Startup Accelerator?

What is the Startup Accelerator, and how can I stop it?

From AutoCAD's help files...

Runtime process that can accelerate the initial startup

If you do not want this automatic process to run at startup, you can turn it off.

To turn off the process, on the Start menu (Windows), click All Programs (or Programs) > Startup, then right-click Autodesk Product Name > Startup Accelerator and click Delete.


Geek Accessories


LOL... I was forwarded this link from a friend... check out some of the useless (but, I want em anyway) gadgets you can plug into your usb port.

Hmm, I'm curious what I'd get if I googled useless usb devices.

Hmm, let's try USB toys.

It's time to head home, happy cadding ya'll!


Exchanging Large Files?

My email account in my office allows me to receive any size of file, but, I'm only allowed to send out files up to 4mb... in the instances that I've needed to send out slightly larger files, I use my yahoo based email account (my yahoo.com, gatewayaug.com and icadc.com emailed addresses are all hosted by yahoo... so, if you've ever expected an email from me and not gotten it... tell your filters not to be so snobby), which will send up to 10mb.
Edit: Gmail is now my program of choice for this.


But, if you need to send out files larger than what your email client is capable of handling, you might want to explore some other options.

As always, google is your best friend if you want to search for a free file sharing site, or a free ftp site.

Or, hearing about sites from other people...

Dropload is a place for you to drop your files off and have them picked up by someone else at a later time. Recipients you specify are sent an email with instructions on how to download the file. Files are removed from the system after 7 days, regardless if they have been picked up or not. You can upload any type of file, mp3, movies, docs, pdfs, up to 100MB each! Recipients can be anyone with an email address


Choose who you want to send a file to. It can be anyone with an email address. You can specify multiple email addresses separated by commas.

Select a file to send. You can send photos, audio, documents or anything else. Your file will be stored by YouSendIt without ever filling up your recipient's mailbox. Send Large Files Up to 1000MB.

Click on Send. YouSendIt will automatically email your recipient a link to your file stored on our server. Your file will be deleted after seven days.

No passwords to share, no software to install, no accounts to create, and no full mailboxes.

So, everyone share, share, share to your heart's content...


Migrating to 2006

On one CAD mailing list that I belong to, I received the following report from my good friend, Janet, relaying the ups and downs of trying to pull off a migration, and she has kindly granted me permission to share her experiences with you here.

You may wish to read my tussle in AUGI over 2006 CUI's. It is long and windy though.

First off, I've learned to NOT migrate tools the first time acad opens. You may lose a lot of the 2006 functionality in favour of old code. Everyone I know who does this ends up uninstalling & re-installing Acad 2006.

Familiarize yourself with your existing setvar settings, and new 2006 setvars you may want to save in your templates. Also, take a close look at your old office menus BEFORE deciding which way to go. Then set up a user profile and a separate admin profile through options. Make sure both profiles have all the right folders in the searchpath in the right order. Exporting them to an .arg for safekeeping is also a good idea. Look for lsps that are calling up discontinued setvars. You may have same named, but different, acad.lsp, acad2000,lsp, acaddoc.lsp, loading up in wrong order. Pay attention to the ACAD history window. When you load vanilla 2006, it will load in certain order, no errors.

Then do your work under the admin profile. Find all the old office mnus and convert them to cuis using the CUI command. Make a note if several submenus are loaded as partials into a chief one. You would add the subs to the chief by using the CUI command as well. Next you will have to decide which cui to designate as main. Robert Bell recommends the Custom.cui that comes with the software. It has ACAD and EXPRESS already pre-loaded as partials I believe. (***With notepad or the cui editor, you have the choice of removing them as partials. You could even load them as partials under the office.cui, so many choices! It really depend on how you want to support it and the state of the original office menus!) You have the option to designate an enterprise menu, and in a perfect world that would be the office.cui, UNLESS it is really a beefed up and renamed ACAD menu. In that case you will have trouble making it enterprise, because when you are ready to test it with the user profile as current, you will notice that whatever you chose as enterprise is now appearing as the main menu and there is no enterprise. This is correct and by design, because this menu is now read-only to the users. You will also not be able to modify the cui at this point, because it is named as enterprise in the admin profile. You would have to deselect it from the profile in order to make any changes to the office.cui itself.

Keep testing with the user profile as current and work through the loading errors you may get, one at a time.

MY OWN SOLUTION In the end I opted to give up on my office cui. It had old acad in it and was too F--ed up. I made a new cui called office2006.cui. Then I used the transfer tab to drag and drop everything I needed from office.cui I had just made, leaving all the old acad behind. Then I transferred everything from the provided acad.cui and acetmain.cui. Don't forget to look all the way through the entire tree, opening lsp, menus, shortcuts, legacy. etc. If you get a lot of ? in your buttons, try renaming or getting rid of the mnrs.

Now make a workspace and drag everything you want into that. Don't forget to drag over the toolbar called workspace. Use the command WORKSPACE to set it to this preference.

This is a big subject to wrap your head around. Good luck making sense of it, I hope this helps. It has taken me TWO WHOLE WEEKS to figure this out. For a contractor, they sure are paying me well to self-train. I'm not complaining, but it was TOUGH SLEDDING.
Now I think I'll write a book about it and get rich quick.

Janet of the great white north


Confirmation or Denial???

Ok... starting around lunchtime on Monday, I began being inundated with phone calls. Friends from all over were calling to ask about how much truth was in this post by Lynn Allen?

Well, I am happy to say that most of it is true.

I am, in fact, happily engaged to AUGI Board Member, Mike Perry.
We will NOT however, be tying the knot at AU... this mis-communication surely stemmed from Mike being overruled by the stronger-willed members of the board who, upon hearing of our intentions, immediately started planning our wedding.

Oh, and to clear up another point, I'm sure this was just a minor oversight, but, Lynn, I'm almost positive that Mike said 'Plasma TV's' rather than 'toasters', as you reported, just wanted to clear up any confusion! Thanks. ;)

We were actually IN the jewelry store getting my brand spanking new engagement ring adjusted when the first of the calls came in.

Anyway, the ring is gorgeous, we are happy (except for all of the attention we're receiving on various newsgroups and forums). And, I already mentioned that we're not getting married at AU, didn't I?

Thanks to everyone for the Congratulations and Well-wishes. It is strange to me to have been blessed enough to find love with someone with whom I have enjoyed working with for so long, although, we're not the first couple to have met via AUGI, and I'm sure we won't be the last.

(oh, and how much of a geek am I? I am strangely tickled by the fact that my initials will be MEP... hehehe... man, do I need to get out more...)


Mtext Editor

I saw a question in the CAD Manager's list of WAUN (there's still email based support for AutoCAD!) about the MText editor, so I thought I'd throw a quick post up here about it.

Personally, I haven't used it much since testing the new one (which is really nice, lots of functions, bulleting, etc which didn't used to be there).
Very Valuable Variable!

Okay, so, MTEXTFIXED used to allow you to set the size of the text editor box, but, that doesn't work anymore. Now, with the in-place text editing, things that are small on the screen are nearly impossible to edit.

So, if you want to return to the old MText editor type MTEXTED, then OldEditor.
To set it back to the new one, MTEXTED, then Internal.
I believe there are other ways of doing that, setting other mtext editors external to AutoCAD, but, I haven't used any other methods myself.

Oh, and any FM people, make a special trip up to the Autodesk Discussion Groups and talk about what you don't know. (psst, that's Facilities Management for the uninitiated...)


PLT files and CAD Events

Here are some cool tips for today!

A Very Valuable Variable when using sheet sets.
You open a drawing which is attached to a sheet set and the SSM manager loads up, which can take a few seconds. Set SSMAutoOpen to '0' to suppress it until you choose to call it up again (by typing SSM).

Printing PLT files from DOS is as simple as using the DOS COPY command ....
syntax: copy /b
The plotter destination can be either an LPT port (i.e. LPT1) or a UNC path
(i.e. \\servername\plottername) using the /b switch ensures that the file is copied as a binary transfer (DOS will default to an ACSII transfer which may drop certain plt file code)

For the record, I hate PLT files. As an end-user whose contracts demand DWG only, I still get plt files on a regular basis from CADdies who just plain don't know any better (nicest way of putting it), I will throw this in here... viewing and printing PLT files.

Express tool: plt2file - typically the wrong format, so don't count on it working

The following were picked up from the Autodesk Discussion Groups:
Send plt files (hpgl/2) and Postscirpt file to plotters with Goplot http://www.output.tmfweb.nl/GoPlot.html

AutoVue can read and print to another scale a number of .plt formats such as HPGL, PCL, CC907 etc. as well as dwg dgn dxf (over 200 file formats). Why not download the working trial and give it a whirl?

Here is an example for a local LPT1 port:
copy /b name_of_plot_here.plt LPT1:
Here is an example of going to a NT server on a network:
copy /b name_of_plot_here.plt \\ServerName\DeviceName

The PLT file must be generated for a format that the device you are copying it to can accept. The PLT file is not a uniform format it is generated in the format of the driver that created it when plotting.

Look here http://vbdesign.hypermart.net/cadpages/tbox.htm at the Plot FileSpooler OCX.

PrintPLT will let you easily print PLT files to any of the printers on your system.
The updated file can be found at www.microsolresources.com/public/downloads/printplt.zip.

View Companion, Autodesk View and a few others. There are many you can find just by going to a web search engine like www.dogpile.com and search for HPGL & View.

View Companion

Splot, shareware, http://www.czechia.com/anovy/index.htm


Plotworks client by PLP Digital Systems will help to view and print the plotfiles.

You might want to look at RePlot (http://cadfx.com/replot)
It also does TIFF'S, dwf's and .pdf files. Let's you batch print them at virtually any scale as well....

best plt viewer is columbus - by oasys http://www.oasys-software.com/product/dm/columbus/whatsnew.shtml

If you do succeed in making a dwg or dxf (there are utilities out there) be aware that the new drawing will consist only of the objects described by the plot file. No layers, colors, etc. (unless you have a color plotfile.) There will also be a hit on scaling, though that may not really be a problem.
Also, check out some links on AUGI.com on the subject of plt files.

Oh, and of course, a disclaimer, I've never used any of these, so I'm not vouching for quality here.
Oh, just had to add in this link that I just saw someone post on AUGI... http://anydwg.com/

The AUGI board is meeting this week, so I hope that's going well. I'm sure there are plenty of more exciting changes coming up. I'd recommend keeping an eye on Shaan Hurley's Blog, I think he was the first to post on the last meeting.
Oh, and we can't forget Richard Binning.

In news a little closer to home, the St. Louis Revit Users Group will be having their first meeting (a joint meeting with GAUG) on July 12th.

Autodesk Application Engineer and Registered Architect, Brian Fitzpatrick will present on Autodesk Revit.
Alex Severino of Autodesk will be available to discuss Autodesk products.
Tomislav Zigo of Hagerman will present on Autodesk Architectural Desktop!


uh-oh, blast to the past, inventions, Color bug and Job Searching

Blast to the Past
Seriously, I did pull out an old binder that has some cad resources in it, like from the old email-based AUGI guilds. When someone would bring up a topic I needed, I would print it out and put in this binder, and also, when I came across a long and involved help topic in AutoCAD or MS Access, I would do the same.
Looking over some of these topics is interesting. It's strange thinking about some of the workarounds in older releases (attribute extraction, anyone?).

Color Bug
Here's something I've seen come up a couple of times on AUGI and the Autodesk Discussion Groups...
Just a heads up, if you're experiencing it, you're not alone. Evidently, sometimes a REGEN will cure this, but, most of the time, you'll have to close out your drawing and reopen it.

Let's talk about job searches... what is the best place to go to find job postings

AUGI now has a Career Corner where you can post Job Offers or Requests. Do remember that these are for specific job openings, not a place to advertise a business. If you want to do that, contact the AUGIworld staff.

Autodesk has a Classifieds forum. I believe that just about anything goes here (except conversation, you must provide contact info in your posts, and replies are to be made offline) from offers, to advertisements to equipment sales.
Also, if you think getting a paper is a hassle, or you are moving a distance and don't have access to hard copies, don't forget to check for online versions. 
My local paper (the St. Louis Post Dispatch) keeps classified ads from the past month on their website, these ads are from the PD, as well as from the Suburban Journal. So, don't forget what a valuable resource those could be!

Wondering about what you should expect for a salary?
Of course, the first place to go would be to the AUGIworld annual salary survey archives. They have the best person to tabulate the surveys... okay... they have the one person who was actually goofy enough to accept the task... but, you believe what you need to.
Another place to go is Salary.com

I'd love to hear any other suggestions!

I love people who invent!
It's amazing how people can create or improve things that just change the way that our world works... and then there are those that I appreciate for purely entertaining reasons.

My hospital has a couple of gift shops, and seasonal products are featured in a display case outside of the cafeteria. Let me tell you, I saw something which will NOT be drawing me in. What did I see? A battery-powered marshmallow toaster. Follow that link to see the picture... ok... I'll admit that fire is dangerous... buuuut... I just can't see how much safer an implement with three metal prongs can be???

What is the battery for? Well to perfectly rotate the three marshmallows... so you can heat up 3 at once... right... like removing one hot, sticky substance from a stick (how quickly do you think this metal cools?) with a couple of graham crackers is going to be easy, now you have three... so you can burn one of your hands on the 2nd and 3rd marshmallows.

So, anyone else seen any pointless inventions?
Here's another, I just don't get, off the top of my head... the Eggstractor.


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 -
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.
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):

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.