Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 22)

25 Jun, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

HP All-in-One Video TipAll-in-One CAD Tips: AutoCAD Layer Controls, Object Names in Civil 3D, and Social Networking
Three great CAD tips in one video! AutoCAD's layer controls are more powerful than ever before and can be changed on a per viewport basis. Civil 3D users can improve internal documentation by naming AEC objects. Build your CAD network by attending a local user group, meeting some other CAD professionals on Twitter, or joining some groups on LinkedIn. Sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation, View the video.

Do You Speak LISP?
When it comes to CAD code, Hot Tip Harry knows a good tip when he sees it! Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your LISP routines. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a $25 gift card you can use to purchase a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store.

Force Drawings to Plot
Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares some printing tips to use in AutoCAD. "Have you experienced a scenario like this? The file seems normal and clean, yet it won't plot." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Dude, Where's My Drawing?
Tipster Sam Lucido shares an AutoCAD tip to help you determine where your current file is located. "Have you ever been in a drawing and wanted to know what the drawing location is? There are several ways to determine this in AutoCAD." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Make Your Arrowheads Wiggle
Frequent tipster Leonid Nemirovsky shares a small LISP routine to use in AutoCAD that adds a tilde to a leader arrowhead. "This LISP macro is extremely simple, but it works, and I use it often." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Paper Space Views in Model Space
In his second tip for the week, Leonid Nemirovsky shares a method of navigating in AutoCAD's model space to where your paper space viewports would be. "If you have a lot of viewports in paper space and need to navigate among them quickly when working in model space, then try this simple trick." 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 in the latest version of AutoCAD by Contributing Editor Brian Benton. Use all tips at your own discretion, please. We're sorry, but Cadalyst staff cannot provide assistance with technical problems. Please refer to Cadalyst's LinkedIn and Facebook communities for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

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Deals & Freebies

Autodesk Offers Free Mobile Engineering App for Android
ForceEffect, Autodesk's mobile engineering app for simulating design concepts, is now available for the Android platform. The app supports freehand sketching of elements and construction lines, and provides real-time solving capabilities and immediate feedback on simulation performance. Users can download ForceEffect from the Android app store.

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Opportunities & Honors

GrabCAD and KeyShot Launch Engine Rendering Challenge
GrabCAD, an online community of mechanical CAD engineers, and Luxion, a rendering software company, are sponsoring a competition for the best rendering of an engine. Software prizes will be awarded for the best rendering, best animation, and best student rendering. The contest is open to anyone; entries must be received by June 30, 2012.

Trimble Seeks Speakers for User Conference
Spatial solutions provider Trimble invites interested parties to submit presentation abstracts for the 2012 Trimble Dimensions User Conference, which will be held November 5–7 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Presentations should address industry best practices or new technology trends shaping industries such as building construction, building information modeling, survey, and geospatial. The deadline for submission is June 29.

Furniture Design Competition Accepting Entries Until September 4
Furniture parts provider Doug Mockett & Company has launched its annual design competition, and is soliciting designs of furniture parts, accessories, and hardware. Winners will receive $1,000, an engraved trophy, and royalties based on sales. Submissions should include an idea and a write-up; they can be sent to

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Mark Your Calendar

Creating Images for Marketing from 3D Data Using KeyShot
June 27, 2012
11 a.m. PT
Novedge will present this free webinar, which will show viewers how a plain CAD model imported into KeyShot v3.2 can be transformed into a photo-realistic image. A Q&A session will follow the presentation. Read more

Introduction to Bricscad v12
July 11, 2012
11 a.m. PT
This free webinar, presented by Novedge, will demonstrate the Bricscad 12 Pro interface in the 2D environment as well as its new direct modeling features. Read more

Fall BIMForum
October 10–11, 2012
Tacoma, Washington
With the theme of "Facilities Management," this fall's BIMForum will focus on how building owners of today should be working with their architects and designers to make optimum use of the BIM solutions available to them. Read more

2012 Oil & Gas Pipeline Conference
October 22–24, 2012
Houston, Texas
This year's Oil & Gas Pipeline Conference will focus on regulation and compliance; risk and integrity management; integrated solutions development; environmental health and safety; and new construction. 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

Quick and Easy All-in-One Video Tips: Something for Every CAD User!
Cadalyst's All-in-One video tips, sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation, combine three useful tips into one quick video. Host Curt Moreno, the Kung Fu Drafter, shares advice on topics ranging from resumes and training to xrefs and sheet sets. Watch the videos

AutoCAD 360, Part 2: What Can You Do With It?
The incessant pace of progress and innovation for workstation technology never slows. Less than a quarter after every major workstation OEM launched a full trio of models based on Intel's Sandy Bridge-EP (a.k.a. Xeon E5), the industry leader in CPUs has already released its follow-on processor generation, code-named Ivy Bridge. Read the CADspeed blog post

Malware Circulating in Peru Reportedly Was Sending AutoCAD Drawings to China
Security software developer ESET claims it has stopped file transmission and offers free cleaner for public use. Read more

Autodesk Brings Cloud-Based BIM to AEC, Civil Engineering Workflows
New services include tools for collaboration, conceptual modeling, feasibility evaluation, energy analysis, and rendering. Read more

PTC's Heppelmann Declares 'New Era of Manufacturing'
At PlanetPTC Live customer event, the CEO says technology will drive the strategy that sets manufacturers apart. Read more

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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AutoCAD Tips!

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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