Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 15, No. 44)

12 Dec, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Holiday Classics

Some tips just never get old. Is there a classic tip that you still rely on today? Use the "Submit Tip" button below to tell us about your favorites from the past, so we can dust them off and share them with your fellow CAD users!

Edit Hatch Boundaries
Architect Walter Croft uses AutoCAD LT 2010, and he knows how to quickly — and easily — change the shape of a hatch. "After fighting with the Hatch command many times, I found that instead of re-hatching an area, I could change the hatch area by adjusting the grips on the hatch to either fill or reduce an area previously hatched." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Relieve Scale-List Bloat
In this tip, Edward Owen explains how he deals with bloated scale lists in AutoCAD. "Once in a while, we get drawings that are so bloated with extra viewport scales, it's next to impossible to reset or clean out the list. Even trying to change the scale doesn't always work." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Eliminate Unwanted Objects with Oops
Systems Designer Kevin Ralphs liked our CAD tip "Oops — I Did It Again!" so much, he was inspired to share his own trick using the Oops command in AutoCAD. "Reading Chris Micallef's tip reminded me of a use for the Oops command that I still find handy after a number of years." View the follow-up comments and photos.

Classic Tip: Insert Spreadsheets into Tables
Leonid Nemirovsky sent us tip number 3298, Insert Spreadsheets Into Tables, a little more than a year ago. It goes through the steps, with screenshots, on how to insert a spreadsheet file into an AutoCAD table and link the two. By linking your CAD file with your document, you can keep both up to date.

Submit Your Tip

Review Cadalyst's Tip Submission Guidelines, then Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, you'll earn a gift card you can use to purchase a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store. Please remember to submit only code and other tips that are your original work (or provide the original source so we can include proper credit) and to tell us which software version you use.

By submitting code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your code in print, digitally, and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to the code; published code is not to be used for commercial purposes.

Got Feedback? To share feedback about one of today's tips, navigate to the tip using the link provided above, then click Comment. The Comment tool is available to registered users of Cadalyst'sCAD Tips site.

Tips & Tools Weekly software tips for AutoCAD are reviewed by Cadalyst staff and the Tip Patrol before publication. Use all tips at your own discretion, please. We're sorry, but editors and Tip Patrol members cannot provide assistance with technical problems; please refer to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry-Help discussion forum for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

Sincere thanks to our volunteer Tip Patrol members: Brian Benton, Don Boyer,
Mitchell Hirschklau, R.K. McSwain, and Billy Wooten.

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Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

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Landmark Boot Camp Offers Resources for Landscape Design
Nemetschek Vectorworks is offering a Landmark Boot Camp to help landscape industry professionals learn about Vectorworks Landmark software and industry topics such as sustainable sites and water-efficient landscape design. Boot Camp events include free continuing education webinars, training classes, tutorials, and access to user groups.

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Deals & Freebies

CityEngine Available at Discounted Prices through December
Through December 31, Procedural is discounting the premium and standard versions of CityEngine 2010.3 by $1,000 and $200, respectively. The modeling software for the creation, visualization, and analysis of smart 3D cities now features direct export to e-on software's Vue, new tools for massing and urban design, and expanded terrain editing and exporting functionalities.

QuadriSpace Offers 25% Off Design Documentation Software
For a limited time, buyers can save 25% when they purchase any QuadriSpace single-user license with the discount code MERRY2010. All products and subscriptions are eligible, except for network licenses. The offer expires December 31, 2010.

Free Trial of Alibre Design Expert Includes Moment of Inspiration Tool
Alibre, a supplier of mechanical CAD solutions, is offering a free trial of its Alibre Design Expert software suite, which now includes the Moment of Inspiration (MoI) concept creation and surfacing design tool. MoI is designed to make product and concept design easy, fast, and accessible to more designers.

Ashampoo Home Designer Pro Available Free for 40 Days
Software developer Ashampoo is offering registered users a 40-day free trial of Home Designer Pro, its professional 3D software for planning and furnishing rooms, apartments, and houses. The software provides building elements for room and floor planning as well as catalogs of objects, materials, and textures for interior furnishing.

Open Design Alliance Updates Free Teigha Viewer
The nonprofit Open Design Alliance (ODA) has released a new Teigha Viewer, which allows users to view DWG files. Teigha Viewer is based on release 3.4 of Teigha, the technology platform which allows ODA members to develop technical graphics applications. Teigha Viewer is available for download by the general public as an executable, with ODA members getting additional access to the source code.

Ideum Provides 1-Hour Trial of Multitouch Authoring Solution
Ideum, a multitouch software and hardware development firm, is providing a free trial of GestureWorks 2.0. The newly updated multitouch authoring solution is available for Mac and Windows, and features built-in support for over 200 hundred gestures. A free downloadable poster showing all of the supported gestures is also available on the site.

ZWSOFT Releases Service Pack 1, Free Trial for ZW3D 2010
ZWSOFT, a supplier of 2D and 3D CAD/CAM software solutions, has released Service Pack 1 for ZW3D, a CAD/CAM system for 3D design, mold making, and computer-aided manufacturing. This is the first service pack of ZW3D 2010 since ZWSOFT acquired the VX Corp CAD/CAM software company in July this year. In addition, a free 30-day trial version of ZW3D is available to registered users.

Bricsys Offers 30-Day Trial of Bricscad V11 Platinum
Visitors to the Bricsys web site can download a free 30-day trial of Bricscad V11 Platinum for Windows. The newly released version of the CAD software enables 3D parametric solid modeling for users who want to work both in 2D and 3D without leaving the DWG environment.

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Opportunities & Honors

Share Your AutoCAD Story
Are you using a recent version of AutoCAD to support your 3D MCAD workflow? An exclusive newsletter series from Cadalyst, coming in early 2011, will highlight the benefits of using AutoCAD in combination with Inventor, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, CATIA, or other 3D mechanical CAD solutions. If this describes your design process, we'd like to share your story! All we ask is that the relevant contacts be available for an interview. Send a brief description to the editors and we'll follow up soon.

Survey Seeks Feedback about Sustainable Product Design
There are lots of questions around sustainable design: Is it difficult to design sustainable products? What qualifies as a sustainable product? Is sustainability important in your organization — at the product level in particular? Independent research firm Four Winds Research is especially interested in the last question, and is conducting a short survey on the subject. Experts and newcomers to sustainability alike are invited to participate.

Autodesk Wins New England Business Honors
Autodesk has been named a Bronze honoree for the Greater Boston area by the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development. The award recognizes Autodesk's leadership and contributions to the Massachusetts economy. Winners were selected based on factors including job growth, facility expansion, investment, and community involvement.

GoGogh Launches Lucky Draw Competition
GoGogh TechEd, an online technical training platform, has launched its Holiday Season Competition, in which participants can win gift cards and discounts on annual training passes. In addition to weekly Amazon gift cards of $50 each, a grand prize of $500 will be awarded at the end of December.

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Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: Using an OpenBIM Workflow
January 20, 2011
2–3 p.m. ET
This is part two of the webinar series "OpenBIM — Real Interoperability, Practical Collaboration" from Nemetschek Vectorworks. Learning objectives for this webinar include defining openBIM and IFC (industry foundation classes). Read more

Cloud Connect 2011
March 7–10, 2011
Santa Clara, California
Cloud Connect 2011, produced by UBM TechWeb, will feature the latest technologies, strategies, and innovations within cloud computing. The event's educational program will include keynotes, workshops, case studies, sessions, and networking events, as well as an exhibition. Read more


For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

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What's New at

Autodesk University 2010, Part 1
Bouncing back a bit from 2009, the annual user event draws a reported 7,000 attendees as the company gets serious about consumer, mobile, sustainable design, and cloud computing technologies. Read more

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Three Autodesk Showcase Tips
Most users don't know about these methods for changing materials on specific surfaces, creating cross sections, and using the highlight pointer. Read more

Observations from Autodesk University 2010
Conference attendance improved this year, as did the mood, but CAD managers reported that many companies are still struggling. Read more

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Peer-Driven User Training
Your deputy trainers can help shoulder the responsibility of training, and provide your users with a fresh perspective. Read more

Share Your AutoCAD Story
Are you using a recent version of AutoCAD to support your 3D MCAD workflow? An exclusive newsletter series from Cadalyst, coming in early 2011, will highlight the benefits of using AutoCAD in combination with Inventor, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, CATIA, or other 3D mechanical CAD solutions. If this describes your design process, we'd like to share your story! All we ask is that the relevant contacts be available for an interview. Send a brief description to the editors and we'll follow up soon.

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