Bug Watch December 2004

14 Dec, 2004 By: Steve Johnson Cadalyst

An eclectic collection of sticky arrowhead settings, over-zealous Delete keys, unacceptable system variables, and problems with an almost documented palette feature.

My Leader is a Stick Head (2000 to 2005 SP1)
Use the Qleader command's Settings option to set the arrowhead to anything other than Closed Filled and draw a leader. Next, repeat that process but set the arrowhead to Closed Filled. This appears to work in the dialog box, but when you draw the leader, you will see that it is still set to use the previous kind of arrowhead. This is confirmed if you use Qleader / Settings again.
Workaround: Use a non-Qleader method to set the leader arrowhead to Closed Filled. For example, use the Dimstyle (Dimension / Style?) dialog box or set the DIMLDRBLK system variable to "." (dot).

Deleterious Delete (2005 to 2005 SP1)
In the View dialog box, you can rename an existing view in any of the normal Windows-type ways. Select the view you want to rename, and then either press F2, or right-click and select Rename, or click-wait-click. Be careful when you modify the view name, though. In one respect it acts in a very abnormal non-Windows way. If you touch the Delete key, instead of deleting one character or the selected text, the whole view will be deleted!
Workaround. The Backspace key works properly, so position your cursor accordingly and use that instead. Alternatively, avoid the View dialog box by using the Rename command.

MPEdit Finds PEDITACCEPT Unacceptable (2004 to 2005 SP1)
Submitted by Mark McDonough
The PEDITACCEPT system variable was introduced in AutoCAD 2004 to allow users to suppress the PEdit command's "Do you want it to turn into one?" prompt. This prompt is normally issued if the selected object is not already a polyline, but if PEDITACCEPT is set to 1, the object is converted to a polyline automatically. This sort of change has a tendency to break existing menu macros and LISP routines, and in this case it breaks one of the Express Tools commands, too. The MPEdit command displays the following prompt after the objects are selected:

Convert Lines and Arcs to polylines? [Yes/No] Yes:

If you accept the default of Yes, the selection set contains lines or arcs, and PEDITACCEPT is set to 1, the MPEdit command fails with the following message:

Invalid option keyword.

Workaround: Enter No instead of defaulting to Yes, or use the PEdit command's Multiple option instead.

PEDITACCEPT Finds Sysvdlg Unacceptable (2004 to 2005 SP1)
Submitted by Mark McDonough
One of AutoCAD's least-pronounceable commands, Sysvdlg (Express / System Variable Editor?) allows you to modify system variables and provides information about each variable. In AutoCAD 2004, the PEDITACCEPT system variable is missing. In AutoCAD 2005, it is present, but Sysvdlg provides wrong information about how it works.
Workaround: Do the opposite of what Sysvdlg tells you to do. The AutoCAD help for this system variable is correct in both releases.

Renaming Profile Prevents Palette Proxy (2004 to 2005 SP1)
Submitted by Ted Schaefer I'm not sure that it's entirely fair to point out bugs in undocumented features, but I'm going to do it anyway and see if anybody complains. In fact, this bug also affects the documented equivalent of the undocumented feature, so I don't feel too bad about it. *_TOOLPALETTEPATH is an undocumented system variable that can be used to switch between sets of tool palettes that are stored in different directories. Multiple paths can be provided, separated by semicolons (;). This can be done in Tools / Options / Files / Tool Palettes File Locations too, but *_TOOLPALETTEPATH allows you to do it from menu macros and similar. For example, you could set up a row of toolbar buttons to switch between tool palette sets. Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe this as an almost documented feature, because it is supported by the Sysvdlg command, which provides a tiny description of it. It is also described in more detail in Shaan Hurley's Between the Lines blog for 31 October 2003.

Now for the bug. In Tools / Options / Profiles, rename the current profile. Now try the *_TOOLPALETTEPATH command. Nothing happens. You can do the same thing in Options / Files / Tool Palettes File Locations, and still nothing will happen. Go in and out of AutoCAD and you will be pointed to the correct palette. Or go back into Options and undo your rename, or swap to another profile and back again.
Workaround: If you rename a profile, close and restart AutoCAD before messing with your tool palette settings. Alternatively, make another profile current and then switch back to your renamed one. Things seem to work correctly after that.

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