Updating AutoCAD Block Attributes using Microsoft Excel

Block Attributes are an integral component of nearly every AutoCAD-based project I’ve worked on. Beyond the ubiquitous title block, Block Attributes are commonly used for Room Tags, to display calculations, and more. Whilst it isn’t too difficult to update a couple of Block Attributes, when the blocks to update ventures beyond that – the task quickly becomes as tedious as it is time-consuming. I’ve long wished …

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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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Custom Linetypes the Super Simple Way

Creating LinetypesLinetypes play an integral role in visually separating certain elements of our designs. Most of the time one of the 40+ linetypes that come with AutoCAD will suffice, but what do you do when you need a custom linetype? While its true linetypes must be developed, the good news is that it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

In their most basic form, an AutoCAD linetype is really nothing more than a .txt file with a .lin extension. It’s completely possible to create linetypes using nothing more than your bare hands and Notepad (the digital variety that comes with MS Windows). For those who prefer a more graphical approach, check out the Make Linetype (MKLTYPE) tool found on the Express Tools Ribbon tab > expanded Tools panel. If you know how to draw and trim lines in AutoCAD you can also create custom linetypes.

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Becoming a Keyboard Warrior – The Command Alias Editor

image As much as I love the enhancements to the ribbon inside AutoCAD 2010, I have a slight confession to make. I hardly click buttons, navigate menus, or even browse the ribbon to launch many of my most used commands. Instead I revert to a simpler time before such user interface enhancements – the keyboard. Call it archaic, but with minimal effort, you too can become an AutoCAD keyboard warrior! How you ask? To find the answer you need to look no further than the beloved Express Tools.

Looking to the old Express menu, the lesser known Command Alias Editor is tucked away under Express > Tools > Command Alias Editor. Users of AutoCAD 2010 do not have to look far at all as the Command Alias Editor is the biggest button on the Tools ribbon panel on the Express Tools ribbon tab. As you may have guessed, the Command Alias Editor is the secret to configuring your keyboard like an AutoCAD pro!

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Sequentially Number AutoCAD Text with TCOUNT

image Among the comments recently left on The CAD Geek was one asking if I could help them out with a script to sequentially number text.  The solution is perhaps easier than one may think. In fact, chances are, you already have such a tool at your fingertips.  Housed within the infamous Express Tools is a command known as “Automatic Text Numbering”, or for the command line warriors – TCOUNT.

The TCOUNT command has a bunch of hidden secrets contained within it.  Sure, it knows how to count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …, but what about 2, 4, 6, 8? Those writing cheers with AutoCAD will appreciate the fact the TCOUNT command can indeed do this.

Beyond that what other tricks does the TCOUNT command have up its sleeve? Well it also has the ability to prefix or suffix your text with a number, or of course replace it altogether. So enough talk, how does one use this hidden gem?

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