cadalyst
Manufacturing

Plot Minder 2.1.5

28 Feb, 2001 By: Michael Lennox


CAD fx, Inc.
4 stars out of 5

Plot Minder 2.1.5 runs from within AutoCAD by adding fields to the Plot dialog box.
Plot Minder 2.1.5 tracks plot information from AutoCAD Release 14 and 2000 using a customized Microsoft Access database. Plot Minder adds extra fields to AutoCAD's plot dialog box, which are automatically filled in each time you plot (see figure at right). Plot Minder tracks the job number, drawing name, plot area, user name, date and time, copies, cost, and comments for each job. Plot Minder also tracks batch plots through a free utility.

As part of the installation process, you must install Microsoft Access 97 Runtime, which you download from the CAD fx Web site if needed. Once you install Plot Minder, a startup wizard walks you through database setup in Plot Minder Viewer, the administrative component of the product. Most of the setup is straightforward. The setup process may require you to either define how you currently record information or establish new processes. For example, Plot Minder automatically derives job numbers from the drawing's folder name or a specific block/attribute pair, so you might need to change your folder structure or add a block to your drawings. You can also enter the correct information at the time of the plot.

Because Plot Minder adds an extra field directly to AutoCAD's plot dialog box, the intrusion on you is minimal. Client installation is easy. In some cases you can use AutoCAD's Appload command for installation.

Plot Minder offers a full range of built-in reports, and you can create custom reports in Access 97. The sorting options let you export the filtered data. The Plot Minder Help is comprehensive and guides you through installation and any problems you might encounter. In addition to the Plot Minder Viewer and client, Plot Minder's utilities help you change passwords and archive and compact your database.

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About the Author: Michael Lennox


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