Tips Rain Down on Harry (Hot Tip Harry AutoCAD Tutorial)

31 Mar, 2008 By: Bill Kramer

From a bountiful batch of routines, Harry praises a robust set of command functions for breaking all selected objects.

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Fresh from the AutoCAD user community, the following power tools and tricks recently rained down on our programming guru. Customization has many benefits -- not the least of which is a cool T-shirt -- when you share your handiwork with all of us by sending the code to Come on, Harry's waiting!

Tip 2278: Change Xref Layer Color
Change Xref Layer Color is a utility from frequent contributor Raymond Rizkallah. In this variation of the layer-color edit, you can select multiple objects before assigning a new layer-color code. Using this tip involves loading the LISP code and typing the command XRC. As you select entity objects, a list of layers is constructed and displayed at the command prompt. When finished selecting objects, you will be asked for the integer color code to use for all the layers selected. This approach lets you change layer-color relationships in an externally created drawing to match your preferences.

Tip 2279: Viewport Synchronizer
Joel Harris submitted Viewport Synchronizer, a very useful utility for cleaning up or resetting a group of viewports. After loading the LISP code, select the viewport you want all the others to match and type ZV at the command line. The program will match all other viewport centers and sizes to the current viewport. This utility shows how easy it is to work with viewports in LISP code.

Tip 2280: External Block without Xrefs
External Block without Xrefs comes to us courtesy of Tommy Teague. This robust set of four LISP modules provides an alternative to external references and includes a text file to describe their use. Now you can jump from your main drawing into a block drawing for edits and then back with an update -- without using external references. Tommy wrote these routines for a friend and then shared them with us -- very nice!

Tip 2281: Start Polyline in Arc Mode
The Start Polyline in Arc Mode utility from Sabash Babu Podichetty shows us that it all starts with a basic macro. Load the LISP code and type SPL to start AutoCAD's Polyline command in arc mode. This macro demonstrates just how easy it is for beginners to customize the AutoCAD commands. Thanks, Sabash!

Tip 2282: Area Calculation and Output
Theodorus Winata sent in Area Calculation and Output, a very useful tool for those involved in mapping or facilities management. Comprising a LISP and a DCL dialog box, this utility allows you to select an outside boundary and inside boundaries, and then it computes the area and places the result in the drawing for you. Place the DCL file in a folder that AutoCAD will search and then load the LISP code. Type AA at the Command line to activate the dialog box for text control, the type of area calculation desired (total or net), and the units of choice (square feet or square meters). This one is another fine programming example from Theo.

Tip 2283: Pop Menu Primer
Pop Menu Primer from Michel Chayer is a Microsoft Word document that explains how to implement a POP menu-based Yes/No interface into AutoLISP routines. Also called a shortcut menu, the POP menu can be used in your custom programs to pop up near the cursor, assisting the operator in selecting options. Such customization can be tricky, but Michel's pointers will light the way. Merci, Michel!

Tip 2284: Break All Selected Objects
Top TipAlan Butler submitted this month's top tip, Break All Selected Objects, a robust set of command functions for breaking lines, lwplines, plines, splines, ellipses, circles, or arcs. Load the LISP code to find the following new commands available: MyBreak, a dialog box-based interface to several of the routines; BreakAll, the seed for all the rest; BreakwObjects, which breaks multiple objects with a single object selection; and BreakObject, which breaks a single object with other objects. Nice programming, Alan!

Until next time, keep on programmin'.

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About the Author: Bill Kramer

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