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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 41)

15 Nov, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

You Won't Even Need a Tip Calculator
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!

Attach Me to Your Leader
Technologist James E. Bainbridge shares an AutoCAD Express Tool that gets your text and leaders back together again. "This method is useful because it doesn't move the text, the additional leaders act exactly the same way as the original leader, and by using the grips, you can adjust the leader to either side of the text." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Custom Commands: Lock Osnapz and Xref Button
Tipster Michael Chilson submitted some command macros that he uses to reduce the number of clicks in his daily routine. "Lock the Osnapz feature in AutoCAD with a toggle button. This feature allows you to snap your selection points to a UCS (user coordinate system) z-axis height." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Scale Objects for Paper Space
Tipster Leah Stafford sends us a tip on determining the scale to use on objects when viewing them in AutoCAD's paper space viewports. "For example, if you have a building that is 302' in length in model space and you want it to appear 15" in length on paper space, divide the desired length of the object in paper space by the length in model space." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Update: Help Me Stop Pressing F1 Accidentally!
When we shared Skipp Millett's advice on disabling the F1 key, many of your shared your own methods for not launching the Help function accidentally. As it turns out, the great majority of readers simply remove the offending key altogether. 

November Tips from Hot Tip Harry
 

Toggle Extension Lines
This routine from Walt Bedinger performs one particular task — hiding extension lines — but it allows you to do this by picking the dimension instead of hunting for the correct item in the Properties palette. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Calculate Total Area, Perimeter, and Length
DuctiSoft President Andrea Andreetti is back this month with another great routine for AutoCAD. Tadd is a LISP routine that will display the total area, perimeter, and length of a selection set of objects. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Move Objects to a New Elevation
Moving or copying objects in the z-axis can be tricky if you are not comfortable with the correct Command line syntax, because often you cannot see the result of the move. NE is a command from Theodorus Winata that makes this task easy. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Rotate the UCS and Restore WCS
If you generally work in the world coordinate system in AutoCAD, but occasionally need to rotate the UCS about the z-axis, this tip from Alan Praysman should help you. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Save and Restore Layer States
Tip author Raymond Rizkallah takes advantage of the Command line interface of the Layer command to create and restore layer states using a quick key-in command. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Place Blocks along Multiple Paths
Another contribution from Raymond Rizkallah, Block-Path, allows you place blocks along multiple objects simultaneously and calculates a best-fit distance so that the blocks are evenly spaced along the entire path. 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'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

Spatial Releases Service Pack for ACIS and 3D InterOp
Spatial, a provider of 3D development components for design, manufacturing, and engineering applications, has made its latest service pack release — R21 SP2 of 3D ACIS Modeler and 3D InterOp Translators — available for download. R21 SP2 introduces the support for CATIA V5TranslateInWorkObject, Parasolid v23 files, and Siemens NX7.5 files.

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Deals & Freebies

Softelec Offers Free Demo of Scan Editing and Conversion Software
Softelec is offering a free, functional demo version of its newly released VPHybridCAD V11 software for editing and converting scanned technical drawings. VPHybridCAD V11 now supports all AutoCAD versions from 2004 to 2011, as well as the 64-bit versions of AutoCAD 2010 and 2011.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Opportunities & Honors

Delcam Gold Product Status for SolidWorks CAM System
Delcam's integrated CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) system for SolidWorks has been awarded Certified Gold Product status by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks. The award confirms both the integration of Delcam for SolidWorks 2011 with SolidWorks software and the product's performance when creating toolpaths from SolidWorks models.

Oce Large-Format Printer Wins BERTL's Five-Star Rating
Oce's ColorWave 300 — an integrated large-format plotter for color and black-and-white printing, copying, and scanning — has received the BERTL Five Star Exceptional rating and the BERTL's Best 2010 award. BERTL (Business Equipment Research & Test Laboratories) provides independent product evaluation reports and comparative analyses.

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Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: OpenBIM — Real Interoperability, Practical Collaboration
November 16, 2010
2 p.m. ET
Nemetschek Vectorworks, buildingSMART alliance, and Nemetschek Scia will present this AIA continuing education webinar about how building information modeling (BIM) interoperability is possible with openBIM — the use of internationally recognized open standards to exchange building information. Read more

Aras Community Event 2010 Korea
November 18, 2010
Seoul, South Korea
Aras, an enterprise open source product lifecycle management (PLM) software solution provider, will hold its first Korea-based Aras Community Event (ACE) this year. ACE 2010 Korea offers companies an opportunity to network and collaborate on PLM strategy and best practices using Aras. Read more

Webinar: Overview of LizardTech Express Suite and LiDAR Compressor
November 23–December 14, 2010
11 a.m. PT
This free webinar is aimed at geospatial professionals and decision makers exploring the features of LizardTech's line of geospatial image products. This session will focus in particular on the recently launched GeoExpress 8, which introduces the MrSID Generation 4 format for compression of raster data. Read more

Webinar: Better Front-End Planning for Capital Projects
November 30, 2010
11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET
At this complimentary webinar presented by FIATECH, attendees can learn how the right front-end engineering and design tools can mitigate project risk, monitor progress, and improve collaboration, translating into cost savings. 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

Cadalyst On the Edge Webcast: The Truth About Environmental Performance Software
In the effort to create greener products, environmental performance software is but one piece of the puzzle. Tune in on November 18 as we discuss how sustainable product development requires new knowledge, skills, and processes — supported by technology and applied across the product lifecycle — and what it means for your organization. Read more

How Can Apparel Companies Use 3D Software to Streamline Sample Development?
By replacing physical samples with digital models, clothing companies can save money, speed product development, and give buyers a better understanding of their products. Read more

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Scaling Images in Autodesk Inventor
You can use a 2D image as the basis of your next 3D model, but only if you know how adjust the image to full scale. Read more

Equip Your Workforce for Success on the Road
Managing a mobile CAD staff means more than buying laptops. Arm yourself with this checklist of essentials. 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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