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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 37)

22 Oct, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Tip Trouble?
Did you try to send in a CAD software tip recently, only to be thwarted by an e-mail problem? We apologize for the inconvenience! That issue has been fixed, so please use the "Submit Tip" button below to try again now. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a gift card you can use toward a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store.

Automatically Box Dimension Text
Tipster Steve Matchett shows us how to draw a box around text in AutoCAD dimensions. "This is a great little trick that works well," said Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Multipoint Viewports
CAD technician James J. Olszewski shares a trick for prepping your AutoCAD viewports to be clipped or stretched. "Some CAD users are unaware that viewports can be anything other than the restrictive rectangle initially provided by AutoCAD upon opening a new drawing. That viewport is reduced all along its length or height, which can be very limiting." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Change Text Justification without Moving Text
Jeremy Reimherr, a lead CAD designer, shared this tip about how to change an AutoCAD text object justification setting and keep the text in the same location. "There are two ways to handle this situation, and both will change the justification setting of the text object," noted Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Update Contents of an AutoCAD Table
Frequent tipster Danny Korem discusses how you can sync data between an AutoCAD table and a spreadsheet file. "I've been using tables in my projects from the very beginning, especially those that are software-created, such as sheet lists created by AutoCAD or those created by the data-extraction functionality." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

October 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 October 2012 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Change Xref Layer Colors Quickly
Leland Leahy uses this routine to change all the layers in an AutoCAD xref. You can modify the color to your liking, but Leland uses 250 to screen back the xref entities really quickly. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create Blocks Automatically
Recent versions of AutoCAD have streamlined the Group command; now, creating a group is as easy as selecting the objects. Raymond Rizkallah has applied that concept to making blocks with this LISP file, which contains two functions. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Construct Window Frame Dividers
This AutoCAD routine from Raymond Rizkallah constructs window frame dividers in elevation. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Copy to All Layouts
Sometimes you run across a routine that makes you wonder why something so simple, yet powerful, isn't part of AutoCAD to begin with. This routine from Alan Thompson is one of those. It copies selected objects from one layout to the same location in all other layouts within the current drawing. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Civil 3D Tip: Find Drawings Containing Civil 3D Surfaces
This routine from Mat Kirkland is designed to work with AutoCAD Civil 3D. It will iterate a user-specified directory full of drawings and open each drawing programmatically using ObjectDBX, searching model space for Civil 3D surfaces. 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

Synergis Launches Engineering Blog for Autodesk Users
Autodesk reseller Synergis Engineering Design Solutions has launched the SynergisCAD blog, which hosts discussions, industry news, software information, and technical expertise. The blog offers Autodesk engineering software users information provided by certified professionals and trainers.

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Deals & Freebies

PROCAD Offers Free Trial of New 2D Pipe Drafting Software
PROCAD, which develops software for oil and gas plant design, has released a 30-day free trial download of SpoolCAD, a 2D pipe isometric fabrication solution with built-in AutoCAD. Minimal CAD skills are required to generate high-quality pipe isometric drawings with SpoolCAD, according to the company.

Free Autodesk BIM App Now Available for the iPad
The Autodesk BIM 360 Glue mobile app is now available for the iPad. The app is designed to enable BIM 360 Glue users to more securely access BIM (building information modeling) projects at any time, from any location. Autodesk BIM 360 Glue for the iPad is free from the Apple app store.

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Opportunities & Honors

Mastercam Names Student Design Contest Winners
The Mastercam Wildest Parts Competition, which challenges students to design and machine something completely new using Mastercam CAD/CAM software, has announced this year's winners. The first-prize winners are Chad Lisle of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, for his compressed air engine; and Sean Johnson of Renton, Washington, for his ½-scale cylinder head design.

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New Products

AEC: GTeam Project Collaboration Platform
Gehry Technologies released a cloud-based 2D and 3D file management and project collaboration platform for AEC professionals and building owners. GTeam was developed to eliminate waste by enabling better collaboration, communication, and coordination, the company reports. A free trial version is available for download.

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Mark Your Calendar

Introduction to Simulation Software for CAD Users
October 24, 2012
10 a.m. ET
In this Prism Engineering webinar, viewers will learn the basics of simulation and what capabilities are available in some key SolidWorks simulation packages. Read more

Moving to BIM — Multitasking in One Step!
October 25, 2012
Richmond, Virginia
AEC InfoSystems will host this event, where attendees can learn how BIM (building information modeling) and ArchiCAD enable users to multitask and improve their design and presentation techniques. Read more

Exchanging Data between CAD and GIS Systems
October 30, 2012
11 a.m. ET
This FME webinar promises to show how to gain control over CAD and GIS data exchange. Read more

3Dexperience Forum
November 6–7, 2012
Orlando, Florida
This Dassault Systèmes event will help attendees learn how to take advantage of 3DS applications and technology. Read more

SolidWorks World 2013
January 20–23, 2013
Orlando, Florida
Dassault Systèmes' SolidWorks World 2013 will include more than 200 technical breakout sessions presented for and by SolidWorks users. 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

The Community Contributes to Better Architecture and Engineering
OpeningDesign and the Open AEC Challenge seek to end isolation and promote collaboration among designers. Read more

The Best Hardware Configuration for AutoCAD 2013, Part 2:
Current and Future Needs

We started this series by looking at our current hardware and if it's up for the job. Next, let's examine if your hardware will still work with your future needs, which may include going from 2D to 3D or adding cloud computing and mobile devices to the mix. Read the CADspeed blog post

SpaceClaim 2012+: CAD for the CAD Indifferent
New release builds on the quest to deliver a modeling tool for those who don't want to think about modeling. Read more

Add Jing Videos to Your Training Arsenal
"Show, don't tell" is good advice for writers — and for CAD managers as well. 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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