Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Hidden calculator in AutoCAD dialogs

Not many AutoCAD users know the keyboard shortcut allowing to evaluate an expression entered in a dialog numeric field.
Since AutoCAD 2006 (sp1) you can use Alt-Enter to evaluate an arithmetic expression entered in any input field in any AutoCAD dialog - both in standard dialogs as DIMSTYLE and in panels like the Properties window.
Just enter an expression like =1/3+2, =sin(0.5), =d2r(60), =myLISPvar+123 and hit the Alt-Enter keyboard shortcut. In AutoCAD 2006 sp0, use the End key instead.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Budweiser DWG test

I came across an interesting DWG drawing which aims to test the compatibility of CAD applications claiming "full DWG compatibility" with the AutoCAD native file format.
The BUDWEISER.DWG by CAD Studio contains about 20 test cases and visually compares the expected and real results after importing this DWG file to a non-AutoCAD CAD application or a DWG viewer.
I suppose this file is often used by non-Autodesk developers to tune their applications for better DWG-compatibilty. But I have personal experience with incompatible DWG files from Microstation and IntelliCAD and there are lots of other cases (not covered in Budweiser.dwg) where these would-be compatible applications fail.
You can test your CAD app using Budweiser.dwg in the DWG2000, DWG2004 and DWG2007 formats - see BUDWEISER.DWG

Friday, June 16, 2006


New Autodesk DWF Viewer 7 and Design Review 2007

Autodesk has released new versions of the view, review and publishing applications DWF Viewer, Design Review (a new name for the former DWF Composer) and DWF Writer.

DWF Viewer 7 offers easier manipulation with 3D models, enhanced printing options, 3D sections, BOM documents, etc.
There are not only markup/redline functions in the Autodesk Design Review 2007. The new version supports batch printing, 3D measuring, raster images in many new formats, import of DWG and DXF files (incl. DWG2007).
DWF Writer 3.1 allows to publish 2D and 3D DWF files from non-Autodesk applications over a print/capture-driver (all Autodesk applications support DWF publishing directly).


Friday, June 09, 2006


Keep It Vector, Idiot

I am often asked about the best method to copy AutoCAD (or other CAD) data to another application - for technical illustrations in a word processor, for Powerpoint presentations, banners, etc.
There are many ways to copy and paste graphical data from CAD but there is one simple rule to keep. Paraphrasing the famous KISS principle, let's name this principle "Keep It Vector, Idiot" (KIVI).
Most methods of copying graphical data depend on raster images captured from the CAD drawing (or even from screen). But if you want to scale such graphics (make it larger or smaller, print it on a hi-res device), the results are less than perfect. The solution is in using vector data formats as long as possible through the whole publishing process. So please stay with WMF, DWF or other vector formats when copying your AutoCAD data - you will make your life easier.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


European Language? Nope.

In a recent press release, a Californian company announces that "Actify Ships SpinFire Pro 8.0 in European Language". This "European Language" caught my eyes.

In furter reading it comes out that they just released a German and a French language version of their software and that "new features allow European users instant access ...".

Well, I don't want to challenge Actify-PRs' knowledge of political geography but they may be surprised that despite European Union there is no "European language" and that French language version will probably address no other users in Europe than those in France. There are many more languages in Europe. Hard work still ahead, Actify.

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