Bug Watch: March 2003

28 Feb, 2003 By: Steve Johnson

Right click, wrong response (2002 SP1)

When you turn on Shortcut Menus in Drawing Area in the Options dialog box under User Preferences, you can pick a button to gain access to a limited amount of right-click customization. The Command mode section presents three options. If you use either of the last two options, the Dtext command simply ignores any mouse right-click when you enter text. The same problem exists when you turn off the Shortcut Menus in Drawing Area option. Because the Text command is now identical to the Dtext command, this applies to both commands.

Workaround: If you want to enter only a single line of text and don't care about seeing it displayed on screen as you type it, use the -Text command instead (note the leading hyphen).

Plot style stumble (2000 to 2002 SP1)

The Plot Style Table Editor is an applet that helps you set up plot style tables, which you can use to control how your plots come out. It has three tabs, two of which let you modify the same properties of the various colors. The Table View and Form View tabs should just provide an alternative mechanism for doing the same thing. The problem is that they also provide a mechanism for losing the settings you make.

To see this happen, first invoke the Plot Style Manager using any of the various methods AutoCAD provides. You don't even need to start AutoCAD to do this-it's available from Control Panel. Create a new CTB or STB file using the Add A Plot Style Table Wizard or edit an existing one by double-clicking on a file. Pick the Form View tab and change a setting for one of the plot styles. Now pick the Table View tab and make some more changes to the same plot style. Pick Save, then Close. When you open the same file again to check it, the changes you made in the Form View tab are saved, but those you made in the Table View tab are lost.

Workaround: The bug seems to occur only when you switch from Form View to Table View, and not vice versa. If you perform steps described above, but also switch back from Table View to Form View before picking Save, then Close, your changes are all saved. But it's always worth going back into a plot style table after you edit it, just to make sure that the changes you made are still there.

TrueType false type (2000 to 2002 SP1)

If you use TrueType fonts in your drawings, you may notice that some of your text objects look nicer than others. Specifically, some TrueType text objects appear more jagged and bolder than others. This occurs both on the screen and on plots, including plots to PDF and DWF files. This is because AutoCAD displays and plots some TrueType text objects as raster images rather than as TrueType text. This also increases the file size. Several factors can trigger this behavior:

  • The text has a width factor other than 1.
  • The text is part of a block insertion that has a scale factor other than 1, even if the x,y, and z scale factors are equal.
  • The text insertion point has a z value other than 0 (zero).
The width factor trigger has a logical technical reason behind it, but it is difficult to see any logic behind the others, other than lazy programming. Some users who place their output to the Internet consider this to be a serious problem.

Workaround: None known for most of the triggers, although for nonzero z-value objects, you can of course set the z value to zero before plotting. To do this, use the Properties window or one of the various freeware flattening routines available on the Web, such as this one by Cadalyst contributing editor Mark Middlebrook. The AutoCAD Express Tools used to include a flattener, so if you have AutoCAD 2000 (or if you had it before upgrading to 2000i or 2002), you can use that.



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