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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 3)

30 Jan, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

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.

Stack Alternate Dimensions
Perry Pattiz, a mechanical engineer, shares an AutoCAD tip to use when annotating drawings with two-dimensional units. "When I use alternate dimensions, the dimension text string frequently becomes too long to fit in the desired area." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Use Fast Keys Instead of Icons
Tipster Maaike Johnson sent in a tip about using the keyboard to tell AutoCAD what to do. "This is a pretty general tip, but it works for me." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Translate Layer Settings
Maria Tzanetakou gives us an AutoCAD tip to try when using the LayTrans command to translate layer settings from one file to another. "When using the LayTrans command, remember to check the Settings dialog box beforehand." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

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

Reminder: Overkill
Tipster Robert Moore reminds readers about the usefulness of the AutoCAD command Overkill. Also known as Delete Duplicate Objects, Overkill was an Express Tool but was added to AutoCAD 2012 as a native command, which means it is included in AutoCAD LT 2012 as well. Essentially, Overkill deletes all the extra bits of created lines that overlap each other, leaving cleaner, more manageable linework.

For a Cadalyst CAD Tip that discusses the command, see Eliminate Overdraws with Overkill. For a video demonstration, look in the Cadalyst Video Gallery for "Overkill Can Be a Good Thing," a tip from Cadalyst and Autodesk technical evangelist Lynn Allen.

 

January Tips from Hot Tip Harry

Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another great bundle of tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire January 2012 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Automatically Create New Layers for Xrefs
One way to put automation to work is by making it easy for you and your users to follow standards in AutoCAD. That is what this routine from Bob Qualls does. It allows you to attach an xref in much the same way as you probably do now, except that the xref will be created on a new, unique layer and that layer will be locked. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Calculate Statistics for 3D Solids
This routine by Michael Weaver will calculate the volume and center of gravity for 3D solids in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Set Object Transparency
Transparency is a great new feature in AutoCAD that is often overlooked. Sam Lucido's routine makes it easy to set transparency on a selection set — and to remove the transparency setting later, if desired. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Batt Insulation
Frequent conributor Theodorus Winata is back with a nice routine that draws batt insulation. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Zoom Extents Alternative
If you have ever had a drawing in which you execute Zoom Extents and your drawing disappears, then this LISP routine from Jim Dee might be for you. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Change Color of Current Layer
This routine from Matt Sibum is simple, but it can certainly save you some time in AutoCAD. It will change the color of the current layer in one quick step. 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 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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Resources

IDG Publishes Private Clouds Whitepaper
"Discover the Key to Effective Private Clouds," a whitepaper sponsored by networking appliance provider Riverbed Technology, explores how wide-area network optimization can help ensure a successful cloud project. The whitepaper is available through the IDG Connect Global Business Library.

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Deals & Freebies

LizardTech Releases Free GeoViewer Application for iPad
Geospatial software provider LizardTech has released a free GeoViewer application for iPad designed to view geospatial imagery and vector overlays. GeoViewer supports MrSID and JPEG 2000 formats, and includes a measurement functionality and geolocation support.

Tekla Updates Free BIM Software
BIM (building information modeling) software provider Tekla is offering a free download of its newly updated BIM software, Tekla BIMsight v1.4, for construction project collaboration. Updates include a user interface optimized for tablet computers and support for multi-touch hand gestures and stylus input.

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Opportunities & Honors

Autodesk Named One of FORTUNE'S 100 Best Companies to Work For
FORTUNE magazine ranked Autodesk as 52nd in its recently released list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the annual employee survey.

CINEMA4D User Wins Creative Catalyst Competition
Digital artist and motion designer Barton Damer recently won first-place honors in the Veer Creative Catalyst: Design for Change Competition. Damer used MAXON CINEMA4D to design his illustration. The international contest invites artists to create a socially themed design for a charity or cause of their choice.

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Books & Training

Esri Updates Building a GIS for GIS Managers and Technical Architects
Building a GIS, Second Edition: System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, a new book from Esri Press, promotes optimal GIS operations. The second edition includes updated graphics and illustrations. Exercises and video presentations on the included DVD provide supplemental information to those developing and implementing GIS architecture.

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Mark Your Calendar

Introduction to ZBrush
February 1, 2012
11 a.m. PT
This webinar from NOVEDGE showcases several examples of ZBrush's uses and covers its newest features. Read more

Deep Dive into FME Server 2012
February 2, 2012
8 a.m. PT
Attendees can learn about the FME Server 2012, including its functionalities and resources, in this webinar from Safe Software. Read more

Introduction to BIM with Vectorworks Architect
February 15, 2012
11 a.m. PT
This webinar from NOVEDGE will focus on Vectorworks Architect 2012, including its latest features and report capabilities. Read more

Effective Transition from ENOVIA SmarTeam to ENOVIA V6
February 15, 2012
10 a.m. ET
During this Geometric webinar, ENOVIA experts will help users discover how companies are transitioning from SmarTeam to the ENOVIA v6 platform. Read more

BIM Spectrum Virtual Event
February 16, 2012
10:30 a.m. ET
IMAGINiT's interactive online conference examines how 3D models are used in multiple disciplines to create and manage building data. Read more

The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit: 7th Annual Metal Matters
February 29–March 2, 2012
Scottsdale, Arizona
Keynote addresses covering the role of manufacturing in the economy and new technology highlight The FABRICATOR's Leadership Summit. Read more

CIMdata Spring 2012 PLM Market and Industry Forum
March 29–April 25, 2012
Various cities
CIMdata's 2012 PLM Market and Industry Forum provides insights into the current PLM economic climate and PLM trends. Read more

FME World Tour 2012
April 16–September 25, 2012
Various locations
At these events from Safe Software, attendees can find out how to overcome data snares and interoperability riddles using FME software. Read more

CIMdata's Fall 2012 PLM Market and Industry Forum
October 1, 2012
Plymouth, Michigan
The Fall CIMdata PLM Market and Industry Forum offers professionals information on PLM insights and PLM trends in the market. 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

CADspeed Blog Post:
WiFi for the CAD Workstation, Part 4: Secure Your WiFi Network

Before you get to work performing all of those high speed transfer of giant files, you have to consider security. Read more

CADspeed Blog Post:
WiFi for the CAD Workstation, Part 3: Choosing a WiFi Format

How to decide the right WiFi format for you. Read more

Complete Cyon Software Survey, Qualify to Win a Cadalyst Subscription
Do you use CAD, CAE, BIM, IPD, or PLM software? You can receive a free copy of the survey results and enter to win a free year of Cadalyst magazine! Read more

Does PLM Belong in the Cloud?
Accessing data, processes, and business intelligence in the cloud can help global companies leverage critical resources and manage complex analytics — if it's done correctly. Read more

The Minimalist's Guide to CAD Software Upgrade Decisions
It's a chore you'll have to tackle sooner or later, so apply this methodology and make your evaluation as quickly as possible. 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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