Friday, October 21, 2005

ADT Roofs

Last week I was pleased to have Dr. William Wyatt here in Roanoke, VA for two days. He was here teaching two classes on how to successfully design roofs using Architectural Desktop. I learned a lot!

He provided a great CD with all exercises and sample files, PowerPoint files, and the entire chapter 6 from his book, Accessing Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006.

I have photos that I will post here over the weekend of he and his class.

As promised to the class, here is the link that I saw on creating a downspout.

You can also find two slab edge styles on the Autodesk website that you can download.

In other news, Autodesk has now released a free drawing viewer. Autodesk has had the DWF Viewer for some time now. DWF Viewer is a great free tool to share Autodesk files with someone that does not own or have access to an Autodesk program. But now you can download the free DWG TrueView for anyone within your office that needs to view and print drawings without the expense of purchasing another seat of AutoCAD. This is a huge benefit. Let your boss print his own drawings instead of pestering you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

SNAP & GRID turn off's

One of the annoying features I hear from ADT users is that every time they start a new drawing or open a drawing SNAP and GRID are turned on. It's not a big deal to depress the SNAP and GRID buttons along your status bar, but I agree it gets old after a while. AutoCAD users don't have that problem and actually not that many people that I know of use those tools anymore.

The real answer is really very simple. Open your template file. If you don't know what template loads when you begin a new drawing, go to your Options dialog box. You can get to this from the Format pulldown menu, by typing Options, or as a short cut, but right clicking in your command line and choosing Options.

From the Files tab, scroll down until you find Template Settings. Under Template Settings, you'll see Default Template File Name for QNEW. You can set this to be whatever template you want, but if it's already set (it's NONE by default) simply notice which template it is.

Also under Template Settings is the folder where ADT looks for the templates. Again, this is just a pointer so you can point this wherever your company templates might be located. When you choose to open a template, this is the folder that will be shown in your Open dialog box.

How do you open a template? A template is just a drawing with a .dwt extension. So when you choose Open in the same manner that you would open a drawing, change the File Type to Drawing Template (*.dwt).

Make any settings that you want to be permanent with every drawing you begin. This will have no effect on existing drawings, but only new drawings started with that template. Add your titleblock if you like or layout tabs or set options. This is a great place to add named page setups (one of my favorite short cuts).

But back to our original topic, if you turn SNAP and GRID off in this template drawing, then every new drawing you start will no longer have it on. You can either turn them off on the status bar or type SNAPMODE or GRIDMODE and set each to zero (0) for off.

Then save and close your template in the same manner you would a drawing. Be aware that the next time you open a drawing you will have your file type set to .dwt and will need to change it back to .dwg.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lose Your Properties Palette?

I confess that more often than not when I connect my laptop to a projector for teaching a class I forget to open AutoCAD first and move all my palettes to the center of the screen. The result is that my laptop display is a lower resolution and when I open AutoCAD my palettes (Properties Palette most often) are off the edge of the screen where I can't find them.

I am aware of the problem and simply change to my normal higher resolution for a minute, drag the Properties Palette to the center of the screen before closing it, and reset the resolution again.

I see this with customers as well and especially anyone that doesn't use the Tool Palettes and is not in the habit of switching palettes between normal display and auto-hide.

Because you can also change the size of the palettes by dragging at the notched corner, it is also possible to make the entire palette about the size of a toolbar button. This of course can add to the frustration to find it.

One way to prevent this from happening is to lock the location. In the lower right hand corner of your status bar you'll see an icon of a lock.

When you right click on the lock, you get a short cut menu. You can lock your toolbars in place or your windows (palettes).

The command is actually the LOCKUI system variable. Here is the exert from the AutoCAD help files.

In addition, and always learning something new, I found this document in the knowledge base of the Autodesk website.

It seems that some AutoLISP, VBA, or menu customization could be overriding the Properties command.