Converting PDFs to AutoCAD DWGs using Adobe Illustrator

The ubiquity of PDFs make them a great choice for collaboration when you’re not sure what software a recipient is using. By sending a PDF you can rest assured whomever the recipient – they’ll be able to open it. But what if you’re the recipient, who has AutoCAD, and you really needs a DWG version of the PDF? Modern versions of AutoCAD come packed with …

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Brighten up AutoCAD with a Lighter Color Scheme

AutoCAD Light Interface

Customization has long been among AutoCAD’s core strengths. Even as changes are made to the program it’s typically always possible to tailor the interface to your liking. One recent change that some users love, and others could do without is the graphite interface. Those who enjoy the graphite interface cite the reduced eye strain, whereas others seem to prefer the contrast of the former (lighter) interface.

Whilst I don’t have a strong preference either way, I have found the light interface to work a little better for me when presenting to an audience with a projector. Given the number of presentations I do for my job at CADD Microsystems, it likely goes without saying I typically change the AutoCAD interface to its former – lighter interface. Watch the video above to learn how to make this change on your own system.

Applying Child Dimension Styles: A Geek and a dimension is born

JacksonWrapping up my sixth edition of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required; few things can top the excitement of sharing months of hard work that, as an author, I sincerely hope will help others get a footing in the industry – much as I did many years ago. I emphasize few things can top that excitement because Shaan Hurley, longtime friend and Between The Lines blogger, recently spotlighted one of those moments that even exceed the definition of excitement. My wife and I just celebrated the 1-month birthday of our first child, a baby boy, that we chose to name Jackson. Joining in the festivities (and the subject of Shaan’s blog post) was the outfit my company, CADD Microsystems, had made for our little guy. The outfit that set off an incredibly geeky Facebook thread simply reads “Latest Autodesk Product.” Needless to say, my wife and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Jackson into our lives, and I certainly can’t wait until the day I get to begin teaching him about design.

In the spirit of children, I thought I’d share a quick tip on creating and using Child Dimension Styles. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Child Dimension Styles are an absolute necessity when you need to change the appearance for different types of dimensions. As an example, many architectural plans use Architectural Ticks for linear dimensions, but an Arrow may be more appropriate for Radius dimensions. In lieu of creating a different style for Linear and Radius dimensions, Child Dimension Styles can capture both dimension types into a single (centrally managed) dimension style. Have a look at the video to learn how.

 

Where did the Coordinate readout in the AutoCAD status bar go?

Whenever you first learned AutoCAD, there’s a good chance at least some portion of the class/book included a discussion about the Cartesian coordinate system used throughout AutoCAD. I’ll spare you the details, but to summarize coordinates help us identify the precise location of objects in our drawings. While I would argue coordinates are important for any design discipline, there is perhaps no discipline where coordinates …

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Applying Parametric Constraints to Dynamic Blocks

AutoCAD block libraries can quickly become unwieldy due in part to the need to capture multiple options of what’s effectively the same item. A common example of this is a table that is offered in 6 ft, 8 ft, and 10 ft varieties. Each of these requires it’s own block simply because of the differing lengths. To help combat this, AutoCAD has long had the ability to …

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Disabling AutoCAD Layer Output when Plotting to PDF

As the near ubiquitous electronic plotting format, chances are more than one client has asked you for a PDF version of your drawing. Although more robust PDF tools certainly exist, the DWG to PDF.pc3 driver that’s included with AutoCAD is more than sufficient for many users. By default, the out-of-the-box PDF driver includes the layer information from your drawing. When the resulting PDF is opened in an …

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Controlling how AutoCAD Drawings Open from Windows Explorer

Now that my upcoming book AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015: No Experience Required is off to the printers I can (hopefully) begin giving my blog the attention it deserves. I look forward to sharing some new tips & tricks I have been gathering for some time in some future blog posts, but first a quick tip for controlling the way AutoCAD drawings open when …

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Distributing and Sharing eTransmit Transmittal Settings with your Team

With the many resource files necessary to display many AutoCAD drawings, sending your DWG files to an external consultant can prove to be a challenging endeavor. Of course this was the very reason Autodesk introduced the ETRANSMIT command to AutoCAD many versions ago. Although the ETRANSMIT command isn’t the most complex command in AutoCAD, it does have it’s share of settings for you to specify. …

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