Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 36)7 Oct, 2007
This Week's Software Tips
Congratulations September Winner!
"I know there are hordes of users out there who religiously insert xrefs and blocks on layer zero (0), but we see the benefits of not using this old approach to referencing external files. I really don't want to start any debates about this and Bylayer, Byblock, etc.
"My code, XREFOVER.LSP, overlays selected xrefs at a world coordinate of 0,0 on layer -Xref regardless of whether you are at world coordinates or user coordinates, plus it also resets your current layer back to its original setting. It's a very simple routine, but saves a lot of time that would be lost by bringing in xrefs. If some of the settings don't work for you, the routine is easily altered to suit -- feel free to dig in."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Great tip! Be careful with the new locked layer fading in AutoCAD 2008. Depending on the setting, you could use this routine (or even manually attach an xref) and not be able to find it if it's faded out significantly.
Really, You Must Back Up!
He explains, "When I asked this user why she hadn't backed up her CUI file, she answered that because she doesn't use LISP or macro customizations, she hadn't seen the need to do so. Unfortunately, she lost all her local customizations such as toolbar layout, palettes, submenus, and how her screen real estate was organized.
"When users say they shouldn't have to back up, I reply that that one doesn't have to know how to break down a carburetor in order to drive a car. However, it's not unreasonable to expect the driver to know where the gas goes, how to check the oil, and how to change a tire! Maybe, at least, they could back up their CUI's every time their car gets an oil change."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Good point! To make it even easier, AutoCAD 2008 now allows you to restore a single back-up CUI file. Right-click on the menu file in the CUI and choose Restore Backup. It's still smart to keep a copy on your disk, though.
"When making notes on a drawing with Mtext, I like a space between my numbered notes that is greater than the single spacing of the multiline notes themselves, but less than double spacing. To accomplish this, I place a blank line, or Enter, in between the numbered notes.
"My workaround is to initially place the extra Enter in between notes, then go back and highlight the line with a single Enter and change its text height to a lesser value than the text height of the paragraph. For instance, in my normal .075" text height, I set the line in between notes to .03".
"If the automated numbering feature of Mtext is on, you have to be a little more tricky to get the blank line in between notes. A double Enter stops the automated numbering. To avoid this, type any letter on the line you want to be blank so that you can press Enter again without Mtext sensing a double Enter, or simply wait and make the notes single spaced, then go back and put the double Enter at the end of each note. Either way, you get a new numbered line between each numbered note. At this point, simply backspace on the line you desire to be blank until the number goes away."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: We only have access to 2008 at the moment so can't test this in 2007. Note that you can control line spacing in AutoCAD 2008.
Turn Off Osnap
"You can use the above two lines in your program to turn off the Osmode without changing the snap settings. This works similar to the F3 button function at the Command prompt. After running the program, return to your original Osnap mode by pressing the F3 button."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This works, but keep in mind that future bits of code added to Osmode could cause it to fail. Here is another option we recommend:
Note to readers: Follow-up tips have not been tested by the Cadalyst Tip Patrol.
Follow-Up: Backup Plan
"Robocopy has a lot of Command line switches so it's very flexible. Once you've installed it, type Robocopy /? at a Command prompt for the list of options. I use the following syntax to copy our office standards from the shared network location (R:) to my flash drive (J:) and log the results to a file on another shared network location (O:)."
MicroStation Tip: Survey Foot vs. International Foot
Axiom offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
Podcast: PLM for the Apparel Industry
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3Dconnexion Mouse Discount for SolidWorks Subscribers
Opportunities & Honors
Rapid Manufacturing Conference 2008 Call for Speakers
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: Service Pack 1 for Kinnosa EDM v4
General Software: PeerLock v2
Visualization: CINEMA 4D v10.5
MCAD: EXAscan Laser Scanner
MCAD: GrafiCalc 2007
MCAD: KOMPAS-3D v9
CAE: CATIA ProgNest r18 CAA v5
CAM: ESPRIT Mold v9
PLM: Teamcenter 2007
Mark Your Calendar
AUGI CAD Camp
RAPID 2008 Conference & Exposition
For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com.