Identify Drawing Changes with AutoCAD

Despite our best efforts to avoid it, at some point in a project you’ll likely end up with two drawing files that are supposed to be the same, but aren’t. After running into this issue several times over the years, I learned about the incredible “Compare” feature within the Autodesk Design Review application. Although this has proven to be a great solution over the years, …

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Automate Sheet Setup with Action Macros

Although there’s no shortage of ways to customize AutoCAD, nearly every one requires some familiarity with programming. Given the barriers of learning a programming language, I find so many of the AutoCAD users I come across simply survive with the tools they already have verses learning to create new ones. This is the fundamental reason I love Action Macro’s so much; they allow users, with or without programming experience, to create new AutoCAD tools in an instant.

The beauty of Action Macros is the way that anyone who can use the command line inside AutoCAD can also customize AutoCAD. Given how simple they are to create, I have found a wide range of ways to create and apply Action Macros over the years. One of my longtime favorites is using them to automate the setup and creation of new drawing sheets.

The best way to ensure all of the sheets for a project plot the same is to create every sheet from a common layout template with the same page setup applied. While the procedure for doing this isn’t especially hard, it does involve several steps, and frequently becomes cluttered among the library of different sheet sizes used by most companies (Letter, Ledger, Arch D, etc). Using Action Macros I can dramatically simplify this process by creating a series of custom commands that will automatically create a new layout tab at the desired size.

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AutoCAD 2012: First Look at Rectangular Arrays

Along with their complete line of 2012 products, Autodesk told the world about AutoCAD 2012 (now shipping) during their annual product launch event. While individual products were certainly an important component of the product launch event, they were not the most important element. More importantly was the way Autodesk will assemble its product portfolio into a series of industry-focused suites. I’ll spend more time on …

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