It has always been a pleasure to publish a guest post from someone in the Autodesk community. It helps the guest author get more visibility among peers as well as shares some valuable knowledge with the readers of this Between the Lines blog, a win – win for everyone.
In AutoCAD 2014, a new tab bar was added to the drawing interface. This tab system allows for simple and quick drawing switching and also added the convenience of opening the parent folder of the current drawing. This may seam like a simple addition but it is one I’ve welcomed with open arms. At one point I even added a lisp routine to my AutoCAD setup that allowed me to accomplish this, so I was quite happy that by simply right-clicking on the tab, you can choose “Open File Location” and an explorer window will open at the files location. Why so happy you might ask? Most firms I’ve worked for use a fairly expansive series of folders to manage their projects. When I’m working in a drawing I often need to look at other files pertaining to the DWG file. pdf’s, images of the site, Excel bill of materials, etc. An option like this makes it so much easier than opening Explorer and navigating from scratch.
I had a user ask me last week “That’s a really handy feature, why can’t I do that in the Mac version?” Well, actually, that feature has been available on the Mac side since the first version 4 years ago. It’s not really even an AutoCAD for Mac function, but one built in to Mac OS X. Simply go to the file name in the top of the drawing window (or the file name at the top of most application windows, Pages, Numbers, even the Microsoft Office suite) and right click to reveal the location and hierarchy of folders all the way to the top. Click any folder and a Finder window will open at that location.
As helpful as that is, that is not where Mac’s kindness for file and folder navigating end. Let’s say I open the parent folder and find a PDF of connector details. I need to insert one of these into my DWG file, so I go back to my DWG and type pdfattach. The dialog opens up to insert the pdf, and now I have to navigate all the way through from the default location (the last PDF I inserted) to the location of the PDF I already have open. There has to be an easier way, right? On the Mac side, there is indeed. To the left of the file name of the PDF we have open, there is a small icon. I can grab this icon and drag it to the folder name in the PDF attach dialog box in AutoCAD. This will automatically navigate to that file location in the dialog box, so you don’t have to drill through your folders to insert the file you already have open. As you can see from the image below, it takes me from my Documents folder.
This works in any dialog box in most applications, so I can use this to insert images as well, let’s say a Google map of the site I want to underlay in AutoCAD. Very handy and just one of the little things I like about using AutoCAD for Mac.
If you like this tip, take a look at my blog www.macncad.com for tips and tricks on both AutoCAD for Mac and general Mac OS X daily life. Also, if you are interested in learning more about AutoCAD for Mac, download the free trial and take a look at my class on Lynda.com where I go over the new features in AutoCAD for Mac 2014.
Thank you Jim!
If you would like to submit an Autodesk related guest post please Email Me for details and consideration.