Automagically Manage Scale Callouts with Fields

Automagically update scale calloutsStarting a new job, writing papers for the classes I’m presenting at AU, coupled with creating some exciting content as this year’s AU Virtual host has left very little time for blogging (in case you hadn’t noticed). Despite my rather chaotic schedule of late; my new position with CADD Microsystems has been incredible, and my part as the AU Virtual Host gets more and more exciting as we (Autodesk and I) work to finalize my on-site conference schedule. I don’t have any juicy details to share quite yet, but let’s just leave it at this – IMHO even those attending AU in Vegas will want to tune into some of the exclusive content being produced for AU Virtual.

So enough about all the things that’s been keeping me busy, let’s talk CAD!

Get Organized with Layer Filters – Part 1

Layers are great, but we’ve all encountered those drawings that are absolutely inundated with layers (sometimes by necessity, other times by ignorance). Whatever the reason, it doesn’t make locating that ONE layer any less arduous. Ironic as it may be, sometimes layers (the supposed foundation to all things drawing-organization) need a little organization of their own. And that my friend is why we have Layer Filters.

In this short series, we’ll explore some ways you can put Layer Filters to use for you. First we’ll take a look at what I call Quick Filters. Typically you wouldn’t use Quick Filters to locate (filter) layers you use every day, but rather assist you in tasks like turning off all hatch layers in a given drawing. So let’s explore how you may accomplish this very common task using Quick Filters.

Maximize the Power of Page Setups by Importing

Continuing the topic of using Named Page Setups (started with my last post titled “Name That Page Setup and Win (Save) Money”) to help you more efficiently manage plotting I wanted to take a look at how you might implement their use in the real world. The true versatility in Named Page Setups is found with the ability of importing them from one drawing to another. Here’s a look at how to import page setups from one drawing to another:

Name That Page Setup and Win (Save) Money

AutoCAD provides an almost infinite number of possibilities when preparing a drawing for plotting. Setting up drawing to plot is like an artist making a reproduction of a painting; the two paintings will look very similar, but they’ll never look exactly the same. This is much like plotting in AutoCAD; you’ll probably find the right combination to correctly plot sheet 1, but reproducing those settings for sheet 2 will likely be a shot in the dark. Even if you do manage to perfectly reproduce those settings for subsequent sheets – how much time did you waste?

You may have seen a quick tips video I filmed for the AutoCAD Exchange with Heidi Hewett where she and I chatted about a solution to this problem – Named Page Setups. Instead of manually configuring the PLOT command for each drawing you produce, why not capture those settings in a way you can quickly and easily apply them to future sheets? This is the exact role Named Page Setups play in every modern release of AutoCAD. Since I could, and well did write several pages on this topic alone in my upcoming book AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011: No Experience Required, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version in this post.

The X Factor – Placing text above and below dimension lines

image Many veteran users already know this tip, as it has been around for a while now. Still, for the uninitiated figuring out how to get text both above and below a dimension line (without breaking the line) can quickly resemble one of those puzzles where you have to get a metal ring off an interwoven mess of bent metal. As you fumble with the metal ring, usually getting it more tangled than when you started, you think to yourself; I know there’s a simple solution, but I just can’t seem to figure it out.

So that everyone understands what I’m talking about here’s a pretty standard dimension line with the text positioned above the dimension line.

Dimension above line

 

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