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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 16, No. 23)

27 Jun, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Don't Be Shy — Share!
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!

Change Your View — but Not the UCS
Tipster Ed Galicki shares a customization he's made to the various View commands in AutoCAD Mechanical Desktop; this tip will work in standard AutoCAD as well. "I work on parts in a solid model assembly until it's ready for part detailing. To get to certain coordinate systems more quickly, I made some alterations in the menu." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Insert PDF Files
Tipster Jeremy Grove discusses methods to insert PDF files into AutoCAD Civil 3D. "Normally, when inserting a PDF file you would use the Insert OLE Object command in Civil 3D. I recently discovered that if you drag the PDF file to your workspace, it automatically inserts the PDF as an OLE object, but it does so with a transparent background instead of the usual opaque white background." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Toggle the ViewCube
Andria Lynch shares a tip on using the ViewCube in AutoCAD while working on two-dimensional drawings. "I have found no real need to have the ViewCube on when doing 2D drafting." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Shut It Down
Tim Girard sends us an AutoCAD customization tip he uses to finish up his work each day. "I always finish my drawings with Zoom Extents, Send All Hatching to Back, Purge All, Audit Drawing, and Save. I decided to wrap all five of these steps into a single button click." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Reminder
Following are this week's reminders, tidbits, and miscellaneous tip updates.

To save time and increase productivity, learn the command aliases and use the keyboard for commands instead of the menus or buttons. Also, change the command aliases to short abbreviations, such as cc for copy or q for qsave. Using the keyboard for input means that you don't have to move the mouse before each click, then move it back again to return to your work.

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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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Resources

Rapid Sheet Metal Introduces Video Library of Sheet Metal Design Tips
Rapid Sheet Metal, a prototyping company, has released "Proper Feature Location to Bends," the first in a planned series of brief tutorial videos describing optimal design techniques. The videos are designed to help mechanical engineers improve the manufacturability of their 3D CAD files. Rapid Sheet Metal intends to introduce a new video tip every two months.

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Deals & Freebies

Paradigm Imaging Discounts ImagePRO Scanners by More than 30%
Paradigm Imaging Group, a distributor of large-format scanning and printing solutions, has announced a price reduction on some imagePRO wide-format scanner models. The 40-inch imagePRO Ci40 HD series ranges from $3,995 for the monochrome model to $6,995 for the full-color version — a reduction of more than 30 percent from the former retail prices.

Genetica Texture Editing Software on Sale This Week
Until July 1, 2011, Spiral Graphics is offering a 30% discount off the regular purchase price of Genetica, which was recently upgraded to version 3.6. The node-based graphics application enables artists to non-destructively build textures and effects. Users can also download a free 30-day demo version of Genetica from the Spiral Graphics web site.

Ideate Offers Free Trial of BIMLink for Autodesk Revit 2012
Visitors to Ideate's web site can download a free 30-day trial version of Ideate BIMLink. The add-on for Autodesk Revit enables users to move data back and forth between Revit and Microsoft Excel. The 2012 release supports Key Schedules and provides Revit 2012 users access to data that the software hides including phase and design option data.

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Opportunities & Honors

Architecture Design Contest Incorporates HP and Autodesk Technologies
HP and Autodesk are sponsoring a new contest: 3 CONCEPTS = 1 eIDEA TO SHARE. Contestants must submit an architectural design proposal based on concepts created by the contest's architecture experts. Submissions must be presented on a DIN A4 panel, half of which should have an Autodesk-generated drawing or image, and shared via HP ePrint & Share. Submissions are due by July 22, 2011.

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Books & Training

Kubotek Guide Explains Advantages of Direct Modeling
Kubotek USA, which provides CAD technology to create, edit, or manage changes to model data, has published an interactive ebook. Direct Modeling 101 discusses software features to consider when choosing a direct CAD modeler. The interactive portion of the ebook comes via brief embedded videos that illustrate unique direct modeling tools and capabilities.

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Mark Your Calendar

IMAGINiT AUGI CAD Camps
June 29–November 17, 2011
Various cities
Rand's IMAGINiT Technologies division will sponsor eight Autodesk 2011 CAD Camps across the United States and Canada. The 2011 AUGI CAD Camp series helps professionals gain industry-recognized credentials through Autodesk Certifications. Read more

Raster and FME
August 25, 2011
8 a.m. PT
This free, 1-hour webinar from Safe Software will demonstrate how users can access raster by overcoming data interoperability challenges with FME, Safe's technology for spatial data transformation. Read more

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program: Oslo
September 26–30, 2011
Oslo, Norway
This assessment-based PLM (product lifecycle management) certificate program includes an intimate classroom experience, individual and team-based exercises, and individual evaluations of achievement. 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

Event Report: Hexagon 2011
The inaugural gathering shapes diverse conferences and technologies into a single event that showcases the broad reach of metrology. Read more

Autodesk Suites Are More than the Sum of Their Parts
New product packages offer powerful programs at great discounts — but do they make sense for you? Read more

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial:
Dynamic Helpers Shorten the Solid Edge Learning Curve

With these handy aids, you can stay productive while transitioning to a new system. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Dropbox for File Sharing
Store files and share them with others or among your own devices. Read more

Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss, Part 3
BIM implementation may be challenging, but tools such as this checklist will help keep things moving forward. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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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Poll
At your company, who has the most say in CAD-related software purchasing?
CAD manager
CAD users
IT personnel
vice-president/department manager
CEO/company owner
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