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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 5)

8 Feb, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Call for Tips: Working with Non-AutoCAD Data
We're all too familiar with the fact that working in AutoCAD usually involves working with a variety of non-AutoCAD data as well. But who says that has to be complicated? Send us your shortcuts, workarounds, and other secrets that ease the process of working with spreadsheets, text files, images, and the like as you build your drawings in AutoCAD. 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 soon!

Purge the Unpurgeable
One of our Tip Patrollers, Mitch Hirschklau, shares a tip on purge-resistant items in AutoCAD. "On the subject of purging unwanted and seemingly unpurgeable layers (and Dimstyles, linetypes, textstyles, and other items), I have a low-tech trick which might help when all else fails." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Enter Text the Old-School Way
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky sends us a tip on using an older command to facilitate entering text. "Sometimes it is much easier to use the old Attedit dialog box command rather than Eattedit (the newer command)." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Change Ribbon Icons for Commands
Mehrdad Ahankhah found the icons for AutoCAD's Arc command to be misleading. This tip provides his version of the icons and how to change them. "AutoCAD users will be very familiar with the icons discussed here, because they are used with the Arc command's options through menus, but there is a severe fault in the icons." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Copy Viewport Layer States to a Different File
Tom Mansell, an architectural technologist, proposes a solution to a problem when a user needs to duplicate the layer status of one viewport into another. "This problem is often posed to me by consulting engineers who ... need to copy layout viewports from one tab to the next, without losing the frozen or thawed layer status." 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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Resources

ITI TranscenData Updates Web Site to Provide More Resources
ITI TranscenData, a provider of CAD data exchange and PLM integration solutions, has launched a new web site that offers company events and news including product updates and industry-related trends in interoperability. Visitors can learn more about 3D model–based design initiatives, CAD data exchange, automation, and CAD data reuse for CAE/CAD translation.

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Deals & Freebies

Colortrac Scanners Win BERTL's "Best in Class" Rating
Colortrac, a provider of large-format scanners and scanning software, has become the first wide-format scanner manufacturer to achieve a BERTL (Business Equipment Research Testing Labs) "Best in Class" rating for both a CCD (charge-coupled device) and CIS (contact image sensor) scanner. The Colortrac SmartLF Gx+42 and the SmartLF Ci 40 scanners had both previously won BERTL's "Outstanding" rating.

Roland Offers Rebate on Jewelry Model Mill
Now through March 31, 2010, Roland customers in the U.S. and Canada who purchase a JWX-30 will receive a $2,900 instant rebate. JWX-30 is a 4-axis desktop mill engineered for wax master model production. It features a 30,000 RPM spindle and 100W DC brushless motor. The complete JWX-30 solution is list-priced at $17,895 before rebate and available from authorized Roland dealers.

Ashlar-Vellum Releases Free Graphite v8 Service Pack
CAD and 3D modeling software provider Ashlar-Vellum has announced the release of Service Pack 2 for Graphite v8, its software for 2D/3D precision wireframe drafting. The update features support for large-format printers at high resolution and direct access to tutorials and sample files from within Graphite. Service Pack 2 is a free update available to all those on Graphite v8, including Cobalt and Xenon v8 users with a courtesy license to Graphite. Upgrades are available from previous versions, with the price depending on the age of the software.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Opportunities & Honors

Awards Program Seeks Submissions from Enterprise Architecture Users
The Open Group and Forrester Research unveiled a new awards program to attendees at The Open Group Conference in Seattle, Washington. Awards will recognize companies whose transformative enterprise architecture initiatives have delivered substantial business benefits to their organization. To be considered for the 2010 awards, companies should complete a nomination form through the InfoWorld web site.

CADD Microsystems Receives Autodesk Reseller Honor
Autodesk has named CADD Microsystems Reseller of the Quarter for North America for the third quarter of fiscal year 2010. Autodesk selected CADD Microsystems from more than 100 North American resellers, recognizing the company's excellent sales performance and dedication to customer service, as well as growth of its operations and its investments in selling Autodesk software.

Open Design Alliance Announces Call for Papers
The Open Design Alliance (ODA), a nonprofit consortium of more than 2,000 software developers and users, is asking its members, partners, and other third parties to submit industry-related papers and presentations for the ODA World Conference 2010. Topics include the latest developments and advancements in the CAD industry, and conceptual and practical implementations of ODA technology.

Geometric's Design for Manufacturing Solution Recognized as Top Innovation
Geometric Limited, a product lifecycle management (PLM) software provider, announced that its automated design for manufacturing product, DFMPro, was recognized as a top innovation in science and technology at Innovations 2010. Innovations is an annual event conducted by the Pune Chapter of IIT Bombay Alumni Association to recognize novel ideas in science and technology.

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Mastering Revit 2009 book by Paul F. Aubin
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Books & Training

KOMPAS-3D Webinars Available from ASCON Group
ASCON Group, a developer and integrator of CAD/AEC/PLM software, is offering online training sessions for the recently released KOMPAS-3D v11. The webinars are available for current and potential customers, 3D beginners, and partners of the company. Webinar topics include KOMPAS-3D v11 features, part creation, assembly creation, and working with BOM. To register for the webinars, e-mail ASCON at contact@ascon.net.

CIMdata Announces Next CIMdata PLM Certificate Program
CIMdata, a PLM consulting and research firm, has announced its CIMdata PLM Certificate Program schedule for 2010. This assessment-based program includes individual and team-based exercises, as well as individual evaluations of achievement. The first program is scheduled for March 8-12, 2010, in Andover, Massachusetts. Confirmation of dates and exact locations will be announced approximately three months prior to each program.

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Mark Your Calendar

Pro/ENGINEER Technology Day Workshop Series
February 2–March 16, 2010
Various cities
Test-drive software, network with peers, win prizes, and "design without barriers" in this workshop series from PTC Software. Read more

Revit User Group — East Bay
February 9, 2010
Oakland, California
The topic of this event from Ideate, "Revit + Ecotect — A 'Green' Relationship," will discuss the relationship between the Revit platform (both Architecture and MEP) and Ecotect. Read more

AUGI CAD Camp San Francisco
February 11, 2010
San Francisco, California
During this single-day, off-site Autodesk product training class, attendees can hone their skills, share solutions, and boost productivity. 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

Tell Cadalyst About Your Favorite Freebie and You Could Win!
Cadalyst is compiling a feature article for Cadalyst magazine and Cadalyst.com about the best free software tools for CAD-related work. Do you have a free (or almost free) tool that you can't live without during the course of your workday? Send your favorites to Cadalyst! Tell us the name of the tool, where to download it, how you use it, and why you love it. If we publish your suggestion (and if you're the first to suggest it), we'll send you a Cadalyst T-shirt.

Alibre Announces Permanent Price Cut to $97
Following a promotion that attracted 10,000 new users last fall, Alibre Design Standard 3D CAD software is now available permanently for one-tenth its original price. Read more

Parametrics 101: Don't Be Afraid!
Learning Curve tutorial: Parametrics in AutoCAD 2010 affect how we create and edit drawings. Read more

Parametrics 102: Sizing Things Up
Learning Curve tutorial: With the magic of parametrics in AutoCAD 2010, you can start with a rough sketch of a basic concept and then refine and revise the dimensions as the design proceeds. Read more

Parametric CAD Perfects Custom Motorcycle Parts
Truly Blessed Customs relies on Alibre Design to turn sketchy ideas into elaborate bike components. Read more

Standards Enforcement Tools
CAD Manager's Toolbox: The Batch Standards Checker is an underused utility that can detect standards violations in DWG files. 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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