Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 17, No. 5)

13 Feb, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Feel the CAD Love!
Do you have any tips for using AutoCAD — or any other CAD software tool — more effectively and efficiently? Send them to us! 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. Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your tip today!

Create a Custom Array
Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares an AutoCAD tip that allows you to copy selected objects and create a quasi-array of them by using nothing but grip edits. "It is easy to overlook the power of grip edits," said Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton. "Often times they are only used to stretch the endpoints of lines or to move objects, but they can do much more than that, especially in newer versions of AutoCAD." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Snap to Intersection between Dashes
Azfar Mahmood, a senior piping designer, uses the following method in AutoCAD to select the intersection of two lines. "When your crosshair selection box setting is small, finding the intersection of two dashed lines with the Intersection osnap can be tricky — especially if you are working so close to the crossing lines that you can't get the intersection." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Doug Ramstad, a CAD technician and drafter, sent us a tip for managing the display of multiple viewports in AutoCAD Civil 3D. "I have Civil 3D 2012, but I use the workspace 2D drafting and annotation most of the time. Sometimes I have issues with viewports." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Will It Blend?
Engineering technician Hayden Clarke sent in a tip recommending a command recently added to AutoCAD. "I want to let readers know about the new command Blend, which was introduced in AutoCAD 2012." 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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Cyon Publishes Results of Engineering Software Users Survey
Engineering research firm Cyon Research has released an executive summary of the results of its 2011 survey on engineering software users. Results show that engineering software users were generally optimistic about business expectations: about 70 percent expected to see measurable revenue growth by the end of 2012.

Esri Releases Community Analyst Mapping Software API
GIS software provider Esri is offering a free 30-day trial of its newly released Community Analyst API (application programming interface). Community Analyst is a software as a service (SaaS) mapping solution; the API allows developers to create custom web, mobile, and desktop applications that produce detailed reports using thousands of data variables.

Vico Training Video Offers BIM Estimating Tips
"BIM (building information modeling)-Based Estimating for Dummies," the latest instructional video from construction software provider Vico Software, illustrates how an estimator can create, maintain, and expand a cost plan while receiving models from multiple sources. Vico's training series also includes other videos, such as "5D BIM for Dummies."

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Opportunities & Honors

2012 Cyon Survey Seeks Input from Software Users
Cyon Research invites industry professionals to participate in its 2012 Global Survey of Users of Engineering Software. The survey is open to employees of any firm using CAD, CAE, PDM (product data management), PLM (product lifecycle management), or BIM (building information modeling) software for design, engineering, manufacturing, or construction.

ASCON and Lightworks Announce Winners of Rendering Contest
Leonid Platonov won first place in ASCON's Rendering Competition for his photorealistic renderings of a building named "Summer House." Rendering software provider ASCON created the contest for users of its KOMPAS-3D solution. Platonov's project was chosen for its lighting quality, choice of materials, and photomontage.

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Mark Your Calendar

BIG I.D.E.A.S. Virtual Event
February 23, 2012
11 a.m. ET
Attend this complimentary event to hear best practices from IMAGINiT and industry experts, who will share tips for effective data management. Read more

March 21–22, 2012
London, UK
This event, which will include seminars, exhibits, and debates, is designed for those involved in the capture and application of geospatial information. Read more

SigmaTEK's "Nest with the Best" Roadshow
March 27, 2012
Washington, Pennsylvania
SigmaTEK Systems, a CAD/CAM software provider, invites manufacturers to a half-day seminar to witness the latest in parts-nesting technology. Read more

May 1–2, 2012
Chicago, Illinois
This multidisciplinary design conference will feature twenty world-class designers, each speaking on a different design discipline. 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

CADspeed Blog Post:
AutoCAD WS for Facilities Management, Part 4: Managing Your Move to AutoCAD WS

A look at AutoCAD WS from a management level, rather than an operational level. Read more

Setting a CAD Speed Record
Do you really need a high-end graphics card? Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Build a Better Budget
You already know you'll need to buy new hardware and software this year — now you've got to tell management about it. Read more

Choose the Right CAD Workstation Components
You've got a limited budget for new hardware — learn how to get the most performance bang for your buck! Read more

Does Government GIS Data Belong to the People?
A California court case showcases the importance of public access to tax-funded databases. Read more

City of Surrey Maintains Infrastructure with Mobile GIS
Cityworks Anywhere enabled this Canadian metropolis to replace its printed map books with laptops. 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 and Autodesk Technical Evangelist 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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