Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Missing commands in AutoCAD LT

It is hard to believe but AutoCAD LT has about 580 less commands and variables than the full version. Some of the missing commands are not important but many of them are - so make sure you know the limitations before you choose LT over AutoCAD Mechanical, Architectural, MEP or Map for simple price reasons.

See LT - missing commands

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Friday, November 14, 2008


AutoCAD learns PDF

Yes, I know. You think AutoCAD 2009 doesn't need to learn PDF - it is already there. But the results of its PDF printing/publishing were less than perfect in many situations.

With the release of "AutoCAD 2009 Subscription Bonus Pack 2" AutoCAD is much more fluent in PDF. This bonus pack (available to subscription users only, and - strange enough - only for the plain AutoCAD) adds new functionality in PDF publishing and in attaching PDF files.

The published PDFs are now smaller and faster to transfer - the TrueType texts are represented by true fonts, not just graphics. You can include layer information in PDFs and control line merging.

More important is the PDF import functionality. No, you cannot perform true import of PDF files. Just like with DWF files, you can only attach PDF files as underlays of your DWG drawings. But it is enough for most situations, especially when you can now osnap to the underlaying geometry in PDF (just like in DWF) files. Similarly to DWF you can also Clip and Adjust the referenced PDF files, suppress their layers and select specific page numbers from multipage PDF files.

Many disadvantages of PDF (vs. DWF) are now gone but DWF/DWFx is still a preferred format for CAD data.

If you do not hold a Subscription, hold on - AutoCAD 2010 should bring this functionality also for the rest of us.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008


Time/Date for AutoCAD drawings

5 ways to insert the time/date stamp into AutoCAD drawings (I don't count the first trivial method). An interesting posting on www.cadforum.cz:

Inserting and updating time and date in an AutoCAD drawing

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A quick tip to transfer styles from another DWG drawing

Most AutoCAD users use DesignCenter to transfer layers and styles from another drawing to their current drawing. But when you receive a foreign DWG file an you want to populate it with your standard layers, text styles, dim styles, etc., you can do this quickly with just the INSERT command.

The trick is in an early, premature cancel of the insertion command (abrogare praecox). Open the foreign DWG drawing, start the INSERT (or -INSERT) command, choose the DWG or DWT file containing your standard styles. Instead of picking the insertion point, just cancel (ESC) the command. This will ensure that no drawing data will be inserted but the styles are already transferred.

You can also automate this procedure with a simple custom menu macro. Use something like this:


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