Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 18, No. 6)

25 Feb, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Be a Pal, Share a Tip!
Do you know a better way to work? Why not take a few minutes to share your tips — for AutoCAD or any other CAD software tool — with your fellow CAD users. And when you give, you'll also receive: 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 a Table by Copying and Pasting
Leonid Nemirovsky shares a quick tip to create sections of tables in AutoCAD using the Windows copy and paste functions. "This is a very simple tip, but it can save you a great deal of time," noted Brian Benton, Cadalyst tip reviewer. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Text Alignment Macros
Kent Elrod shares several macros he has made to align AutoCAD text objects in a variety of ways. If you need to create text that is aligned in a special way, you can probably find the answer with one of these. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Select Similar Objects
Danny Korem shares a few tips about using the Select Similar tool when making selections in AutoCAD. "As much as I like using Quick Select to create selections sets, it is not the only option we have to make a selection set. Another quick method of selection is clicking a single instance of a certain object, then right-clicking and opting for the Select Similar option." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Reduce Screen Clutter when Making Selections
In his second tip for the week, the prolific tip author Danny Korem shares a few tips about making selections in AutoCAD. "If I make systematic work my habit, I can isolate a layer (either by turning other layers off or locking them), then choose Select All, and perform a Properties Modification/Change. This will affect only objects residing in unlocked layers." 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. Be sure to tell us which software version you use. 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 submit only tips or code that are your original work. By submitting code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your tip in print, digitally, and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to submitted tips.

By submitting code, you agree that your code can be reused as-is or modified by other users in conjunction with AutoCAD or other software programs to gain efficiencies in that software for professional or personal use, and that your code can be shared freely among users. Users do not have the right to republish code in any manner or format (such as on a blog web site or in a printed document) for personal or commercial gain without written permission from Cadalyst and the original author.

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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Synchro Conference Events Now Available for Online Viewing
Synchro Software has posted videos of the demonstrations, case studies, and awards presentations from the second annual Synchro User Conference for anyone to view. Members of the Synchro user community gathered in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January for the event. The company's software integrates construction data from 3D CAD design and project management programs and displays project simulations.

Free Whitepaper Explores Challenges of Simulation
Italian software developer ESTECO has released a whitepaper that examines the challenges of product simulation. The downloadable whitepaper, "Navigating the New Frontier of Simulation," compares ESTECO's modeFRONTIER process integration and automation platform with traditional approaches, which rely too heavily on manual trial and error, according to the company.

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Opportunities & Honors

Lightworks Announces Winners, Opens New Image Competition
Lightworks, a supplier of rendering solutions for developers of 3D computer graphics software, has announced the winners of the latest Lightworks Image Competition. Indira Wisepart won first place for her design of a city flat using ARCHLine.XP Interior with its integrated Lightworks rendering engine. A new Lightworks Image Competition is now open, offering a chance to win a Kindle Fire.

Applied Software Earns Autodesk Fabrication Specialization Designation
Applied Software has earned the new fabrication specialization designation for Autodesk value-added resellers. The BIM services provider has completed the training and service required by Autodesk to earn certification for expertise in Autodesk Fabrication FABmep, Autodesk Fabrication CADmep, Autodesk Fabrication ESTmep, and Autodesk Fabrication CAMduct.

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New Products

AEC: AVEVA Catalogue Manager
AVEVA has launched AVEVA Catalogue Manager, which reportedly allows engineering, procurement, and construction contractors to standardize their engineering information, and owner–operators to consolidate the use of common components across multiple assets within their own corporate catalog.

MCAD: Techno Plasma TechProbe Digitizer
Techno has released the TechProbe Digitizer accessory. The digitizing probe, which mounts to any Techno CNC plasma machine, can digitize objects with simple or complex geometric shapes. Digitized 2D objects are generated onto the screen in a field of automatic toolpath points. Users can view the scan through an active-preview window.

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Mark Your Calendar

How to Gain Total Control of Your LiDAR and Point Cloud Data
February 28, 2013
11 a.m. ET
Sponsored by FME, this webinar will demonstrate how to clip, tile, split, and otherwise manipulate point clouds using automated processes. Read more

BIM Camp — Boston
March 5–6, 2013
Boston, Massachusetts
At this Nemetschek Vectorworks event, architects and landscape architects will learn the skills they need to implement building information modeling (BIM) workflows into their practices. Read more

Problem Solved Virtual Event
March 13, 2013
10:30 a.m. ET
IMAGINiT Technologies will sponsor this day-long virtual event in which attendees will learn how to address complex operational challenges. Read more

BIM Camp — Dallas
March 27, 2013
Dallas, Texas
At this Nemetschek Vectorworks event, architects and landscape architects will learn the skills they need to implement building information modeling (BIM) workflows into their practices. Read more

COFES 2013
April 11–14, 2013
Scottsdale, Arizona
COFES (Congress On the Future of Engineering Software) is an annual, invitation-only, think-tank event focused on the engineering software industry. Read more

Bentley LEARNing Conference
May 13–16, 2013
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Exclusively for Bentley LEARN subscribers, this conference comprises hundreds of workshops and lecture sessions. Read more

Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference
July 22–26, 2013
San Diego, California
Hosted by the Coordinate Metrology Society, this event caters to users of portable 3D measurement solutions applied by manufacturers and science laboratories. 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

Cyon Research Wants to Know About Your CAD Use
Cyon Research, organizer of the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), has launched its 2013 Survey of Users of Engineering Software. The 40-minute survey aims to gauge your current use of and criteria for CAD and other engineering software. Read more

Q&A with Mike DeLacey: BIM and the Rebuilding of U.S. Infrastructure
Microdesk president discusses how technology will support efforts in the coming year to recover from weather disasters and rebuild crumbling bridges and roads. Read more

Laser Scanning, Visualization Reveal Art from Bronze Age
Archaeologists analyze previously undiscovered Stonehenge carvings with help of Bentley Pointools. Read more

Windows 8: Is It the Right Call for CAD?
Microsoft's new OS, with its radically redesigned touchscreen interface, could face an uphill climb toward professional adoption. Read more

Understanding AutoCAD Mechanical Object Snap Settings
IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Do you ever feel like your object snaps are possessed? If you are experiencing odd behavior while using them, this tip can help. Read more

Take Time to Think Big
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Developing techniques that can dramatically improve productivity often starts with a look at the big picture. Read more

Improve CAD Production Quality by Annoying Your Users, Part 3
Transferring the burden of problem solving to the users who cause the problems is a great strategy — but only if you can take yourself out of the process. Read more

Add Transparency to Your AutoCAD Drawings
Have you ever wished you could see through a solid fill to the objects beneath? Transparency will let you do just that, like magic — and it can add a professional edge to your drawings, too. Join Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen as she takes you through the ins and outs of transparency. Watch the video

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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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