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Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 19, No. 3)

27 Jan, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff


This Week's Software Tips

Lynn AllenVideo Tip: AutoCAD’s In-Canvas Viewport Controls
If you work in 3D, you will love AutoCAD’s In-canvas Viewport Controls. Watch this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen to learn how to quickly change your viewport configuration with these handy tools. (Available in standard AutoCAD since 2012.) Watch the video


Lock and Unlock Viewports
Like many AutoCAD users, tip contributor Jessica Confer likes to work inside of locked model space viewports within layouts. "For example, there are times when you need to unlock the viewport for repositioning." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Override Direction Settings While Entering Polar Coordinates
Kent Elrod sent this AutoCAD tip that is mostly for civil project designers. "If you have changed the direction of North using the units or northdirection variable and you want to draw a line 90° in the World Coordinate System, here's how." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Zoom to the Last Created Object
This AutoCAD tip comes from Chris Wade, who uses the routine to quickly zoom to the last object drawn. "This is very handy when inserting blocks or xrefs, or when pasting something into a drawing that for some reason isn't visible on the screen." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

January Tips from Hot Tip Harry

Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another bundle of great tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire January 2014 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Thaw and Turn On All Non-Xref Layers
Frequent contributor Leland Leahy brings us another routine this month. This one allows you to thaw and turn on all layers in the drawing, except xref layers. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Arc by Length
Kent Cooper brings us a routine to draw an arc based on the arc length. Kent has noted that a couple of similar routines exist among the Cadalyst CAD Tips (Nos. 4218 and 3392), but this submission is different in a few ways. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Create CAD Folders
This routine allows you to create subfolders under the folder where your drawing is located. Tip author Sam Lucido uses this routine to create his default company standard subfolders. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Slope Calculation
This routine from Tommy Shumpert allows you to calculate percent slope between two points in a drawing without requiring Civil 3D, AutoCAD Map, or any other add-ons. 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 original, previously unpublished tip, you can earn a gift card (learn more about prizes here). 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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Resources

New Report Analyzes CAE Market in Europe, Middle East, and Africa
According to a new report by Infiniti Research, the need to reduce time to market is a major driver in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region. Analysts expect the region's CAE market will grow 10.28% from 2014 to 2018. CAE Market in EMEA Region 2014–2018 ($3,000, single user; $4,000, enterprisewide) also researches vendors operating in the market.

Video Relates Truck Manufacturer's Success with 3D Design
An online video by SolidWorks developer Dassault Systèmes shows how truck body maker Knapheide Manufacturing uses SolidWorks to eliminate inefficiencies and reduce costs. The video demonstrates the advantages Knapheide's designers gained after switching to 3D. The video can be accessed here.

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Deals & Freebies

Free Toolkit Add-on Available for ZWCAD+ Pro
ZWCAD has released a new toolkit for ZWCAD+ Pro, which adds 18 functions to boost users' drafting and detailing efficiency. The Extra-Plus Tool-Kit, which is available for free download, enables TXT file input, block attribute delete, break text, move layer object, and more.

Aras Releases Version 10 of Innovator PLM Platform
Aras, a provider of enterprise PLM (product lifecycle management) software, has released Aras Innovator 10. The latest open release is scalable from 100 to more than 100,000 users on Microsoft SQL server 2012; incorporates fewer lines of code than the previous version; and features a roles-based HTML5 browser interface. Users can download Innovator 10 free.

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Opportunities & Honors

Autodesk 2013 Inventor of the Year Voting Now Open
Members of the Autodesk manufacturing community are asked to vote for their choice for Inventor of the Year from among the 2013 Autodesk Inventor of the Month winners. Voting closes February 14 at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Tekla Announces Global BIM Awards Winners
Building information modeling (BIM) software provider Tekla has announced the winners of the Tekla Global BIM Awards. Competition entries included winners of regional Tekla BIM competitions, and more than 2,800 votes were cast. The Puuvilla Shopping Centre, delivered by a project group of 13 companies, was named Tekla's Total BIM project.

Bluebeam eXtreme Conference Invites Presentation Proposals
Bluebeam Software is accepting submissions for presentations for the company's third annual Bluebeam eXtreme Conference, to be held July 31 through August 1, 2014, in Hollywood, California. The call for presentations is open to project teams using Bluebeam's Revu software. Proposals must be submitted by March 7.

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New Products

MCAD: Flow Design
Autodesk Flow Design simulates airflow around an object in a virtual wind tunnel. According to the company, users with no simulation background can begin seeing and understanding airflow behavior around a model almost immediately after starting the application. The software is useful to designers of vehicles, buildings, and consumer products, Autodesk reports.

AEC: EcoDesigner STAR
GRAPHISOFT has launched EcoDesigner STAR, which helps architects using ArchiCAD 17 to design energy-efficient buildings, either alone or working with engineers or specialist consultants. GRAPHISOFT partnered with Swedish company StruSoft Structural Design Software to develop EcoDesigner STAR.

Collaboration: Workbench
GrabCAD Workbench, a platform for collaborative product development, enables users to sync their desktop files to cloud projects, lock files, manage file versions, visualize version differences, and more. Workbench includes a SolidWorks add-in and a neutral file translator. Pricing for Professional and Enterprise plans is $59 and $89 per user per month, respectively.

Workstations: Dell Precision M3800
The Dell Precision M3800 workstation is 18 mm thick (0.71"), weighs 4.15 pounds, and features a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics. The Precision M3800 is equipped with a 15.6" UltraSharp display and Windows 7 Professional operating system. Pricing starts at $1,799.

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Mark Your Calendar

Introduction to CAESAR II Fundamentals Online Video Course
January 28, 2014
10 a.m. CT
Intergraph will host a free webinar to introduce the CAESAR II Fundamentals Video Online Course, which trains students on the piping stress analysis package. Read more

Road to Revu 12 Launch Tour
January 28, 2014
Washington, D.C.
Bluebeam Software will host Revu 12 launch parties and meet with customers at multiple locations. Read more

Zuken Innovation World 2014
April 28–30, 2014
Dearborn, Michigan
This year's Zuken conference theme is the Power of Innovation. Read more

Australasian Revit Technology Conference
May 29–31, 2014
Melbourne, Australia
Attendees of this conference will see how Revit and related applications drive electrostatic discharge analysis and simulation. 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

Circles & Lines: Eleven Efficiency Boosters for AutoCAD
High-profile features are nice, but these subtle improvements will really enhance your productivity. Read more

Viewpoint: TurboCAD through the Years
The release of the software's 20th version inspires a longtime user and beta tester to reflect on its development — and its role in the success of his business. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Try FreeCommander, the Free File Manager
This alternative to the standard Windows File Manager features a dual-panel display. Read more

The Peer-to-Peer CAD Manager, Part 2
To improve your relationship with your CAD users, become a reliable resource for technical solutions and interdepartmental collaboration. Read more

Autodesk University 2013, Part 3: Autodesk Shores Up BIM Offerings
Company highlights acquisitions, other efforts to bridge gaps in building and civil engineering workflows. 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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