessons that cover common features and functions as well as tricks employed by experienced AutoCAD users.

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Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: SharePoint 2010 Server Upgrade Demo
October 1, 2010
3 p.m. ET
This webinar from SPS Infotech is intended for potential customers who are curious about the benefits, improvements, and enhancements found in SharePoint 2010. Read more

Webinar: Autodesk See the Advantage Virtual Event
October 5, 2010
8 a.m. PT
This free event will explain how the latest features and offerings for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT can affect documentation, productivity, and exploring ideas in 2D and 3D. Topics will include the new AutoCAD for Mac software, Autodesk Design Suite 2011, and Autodesk solutions for building information modeling (BIM). Read more

Webinar: How Can PLM Support Your Business?
October 7, 2010
14:15 GMT (10:15 a.m. ET)
This free webinar sponsored by Junge PLM Consulting will explore topics including core drivers of efficient PLM, prerequisites to an efficient PLM platform, and how PLM can manage complex environments. The presenter will be Matthias Junge, director of JPC. Read more

Webinar: SharePoint Meets Engineering Series
October 7–December 9, 2010
3 p.m. ET
This series of webinars from Cadac Organice Americas will showcase solutions for product document control and asset management, and will include a review of specific use cases of interest to owner/operators, EPCs, and manufacturers of complex "made-to-order" products. Read more

Fall 2010 BIMForum
October 14–15, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia
The theme of this meeting is "The Evidence on BIM: High-Performance Hype Meets Reality." This meeting will focus on whether real-world evidence substantiates the claims the BIM leads to higher performance in design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Read more

Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference 2010
November 9–10, 2010
Orlando, Florida
The Dassault Systèmes (DS) Customer Conference is a PLM and 3D event designed for DS customers, partners, and technology leaders. Speakers will include DS President and CEO Bernard Charlès and representatives from Ford Motor Company, Procter and Gamble, GE Energy, IBM, Medtronic, and Tesla Motors. Read more

Greenbuild 2010
November 17–19, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
Organized by the U.S. Green Building Council, this international conference and exposition presents sustainable building design practices and products, including more than 100 educational sessions, LEED workshops, and tours of local sites. Read more

2011 Collaboration & Interoperability Congress
May 23–25, 2011
Denver, Colorado
Now in its eighth year, the annual Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (CIC) is a vendor-neutral event organized by Longview Advisors that addresses collaboration and interoperability in manufacturing and business communications. Read more

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

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What's New at

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Constraint Limits in Inventor 2011
Reach new limits with Inventor constraints by using the new capability to define limits to constraints. Read more

Extend the Reach of Product Information to the Enterprise
SharePoint-based solutions for CAD can facilitate collaboration and accelerate development. Read more

Geospatial Technology Competency Model Solidifies Skill Standards
With contributions from the academic, government, and corporate sectors, the GeoTech Center crafts a touchstone that benefits an entire industry. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Peer-to-Peer Training
With these simple strategies, you can improve user knowledge even if you lack a training budget. Read more

Your New CAD Management Plan
With economic recovery in sight, now is the time to develop strategies for budgeting, growth, and user training. Read more

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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Lynn Allen

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!

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