Bug Watch: August 2003

31 Jul, 2003 By: Cadalyst Staff

Collaboration in action

The buzzword of the year among CAD marketing people is "collaboration." So I'm proud to announce that this month's Bug Watch is the result of collaboration between people in four different countries on three different continents. I just thought I would jump on the bandwagon before the word becomes unfashionable.

Return of the scream menu revisited

In June's Bug Watch, I described how AutoCAD 2004's docked screen menu gets squished when you close a maximized AutoCAD. It turns out that AutoCAD 2000i and 2002 squish their screen menus too, but that bug is slightly different. In the earlier releases, the menu is squished only when you close all of your drawings before closing AutoCAD. You can thus work around the bug fairly easily by closing AutoCAD with at least one drawing open. This workaround is not available to AutoCAD 2004 users.

Although I used the term "archaic" to describe the screen menu, I also used the term "functional" in the same sentence. I didn’t mean to imply that you shouldn't use it or that Autodesk shouldn't fix it. You won't find such techno-snobbery in this column. Like many things in AutoCAD, the screen menu is very old. Like many old things in AutoCAD (the Line command, for example), it can still be very useful. Although I don't use the standard screen menu myself, I can see how a customized version could be the most efficient command input method for certain applications.

eTransmit eTrouble (2002 to 2004)

Submitted by Claude Godin.

There are two ways you can tell AutoCAD to use a text font in a drawing. The first is to define a text style using that font. The second is to create some mtext and override the current font setting for some part of the mtext. The eTransmit command is supposed to create a transmittal set of a drawing and its related files, including font files. But when eTransmit works out which fonts the drawing uses, it considers only fonts used by text styles. Any fonts used inside mtext are ignored. This applies both to TrueType and SHX fonts.

On a related note, the AutoCAD documentation for eTransmit states that because TrueType fonts are proprietary, they aren’t included with the transmittal set. This is not true. AutoCAD includes both TrueType and SHX fonts in the transmittal set, except for those used only inside mtext. I would like to think that this is just a documentation error, not a bug. For AutoCAD to work as documented makes no sense. TrueType fonts are not inherently more proprietary than SHX fonts—freeware and commercial fonts are available for both formats.

No known workaround.

Devious Previous (2000 to 2004)

Submitted by Dietmar Rudolph.

The UCS command's Previous option is supposed to restore the previous UCS state. Obviously. But it doesn't necessarily do that. Consider the following command sequence:

UCS Z 90
UCS Previous

The last line should take you back to the previous UCS state, which is SOMEUCS. But it doesn't. It appears to do nothing. What happens is that AutoCAD stores a stack of the last ten UCS states. The UCS Previous option goes back down the stack, one UCS state at a time. The problem is that the UCS Save option inserts a superfluous UCS state, which must be exactly the same as its predecessor. A byproduct of this bug is that for every UCS Save you perform, the number of restorable UCS states is reduced by one.

Workaround: If you are doing this manually, you can keep using the Previous option until the correct UCS is restored. If UCS Previous is used in a menu macro or LISP routine, you need to modify the macro or routine accordingly. Don't throw away your old code, though. When Autodesk fixes the bug, you'll need to revert to using UCS Previous the correct number of times.

Breaking a nonbreaking space (2000 to 2004)

Submitted by Dan Allen.

The mtext editor lets you insert a nonbreaking space. That is, AutoCAD won’t word-wrap the mtext at that space. This works fine until the next time you edit the mtext. At that point, the mtext editor replaces the nonbreaking space with a normal space.
No known workaround.

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff