Bug Watch: September 2003

31 Aug, 2003 By: Steve Johnson

Undo in AutoCAD 2004

Have you noticed Undo doing strange things in AutoCAD 2004? For example, refusing to undo more than one step, even when AutoCAD is configured to undo in its normal way? Or undoing back a long way without being asked to do so? If so, please let me know.

What to do if AutoCAD 2004 crashes

When AutoCAD 2004 crashes, you can do the same things you’ve always done. You can panic, curse the computer, and abuse Autodesk. You can decide how you want to answer the question:

Do you want to save a corrupt version of the drawing?

But now you can also do something more constructive. If AutoCAD is behaving itself (relatively speaking) when it crashes, it displays a dialog box called the AutoCAD Error Report. If you submit a report using this dialog, AutoCAD sends off information from its internal error handling. Make sure to add more information by selecting the Optional Data button. Also enter data such as your contact details and any known steps to reproduce the problem. This helps Autodesk to better research the problem and potentially fix it.

Return of the scream menu revisited again

In June's Bug Watch, I described how AutoCAD 2004's docked screen menu gets squished when you close a maximized AutoCAD. Doug Broad has written a VBA macro to work around this bug. Place this ACAD.DVB file in AutoCAD's search path, and use the Appload command to add it to the Startup Suite. The screen menu automatically turns on when AutoCAD starts and turns off when it closes. This prevents AutoCAD from squishing it.

Extents elusion (R14 to 2004)

Submitted by Dietmar Rudolph.

The Zoom command's Extents option displays all of the objects in the drawing using the largest possible magnification. This should include objects on layers that are turned off, but not those on frozen layers. That is true for layers that are frozen globally, but AutoCAD gets it wrong with viewport frozen layers. If you freeze layers in certain viewports and Zoom Extents, the objects on those layers are included in the calculation of the extents. If those objects lie outside the true extents, the magnification is too small.

No known workaround.

Pointless paper pans (2004)

Bugs are sometimes referred to, with tongue firmly in cheek, as "undocumented features". Here's a genuine undocumented feature, but it has two limitations and a bug.

Undocumented feature: When you select objects using a window or crossing selection, you can continue your selection outside the current view, whether that is the whole drawing area or a viewport. When you pick the first point of your selection window, continue to press the left mouse button as you drag the cursor to the edge of the current view. The view automatically pans in the right direction.

Limitation 1: This feature doesn’t work with nonrectangular viewports. When you try it, nothing happens.

Workaround: It’s possible to use the middle button to pan within nonrectangular viewports, even while you hold down the left mouse button.

Limitation 2: This feature shares the general limitation AutoCAD has when you select objects, in that you can select only those objects that are on screen. For example, zoom in on an area of a drawing with several objects in it. Pick a point in space, hold down the left mouse button and move left to the edge of the display area. Allow the screen to pan until the first point is off the screen. Let go of the mouse button and pick the opposite corner of the crossing window. AutoCAD selects only objects within that part of the crossing window that is visible at the time you pick the second corner. This somewhat limits the usefulness of this feature.
Workaround: It’s possible to wheel-button zoom, even while you hold down the left mouse button. You can thus use this method to zoom out, ensuring that your whole selection area is on screen before you make the final pick.

Bug: If the viewport is locked, when your selection window reaches the edge of the viewport, AutoCAD repeatedly flashes up an unrelated selection window and pointlessly pans within paper space. It also repeatedly displays this message:
Viewport is view-locked. Switching to Paper space.
Switching back to Model space.

No known workaround.

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