Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 20, No. 34)

20 Sep, 2015 By: Cadalyst Staff

This Week's Software Tips

Enter to Win an Gift Certificate
Do you know a better way to work — in AutoCAD or any other CAD software tool? Take a few minutes to share your tips with your fellow CAD users, and benefit yourself at the same time: If we publish your tip, you can earn an Amazon gift card and be entered in the quarterly prize drawing. Learn all about CAD Tips prizes here.

Undock Your Tool Bar
Have you ever wanted to undock your ribbon from its current location? This tip from David Gaskill will show you how to undock your ribbon toolbar, so you can place it on a second monitor or let it float in your graphics area. While David uses Autodesk Inventor, the process is almost the same in AutoCAD. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Inventor Tip: Reorient Crooked Part View
This tip from Alex Kaplan will show you how to reorient a crooked part view in Autodesk Inventor. In just a few steps, you can edit your part so it's ready to create a DWG view. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Inventor Tip: Custom Content Center Parts
Have you ever wanted to add a content center part in Autodesk Inventor, then modify that part for just that instance? David Gaskill explains how to add custom content center to your models. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

September Tips from Hot Tip Harry

Hot Tip Harry, Cadalyst's mysterious purveyor of customized AutoCAD code, has dispatched another bundle of great LISP tips from readers. View and download each of the latest tips using the links below, or get the entire September 2015 Hot Tip Harry batch at once.

Don't forget — you can share your original LISP tip and earn a $50 Amazon gift card if it's selected for publication. Use the "Submit Tip" button below to send us your AutoLISP routines.

Batch Open or Close MLine Objects
Frequent tipster Kent Cooper is back with yet another solution for an Autodesk forum request. His AutoLISP routine includes two commands that allow you to open or close any number of mlines in a selection set. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Revision Clouds on Dated Layers
Long-time contributor Raymond Rizkallah has created this routine that will allow you to create various shaped revision clouds that are automatically placed on a unique layer whose name is composed of the text "A-Revcloud_" + the current date. Each revision cloud type allows you to choose the arc length at run time. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Draw Flexible Splines
Kent Cooper has created a very nice routine for drawing flexible conduit or ducting. If you use an existing object for the path, you can choose to delete or retain the original object. The header in the LISP file explains many more options, such as the ability to repeat the command on the previous path with different options. View the complete tip and post your feedback.

Absolute Copy and Paste
If you work with multiple drawings at the same time and they are in various UCSs, this tip from Raymond Rizkallah is for you. His AutoLISP routine allows you to copy and paste objects between drawings without having to worry about the UCS setting (or Object Snap setting) in either drawing. 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 original, previously unpublished tip, you can earn a gift card (learn more about prizes here). 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 R.K. McSwain. 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.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Deals & Freebies

Roland DGA Offers Instant Rebates on 3D Printing and Milling Machines
Roland DGA is offering a 10% instant rebate on the purchase of any Roland MDX series or monoFab series milling machine, and a 20% instant rebate on the purchase of a monoFab ARM-10 3D printer. The offer is good through November 30, 2015.

Free Download Available for Aras Component Search App
Aras is offering a free download of Aras Component Search, a mobile tablet app that combines component search with part approval workflows. According to the company, users can quickly search for new components, view properties and data sheets, and initiate new part approval requests. Production use of Aras Component Search requires a running instance of Aras Innovator and an active Aras Component Engineering subscription.

FARO Offers Free Trial of Laser Scanning Software
FARO is offering free trials of its PointSense v16.5 software for processing 3D laser scan data in AutoCAD and Revit. The solution works with the native Autodesk programs and includes additional point cloud functionality for documenting as-built data.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Opportunities & Honors

OrthoGraph Announces User Beta Program
OrthoGraph is asking users with a valid OrthoGraph Cloud Pro or OrthoGraph Cloud Business subscription to apply for the beta program of OrthoGraph Genius, a cross-platform version of OrthoGraph Survey System. The Android version will be deployed to the participants of the beta program on September 22, 2015.

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mark Your Calendar

What's New in Steel Detailing and Fabrication
September 22, 2015
11 a.m. PT
This Autodesk webinar will discuss new features available for Advance Steel 2015, including connection libraries with AISC values, new BOM templates, and more. Read more

Introduction to BIM for Small Firms
September 23, 2015
11 a.m. PT
This Novedge webinar will include an overview of Revit LT, a customer's presentation about how Revit LT benefits their small design firm, and a live demo of the software followed by a Q&A session. Read more

The New Frontier: Managing ECAD Manufacturing Output with IPC-2581
September 23, 2015
9 a.m. PT
This PTC webinar will discuss the history of IPC-2581 development, challenges with current formats, the benefits of IPC-2581 vs. the traditional Gerber and ODB++ files, and PTC support for this format. Read more

3D Scanning for CAD
September 24, 2015
11 a.m. PT
This NextEngine webinar will discuss the work flow of scanning and converting mesh scan data into editable CAD solids using RapidWorks software. Read more

Revit Technology Conference Europe 2015
October 29–31, 2015
Budapest, Hungary
Those who attend the third European RTC will learn from the experts and leave with knowledge, practical methods, and new ideas. 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

Back to Top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What’s New at

To Catch More Design Ideas, Siemens PLM Software Crafts a Tool Anyone Can Use
The new Catchbook app makes dimensionally accurate sketching accessible — and affordable — for CAD users and nonprofessionals alike. Read more

Video: Get AutoCAD to Set Your Current Layer for You
Let's face it, we are constantly changing our current layer while drawing. What if we could get AutoCAD to change our current layer for us? Watch the video

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Updated Autodesk Software Costs Calculator
With the updated licensing announcement comes a new spreadsheet to help you plan for future expenses. Read more

CAD Manager Column: Autodesk VP Explains Software Licensing Policy Changes
To gain more insight into Autodesk's switch to rental-based licensing, we sat down with Vice-President Andrew Anagnost. Read more

Back to Top


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

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!