Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 40)

19 Nov, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Hot Tip Harry Is Looking for LISP
Hot Tip Harry is always keeping an eye out for the best CAD code! Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your AutoLISP 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.

Make Plotting Easier
Architect Tawfik Shehata shares a tip to make printing in AutoCAD a simpler process. "Setting up a drawing to print properly can be very difficult, especially when you have too much information to sort through," said Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton. "So get rid of it! We usually print to only a few paper sizes anyway, so why do you need to see every paper type in the world?" View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Straighten Lines with the Change Command
Tipster James King shares a tip for using AutoCAD's Change command to straighten linework. "This tip can help you straighten a line or lines that are slightly askew." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Learn About AutoCAD's Extra Tools
Frequent tipster Danny Korem discusses several extra programs and tools that come with AutoCAD. "Whenever AutoCAD is set up, it installs a nice toolset. However, users are not always aware of them." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Classic Tips: The Oops Command
Sheryl Campbell-Bennett reminded us about the usefulness of AutoCAD's Oops command, which will restore the last item in that you deleted. There are several classic Cadalyst CAD Tips that address this command, including:

November 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 November 2012 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Attention Harry fans: Please note that the next batch of useful LISP tips will come in January. Even Hot Tip Harry needs a holiday!

Automatically Convert Text or Mtext to Attributes
This AutoCAD routine from Ricky Medley is certainly one of the largest and most complex routines that Hot Tip Harry has received in recent years. You can read a full description of this routine and detailed instructions in the included ReadMe file, but essentially, the routine removes text values from within the vicinity of a given block's attributes into the attribute value, and deletes the text in the process. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Close Arcs and Segments
Kent Cooper is back again with a nice routine to close circular objects in AutoCAD. This routine will allow you to close an arc, an arc segment of a polyline, or elliptical arcs, whether they are constructed that way or created by breaking an ellipse. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Launch Reference Manager
Mat Kirkland provides an easy way to launch the Autodesk Reference Manager directly from AutoCAD. Use of the proper version of Reference Manager is important to Mat, since his company works with multiple versions of AutoCAD — a situation that may apply to you as well. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Resize Multileader Arrowhead
This routine from Alan Thompson shows you the power available in AutoLISP, using minimal code. It allows you to graphically and dynamically change the arrowhead size on a multileader in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Load Menu and Create Profile
Frequent contributor Leonid Nemirovsky designed this routine to automatically create an AutoCAD profile based on a menu file. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Incremental Bubble Labeling
BubbleInc is a routine from Alan Thompson that automates the process of placing incremental bubble leaders in AutoCAD. It uses a predefined multileader style (included in a separate DWG file). 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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CIMdata Releases PLM Geographic Analysis Report
PLM (product lifecycle management) consulting and research firm CIMdata has published the CIMdata 2012 PLM Geographic Analysis Report, the fifth and final module of its 2012 PLM Market Analysis Report series. CIMdata estimates that in calendar year 2011, the mainstream PLM market grew approximately 10.5% in the Americas, almost 10% in EMEA, and nearly 24% in the Asia-Pacific region.

New Web Site Aims to Assist Electromagnetic Product Designers
Software provider Cobham Technical Services has launched a new web site,, for designers of electrical power transformers and AC line reactors. An on-demand presentation demonstrates the virtual design process and explores the company's Opera design software. Cobham is also posting technical papers and application notes to the site.

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New Products

Scanners: Go!SCAN 3D Scanner
Creaform, which develops 3D measurement systems, has launched the Go!SCAN handheld 3D scanner. The 2.4-lb, white-light, point-and-shoot scanner comes with VXelements integrated 3D data acquisition software; it also can be used with the Go!MODEL complementary post-treatment and modeling software. Accuracy reportedly is as high as 0.1 mm.

CAD: 123D Design
Autodesk released Autodesk 123D Design, a free 3D modeling app with which users can create digital models on an iPad, Mac, or PC, or via a web browser. The app provides base shapes and example models to help users get started. It also includes kits for various model types, such as robots and houses, to familiarize new users with design concepts.

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Mark Your Calendar

Fast Perfect Lighting with HDR Light Studio v4
November 21, 2012
11 a.m. PT
This hour-long Novedge webinar will show how to light shots using HDR Light Studio v4. A Q&A session will follow. Read more

Product Innovation 2013
February 19–20, 2013
Berlin, Germany
At this year's congress, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will speak about the future of technology, innovation, and creativity. Read more

IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
July 21–26, 2013
Melbourne, Australia
With the theme "Building a Sustainable Earth through Remote Sensing," this year's event will emphasize the issues that most affect the Earth's environment. 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

Bentley's GenerativeComponents Helps Architects Push the Limits of Building Design
Be Inspired Awards finalists incorporate complex curtain walls and swooping ceiling forms that are made easier thanks to the software. Read more

Get More Information from Your CAD Users
CAD Manager's Toolbox: There are some things that we adults can learn from a three-year-old — and one of those is the power of asking, "Why?" Read more

When Should You Replace Old Hardware and Software?
The cost of replacing outdated tools is substantial, and management often uses it as a reason to delay upgrades. But you're also paying a price by continuing to rely on those clunkers. Read more

Are You an AutoCAD Expert?
If you think you are an AutoCAD expert, you might want to turn off some of the annoying prompts that can come between you and your designs. Join Lynn Allen as she takes you through the Expert system variable and shows you how to turn off those bubbles that appear in the AutoCAD tray. Watch the video

The CAD Communicator
User Profile: Paul Munford believes that CAD is a great communication tool — but before you can use that tool effectively, you must understand the needs of your customers. Read more

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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