Same Great CAD Tips - Made Easier

31 Jul, 2008 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

Cadalyst's library of AutoCAD customization code has a new look and new, interactive features that make it better than ever.

Nancy Spurling JohnsonYou live and breathe AutoCAD, that ubiquitous solution that's been powering the world of computer-aided design since 1983. As all-encompassing as the software might be, some users believe that the real power lies in the ability to use customized code — AutoLISP or Visual Basic, among others — to customize features and automate routines.

Almost since the dawn of the AutoCAD age, Cadalyst's monthly "Hot Tip Harry" column has delivered AutoCAD customization tips developed by our readers — nearly 1,800 tips to date! In the early days, every character of code was printed on the numerous magazine pages occupied by the popular column. Later, Harry's commentary stayed in the magazine while his code moved to a CompuServe bulletin board. Then Cadalyst launched Get the Code!, a library of code dating back to 1992, and readers headed to that Web site in droves to download the monthly batches of tips.

As popular as Get the Code! has been, it always had significant drawbacks. Users had to read Harry's tip descriptions and instructions in one place, then look for the corresponding code in another. If you sought an existing routine in the code database to address a specific challenge, the Search function fell woefully short. Google couldn't scope out the site either. If you did find a tip of interest, you had to download and sort through an entire month's batch to get what you needed. Frustration was common.

Introducing Cadalyst's CAD Tips
To the rescue comes our brand new site, Cadalyst CAD Tips. CAD Tips is the Internet's largest library of AutoLISP and VBA custom programming code and hatch patterns for AutoCAD. The new CAD Tips site brings much-needed user-friendly features to the code database, including improved Search and Browse as well as interactive Comment and Tag functionalities. Use the new Search to locate tips by tip number, keyword, author, or date published.

For you programmers, the Search even checks for matching content inside code files. All tips are categorized according to their specific uses, which you'll love when you use Browse Tips by Category. Users who register can tag tips to identify and organize your own favorites, rate tips, share feedback about tips, and upload modified versions of code files.

Possibly the best part is that now each tip — and its corresponding code file download, description, instructions, rating, and comments — are together in one place, so you can grab what you need without delay and put it to work.

We realize some of you became accustomed, even attached, to the old Get the Code! site and the monthly batches of new code published there. We're working on ways to meet your needs, so keep your eye on the CAD Tips home page for news about that. In the meantime, take a look around the new site. Give it a chance, and I'm convinced you'll like what you see.

As our new site takes off, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Bill Kramer, the Cadalyst contributing editor who masquerades as Hot Tip Harry, and Brian Benton, CAD user, blogger, and Cadalyst reader and Tip Patrol member. This site wouldn't be the same without their involvement.

Coming soon, we'll expand CAD Tips to include shortcuts, reminders, workarounds, code, and other tips for AutoCAD and other CAD software from Cadalyst's popular Tips & Tools Weekly free e-newsletter. (Sign up at

I hope you'll take a minute to send me your feedback — positive or otherwise — about Cadalyst's CAD Tips. This change is all about meeting the needs of you, our tip fans.

About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

More News and Resources from Cadalyst Partners

For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!

For Architects! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the building design professional. Sponsored by HP.  Visit the Equipped Architect here!