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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 38)

29 Oct, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Tip or Treat!
Once you've gotten your fill of candy, take a few minutes to share your tips — for AutoCAD or any other CAD software tool — with your fellow CAD users. 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. Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your tip today!

Create Running Dimensions
Steven Matchett shares a LISP routine that will alter AutoCAD's UCS (user coordinate system) in order to simplify the creation of ordinate dimensions. "This routine simplifies the creation of ordinate dimensions quite well," said Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton. "Typically, out of the box, you have to place ordinate dimensions one at a time, and you have to select the same source point each time. This routine removes a few steps for you." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Unlock Stubborn Locked Files
Frequent tipster Danny Korem sent in a tip that can help you with AutoCAD files that remain locked even though they're not open. "Many times I hear one coworker sharing a project say to another, 'Please save the file and close it, so I can have access to it,' and the answer, 'I was done with it 10 minutes ago.' In that case, look for the DWL (drawing lock) file in the same folder that the file resides in." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Assign the Escape Key to the Mouse
Russell Koenig describes how he customized his mouse buttons for use in AutoCAD. "It's almost impossible to be an efficient CAD user without a mouse that has left-click, right-click, and wheel functions. I prefer a mouse that also has left and right side buttons." 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

Market Research Firm Releases Global 3D CAD Report
Research and Markets, which provides international market research and data, has released a report that analyzes the worldwide markets for 3D CAD. The "3D CAD — Global Strategic Business Report" provides analytics and profiles 60 companies. According to the report, more than 50% of small and medium-sized businesses have implemented 3D CAD in their product design and development efforts.

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Deals & Freebies

Intergraph's Free Plant Design Solution Now Compatible with AutoCAD 2013
Intergraph, a provider of engineering and geospatial software, has released an updated version of CADWorx DraftPro that provides full compatibility with AutoCAD 2013. CADWorx DraftPro is a free, AutoCAD-based, specification-driven 2D plant design and layout solution. Users can generate components as they are needed, draw elevations and sections of layouts, and produce customizable bills of materials.

FISHER/UNITECH Offers Free Upgrade with SolidWorks Purchase
FISHER/UNITECH, a reseller of SolidWorks CAD software, is offering a free upgrade with the purchase of SolidWorks, resulting in savings of up to $5,000. The SolidWorks Core version is upgraded to Professional, Professional to Premium, and Premium to Simulation Professional. The promotion ends November 30, 2012.

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Opportunities & Honors

Real World Design Challenge Invites Submissions from High School Students
Teams of high school students have until November 18, 2012, to register for the 2012–2013 Real World Design Challenge. The competition is sponsored by 70 organizations, including PTC. Student teams will be asked to address a challenge that confronts the nation's leading industries, and will utilize professional engineering software to develop their solutions to the challenge.

HP and Microsoft Launch Smart Office Design Challenge
Designers, IT professionals, artists, and other office enthusiasts can submit entries to the Smart Office Design Challenge for a chance to win prizes including HP products and a trip to the 2013 Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, to build their winning design. Entrants must use HP products to prepare their designs of office desks and chairs. Submissions are due by December 4, 2012.

Newsweek Ranks Autodesk Among Greenest Companies
Autodesk has been recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the greenest companies, coming in sixth among information technology and services companies, and twenty-first overall in the top 500 U.S. companies. The annual Newsweek Green Rankings rank the largest publically traded companies on performance in such areas as greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, and management of natural resources.

WOOF Wins $100,000 Prize in Techfortrade 3D Printing Competition
Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) has won the 3D4D Challenge, a competition organized by techfortrade, a UK charity with a mission to alleviate poverty through technology-enabled trade. WOOF's winning project will enable waste plastic to be used as raw material for 3D printing machines. The winning team plans to work with a U.S.-based NGO, Water for Humans, to address water and sanitation issues in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Mark Your Calendar

The Future of Plant Design
October 30, 2012
10 a.m. CT
This Fiatech webinar will investigate what is needed for modern plant design, by addressing the key fundamentals for project success and defining "the future of plant design." Read more

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012
November 12–15, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada
This conference will comprise keynotes, social activities, and more than 175 breakout sessions. Attendees can learn how to better use SharePoint and hear about the latest features and functionality. Read more

RTC 2013 Australasia
May 16–18, 2013
Auckland, New Zealand
At the ninth Australasian Revit Technology Conference (RTC), attendees will be able to learn from some of the world's top instructors and industry experts, share ideas and insights with an international community, and explore the latest trends and technologies. 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

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Quickly Locate AutoCAD Files That Contain Specific Entities
Learning Curve tutorial: AutoLISP routine makes short work of an otherwise arduous task. Read more

Identify the 'Quick Win' Opportunities in Your To-Do List
Are you facing a mountain of CAD management duties? Start with the tasks that yield big rewards, but require only a limited time investment. Read more

Establish a Training Program for Your CAD Users, Part 2
You've gotten the go-ahead from management; now it's time to gather supplies and locate the right training venue. Read more

Set and Save your AutoCAD System Variables
Because there are so many system variables in AutoCAD, it's easy to get them confused. The Express Tool SYSVDLG makes quick work of setting up your system variables and saving them to a file for speedy recovery down the line! Watch the video

The Best Hardware Configuration for AutoCAD 2013, Part 3: Review Recommended Hardware
As I mentioned before, you will be better served if you treat the recommended specifications as the minimum requirements. So let's say you have determined that you need new hardware to run AutoCAD 2013. How do you pick the proper hardware? Read the CADspeed blog post


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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