Publish Pages Plentifully and Take a Stab at Stopping the Stickies (Bug Watch Tutorial)

31 Oct, 2008 By: Steve Johnson

When is 1 really 2 and 2 really 3? When it's an AutoCAD update number.

AutoCAD 2009 Update 2
Another quarter, another update. Updates are, of course, this year's name for service packs, and Autodesk is shooting them out at a rapid rate. Whether or not this is a good thing in terms of quality, and whether Autodesk will keep up this schedule long term remains to be seen. As with Update 1, AutoCAD (including the AutoCAD that comes with the Revit Suites) and AutoCAD LT get the update first. The vertical AutoCAD variants will catch up gradually as the various Autodesk teams integrate the changes into their own code.

Update 2 can be downloaded from the Autodesk site for AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, and the AutoCAD that comes with the Revit Suites (Architecture and Structure). Update 1 is included with Update 2, so there's no need to install Update 1 first. As always, read the Readme and exercise the usual caution before installation. Although I have had some minor issues with the update Readmes, Autodesk deserves credit for documenting many of the problems that are fixed.

One minor detail that is likely to confuse people about these updates is the crazy numbering scheme. When AutoCAD 2009 was first released, you could go to Help, About, pick Product Information… and see a box marked "Product service pack" containing the value 0. After installing Update 1, this value is "AutoCAD 2009 -- English Version 2," and Update 2 makes the product service pack "AutoCAD 2009 -- English Version 3". These same values are visible in Add and Remove Programs if the Show Update check box is turned on, so it's easy to think that a given computer has had Update 2 applied when it has really only at Update 1.

Update? Product service pack? Version? Whatever!

PDF Page Publish Pratfall (2009 to 2009 Update 1)
One AutoCAD 2009 bug I haven't mentioned in Bug Watch but which I know has affected a lot of people is a failure to produce multiple page PDF files using Publish. If you set the PUBLISHCOLLATE system variable to 1, AutoCAD would still steadfastly refuse to plot more than the first sheet. If this has been your bane, there is good news for you. This was partially fixed by Update 1, but not when using page setup overrides in the Style Sheet Manager.

Fix: Install Update 2.

Sticky Stuff 3 (2009 Update 2)
In August and September Bug Watch I described some workarounds to the little stuttering hesitations that many AutoCAD 2009 users experience while drawing. If you have tried those solutions and you're still suffering some stickiness, here are some other things to try. Some people have reported these as being useful, but your mileage may vary.

Workarounds: The new Layer palette definitely slows down many operations, especially in drawings with viewports and when switching between drawings, so try the ClassicLayer command instead or set LAYERDLGMODE to 0 to revert the Layer command to the old behavior.

Reduce the number of floating palettes in general. Auto-hiding palettes may not help, so try turning them off altogether. If you do keep some floating palettes visible, make sure they are not overlapping each other or touching the drawing window.

Try turning off Quick Properties.

Look at the file paths in Options and make sure all the paths listed actually exist. If you can reduce the number of network paths or even avoid opening network drawings if possible, that may help.

If you have the choice of operating system, give Vista a fair try; I find AutoCAD's performance improves measurably on Vista once I have used AutoCAD a few times.

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