Thursday, August 30, 2007


AutoCAD 2008 Service Pack 1 - don't be surprised

Autodesk has released SP1 for AutoCAD 2008 and LT 2008 (and AutoCAD from Revit Suites). As usual, it fixes the main problems found after the initial release and includes hotfixes which have been released up to now.
For me, it fixes only two painpoints (I was not affected by any other problem fixed in SP1) - linetypes after zoom and multiple AutoCAD sessions after double-clicking DWG files. The original version ("SP0") displayed linetypes as Continuous after several Zooms. This seems to be fixed now.
I have found no problems installing this Service Pack - recommended. Just a note - don't be surprised when your Dashboard suddenly displays all possible panels. It is described in the SP1 Readme, just re-select the workspace.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007


CommandComplete refreshes your memory

I usually don't use AutoCAD menus for the most frequent commands. Instead I type the command names or their aliases on commandline.

The TAB autocomplete key is a great timesaver for this. But sometimes you cannot remember how the command or variable name starts - and TAB won't help you in such case.

Now Autodesk Labs has released a small new utility - CommandComplete. It displays a small popup window with commands and variables while you type on your commandline. This window lists all commands and variables containing (anywhere) the letters you have typed so far. So e.g. "PALE" lists PALETTEOPAQUE, *_TOOLPALETTEPATH, TOOLPALETTES and other related commands and variables including their values and a short description.

As with all "Labs" tools, it is an experimental utility - there are currently some small problems when deleting already written characters and a more important problem that this utility offers only the English command names - even in localized AutoCAD. But you can easily edit the XML file containing the predefined names. And you can also add your own words - they don't need to be real commands - just any words you want to lookup when typing on the commandline.

See CommandComplete for more information.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007


Budweiser DWG test for AutoCAD 2008 data

The BUDWEISER DWG compatibility benchmark by CAD Studio is a well-known test drawing I already wrote about.
Now there is a new "2008" version of this test proving that all the AutoCAD clones based on the ODA DWG libraries and claiming "DWG-compatibility" are still not able to read the AutoCAD DWG format correctly. I have personally very bad experience with DWG files written from Microstation, ArchiCAD and IntelliCAD. In any case be aware that you may potentially lose CAD data - both on reading DWG files into a non-Autodesk software and on writing faulty DWG files from such applications.
You can get BUDWEISER2008.DWG from

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Friday, August 03, 2007


DWF Freewheel with ShareNow - instant sharing of CAD data

The people in Autodesk Labs are working hard. Yesterday they have released a new version of the web-based DWF viewer - Freewheel (see also my older posts 1 and 2). Now you can not only view your 2D and 3D DWF files anywhere on the Internet, but you can also redline and share the markup sessions with your customers and collegues.

Another (even better) enhancement to the Freewheel service is the ShareNow utility. It is an add-on (three separate add-ons) for AutoCAD 2008 (and related products), Inventor 2008 and Revit 2008. ShareNow heals the pain of publishing the DWF file and uploading it to Freewheel. In any of these three main CAD applications you can just click a single button and your project is published to a DWF file, uploaded to Freewheel and displayed in your Internet browser - all in one step. So you can immediately start a collaboration session with your collegue.

With the ShareNow add-ons comes also a commandline utility which uploads a DWF file to Freewheel and views it in MSIE - FreewheelConsole.exe. You can use it in your own procedures:

FreewheelConsole /upload /view [/style ] [/section ]

More information on

Please note there are two Freewheel servers - the (standard site) and the (beta development site).

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