CAD Manager's Newsletter (#149)

26 Apr, 2006 By: Robert Green

AutoCAD 2007 for CAD Managers, Part 3: What to control and how to manage the learning process

AutoCAD 2007 for CAD Managers, Part 3

What to control and how to manage the learning process

In the past two editions of CAD Manager’s Newsletter (click here for archives), I took a first look at AutoCAD 2007 from a CAD management standpoint. In this issue, I’ll conclude my examination of AutoCAD 2007 by looking into changes in system variables and options and how best to control them. Here goes.

It’s All About Options

For CAD managers who are experienced with controlling and customizing AutoCAD, the Options command is a good place to get acquainted with AutoCAD 2007. Opening the Options command to its default Files tab shows that things operate as before -- you'll find a collection of variables, settings and folders that collectively form a profile that starts AutoCAD using your personal settings.


The Files tab in the Options dialog box looks almost identical to the one found in AutoCAD 2006, so you'll feel at home.

So the good news is that the approach to managing AutoCAD hasn’t really changed from AutoCAD 2006 to 2007. However, if you’ve been holding out on upgrading from AutoCAD 2005 or 2004, the new CUI (Customized User Interface) will be a big change from your familiar menu/toolbar customization process.  Read more >>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

Is there really a market for independent CAD contractors out there? Do I have a good chance of making it on my own?


Robert Green replies: I believe the market for independent CAD contractors is better than ever, and I’ve been watching the market for purposes of my own business for 15 years.Read more >>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resource

The Book of Visual Basic 2005: A new book is coming next month for fans of Microsoft's Visual Basic programming language. The Book of Visual Basic 2005: .NET Insight for Classic VB Developers, by Matthew MacDonald, tackles new features of the programming language and explains how to work with .NET. It covers Web development, XML, databases and Windows applications in VB 2005, as well as rarely discussed areas such as deployment and new features such as multithreading. The 528-page book, published by No Starch Press ($39.95), is available by preorder directly from the publisher as well as from and other booksellers. A PDF version is available now from the publisher.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it. If we publish it, we'll send you a Cadalyst t-shirt!

:: Events

Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Web Presentations
Various dates, April-June 2006
Webcasts (12 p.m. ET) include New Production Drafting Capabilities, Site Grading, Project and Data Management, Tips & Tricks, Corridor Modeling, Increasing Productivity and others. The presentations are recorded and available for viewing online any time.

Advances in Design Prototyping and Manufacturing
May 9, 2006, Indianapolis, Indiana
May 11, 2006, Seattle, Washington
Pivot Points Seminar ($45) sponsored by software providers Stratasys, SensAble Technologies and Materialise Software; parts builders RedEye RPM and Quickparts; and consultants T.A. Grimm & Associates. Cadalyst contributing editor Jeff Rowe will lead the design segment and will chair the round-table discussion. Seminar will include presentations, demonstrations and panel discussions targeting the needs of engineers, CAD designers, manufacturing managers and other R&D personnel.

SRI-GIS California User Group Meetings
Various dates in May 2006
Various California locations
User groups are a forum for ESRI users to share their experiences with each other, exchange best practices and learn about new technology. Topics range from entry level to advanced. Each meeting offers a focused, education-based agenda.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.

:: What's New at

Cadalyst Daily Update: For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in the past week:  

Big Prints—Latest Tools for Wide-Format Copying and Scanning: Printing or scanning wide-format materials is a necessity for users in many disciplines. Cadalyst Labs surveys the latest wide-format printers, scanners and multifunction devices from Canon, Colortrac, Contex, Graphtec America, IDEAL Scanners & Systems, Océ North America and Seiko.


CAD Manager (Column) -- Justifying CAD Expenditures with ROI Metrics: Robert Green describes how ROI metrics can help you evaluate and prioritize spending items in your annual budget.

:: About the Author

Robert Green performs CAD and document management programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is a popular public speaker and holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Check out his Web site at or e-mail him at