Monday, October 29, 2007


Hatch problems

Recently we have received a couple of drawings with improperly displayed hatches. The hatches were scattered to small lines. Some computers displayed the drawings properly, some were scattered, some were missing the hatches completely.

After a long investigation we have found two independent sources of the problem.

The first one was the MaxHatch limit - on some computers it was set too low so the complex hatches were simply missing. The second one was tougher - the problem was in large X-Y coordinates used for the hatch. It looks like higher AutoCAD versions are more touchy and too complex hatches applied to objects located in large X-Y coordinates may be distorted. The fix was easy - redoing the hatch in an UCS closer to the hatched object.

So please watch your hatches, especially the complex ones.

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Friday, October 12, 2007


List Xref names in a DWG drawing

My AutoCAD users wanted to have an automatically updated list of Xrefs (xref names) in the main drawing. After some research I have found two methods for doing this:
  1. The RTEXT tool from Express Tools - in RTEXT use a predefined Diesel expression for xref list, e.g. $(xrefs,3) or $(xrefs,27,Xref name: )
  2. Automatic text fields - in the main drawing insert a textfield (e.g. with FIELD), select the Object properties (category), pick a Xref and select its filename property. You will have an automatic text with the full xref name + path. But you have to to it one by one for all xrefs.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Special characters in AutoCAD

In many drawings, AutoCAD users need to enter texts with special characters like mathematic symbols, letters from greek alphabet, cyrillic, punctuation characters, indices, or just accented characters from other languages.

With the Unicode support in Windows and AutoCAD it is quite easy to enter such characters - either using Windows language support for that particular language (and a local keyboard driver), or by copying the character from the CharMap.exe Windows application (Character Map). Alternatively, you can enter any Unicode character using the \U+nnnn text code.

But for all of this you will need first of all a text font containing a full set of Unicode characters, called "glyphs". AutoCAD ships with a couple of fonts - both SHX and TTF containing the Unicode set. For these special characters you can use e.g. TXT.SHX, SIMPLEX.SHX, or the TrueType font ISOCPEUR. From the Windows standard font set you can use e.g. Arial. If you have MS Office installed, you can use the font "Arial Unicode MS" - it contains one of the largest character subsets of Unicode 2.1 (its TTF file is a whooping 24MB). Try to make sure that the referenced font is available on all target computers used for the respective DWG drawing.

With the Unicode support, AutoCAD offers a very flexible and portable multilanguage text functionality.

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