Autocad Book, Salary Survey, CAD Standards and Happy New Year

Well, I've been a little slim on tips and tricks here lately, but, I've been understandably busy.

I'm going to be offline for about a week, so expect silence here.

I did want to highlight a couple of things so you aren't totally without technical content...

Read any good books lately?
Ever notice the 'chapter' setup on the Autocad Community Forums?
Pick a topic and skim through to brush up on certain features such as:
Frequently Asked Questions, General, 3d, Fields, Plotting, Sheet Set Manager, General 2006, Dynamic Blocks, Tables and CUI Menus.

Salary Survey Results
Keep an eye out on next month's AUGIworld, then hop up to the AUGI site to get more detailed information.

Don't We All Love CAD Standards?
We recently added a CAD Standards forum to the AUGI site, and we've already had 61 topics added pertaining to CAD and drafting standards. Quite a few of those threads are started to gauge others' procedures. It's always nice to know what works for our peers to evaluate our own processes and understand one anothers' preferences.

The forums in general have also been recently reorganized, and in my opinion are set up a bit more intuitively. Many props to those guys who work behind the scenes and balance our requests and preferences with practicality and universal usibility.

I'm off to finish up a few things right now.

Made many fabulous memories with my 2 year old, as this was his first Christmas really getting into things. I experienced a Christmas miracle in that I picked all food that my mother would actually eat. ;) She and my sister are really picky, but, I always do the cooking anyway. A great time was had by all, my gingerbread how wasn't constructed according to specs, but, it did come out looking quite good anyway, much better than last year's. I'll try to post a pic, as I'm very proud. lol.

Happy (and SAFE) New Year's celebration to all.


Don't dock that palette...

I don't remember where I first heard this, but, it stuck in the back of my mind til I needed it...
I am working with my properties palette open, and I have my SSM up as well... I like to keep them both on the left side of the screen... I don't need to see all of my properties, just a couple, but, I'd like my SSM up without squishing both of them by docking them on the same side.

So, with my properties docked and my SSM floating, I grab the bar on the SSM and drag to the left... with the CTRL key held down, which prevents the palette from docking...

(also, you can right click on the palette, and uncheck 'allow docking' but, if it's only a temp thing, I like the use of the CTRL key)

Merry Christmas!


AU mainstage rundown, Blog Survey, PDF of 2006 System Variables

Take a blog survey from Autodesk

See a rundown of AU's mainstage presentation and download a video

I posted a pdf of all of the 2006 system variables and their switches in the Autodesk Newsgroups.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays. All the blessings you and your family deserve in the coming year.


Quick Navigation Tip and Response Request to GAUG Members at AU

I took Donnia Tabor-Hanson's AUGI Tips and Tricks class at AU and it was fabulous!
Jen Leamy (aka augi CADKitty and ATP Recruiter) suggested a tip about qselect, and I asked if I could say something about it, hopped up on stage and mentioned one of my favorite uses for qselect...
I have some pretty big floor plans, and sometimes I am asked for measurements or other information of a specific room, and rather than zoom in close enough to read the numbers and pan around until I find it... I use a combination of qselect and zoom to object...
Let's assume I know the exact room number, Qselect > Object Type: Text (or Mtext) > Properties: Contents > Operator: =Equals > Value: 4401 (or whatever your number is) > OK
so, somewhere on that drawing, that room number has been selected, so you can hit 'Z' 'O' (for Zoom to Object) which will take you right to the room that you are looking for.

Also, I sent out a notice today to all of the members of the Gateway AUG asking who attended AU this year, but, I got a lot of bounces... if you attended Autodesk University in Orlando and DID NOT get that message, please send me an email as soon as possible at mstone@icadc.com.
Thank you!

2006 System Variables O-W

Continuing from previous posts, (part 3 of 3)

From the help files... 2006 system variables beginning with the letters 'O' through 'W':

Controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation.
Osnap uses the Z-value of the specified point
Osnap substitutes the Z-value of the specified point with the elevation (ELEV) set for the current UCS

Specifies the visual effect used for previewing selection of objects.
Dashed lines (the default display for selected objects)
Thickened lines
Dashed and thickened lines

Excludes specified object types from selection previewing. The setting is stored as a bitcode using the sum of the following values:
Excludes nothing
Excludes objects on locked layers
Excludes objects in xrefs
Excludes tables
Excludes multiline text objects
Excludes hatch objects
Excludes objects in groups

Determines whether the QuickCalc calculator is active or not.
Not active

Controls whether drawing recovery information is recorded after a system failure.
Recovery information is not recorded, the Drawing Recovery window does not display automatically after a system failure, and any recovery information in the system registry is removed
Recovery information is recorded, but the Drawing Recovery window does not display automatically after a system failure
Recovery information is recorded, and the Drawing Recovery window displays automatically in the next session after a system failure

Controls the display of effects for selection areas. Selection areas are created by the Window, Crossing, WPolygon, and CPolygon options of

Controls the transparency of the selection area during window and crossing selection. The valid range is 0 to 100. The lower the setting, the more transparent the area. A value of 100 makes the area opaque. The
SELECTIONAREA system variable must be on.

Controls the display of selection previewing. Objects are highlighted when the pickbox cursor rolls over them. This selection previewing indicates that the object would be selected if you clicked. The setting is stored as a bitcode using the sum of the following values:
On when no commands are active
On when a command prompts for object selection

Displays icons in the Layer Properties Manager to indicate whether layers are in use. Setting this system variable to Off improves performance in the Layer Properties Manager.

Controls the time interval between automatic refreshes of the status data in a sheet set.
The SSMPOLLTIME timer sets the time in seconds between automatic refreshes of the status data of sheets in a sheet set. Valid values are 20-600. The
SSMSHEETSTATUS system variable must be set to 2 for the timer to operate.

Controls how the status data in a sheet set is refreshed.
The status data for sheets in the current sheet set includes whether a sheet is locked and whether a sheet is missing (or found in an unexpected location). This status data can be updated automatically for all sheets.
To refresh the sheet set manually, use the Refresh Sheet Status button on the Sheet List tab of the Sheet Set Manager.
Do not automatically refresh the status data in a sheet set
Refresh the status data when the sheet set is loaded or updated
In addition, refresh the status data at a time interval set by

Controls the display of row numbers and column letters when the In-Place Text Editor is open for editing a table cell.

Turns temporary override keys on and off. A temporary override key is a key that you can hold down to temporarily turn on or turn off one of the drawing aids that are set in the
Drafting Settings dialog box; for example, Ortho mode, object snaps, or Polar mode.

Combines drafting tooltips into a single tooltip. The appearance of the merged tooltip is controlled by the settings in the
Tooltip Appearance dialog box.

Sets the duration of a smooth view transition, in milliseconds. The valid range is 0 to 5000. (initial value: 750)

Controls when smooth view transitions are used. Smooth view transitions can be on or off for panning and zooming, for changes of view angle, or for scripts. The valid range is 0 to 7. (see help file for detailed table)

Sets the minimum speed of a smooth view transition, in frames per second. When a smooth view transition cannot maintain this speed, an instant transition is used. The valid range is 1.0 to 30.0. (initial value: 7.0)

Controls the color of the transparent selection area during window selection. The valid range is 1 to 255.

Returns the current workspace name in the command line interface and sets a workspace to current.


2006 System Variables D-L

Continuing from yesterday's posts,

From the help files... 2006 system variables beginning with the letters 'D' through 'L':

Determines whether the Drawing Recovery window is active or not.
The Drawing Recovery window is not active
The Drawing Recovery window is active

Specifies the user interface for editing single-line text.
Displays the In-Place Text Editor
Displays the Edit Text dialog box

Controls which dynamic dimensions are displayed during grip stretch editing. The
DYNDIVIS system variable must be set to 2, which displays all dynamic dimensions.
Resulting dimension
Length change dimension
Absolute angle dimension
Angle change dimension
Arc radius dimension
DYNMODE system variable turns Dynamic Input features on and off.

Controls how many dynamic dimensions are displayed during grip stretch editing.
DYNDIGRIP controls which dynamic dimensions are displayed during grip stretch editing.
Only the first dynamic dimension in the cycle order
Only the first two dynamic dimensions in the cycle order
All dynamic dimensions, as controlled by the
DYNDIGRIP system variable
DYNMODE system variable turns Dynamic Input features on and off.

Turns Dynamic Input features on and off. When all features are on, the context governs what is displayed.
When DYNMODE is set to a negative value, the Dynamic Input features are not visible, but the setting is stored. Press the Dyn button in the status bar to set DYNMODE to the corresponding positive value.
All off
Only pointer input on
Only dimensional input on
All on
When DYNMODE is set to anything but 0, you can turn off all features temporarily by holding down the temporary override key, F12.
Settings are on the Dynamic Input tab in the
Drafting Settings dialog box.

Controls whether pointer input uses relative or absolute format for coordinates.
DYNMODE system variable turns Dynamic Input features on and off.

Controls whether pointer input uses polar or Cartesian format for coordinates. This setting applies only to a second or next point.
DYNMODE system variable turns Dynamic Input features on and off.

Controls when pointer input is displayed.
Only when you type at a prompt for a point
Automatically at a prompt for a point
DYNMODE system variable turns Dynamic Input features on and off.

Controls display of prompts in Dynamic Input tooltips.
DYNMODE system variable turns Dynamic Input features on and off.

Controls which tooltips are affected by tooltip appearance settings.
Only Dynamic Input value fields
All drafting tooltips

Stores the CUI file name (if defined), including the path for the file name.

Controls whether the full path of the drawing file is sent to the plot spooler.
Sends the drawing file name only
Sends the full path of the drawing file

Controls the color of custom grips for dynamic blocks. The valid range is 1 to 255.

Controls the hatch origin of the resulting hatch when using Inherit Properties in HATCH and HATCHEDIT.
The hatch origin is taken from HPORIGIN
The hatch origin is taken from the source hatch object

Sets the number of hatch boundary objects that can be selected before displaying a warning message.

Sets the hatch origin point for new hatch objects relative to the current user coordinate system.

Controls how HATCH determines the default hatch origin point.
Hatch origins are set using HPORIGIN
Hatch origins are set using the bottom-left corner of the rectangular extents of the hatch boundaries
Hatch origins are set using the bottom-right corner of the rectangular extents of the hatch boundaries
Hatch origins are set using the top-right corner of the rectangular extents of the hatch boundaries
Hatch origins are set using the top-left corner of the rectangular extents of the hatch boundaries
Hatch origins are set using the center of the rectangular extents of the hatch boundaries

Controls whether HATCH creates a single hatch object or separate hatch objects when operating on several closed boundaries.
A single hatch object is created
Separate hatch objects are created

Controls the content and location of the display of a history of user input.
The setting is stored as a bitcode using the sum of the following values:
No history of recent input is displayed
History of recent input is displayed at the command line or in a dynamic prompt tooltip with access through Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys
History of recent input for the current command is displayed in the shortcut menu
History of recent input for all commands in the current session is displayed in the shortcut menu
Markers for recent input of point locations are displayed in the drawing

Controls the graphics refresh rate. The default value is 20 frames per second. If you encounter problems related to graphics generation or timing, turn off the variable by setting it to 0. INTELLIGENTUPDATE works by suppressing the graphics update until the timer expires. Subsequent updates reset the timer.
The performance improvement significantly affects updates for scripts and AutoLISP graphics. Those using regular AutoCAD commands will not see a noticeable difference in performance.

Deletes excessive layer filters to improve performance. When a drawing has 100 or more layer filters, and the number of layer filters exceeds the number of layers, LAYERFILTERALERT provides a method for deleting layer filters to improve performance.
When the Layer Manager is opened, deletes all layer filters; no message is displayed
When the Layer Manager is opened, displays a message that states the problem, recommends deleting all filters, and offers a choice: "Do you want to delete all layer filters now?"
When the drawing is opened, displays a message that states the problem and offers to display a dialog box where you can choose which filters to delete

Locks the position and size of toolbars and windows such as DesignCenter and Properties palette. Locked toolbars and windows can still be opened and closed and items can be added and deleted. To unlock them temporarily, hold down CTRL.
A lock icon in the status bar tray indicates whether toolbars and windows are locked. Right-click the icon to display locking options.
The setting is stored as a bitcode using the sum of the following values:
Toolbars and windows not locked
Docked toolbars locked
Docked windows locked
Floating toolbars locked
Floating windows locked


2006 System Variables B-C

From the help files... 2006 system variables beginning with the letters 'B' and 'C':

Sets the text color of actions in the Block Editor. Valid values include BYLAYER, BYBLOCK, and an integer from 1 to 255.
Valid values for True Colors are a string of integers each from 1 to 255 separated by commas and preceded by RGB. The True Color setting is entered as follows:

Controls whether or not dependent objects are dependency highlighted when a parameter, action, or grip is selected in the Block Editor.
Specifies that dependent objects are not highlighted
Specifies that dependent objects are highlighted
Dependency highlighting displays objects with a halo effect.

Sets the color of grips in the Block Editor. Valid values include BYLAYER, BYBLOCK, and an integer from 1 to 255.
Valid values for True Colors are a string of integers each from 1 to 255 separated by commas and preceded by RGB. The True Color setting is entered as follows:

Sets the display size of custom grips in the Block Editor relative to the screen display. Valid values include an integer from 1 to 255.
Use the
REGEN command to update the display size of custom grips in the Block Editor.

Disallows opening of the Block Editor and editing of dynamic block definitions. When BLOCKEDITLOCK is set to 1, double-clicking a dynamic block in a drawing opens the
Reference Edit dialog box. If the block contains attributes, double-clicking the block reference opens the Enhanced Attribute Editor
Specifies that the Block Editor can be opened
Specifies that the Block Editor cannot be opened

Reflects whether or not the Block Editor is open.
Indicates that the Block Editor is not open
Indicates that the Block Editor is open

Sets the color of parameters in the Block Editor. Valid values include BYLAYER, BYBLOCK, and an integer from 1 to 255.
Valid values for True Colors are a string of integers each from 1 to 255 separated by commas and preceded by RGB. The True Color setting is entered as follows:

Sets the font used for parameters and actions in the Block Editor.
You can specify either a True Type font or a SHX font (for example, Verdana or Verdana.ttf). You must add the .shx extension to specify an AutoCAD SHX font. When specifying an Asian Big Font, use the following naming convention: an SHX file followed by a comma (,), followed by the Big Font file name (for example, Simplex.shx,Bigfont.shx).

Sets the size of parameter text and features in the Block Editor relative to the screen display. Valid values include an integer from 1 to 255.

Controls whether or not value set markers are displayed for dynamic block references.
Specifies that value set markers are not displayed
Specifies that value set markers are displayed

Controls how objects that are made invisible for the current visibility state are displayed in the Block Editor.
Specifies that hidden objects are not visible
Specifies that hidden objects are visible but dimmed

Controls whether mathematical expressions and global constants are evaluated in text and numeric entry boxes of windows and dialog boxes.
Expressions are not evaluated
Expressions are evaluated after you press the END key

Controls how grips stretch multiline text that is centered horizontally. CENTERMT does not apply to stretching multiline text by using the ruler in the In-Place Text Editor.
When you move a corner grip in centered multiline text, the center grip moves in the same direction, and the grip on the opposite side remains in place
When you move a corner grip in centered multiline text, the center grip stays in place, and both sets of side grips move in the direction of the stretch

Stores a value that indicates whether the command window is hidden or displayed.

Sets the maximum number of previous input values that are stored for a prompt in a command. Display of the history of user input is controlled by the
INPUTHISTORYMODE system variable.

Controls the color of the selection area during crossing selection. The valid range is 1 to 255. The
SELECTIONAREA system variable must be on.

System Variables New in 2006

~sings~ These are a few of my favorite things!
Well, not really, but, when you're in a jamb, that odd little system variable can mean the difference between bald patches and a full head of hair.

I always appreciate the detailed list on Hyperpics, and that's where I pulled out all of these variables that are new in AutoCAD 2006. Stay tuned as I add the explanations from the Help files for them.



You Might be a CAD Diva

I put together goodie-bags for the ladies from CWC and a couple others, and my favorite part was the magnets (all original, I might point out), that I created for them, ala' Jeff Foxworthy, hope you enjoy:

You Might be a CAD Diva…
A Woman’s Touch:
If you love redecorating your house… and always do three alternate layouts before moving anything.
If you have the cutest little purse for going out, but, you’re torn between taking your compact or your ipaq.
If your jewelry box is chock-full of necklaces, earrings and drill bits.
If you debate with your girlfriends on jean cuts, liquid vs. powder foundation and graphics cards.

If you’re regularly called by friends and family members to setup/troubleshoot anything containing a digital clock.
If your wildest stories always start out: ‘This one time, at CAD Camp’.
If your favorite magazines include Glamour, Redbook and CADalyst.

If you’ve ever turned down a guy with the line ‘I’m sorry, I don’t date guys who use R12’
If your boyfriend/husband owns fewer power tools than you.
If you’re bar-hopping with your girlfriends and you give out your email instead of your phone number.
If your personal ad lists customization or beta-testing among your turn-ons.
If your wedding gifts are bought from registries at the following stores; the AUGI store, Office Max, the Discovery Channel Store and Bed, Bath & Beyond. (~hint, hint~)

Life at the Office:
If you are the only woman in the office, and no one would dare to ask you to make coffee.
If you doubt your ability to survive more than two days without chocolate and/or coffee.
If your desktop contents include a coffee mug, a french curve and floral hand lotion.

You just might be... a CAD Diva.

I am posting an edit here 08/06 to include a link to You might be a Redneck CAD Tech if... from MEP blogger Kelly Swa. Good stuff.

I'm posting an edit here 07/08 to include a link to You might be using AutoCAD Too much if... from blogger Brian Benton.


Another Day at AU

Where has the time gone?!?!?!
Been busy all day. Was up till 3am (shhhh, don't tell my boss!), but, I was one of the few up that late who made it to class on time... if at all. It was good, at least the first half.
The first half was going over the way MAPguide is used for FM, but, the 2nd half was a little over my head, so I went to 'work' in the AUGI booth. I tried hard to look clueless, but, kept being asked for help anyway. Lots of new members which was great. Reminds me of AU2001 at the beer bash when I first became an AUGI member, now, 5 AU's later, I'm helping others get signed up. It's really cool. I didn't take the Top DAUG contest, but, encouraged many others who are smarter than myself to do so.

My better half (aka, Board Member, Mike Perry) has been working tirelessly and I only see him a few minutes a day. ~rolls eyes~ ;) Don't get used to this AUGI, it won't last once he's legally mine. So very sorry.

I'm being shooed out again, more later. Time for the ladies night out. Thanks so much to my good friend and such a sweetheart, Jane Smith for the lovely bachelorette gifts. This is awesome. :)



From the AUGI Booth

Hello from the AUGI booth!!! And the playpen... you can test-drive all autodesk software here.
The AUGI daug was hilarious... I've got a minute-long video of him scaring Yoshi, the AUGI president.

Oh, the exhibit hall is closing in 10 minutes, the beer bash is almost over, sending the AUGI daug off to fetch one more round.

We handed over the wishlists today for Autocad and Inventor.

Saturday was great fun, met up with some friends from AUGI and an email list I belong to. Finally met Shaan Hurley in person, hopefully a DECENT picture of me will make it to his blog. ;) My fault Shaan, not yours, I know.

I was in all FM classes today. They were really great! The instructors were all people who work in the field or develop software for it. Winning approval from Executives for Automation was marginally my favorite. The FM track here is so impressive compared to past years. I appreciate the effort Autodesk has made with regards to our field.

I hope to post more this week, but, it does stay pretty busy, especially since I am the 'intended' of someone as well known as my fiance', AUGI board member, Mike Perry. ;) There's something to embarass him as much as the 'property of mike perry' button I'm wearing right now.

It's been fabulous meeting all of the augsters, adeskers, ilkers, swampers and... ~wink, wink~ the other super, secret, autocad society. It's fabulous to finally meet up with all of you, at this, my fifth AU... I've been thrust from dark corners to the center of the AUGI booth, and I'm actually enjoying it, thanks to all of you guys.

Oh, I'm being shooed off right now... later.

~mistress of the dorkness ;)

Engineering Terms... and their real meaning.

Top Engineering Terms and Expressions
(What engineers say versus what they mean)
1. A number of different approaches are being tried.
(We are still guessing at this point.)
2. Close project coordination.
(We sat down and had coffee together.)
3. An extensive report is being prepared on a fresh approach.
(We just hired three punk kids out of school.)
4. Major technological breakthrough!
(It works OK, but looks very hi-tech!)
5. Customer satisfaction is believed assured.
(We are so far behind schedule, that the customer will take anything.)
6. Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive.
(The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.)
7. Test results were extremely gratifying!
(Unbelievable, it actually worked!)
8. The entire concept will have to be abandoned.
(The only guy who understood the thing quit.)
9. It is in process.
(It is so wrapped in red tape that the situation is completely hopeless.)
10. We will look into it.
(Forget it! We have enough problems already.)
11. Please note and initial.
(Let's spread the responsibility for this.)
12. Give us the benefit of your thinking.
(We'll listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn't interfere with
what we have already done or with what we are going to do.)
13. Give us your interpretation.
(We can't wait to hear your bull.)
14. See me or let's discuss.
(Come to my office, I've screwed up again.)
15. All new.
(Parts are not interchangeable with previous design.)
16. Rugged.
(Don't plan to lift it without major equipment.)
17. Robust!
(Rugged, but more so)
18. Light weight.
(Slightly lighter than rugged)
19. Years of development.
(One finally worked)
20. Energy saving.
(Achieved when the power switch is off.)
21. No maintenance.
(Impossible to fix)
22. Low maintenance.
(Nearly impossible to fix)
23. Fax me the data.
(I'm too lazy to write it down.)
24. We are following the standard!
(That's the way we have always done it!)
25. I didn't get your e-mail.
(I haven't checked my e-mail for days.)


Brief Release History

I made the following summary of features for my LUG newsletter after R2005 came out (having just added the information for 2006). Enjoy!

Obviously, I cannot include when every command was added or significantly improved,
but, I have selected the ones that I found most interesting. (A more complete, yet unofficial list of feature changes is posted on
the Autodesk website.)

Version 1.0 (Release 1) Dec-82
Initial release of AutoCAD, demonstrated at COMDEX
Version 1.2 (Release 2) Apr-83
Dimensioning added as an extra-cost option
Version 1.3 (Release 3) Aug-83
Layer-to-layer move via CHANGE -- Removed 40-item limit from menus -- Large plotter support added -- Standardized color numbers
Version 1.4 (Release 4) Oct-83
WBLOCK -- Blocks redefined -- Toggle Snap Grid Ortho & Tablet modes -- HATCH -- SKETCH -- AXIS to display ruler lines -- UNITS -- BREAK -- FILLET
Version 2.0 (Release 5) Oct-84
Layers have user-chosen names, with no limit to the number of layers -- Four tablet menu areas allowed -- Screen menu and the text-prompt area can be disabled, to provide a larger area for graphics
LIST -- DBLIST -- Angles in 0d0’0” – Attributes -- Mirror -- Vslide -- Osnap -- Save -- View
Version 2.1 (Release 6) May-85
Multiple pens can be used with single-pen plotters; will prompt you to change the pen manually
LIMITS On/Off option -- CHAMFER -- BREAK – Plines -- 3D Level 1 for 3D visualizations with optional removal of hidden lines (ELEV, VPOINT, and HIDE commands) -- Freeze and Thaw for LAYER command -- Objects highlighted during selection -- AutoLISP in Version 2.18 (January, 1986)
Version 2.5 (Release 7) Jun-86
Context-sensitive Help -- UNDO/REDO -- Color and linetype by entity -- CHANGE -- SETVAR -- SELECT -- TIME -- DIVIDE -- EXPLODE -- EXTEND -- OFFSET -- ROTATE -- SCALE -- STRETCH -- TRIM -- Angles entered and displayed in surveyor's units
Version 2.6 (Release 8) Apr-87
Transparent ZOOM PAN VIEW & REDRAW -- AREA enhanced -- Associative dimensioning -- UNITS fractional mode -- 3D Line & 3D Face (3D Level 2)
Release 9 Sep-87
MULTIPLE -- Menu items repeat -- Slide libraries -- Menu bar, pull-down menus, icon menus, and dialog boxes -- Crossing object selection boxes drawn as dotted lines -- Provisions for 3D Lines and 3D Faces added to the DXB file format -- Large selection-sets handling
Release 10 Oct-88
LINETYPE Load -- binary form of DXF -- ZOOM Previous restores 10 views -- CHPROP command -- PEDIT -- User-defined start-up function added to run when acad.lsp is loaded
Release 11 Oct-90
Viewports -- Vport-specific layer visibility -- Network server authorization -- Drawing File Recovery -- AUDIT -- XREFs -- Solid modeling capability -- Arrow cursor for drop downs -- UNITMODE system variable -- SHADE
Release 12 Jun-92
Main menu eliminated -- OPEN command converts older drawings -- Selection grips -- Timed saves -- Plot Preview -- Import common raster files -- APPLOAD -- CAL -- DDMODIFY -- FILTER
Release 13 Nov-94
Flyouts -- Tooltips -- Drawing Preview -- Mline Text Editing -- Spell check -- Associative hatching --
LENGTHEN -- GROUP -- Mlines -- Rendering enhancements -- Learning AutoCAD for Windows is an on-line tutorial
Release 14 Feb-97
HEIDI-based graphics -- Paper Space -- Max # of active viewports in paper space increased to 48 from 16 -- Plines stored as single objects -- Hatches stored as single objects -- Drawing Template Files -- Toolbars dialog box -- Draworder -- Preferences dialog -- -XBIND -- MATCHPROP
AutoCAD 2000 (Release 15) Mar-99
Multiple drawings – DesignCenter -- 3DORBIT -- Multiple Active Work Planes -- UCS Manager -- Reference Editing -- Object Properties Toolbar -- IntelliMouse -- Layer Properties Manager -- Boundary Hatch dialog – hyperlinks -- Layouts -- Nonrectangular Viewports -- Block Descriptions
AutoCAD 2000i(Release 16) Jul-00
Double click edit objects -- Trim to objects in blocks -- Closeall -- True Color plot styles -- Layer States -- eTransmit -- Live Update -- Help has natural language query -- MSI based installation
AutoCAD 2002 (Release 17) Jun-01
Associative Dimensioning -- Block Attribute Manager -- Layer Translator -- Layer Previous -- i-drop -- Standardsaware eTransmit -- Today -- Meet Now -- DWF -- Point A design portal -- Project Point Plans & Specs system -- Construction Manager online workflow -- DesignXML -- Enhanced Attribute Extraction
AutoCAD 2004 (Release 18) Mar-03
Express Tools -- Tool palettes -- Multisheet DWF -- Digital signatures -- password protection -- CAD standards management tools
AutoCAD 2005 (Release 19) Mar-04
Sheet Sets -- Tables -- Publish -- Hatch ‘fuzz factor’ -- Hatch Trim -- Layer Descriptions -- Object Zoom

AutoCAD 2006 (Release 20) Mar-05
CUI/Workspaces -- Dynamic Input -- Dynamic Blocks -- Mtxt Improvements -- Quick Calc

Lots of stuff. Looking at the 2006 page I see a really great list showing the new commands, changed commands and new system variables. Sweeet... put this is favorites.


AU 2005 and AU Handouts from 2000-2004

Alright, it's almost that time again. Orlando here I come! There are some great classes for FM this year, and it looks like there will be an after-hours mixer for Facilities Management CADdies... that's rolling out the red carpet for sure.

I will be there the whole time, so come up and say 'hi'! Unless you're a salesperson/representing a service company, then, only say 'hi' if you have a gift to give me.
Even if you are not an AUGI member, stop by the AUGI annual meeting monday night, and the AUGI beer bash afterwards. There is a lot of good stuff for everyone to see/learn there! This is when we do the official handover of the AUGI wishlists to Autodesk representatives, and there are typically some software giveaways as well.

If you've not been to Autodesk University (first of all, shame on your boss for their lack of training budget!), be sure to check out the AUGI website for class handouts from previous years.


More Engineers?

This is a subject I tend to think about, and since I just saw a good article in CADalyst (Growing Our Profession) about how to get future generations interested in Engineering, I thought I would make this my topic of the day.

Assuming China is graduating so many more engineers because they need the infrastructure build-up more than we do wouldn't cover it all. Every source talking about this topic mentions the bad math and science scores in this country, St. Louis is no exception.
I started reading an article about how the gap in achievements between black and white students has virtually disappeared in this city, and was disappointed to discover it wasn't because there was a vast improvement with one group, but, because of the severe decline in the other.
Also, a thought to ponder; who do kids look up to? Musicians, athletes, etc? Not many teenagers have trading cards or posters of famous engineers.

Jeffrey Rowe (the author of the CADalyst article mentioned above) spoke from his viewpoint as a substitute teacher about the curriculum being offered in today's high schools. Speaking from my own experience, geometry was dropped as a requirement before I had to take it, and was then marked as a 'remedial' course. After I failed Algebra, I was put into the geometry class along with the BD (behaviour disorder) and LD (learning disorder) kids.
I passed geometry, passed algebra on my second try, and when I moved to Trigonometry... almost everyone in the class was getting 'D's except me. Why is that? Because the school district assumed we didn't need to know geometry? That it was 'remedial'? ~shrug~ I don't know who makes the decisions on class requirements, I believe that is done at a state level?

As with a paper I wrote a while back on the state of literacy in the US, it makes you wonder who is to blame? Do we blame the schools? Do we blame uninvolved or uneducated parents? Do we blame our society's focus?

Well, instead of being part of the 'problem' I encourage us all to be a part of the solution.
Volunteer your time for a movement like
FIRST... "to create a world where science and technology are celebrated... where young people dream of being science and technology heroes" - Dean Kamen.
Even parents with a non-technical background can take their children on outings to places like the
St. Louis Science Center. A mostly-free attraction with interactive exhibits (and, incidentally, home of the Ansari X-prize). Learn about bridge building, computers, convservation, and more!
Or search for your own way of encouraging a technical career for your child/children in your community.
In case you are wondering, my son's favorite place to go 'play' is the science center. We build things with blocks large and small, we have built a 7' tall foam arch, and we cruise the toddler section in the computer exhibits. There are many more things at this center, and different types of exhibits at other places (I recall going to a 'children's museum' or something when I lived in southern california and it was awesome).
Happy weekend...



From Help: Sets the content of the sample text displayed at the cursor location when the MTEXT command is started. The text string is displayed in the current text size and font. You can enter any string of up to ten letters or numbers or enter . (period) to display no sample text.

From Help: (although my nagging memory says I've already posted this, sorry if I'm repeating myself)
Suppresses display of the Object Selected Is Not a Polyline prompt in PEDIT. The prompt is followed by “Do you want it to turn into one?” Entering y converts the selected object to a polyline. When the prompt is suppressed, the selected object is automatically converted to a polyline.
The prompt is displayed
The prompt is suppressed

From Express Tools Help: Aligns text, mtext and block attribute objects to new orientation.
Rotates text, mtext, and attribute definition objects so that they end up being as close as possible to horizontal or right-read (similar to the behavior of dimension text). Objects are rotated about their middle point in 180-degree increments. For example, if the text is upside-down, it becomes right-side up after a TORIENT operation. Similarly, left-read text becomes right-read text. The overall object location is not changed. As an option, you can specify a new absolute orientation angle for all selected text objects.

Microsoft Access 97: Any database managers out there who work with Access? You know that picture you have to look at while the program takes forever to boot up?
You can replace that with an image of your choice. All you have to do is place a .bmp of the same name as the database file into the same directory.
So, I rename ViggoM.bmp to PlansIndex.bmp, and I get to look at my fave lotr actor while I wait for Access to open.


Geek Pickup Lines...

[Edit: if you're looking for -> Lord of the Rings pickup lines

I just got this email from one of my fellow lug members...
These are hilarious, thanks Allan S!
(I realize this is an email forward, but, if anyone knows an originator, I'd like to give credit where it's due?)

Geek Pick-up Lines
11. Tell me of this thing you humans call *dramatic pause* love.
10. If you turn me down now, I will become more drunk than you can possibly imagine.
9. They don't call me Bones because I'm a doctor.
8. Your name is Leslie? Look, I can spell your name on my calculator!
7. What's a nice girl like you doing in a wretched hive of scum and villany like this?
6. You must be Windows 95 because you gots me so unstable.
5. My 'up-time' is better than BSD.
4. I can tell by your emoticons that you're looking for some company.
3. Is that an iPod mini in your pocket or are you just happy to see me.
2. Want to see my Red Hat?
1. If you won't let me buy you a drink, at least let me fix your laptop.

Geek Pick Up Lines: Part 2

11. You had me at "Hello World."
10. Mind if I run a sniffer to see if your ports are open?
9. You make me want to upgrade my Tivo.
8. By looking at you I can tell you're 36-25-36, which by the way are all perfect squares.
7. Jedi Mind Trick: "This is the geek you're looking for." *waves hand*
6. You can put a Trojan on my Hard Drive anytime.
5. Have you ever googled yourself?
4. How about we do a little peer-to-peer saliva swapping?
3. With my IQ and your body we could begin a race of genetic superchildren to conquer the earth.
2. What's a girl like you doing in a place like this when there's a Farscape marathon on right now on the Sci Fi channel.
1. I'm attracted to you so strongly, scientists will have to develop a fifth fundamental force.

Geek Pick-Up Lines: Part 3

11. I'm attracted to you so much that scientists will begin to doubt the Theory of Relativity.
10. What's a nice girl like you doing in a chatroom like this?
9. Resistance is futile.
8. No matter how I sort things, you'll always be first.
7. No, that's not a Logitech MX-100 in my pants, but thanks for noticing.
6. I think you could be an integral part of my project life cycle.
5. I'd switch to emacs for you.
4. You put the SPARC in my workstation.
3. If you have an empty slot, I have the card to fill it.
2. We're like SLI. Were great alone, but we'd be so much better together.
1. You got me stuck on Caps Lock, if you know what I mean.

Geek Pick-Up Lines: Part 4

11. I have so much love to give you'll have to pipe it through more.
10. Did you make a Google Bomb? Whatever I search for, it's you I find.
9. Do you work for a TelCom? Because I bet you'd be good at pulling cable.
8. I was hoping you wouldn't block my pop-up.
7. Would you like to play Scrabble with me? I am tired of playing with myself.
6. You compute me.
5. Girl, I wish I was your differential, because then I'd be touching all your curves.
4. But enough about me, let's talk about mu.
3. Be my queen and mate me with your knight moves.
2. You've stolen the ASCII to my heart.
1. You must've been made by Intel to be that hot!


Since Sliced Bread (aka R14), a couple of blogs, Salary Survey complete

What’s the best thing since sliced bread (aka autocad release 14)?
I’ve been following some interesting discussions on the Autodesk CAD Manager’s Newsgroup… what features do these users value? Which irritate them? Which missed the mark, but, could be a slam-dunk with some more work?
Best Features Since R14:
Worst Features Since R14:
Forget sliced bread, this came out half-baked…
Half-baked features Since R14:

Hey, not to drive away any of my faithful readers, but, the AUGI home page this month is showcasing BLAUGI, the new official blog of the autodesk user’s group international. Check out a couple of posts under the heading ‘the rules of cad’, very interesting reading.

There was also some great reading in a
recent blog posting by heidi hewett of autodesk on how tv and video games affect our learning.

I’d like to take a second to make a personal THANK YOU to the record thousands of respondents to the AUGI
Annual Salary Survey, which is a project that I volunteer my time for. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next issue of AUGIworld for the first round of results! Every year we make changes based on the feedback of participants, and we hope those changes help to make the results more useful to you.


New Playground, Grand Canyon Skywalk, Excel (97) Header Row

Well, it snuck up on me, but, it's FALL now! Wow. Just took my 2 1/2 year old out trick or treating for the first time (at the mall). I almost passed on it again this year, as I figure he's too young to know what he'd be missing, and I don't really give him candy very often anyway. But! after he thanked me for taking him to the park and zoo, etc, I just had to. I bought him a pirate costume and away we went! He was just wide-eyed with wonder no matter what he was handed; a tootsie roll, a coupon, stickers, shampoo samples... lol. Nothing has ever felt so good as noticing the light in his eyes seeing our favorite mall turned into a halloween wonderland with decorations and hundreds of kids dressed as everything from lobsters to elmo. He didn't actually eat any candy that day. He just kept looking at it, putting it piece-by-piece into and out of his bag (then, after that wore out, I gave him a box, and almost a week later, he can still amuse himself by doing that). What a wonderful experience for the both of us. Something new for him, and a renewed sense of wonder for myself.
We played hookie one day this week, and I took him out to the zoo and to play at the park to enjoy this wonderful weather.
Laundry can wait.

In the news! Forest Park has recently completed building an 'all-inclusive playground', a place where children with handicaps can play along side the rest of the kids. Hopefully this will foster a sense of understanding and acceptance by children and their parents, seeing that those with handicaps are pretty much just like them, as well as a feeling of belonging for the ones who normally can't play on most playgrounds. Excellent work to all of those involved, including St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Check out the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Wow! (I snoped it, it's twue, it's twue!) I don't think I would feel comfortable walking out on that, but, it seems to have some pretty impressive specs on it.
Nothing but a glass bottom and sides
Glass is supported by steel beams
Accommodates up to 120 people at a time
Can hold up to 72 million pounds
Can withstand 100 mph winds coming from 8 different directions
Can survive earthquakes up to 8.0 in magnitude Admission is $25

Working with Excel (97, not sure if that makes a difference) spreadsheets with an obscene amount of data, I have my forumlas below the data, and I can't see my header rows! So, I select the row BELOW the one(s) I want to be able to see, then go to the Window pulldown and select 'Freeze Panes', and I can scroll down and still keep my titles visible.
This also works vertically, if you select a cell below and to the right of the content you want to remain visible.


Farewell to a pioneer

Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks Passes away at age 92.

At a celebration in her honor, she once said:
"I am leaving this legacy to all of you ... to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die — the dream of freedom and peace."


txt2mtxt, txtexp and preparing for winter

Working on cleaning up some floor plans. Most areas have room names and room numbers, but, different areas have different-sized text.
I use a qselect to pick all of the text, then, modify the height in the properties dialog... the only problem is, that now the text is overlapping since each piece of text only had so much space between them.
Hmm, what to do?
Ah! txt2mtxt!!! I just select my two or three pieces of text, and viola'! I now I have an mtext object containing two lines of characters with a respectable space between them.

This is an express tool. From the express help file:
TXT2MTXT will work on any text objects created with the TEXT or DTEXT commands. If the original set of text objects was created with DTEXT or with successive text commands, enabling the Sort top-down option and disabling the Create word-wrap MText options will produce the most visually similar results.
The selected text objects will be removed from the drawing and a new MText object will be inserted.
This command attempts to honor text size, font and color changes between text objects.

:SHOCK:! Wow... while looking txt2mtxt up in the help file, I see a command that I'd never noticed before!
TXTEXP: Explodes Text or MText into geometry that can be assigned a thickness or an elevation.

Hmm, I can think of a few occasions when I'd have benefited from having that. cool.

Don't forget to prepare for winter! Get some good shoes and coats before all the nice styles are taken. Sew/pin/tie little mittens to the insides of winter coat cuffs. Buy some sand/salt for your steps, and an extra bag for your car. Make sure your extra blankets are out of the closet and washed, put one in your vehicle for emergencies. Dust off your space heaters and check to make sure they're functioning properly. Check the batteries in your Carbon Monoxide Dectector, and, if you don't have one, get one! You haven't fired up that furnace since early spring, so be alert!

Have a safe and happy weekend!


FREE DWG Viewer and Parents as Teachers

From Shaan Hurley's blog (imho, one of the best places to get acad news)

New and Free DWG TrueView™ - view DWG files
DWG TrueView™ is now available for free from Autodesk.
Spread the word! You can view DWG files 100% just like AutoCAD can for free.
"Share AutoCAD® drawings easily and accurately among engineers and architects with DWG TrueView™. View and plot DWG and DXF™ files, and then publish them as DWF™ files for quick and easy review and markup in Autodesk® DWF™ Composer. And you’ll always get full drawing fidelity because the DWG viewer is built on the same viewing technology as AutoCAD® 2006 software."

Parents as Teachers Program wanted to take a moment, to mention something to each of you that is very important to me, NOT JUST as an educator, but as a mom & resident of the St. Louis City area.
The Parents as Teachers program, for the St. Louis Public School District, is facing elimination. No other school districts are threatened, JUST St. Louis Public, the city district. For over 20 years now, PAT has been disseminated through EACH of the public school districts throughout Missouri (& is also in all 50 states through social services programs, FYI).

PAT is NOT a program for low income or poorly educated individuals & families, it is a program for EVERYONE that was created to strengthen the home-schoolrelationship, to better prepare our kiddos for preschool or kindergarten enrollment, while giving parents KEY INFORMATION about their child's development & to provide families with resources within their community to assist them in being their child's BEST FIRST TEACHER.
The way the program is written, for each home visit or group meeting that is conducted, a certain "payment" is made to the district, & these payments pay our salaries. For the last two school years, salaries have come in higher than state reimbursements due to LOW ENROLLMENT. The district has had to pick up some of the salaries, & this violates the way the program was written. Therefore, on April 30th, after a very tedious audit, it is possible that this program will no longer exist in our district, thedistrict that quite possibly needs this program THE MOST.This is unacceptable.
Until the administration gets out there & goes to bat for us, we have to count on each other's support. I would like to encourage you to PLEASE forward this email to EVERYONE you know & have them do the same. We need to get enrollment up to what it is in the other districts in St. Louis.Webster Groves, just as an example, has a waiting list to get enrolled.The Parent Educators are given their caseloads TO THEM on the first day of the school year. In the St. Louis Public Schools, we FIND OUR OWN FAMILIES, as the call in rate is low if not almost non-existent. We carry, or SHOULD CARRY, a 40 family caseload as a part-time provider. When I accepted myposition, I was given TWO FAMILIES. The rest was up to me. We can't do this alone.
There are 4 types of families in the city, the way I see it.
FAMILY #1. They think they don't NEED this program.
They are misinformed about what we provide & who we service. They assume it is a public schoolteacher coming for visits & with the state of the district, this concerns them. What they don't realize is we are ALL TRAINED at the National Center & CHOOSE the district we WANT to work for. I CHOSE THE CITY.
FAMILY #2. They sooooooo desperately need this information, but are afraid they will get HOTLINED when we view their living conditions.
How sad.
FAMILY #3. They don't even KNOW what PAT is or how to get involved. MY JOB is to find them.
FAMILY #4. They have either called in & been assigned, or have been recruited by someone like me. They LOVE PAT & tell all their friends!THANK YOU if this is you!

Our district not only conducts home visits, but we do group meetings at shelters, teen homes for pregnant young women, prisons, etc... this is how COMMITTED we are to providing this service.Bottom line - in a district that is already missing a KEY PIECE, the home-school connection, we CANNOT eliminate the only one left.

PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD, & save this VITAL PROGRAM! Again, PLEASE forward this to everyone you know.
Bless you for listening to my rantings.
Julia Rottjakob
Certified Parent Educator
St. Louis Public Schools
Visit the Parents as Teachers website for information about programs available in your area.


Explaining Autosave? and block names with wildcards

Well, I'd seen this come up on a few newgroups/forums, and I thought about doing a write-up, and of course, someone else is smarter and quicker than me... but, I won't hold it against him.

RK Mcswain, on his blog, CAD Panacea reveals the mystery behind the workings of autosave. http://rkmcswain.blogspot.com/2005/07/autosave-mystery.html

And, as for my question the other day, about wacky blocks; between my readings on the autodesk knowledgebase, the help files and explanations from those more experienced/informed than myself (Mark H., Eric W., Richard L.), I've come to the firm realization that:

no, these anonymous blocks can't be edited by the normal commands (for the most part! as seeing a couple of them show up in the rename dialog but not the rest is what sent me on this crazy crusade)
yes, these blocks all seem to show up in qselect
sometimes these blocks will show up when you purge them, other times they won't (deleted the same blocks from duplicate drawings, one showed them in the purge dialog, others didn't, but, both were afterwards missing from the qselect list)

the prefixes (*E, *U, *X, etc), I'm informed, are for different types of entities. it's hard to clearly say which types. I was unable to explode a couple of them, and I'm collecting unexplodable blocks as a hobby to play with in my 'free' time. hahahahahahahaha

even more fun, I had some nested blocks (comes from copy, paste, bind, export to acad, flatten and any number of other things), some of which had anonymous blocks in them, some were anonymous blocks which just contained regular blocks within them.
so, it was just a matter of either properly exploding, or flat-out replacement of these blocks (I did a qselect of the blocks starting with asterisk u and copied them into another drawing and worked on them there for simplicity's sake).

oh, and when I was cleaning up these drawings (making sure the blocks were on '0' and bylayer then renaming them to things that make sense), I realized that when I was looking at the blocks in design center, then right-clicking to edit them, then I'd go back and I wasn't sure which ones I'd edited yet, because their previews weren't accurate any longer... I ran BLOCKICON, and viola'! the thumbnails were accurate.

I recently saw a lisp routine which changed a block's entities all to bylayer, but, I can't recall where I'd found it, so I'll have to do a search and post a link back when I think about it.

that's enough from me for now. happy cadding.


Block Thumbnails and Block Names with Wildcards

First an answer, then a question...

Thumbnail images for blocks are not displayed in AutoCAD® DesignCenter
Published date: 2003-03-06 ID: TS34512
Applies to: AutoCAD® 2002AutoCAD LT® 2002AutoCAD LT® 2000iAutoCAD LT® 2000
Thumbnail images for blocks do not display in AutoCAD DesignCenter for drawings created in previous versions of AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT® software.
Blocks created in older versions of AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT do not store a preview or thumbnail of the block in the drawing. Instead, you must use the BLOCKICON command to save a thumbnail image for blocks.Enter BLOCKICON on the command line. Press ENTER. Enter an asterisk (*) to update all blocks, or enter the name of the block you want to update. Press ENTER. The number of updated blocks is displayed on the command line.

Now, for the question...
Renaming blocks with wildcard characters
I'm doing some drawing cleanup, drawings have been modified with different programs such as ADT, etc. I've done some flattening, translating, exploding, etc. I have design center open, and am using the RENAME command to relabel the blocks to things that make sense.
I noticed that there were some blocks named, eg, *E535. They showed up in the RENAME dialog box, but, not in Design Center. So, I used rename to remove the asterisk, then they showed up in DC preview just fine so I could see what they looked like and rename them accordingly.
BUT! while there were a few of those that have shown up, I was moving around the drawing and saw some objects with block names of eg. *U174, etc but they show up neither in the DC nor the RENAME dialog.
Why is that? And, how can I get at them to rename them easily?
Anyone have an answer/solution/work-around for me?


Using a Block to Trim


have a great weekend, and thanks to my better half for the above.

oh, and some interesting reading: http://www.miniature-earth.com/
If we could turn the population of the earth into a small community of 100 people, keeping the same proportions we have today, it would be something like...


Salary Survey

CAD Salary Survey - Designers, Drafters, Engineers, Architects & Educators!
The AUGI Annual Salary Survey is now running!
The results will be published in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of AUGIWorld magazine.
You do have to be a member to take the AUGI salary survey, but, it is a free membership and they don't sell your information to other parties. Don't forget to set your preferences in the My AUGI control panel, which determines whether you get hotnews and other AUGI updates via email.

The results of past Salary Surveys (among others) can be found on the Surveys Archive page. Please give your input in this anonymous survey, to give validity and ensure accuracy to our survey results.

I volunteer as the Survey Manager for AUGI, and I've held this position since this time last year. This announcement is not an official announcement of AUGI's, it's just something that I thought would benefit the user base from my perspective.
Last year I got quite a few questions about the survey and answered them as best I could, and I thought I'd share some of them here.

The survey results are not tied to your user name, and the results are not sold or given to any other entity, and results will only be given by wide groups and categories.

The currency is in US dollars only for simplicity's sake. This year we have included a link to a site which will convert other currencies so non-US residents can easily participate.

What does Salary Include?:
This question came up a few times. The conclusion is that your salary should include your base pay plus bonuses, commissions, and overtime.

Salary Increase?:
Also, we have added the option of noting whether your salary has decreased (in previous surveys we only asked if it had increased or stayed the same).

We've tried to cover a wide-variety of disciplines, but, at the same time, we want to have meaningful results so don't want to get overly specific. The more respondents we have, the more we can break down the information in future surveys.

Job Title:
This one is a biggie! I know! that you do more than one job. You might do drafting, cad management, IT, training, etc, but, my assumption is that your pay is going to reflect your actual job title and how your company classifies that, not necessarily all of the additional things that you do, so, please just select the one job title that most closely matches your own.

Size of Company/Size of Department:
This got a few comments last year, when we asked how many employees does your company have? I'll admit I thought about it too. For instance, I work in a company of 20,000, but, there are less than 10 CAD users. So, this year, we have separate fields for size of company and size of department.

Please, pop up to the site and take 2 minutes to fill out this survey to make the information that AUGI provides to you more accurate and useful.

Browser: I have been told that Firefox and some other browsers don't work to take this survey. If you are using another program, please send your feedback to surveys@augi.com. I'd like to hear what you do use and whether or not this will actually affect your taking the survey.

Thank you!


MAP2006 Service Pack and New DWG Viewer from Autodesk

From the MAP General Discussion Forum: MAP 3D 2006 Service Pack
In a continuing effort to provide high-quality products, Autodesk has released Autodesk Map 3D 2006 Service Pack 1, which includes fixes or addresses issues for Autodesk Map 3D 2006.http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=5967985&linkID=2786655
The following is a list of features affected by this service pack:
  • Connecting to ArcSDE
  • External Databases
  • Display Manager
  • Globalization
  • Topology
  • Import/Export
  • Query
  • Oracle
  • Performance
  • Image
  • Civil 3D
Regards,Tom Bradley - Autodesk ISD Product Support


From the CAD Manager's Discussion Forum: DWG Viewer

Some users are reporting that they have gotten press releases from their local resellers announcing a new free DWG viewer from Autodesk. But, there is nothing on Autodesk's site, or any official announcements so far.


Printing only a portion of a pdf from Acrobat Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader (verified on versions 6, 7, 8 & 9) tips for printing a portion of a pdf page.

Typically, if I only wanted to print a portion of a page, I would use the 'Snapshot' tool to capture an image of the desired area and paste it into another program for printing (such as photo editor or a word processor).

But! did you know that you can use the 'Snapshot' tool (under Tools > Select and Zoom) to capture part of the page then, when you pull up the print dialog, you will see under the 'Print Range' group, the option for 'Selected Graphic' (not normally available in the dialog box). 

You can then choose 'None' for 'Page Scaling' or expand the selection to 'Fit to Paper', depending on your needs.

This does NOT work for the 'Select Text' tool.

Also, from Adobe Standard 6 Help:
To convert each image in an Adobe PDF document to an image file format:

1. Choose Advanced & Export All Images.
2. In the Export All Images As dialog box, choose the image type for Save as Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS).By default, the source filename is used as the filename with the image file type appended.
3. Click Settings.
4. In the Save As Settings dialog box, select the conversion, color management, and file settings for the file type. (See Converting to JPEG or JPEG2000 format, Converting to PNG format, and Converting to TIFF format.)
5. For Exclude Images Smaller Than, select the smallest size of image to be extracted. Select No Limit to extract all images.
6. Click OK, and in the 'Export All Images As' dialog box, click 'Save' or 'OK'.


RENAME? What's that?

Alright, after 10 years of using Autocad, I KNOW I don't know everything, but, man, sometimes you're just surprised with something and go 'how could I NOT know about that yet?!?!'
Well, big news, it happened to me (yet again). 

I wanted to rename an existing block, and used the help file (always the first course of action), but no joy searching for block & rename. So, I posted a statement/question on one of the discussion groups that I belong to. I was advised about 'save as', alright, no surprise there... but, then, Rick M mentioned the Rename command.

Now, there is something new! I refuse to believe that I'm the only person who hadn't heard of this, so, go ahead and try it!


neat commands and upgrading...

BURST is used to Explode blocks with attributes. But, unlike explode, it will convert attribute values to their text equivalent (rather than to the attribute's prompt). Also, this command does not explode plines into lines or mtext to text.

In the right-click menu in MAP 3D 2006, when you have an object selected you can choose to 'select similar' objects to save you a lot of time picking by hand. This isn't ideal for every situation but has saved me loads of time. 

Autodesk looking for 2002 to 2006 stories

I haven't been on since I got back from my trip, just have to say that I had a lovely time and it couldn't have gone any better. London and Dublin and the surrounding areas are really neat places. Enjoyed the people, the architecture, the food and, believe it or not, the weather. It was perfect the entire time I was there.