Perpetual Annotation Scale List

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annotation scales

In just the last few days alone I have received 5 support requests from my users about this issue. Seeing that I haven?t seen a lot written about it, I thought I would make a quick post about the Perpetual Annotation Scale List bug in AutoCAD 2008. This issue is most often noticed when users click on the “Annotation Scale” list from the drawing status bar. Generally this list simply contains a list of commonly used drawing scales. On the other hand; if you’re not careful this list can soon be plagued with “_XREF” scales.

What?s happening here is both your host drawing and your reference drawing contain these annotation scales. Suddenly once you attach a couple external references, your Annotation Scale List is virtually unusable. The screen shot above shows one example of this. I write this post with both good and bad news.

The good news is that AutoCAD 2008 Service Pack 1 is said to address the issue. In fact the release notes for the service pack specifically say ?Custom scales which exist in the nested xrefs are no longer duplicated in the host drawing?. Thus the good news is pretty obvious in the way this issue is no longer an issue upon installing the service pack.

Now for the bad news. As I understand things, the service pack will fix the Annotation Scaling Issue moving forward. In other words it will prevent it from happening again, but will not go back and fix the drawings it has messed up. Given my current CAD setup includes Map 3D / LDT / Civil 3D, and a service pack addressing the annotation scale issue hasn?t been released for those products, I have not yet been able to verify that claim for myself.

AutoCAD 2008 users can download AutoCAD 2008 Service Pack 1 from here. Since the straight AutoCAD service pack has been out for a little while now, you can probably expect the vertical service packs to follow shortly. But even still the better question remains ? how do I fix my drawings inundated with _XREF Annotation Scales.

The secret is in the SCALELISTEDIT command. Now be warned, simply typing SCALELISTEDIT at the command line will invoke the graphical version of the command. This version of the command seems to work about 50% of the time. What seems to happen is the buffer for that dialog is exceeded and throws an error if your drawing has too many Annotation Scales. For that reason I have generally opted for a method that, to date at least, has worked 100% of the time.

Simply prefix the command with a hyphen to invoke the command-line version of the command.

The sequence of the command will look something like this:

Command: -SCALELISTEDIT
Enter option [?/Add/Delete/Reset/Exit] <Add>: Reset
Reset scale list to defaults? [Yes/No] <No>: Yes
Scale list reset to default entries.
Enter option [?/Add/Delete/Reset/Exit] <Add>: Exit

Like many AutoCAD users, we rely heavily on external references, and thus this issue has become incredibly common. For that reason we actually opted to write a quick LISP routine and embed it onto our company Tool Palettes. The is simple enough, and looks something like this:

(Command “-SCALELISTEDIT” “R” “Y” “E”)

52 thoughts on “Perpetual Annotation Scale List

  1. The only solution I know is by downloading and installing the scale list cleanup utility from AutoCAD service & support website (http://support.autodesk.com/), and whoa la! Works like magic. Just follow the instructions on the readme file. Well as of now, they only have the utilities available to AutoCAD versions 2008 to 2010 (including DWG TrueView). I’m not sure if it’ll work with later or earlier versions.

  2. I just found this solution to a similar problem in AutoCAD 2011, seems the bug has re-appeared…
    Resetting the list from the dialog box does not fix the problem.

  3. Odd Divide,cheap nothing care as slightly tree go ring box often view poor structure somebody derive temperature okay pool big rather bind surely lean expenditure nice institution sell academic back fear set cell pretty bind look programme ignore bear church little executive develop anyone reaction artist initiative director deal funny property candidate leaf together introduction while sector to formal distinction attractive behind clear before doctor radio fear especially gate guide discipline serious perform afterwards particular approach object damage letter branch seat production perfect treaty

  4. Odd Divide,cheap nothing care as slightly tree go ring box often view poor structure somebody derive temperature okay pool big rather bind surely lean expenditure nice institution sell academic back fear set cell pretty bind look programme ignore bear church little executive develop anyone reaction artist initiative director deal funny property candidate leaf together introduction while sector to formal distinction attractive behind clear before doctor radio fear especially gate guide discipline serious perform afterwards particular approach object damage letter branch seat production perfect treaty

    • If you wanted to create a toolbar button to do this you would need to go to the CUI command, and create a new “Command” from there. When you create a new command, you’ll have the option to specify a macro. The script above is what you would input as the macro. From there you could then put the command on a menu, toolbar, or even a ribbon (2009+).

    • If you wanted to create a toolbar button to do this you would need to go to the CUI command, and create a new “Command” from there. When you create a new command, you’ll have the option to specify a macro. The script above is what you would input as the macro. From there you could then put the command on a menu, toolbar, or even a ribbon (2009+).

    • JeffB – Any of the scales not removed are in use. In this context the scalelistedit command behaves like the PURGE command. Annotation scales are assigned to individual entities, and you’ll have to right-click on your annotative objects and edit the scales assigned to them to get rid of the extraneous scales you mention.

    • JeffB – Any of the scales not removed are in use. In this context the scalelistedit command behaves like the PURGE command. Annotation scales are assigned to individual entities, and you’ll have to right-click on your annotative objects and edit the scales assigned to them to get rid of the extraneous scales you mention.

  5. Jeff: No longer relying on the promises of Autodesk, so going straight to a fellow CAD geek. I am about to install AutoCAD 2009 for no reason other than to fix the XREF annotation scales IF this problem is addressed/fixed in this release. Your opinion/experience?

    And wow, what a disappointment to see that there were apparently not any improvements in AutoCAD 2009, just a new GUI to get used to (madness!) unless you set everything back to “classic” like you’re used to. I’m 99% keyboard input of course, but my reaction to the new screen is kind of like when I go to the grocery store and in their infinite wisdom they’ve re-arranged what is in which aisle.

    Giggles,

    Suzy

    • Suzy – The annotation scale issue is supposed to be fixed in the latest 2008 service pack, but from my experience 2009 doesn’t seem to have this issue (even without a service pack). After seeing the havoc this “bug” did to our drawings, we ended up adding the above fix to our acaddoc.lsp file. It may be a little overzealous of a solution, but that makes the fix run automatically for each drawing that is opened in AutoCAD. Over time, all of our infected files have gotten fixed.

      I don’t have a link handy, but Autodesk did release a little utility that can perform the fix on a batch of DWG files all at once.

      As for AutoCAD 2009, you’re right in the way it’s BIG feature was the updated UI. Like it or not, the Ribbon is replacing the menus of AutoCAD. If you’re on subscription, I’d encourage you to check the subscription website. Autodesk released some bonus packs adding things like a PDF plotter that creates a decent PDF.

      Hope that helps,

      Donnie

  6. Jeff: No longer relying on the promises of Autodesk, so going straight to a fellow CAD geek. I am about to install AutoCAD 2009 for no reason other than to fix the XREF annotation scales IF this problem is addressed/fixed in this release. Your opinion/experience?

    And wow, what a disappointment to see that there were apparently not any improvements in AutoCAD 2009, just a new GUI to get used to (madness!) unless you set everything back to “classic” like you’re used to. I’m 99% keyboard input of course, but my reaction to the new screen is kind of like when I go to the grocery store and in their infinite wisdom they’ve re-arranged what is in which aisle.

    Giggles,

    Suzy

    • Suzy – The annotation scale issue is supposed to be fixed in the latest 2008 service pack, but from my experience 2009 doesn’t seem to have this issue (even without a service pack). After seeing the havoc this “bug” did to our drawings, we ended up adding the above fix to our acaddoc.lsp file. It may be a little overzealous of a solution, but that makes the fix run automatically for each drawing that is opened in AutoCAD. Over time, all of our infected files have gotten fixed.

      I don’t have a link handy, but Autodesk did release a little utility that can perform the fix on a batch of DWG files all at once.

      As for AutoCAD 2009, you’re right in the way it’s BIG feature was the updated UI. Like it or not, the Ribbon is replacing the menus of AutoCAD. If you’re on subscription, I’d encourage you to check the subscription website. Autodesk released some bonus packs adding things like a PDF plotter that creates a decent PDF.

      Hope that helps,

      Donnie

  7. That is the most helpful AutoCAD solution I have gotten in a long time. We have absolutly been pulling our hair out! BTW: this also fixes the same issue in the plot scale dialog. (bonus fix)

    Jeff

  8. That is the most helpful AutoCAD solution I have gotten in a long time. We have absolutly been pulling our hair out! BTW: this also fixes the same issue in the plot scale dialog. (bonus fix)

    Jeff

  9. Robert – As I understand it the default scalelist is hard-coded into the system. However it seems that your UNITS will determine if you get Engineering scales, Architectural scales, Metric scales, etc. If you needed something beyond what ACAD provides, my guess is that you would need to run some sort of routine to add them after the fact.

    Donnie

  10. Robert – As I understand it the default scalelist is hard-coded into the system. However it seems that your UNITS will determine if you get Engineering scales, Architectural scales, Metric scales, etc. If you needed something beyond what ACAD provides, my guess is that you would need to run some sort of routine to add them after the fact.

    Donnie

  11. Donnie,

    Do you know where the scalelist pulls it’s original defaults from?

    I would like to add some different scales to the list that will always be there when we start a drawing.

    Thanks

    Bob

  12. Donnie,

    Do you know where the scalelist pulls it’s original defaults from?

    I would like to add some different scales to the list that will always be there when we start a drawing.

    Thanks

    Bob

  13. Spanish (as translated by Google)
    Arq – Gracias por las amables palabras, y me complace escuchar este consejo le ayudó a cabo.

    English
    Arq – Thanks for the kind words, and I am glad to hear this tip helped you out.

  14. Spanish (as translated by Google)
    Arq – Gracias por las amables palabras, y me complace escuchar este consejo le ayudó a cabo.

    English
    Arq – Thanks for the kind words, and I am glad to hear this tip helped you out.

  15. Hola muchas gracias por el tip si me sirvió demasiado arreglo el problema que tenía de la enorme lista de escalas que se crea con el Civil 3D 2008 es mejor con este prefijo “-” antes de escribir “scalelistedit” por que antes escribia solo scalelistedit y me marcaba un error y no podia desacerme de la lista. Muy buena la explicación para el uso de este comando.

  16. Hola muchas gracias por el tip si me sirvió demasiado arreglo el problema que tenía de la enorme lista de escalas que se crea con el Civil 3D 2008 es mejor con este prefijo “-” antes de escribir “scalelistedit” por que antes escribia solo scalelistedit y me marcaba un error y no podia desacerme de la lista. Muy buena la explicación para el uso de este comando.

  17. This helps quite a lot, but I would love to reduce the length of the list further.

    Thanks for the tip, I have put in my acad.lsp file

  18. This helps quite a lot, but I would love to reduce the length of the list further.

    Thanks for the tip, I have put in my acad.lsp file

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