2005-06-06

What's New in AutoCAD 2000!?!?

Yep, I am, in fact, insane, but, I really did write a column of tips and tricks for AutoCAD 2000 in this month's ICC newsletter (for those who don't know, the international cad council [now defunct] provided a newsletter free of charge to local user groups, schools and professional organizations.). I know that many people are getting sick of opening up their email/trade magazines and seeing 2006 plastered everywhere.


CAD Files in MS Word
First, you need to set up a driver to ‘plot’ an image from AutoCAD, then paste that image into your Word document.
Go to the Plotter Manager > Add a Plotter > My Computer > Raster File Plotter > JPEG (or other image file type as you choose)


Filleted Corners on Offset?
Are you unable to offset a closed polyline, so you open it and it fillets all funny?
Check your Very Valuable Variable - OFFSETGAPTYPE and set to ‘0’.

List of CTRL+’x’ Commands?
Default Accelerator Keys -
http://support.autodesk.com/getdoc.asp?id=TS18355
Creating keyboard shortcuts for commands - http://support.autodesk.com/getdoc.asp?id=TS22496

Repath X-refs
If you have the Express Tools installed (these tools were given to subscription customers, or purchased separately), you can use the XPATH command.
Type XPATH
Use the "..." button at top right to browse to the folder with the drawings whose paths you need to modify.
Click the "Find" button to see the current xref paths for drawings in a certain folder.
Click on long column heading button "Xref Path" to sort drawings by xref path.
Select all of the drawings that you need to change the xref path for (use Shift to select multiple files).
Tell xpath which folder is contains the correct xref files by clicking on the "..." button at the bottom-right of the window and browsing to the necessary folder.
"Que Changes" button.
Click "OK" to implement the changes.


Right-Click Shortcut Menu
R14 had trim and extend in this menu, how can you put it back in?
Open up the Acad.mns with notepad, look under the ***POP501 section, and paste in the below:
ID_Trim [&Trim]^C^C_trim
ID_Extend [Exten&d]^C^C_extend
For information about customizing shortcut menus, see the Customization Guide, Chapter 4 – Custom Menus, Pull-Down and Shortcut Menus.


(preceding a character with the '&' - ampersand will enable and ALT+# key combination for the letter right after the &)

Layer List Display
My layers are listed alphabetically, but, I’d like to see them in the order of their creation.
Type in MAXSORT and set to ‘1’. As long as the MAXSORT variable is set higher than the
number of layers, they will sort numerically and alphabetically.


My X-refs keep changing?
You’ve x-ref’d in a drawing, and changed all of the layers to display as black, gray, etc, but, the next time you open the drawing, they are all their original colors?!?!
Change your VISRETAIN variable from ‘0’ to ‘1’.


Properties Dialog Dragged Offscreen
If you’ve drug your dialog box off screen, here’s how to get it back:
Type –TOOLBAR (that’s a hyphen in front, you’ll need to include it) > type OBJECT_PROPERTIES
Enter an option: [Show/Hide/Left/Right/Top/Bottom/Float] : Float
Enter new position (screen coordinates): 0,0 

Enter number of rows for toolbar: 1

I get a prompt at the command line instead of a dialog box!?!?
Check the following system variables (which can be turned off by certain routines that suppress them in order to run correctly, but, aren’t programmed properly to turn them back on again, otherwise, they may be affected by a crash):
FILEDIA
CMDDIA
ATTDIA

They should all be set to ‘1’ to display.
Although, if you do prefer to do things (something quick and dirty such as freezing all of the layers except the current layer by typing layer, F, then an *.) via the command line as in older releases, you can type the command with a hyphen in front (this will work for some, but not all commands. –layer and –style will work, but, for example, -plot will not)

Middle Mouse Button Click
You can change what you see when you click by adjusting the MBUTTONPAN variable.
Controls the behavior of the third button or wheel on the pointing device.
0 - Shows the OSNAP menu
1 - Supports panning when you hold and drag the button or wheel
Also, if you CTRL + click on the center button, you can pan in ‘joystick’ mode.

File Format Nugget
Just a reminder that the .dwg file format is the same in releases 2000/2000i/2002
Likewise, the file format does not change between releases 2004/2005/2006

Update: You'll find a shared format for 2007/2008/2009
Format changed again for 2010/2011

Drawings can be saved back to R2000 format, but, newer features such as Tables, Fields and Dynamic blocks will become ‘dumb’ objects again.
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