This great tutorial is courtesy of my good friend, nice guy, writer, and top notch AutoCAD Trainer Michael Beall (http://autocadtrainerguy.com/) who is currently doing some AutoCAD training in the African nation of Angola. Michael is sharing some of his great articles from his newsletter and online AutoCAD resource Michael’s Corner with you the Between the Lines readers. Check out Michael’s Corner and if you need an AutoCAD trainer he is a great resource and willing to travel anywhere in the world.
The Layer Translator is one of those many features in AutoCAD that gets little mention if at all but can save you a great deal of time. It has been in AutoCAD for several releases now. Michael wrote a great overview of it’s use.
Let's say you receive several drawings from the same contractor on a particular project and they use a layer named AR-Wall but your layer standard is A_Walls. AutoCAD's Layer Translator (located on the CAD Standards toolbar or from ToolsCAD StandardsLayer Translator) may be the solution.
Ideally, you would have a "master" drawing or template which contains your layer list. Using Layer Translator, you can then "map" the other drawing's layers to your layers as you'll see in the following procedure.
Sidebar A: If you get "happy fingers" and mistakenly grab the wrong layer from the Translate From list, you will notice after you click Map that the mapped layers are displayed in the Layer Translation Mappings list. Right-click on the layer mistakenly mapped, then click Remove to put it back in the Translate From list.
Sidebar B: If you need to add a layer on the Translate To side to accommodate a layer from the Translate From side, click the New button to open the New Layer dialog box.
A handy new navigation feature in AutoCAD 2009 is the ability to visually see the preview of Layouts and open drawings in your session. These two features can be accessed from the icons in the status bar or the commands QVDRAWING and QVLAYOUT.
Quick View Layouts
When you select the Quick View Layouts icon you will see the Layouts with thumbnails. You can hold the Ctrl key and then use your mouse wheel to dynamically change the image tile size. There are options to pin this feature to stay on, create a new Layout, publish, or just as a navigation method between Layouts where you can see the name and a visual preview.
Quick View Drawings
When you select Quick View Drawings icon you will see open drawings and their Layout preview in a dynamic view thumbnail tile. When you move your mouse from the drawing preview to one of its Layouts the thumbnail view sizes will change and focus view from the drawing to the Layouts. You can hold the Ctrl key and then use your mouse wheel to dynamically change the image tile size. There are options to pin this feature to stay on all the time, or open or create a new drawing.
On January 23rd 2009, Autodesk Subscription members, as part of their benefits, can download the following new feature releases:
You can download these releases via the Subscription Center.
In AutoCAD 2007 we added the ability to navigate in a 3D AutoCAD model almost like you can in a video game using the keyboard or mouse to walk or fly.
Walk is a method to navigate in the X-Y plane while Fly allows you unrestricted movement X-Y& Z directions.
The commands are accessible in three locations or four if you use toolbars.
The Ribbon > Tool > Animations,
Or by the command line 3DWALK or 3DFLY and WALKFLYSETTINGS
Walk and Fly Navigation modes for the keyboard and mouse.
F key = Toggle fly mode
Open a 3D Model and then use the command 3DWALK. In the Position Indicator palette set the Z elevation to what you want the eye level to be as you walk in the X-Y. You can also navigate using the Position Locator palette. Hit the F key to toggle the Fly mode. You can even record the walking and flying around.
Give these a try as they are not only fun but handy to look around or record animations and fly-by or fly-through sequences. There are many settings to control speed, elevation, target, visual style, and more. I will post a recorded animation from inside AutoCAD using 3D Walk and Fly later. I just scratched the surface with more left for later.
I also use the SHIFT+Mouse middle wheel to navigate around in 3D for a quick orbit.
Having worked in a design office in the past I know how there can be office pranks to liven up an office and blow off some steam. Sometimes projects can cause pressure, time crunch stress, and conflicts causing some to go to prank mode to relieve stress. Lynn Allen used to offer a few great pranks to do in AutoCAD including the one where each ZOOM would perform two UNDO commands and a SAVE, but that one could be a little dangerous and lose some work and design data if you had no backups of the DWG.
Pranks should always be in fun and not cause damage or negative impacts as those can be career limiting moves as well as be just downright mean and destructive. I will not officially admit to what I may have done myself, but mention a few pranks I know of:
Post your fun (and safe) AutoCAD pranks in the comments to this blog post. Let the fun begin.
You know you have seen them before, a series of baseline dimensions with differing spaces or adjusted manually until they look fine. You can use the DIMSPACE command to adjust the space to a set distance between them or use the default automatic. So I put together a quick example of using DIMSPACE.
From the Menu Dimension> Dimension Space
From the AutoCAD Command Line: DIMSPACE
Baseline dimensions selected
Completed with a consistent spacing between dimensions
For the smart buggers that need multiple ways or are currently shouting out the alternatives at their browser, yes you could also use QDIM to change the style or space as well and perhaps 3 or more others ways to accomplish it but I was trying to focus on DIMSPACE. ;-)
For those brave souls that like to test pre-release beta versions of an Operating System the opportunity to test the next Windows release Windows 7 is available to the public from Microsoft’s TechNet site. Be aware with tens of thousands downloading at once the speed could be very slow. also be aware there are risks to beta testing and more so with an Operating System than an application. I would strongly suggest not upgrading your current system and instead use a dual boot to another drive or partition as a safety measure.
The Windows 7 Beta Download aka Windows 7 Beta Customer Preview Program
Update 01/11/09: I know many are curious how AutoCAD or if AutoCAD installs and runs on the next OS from Microsoft. The simple unofficial answer is it does in my limited testing.
There is no official support or completed testing from Autodesk yet but in my limited testing AutoCAD 2009 appears to work very well on the next Windows OS, Microsoft Windows 7 Beta version.
Once the Operating System completes beta stages Autodesk will address the support of the new Operating System. While we are working closely with Microsoft as one of our partners and also looking at and testing Windows 7. It is important to keep in mind it is a pre-release beta and a moving target.
So I love barbeque. People that know me can attest to this fact and I have cooked barbeque baby back ribs all over the world, even in Germany where I was paid in fine beer and compliments. Anyways I wanted to quickly demonstrate a valuable method to show the area of a Hatch object automatically as well as include the areas in a table, then with a total and when the hatched areas are changed so are the area values in the table.
So in my faux dream barbeque restaurant “StarBacks” I wanted to show the areas of the customer dining and bar area, prep and pit area this is where the pit smoking of the meats is done with fine oak wood smoke, and then the kitchen area.
I use the FIELD command and select Object from Field Category and then select the Hatch.
Now after selecting the Hatch select the Area Property and then format the value to the decimal and precision you want and insert it.
After doing this for the three areas I now have three Field text objects linked to the areas of the Hatch objects.
I can create an AutoCAD Table with the TABLE command and then set my titles for the areas.
Then in the cell I want the areas shown I use the Object from Field Category and select the Field text and Object property of Contents. Now the cell is linked to the Field text that is linked to the area of the Hatch. Got it, good.
Of course I would like a total of the entire square footage (or meters for those lucky enough to make metric their standard). In the cell I right-click and select Insert > Formula > Equation.
Now it is just like in Excel and I enter A3+B3+C3 and I get the total of those three cells. I could also use the SUM option.
And there we go after some formatting of the precision to eliminate the trailing zeros I have a nice table all dynamically updating when the hatched areas update. So when I stretch the dining or bar area to increase space for more people (inevitable) the areas all update.
Showing the final floor plan and table. You could use this in so many ways such as material planning, retail space allocation, and more. Fields are powerful and you can link them to attributes like lights in a plan and have a table update with the quantity and type of light including cost from the attributed light block. Fields are powerful.
I do love the Florida Gators and am happy they won the BCS Championship but the BCS ignored the University of Utah Utes that played better and had a undefeated record this year. The BCS is like elections neither make any sense. It would be a good game to see the Florida Gators and Utah Utes play.
Two people searching for work contacted me to see if I could find a lead on a position for them. They are located in Salt Lake City Utah and Seattle Washington and both have architectural backgrounds.
I am proficient in not only AutoCAD but Revit and Microstation. I have worked in Architecture in all of its forms (residential, commercial, multi-family, high-rise, interior, structural, MEP, precast concrete, Landscape, and just about everything else.) I have done Structural, Civil, HVAC, electrical and plumbing.”
If you have a position for someone in the architectural industry requiring a top skill set in Autodesk products like AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Revit, in Salt Lake City or Seattle please email me with the subject line of “010909 Jobs”.
If you are personally looking for a new position, please email me your details on where you are located and if you would be willing to relocate, what products you use, and what you are looking for and I would be happy to post it on the blog to get attention and hopefully land you a new position.
Did you know there is a fans of AutoCAD group on Facebook? Yesterday Facebook announced that there are over 150 million users of Facebook and growing by millions each month. It seems there are a great majority of people wanting to be connected to friends, coworkers, or just a need to be a social butterfly. The AutoCAD Fans group has over 6000 members now and we just posted a special announcement for members there yesterday and intended to do more in the Facebook AutoCAD Fans group.
There is another new Autodesk blog and this one is for AutoCAD Civil 3D users. Being Civil (http://beingcivil.typepad.com). Please join me in welcoming Brian Kling, Jason Hickey and Justin Ziemba to the CAD and Autodesk blogosphere.
Here is my latest OPML/XML to add all Autodesk blogs to your RSS Feed Reader. Download Autodeskblogs010809
You can contact any Autodesk product team personally with a web form. This web form goes to the management for the products including QA, product managers, and software development. This is not product support so please do not submit a request to teach you a product or solve all your questions daily. You can use this to report an occasional issue, problem, or to make suggestions on what you like or do not like in the products.
On submitting the form it is sent to many on the Management and many are directly responded to, at least on the few teams I participate on.
Scott you are now part of a large grass roots social movement of sharing information and knowledge regarding design related software from one user to another. Again congratulations welcome to the world of CADBlogging and while blogging is not for everyone or a short term commitment it is powerful and a resource millions use today and continues to grow in respect and influence. Hopefully you can make the second annual Bloggers Summit we hold later this year most likely at Autodesk University 2009 “AU2009”.