Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 18, No. 27)

29 Jul, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Don't Forget to Tip
Do you know a better way to work — in AutoCAD or any other CAD software tool? Why not take a few minutes to share your tips with your fellow CAD users? When you give, you'll also receive: If we publish your tip, you'll earn a gift card you can use toward a T-shirt or other prizes in the Cadalyst Store. Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your tip today!

Multiple Uses for Fields
Tipster Vladislav Bronin presents some uses for fields in AutoCAD files. "Fields are extremely useful," said Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton. "A field can be inserted into any text-type object. That means multiline text, single-line text, dimension text, annotated text, leaders, block attributes — anything with text." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Four Ways to Clean Up Drawing Files
CAD detailer Steve Roberts shares some tips for keeping your AutoCAD files clean and neat. He discusses the value of the Audit, Purge, -Purge, and Overkill commands in reducing file size and excess data. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Convert Single-Line Text to Multiline Text
Perry Pattiz, a mechanical engineer, discusses an AutoCAD command that will convert single-line text objects to multiline text objects. "There is a command called Txt2Mtxt that allows you to select several individual lines of text and combine them together into a single mtext item." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Alternate Methods for Drawing Circles
In his second tip this week, Perry Pattiz discusses how to use non-default drawing tools in AutoCAD to create a circle. "Many people just use the default for drawing circles, which is to pick the center point and then select the radius. There are, however, many alternatives that come in very handy." View the complete tip and post your feedback.

July Tips from Hot Tip Harry

Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another great bundle of tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire July 2013 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Interwoven Star Hatch Pattern
This is a very slick hatch patten of interwoven six-pointed stars, provided by Harold Detlaff. Drop the PAT file into a directory that is part of your support file search path, and it will be available when you run the Hatch command in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Paper Space Utilities
Frequent contributor Leonid Nemirovsky is back with a paper space control routine for AutoCAD. This download comes with screenshots, a help file, and several program files. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Set and Query Viewport Scale
This AutoCAD routine from Raymond Rizkallah allows you to set and/or query the scale for viewports. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Tip: Detect Civil 3D Surfaces
Mat Kirkland delivers a small but powerful routine that will detect AutoCAD Civil 3D surfaces in a given drawing file. You'll probably want to use this as part of a larger routine. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Tip: Detect Civil 3D Alignments
In his second tip this month, Mat Kirkland shares an effective little routine that will detect AutoCAD Civil 3D alignments in a given drawing file. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Tip: Detect Civil 3D Cogo Points
Finally, Mat Kirkland sent in a third small but powerful routine; this one will detect AutoCAD Civil 3D cogo points in a given drawing file. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Submit Your Tip

Review Cadalyst's Tip Submission Guidelines, then Submit Your Tip for your favorite CAD software. Be sure to tell us which software version you use. 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 submit only tips or code that are your original work. By submitting code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your tip in print, digitally, and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to submitted tips.

By submitting code, you agree that your code can be reused as-is or modified by other users in conjunction with AutoCAD or other software programs to gain efficiencies in that software for professional or personal use, and that your code can be shared freely among users. Users do not have the right to republish code in any manner or format (such as on a blog web site or in a printed document) for personal or commercial gain without written permission from Cadalyst and the original author.

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 in the latest version of AutoCAD by Contributing Editor Brian Benton. Use all tips at your own discretion, please. We're sorry, but Cadalyst staff cannot provide assistance with technical problems. Please refer to Cadalyst's LinkedIn and Facebook communities for assistance with AutoLISP and other AutoCAD customization questions.

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Dassault Systems Offers Downloadable Composites Webinars
Dassualt Systemes has released the first recorded webinar in a series about composites technology. In this and future installments, experts will explain innovations in the integration of composites analysis, fiber placement, draping simulation, composites tooling, operations intelligence for manufacturing, and long-term archiving. The webinars are free to those who register.

Kubotek Launches New Website with Simplified Navigation
Kubotek, developer of software including Direct CAD and KeyCreator CAD, has launched a new website at that replaces its previous site, The new site is easier to navigate, according to the company, and contains more video content. The site is currently published in English, but Kubotek plans to translate content into multiple languages.

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Deals & Freebies

E-on Updates Free Versions of 3D Environment Rendering Software
E-on software, developer of 3D environment rendering solutions and visualization tools, has announced the immediate availability of the free Vue 11.5 xStream and Vue 11.5 Infinite Personal Learning Editions (PLEs). Vue xStream operates inside of 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema4D, and Softimage; Vue Infinite is a standalone application. The PLEs are for personal, noncommercial use only.

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Opportunities & Honors

Professionals and Students Invited to Share Moldex3D Success Stories
CoreTech System, developer of Moldex3D, has announced the 2013 Moldex3D Innovation Talent Award Contest. The contest is open to industries, organizations, and students around the world. Submissions must be practical application cases involving any module of Moldex3D simulation software for design verification and optimization. The registration deadline is October 11, 2013.

CitiesAlive Student Design Challenge Offers $2,000 Top Prize
Post-secondary students and recent graduates across North America are invited to redesign a community center in central San Francisco, California, using green roofs and walls. The CitiesAlive Student Design Challenge is an academic element of the annual CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference, which takes place in San Francisco October 23–26, 2013. The contest entry deadline is September 22.

Call for modeFRONTIER Presentation Abstracts Closes September 15
ESTECO, which develops numerical optimization solutions, has issued a call for presentations for the modeFRONTIER North America Users Meeting. The event will be held November 6, 2013 in Plymouth, Michigan. The conference is open to both academic and industry contributions describing how modeFRONTIER, a multidisciplinary optimization platform, has been applied to accelerate product innovation.

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Mark Your Calendar

CADWorx Workshops — Seattle
August 8, 2013
Seattle, Washington
This ECE Design event will consist of two half-day CADWorx Workshop sessions; attendees may register for one or both. The first will focus on CADWorx Pipe Modeling; the afternoon event will focus on CADWorx Specifications. Read more

CADWorx Workshops — Salt Lake City
August 13, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah
This ECE Design event will consist of two half-day CADWorx Workshop sessions; attendees may register for one or both. The first will focus on CADWorx Pipe Modeling; the afternoon event will focus on CADWorx Specifications. Read more

Moving to Mobility: Leveraging Location Analytics
August 15, 2013
1 p.m. MT
This webinar from GCS will teach attendees how to leverage mobile technology and location analytics to transform essential business operations. This webinar will feature demonstrations of three location-based, database-driven mobile applications used for parcel identification in economic development, geofencing in retail marketing, and augmented reality in infrastructure visualization. Read more

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program
October 21–25, 2013
Birmingham, United Kingdom
This assessment-based product lifecycle management (PLM) certificate program includes a personalized classroom experience, individual and team-based exercises, and individual evaluations of achievement. 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

HP Expands Z Workstation Portfolio, Launches Z Display Line
With the introduction of three new monitors, the hardware developer adds a new branch to the Z family tree. Read more

Transition from 2D to 3D Design Hasn't Been a Clean Break for Most, Study Finds
Report on 3D collaboration and interoperability, available free, finds most downstream departments still rely heavily on 2D. Read more

Reduce Your Task Load through Teaching
Connect with the eager learners in your organization to build an exchange that benefits both sides. Read more

Create CAD Training Videos Using the Latest Technology
When it comes to tools and methods for making your own recordings, much has changed in the past five years. Read more

NVIDIA Unveils Newest High-End GPU
Quadro K6000 said to offer unprecedented levels of real-time photorealistic visualization. Read more

Try AutoCAD's Layer Previous Command
Layer Previous is a handy tool that lets you undo the last actions occurring in the Layer Property Manager or drop-down list — without undoing any of the valuable work you've been doing. Watch the video

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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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