Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Automatic DWF Publish in AutoCAD 2008

I always like to look at the Options dialog box to see what jumps out at me as different from previous releases. While doing so recently, I ran across this at the bottom of the Plot and Publish tab.
It's labeled Auto Publish and was unchecked by default for Automatic DWF Publish. There is also a button for Automatic DWF Publish Settings. This button results in what appears to be the same as DWF Options with choices such as turning layers on or off.
So, I checked the box for Automatic DWF Publish. I didn't go to Help to see what it had to say about it. That takes all the fun, mystery, and surprise out of it!
When I was finished with my drawing and selected the SAVE command, not only did the drawing save, but a .dwf file was published automatically. I thought that I had hit the wrong tool button at first and did it a couple of times to be sure. Gee, do you suppose that's why they call it Auto Publish? :)
So, it would appear that this would allow a .dwf file to always be created when you save. If I open and change the drawing and save again, I again have a newly updated .dwf file.
I could see this in firms that have utilized the DWF Viewer to allow other employees to view drawings or to use the now free Design Review to mark them up without having to ask the CAD user to create a .dwf file. It is also useful in sending files or posting on the web.
I have previously suggested that firms use the DWG TrueView instead of the DWF Viewer for in-house viewing for the very reason that a .dwf file does not need to be created and any DWG TrueView user can access any .dwg file.
But with the Design Review now in the picture, perhaps that is another good reason to have this Auto Publish.
I'll leave that up to you.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

AutoCAD 2008 Dimension Toolbar

Besides having the multileader capability, you may find yourself lost when dimensioning in AutoCAD 2008 when you are looking for the leader tool on the Dimension Toolbar. It's not there!

Whether you want to do a multileader or not, you must use the Multileader Toolbar or the Tool Palette to make a simple leader.

I was planning on describing each of the tools listed above, but it looks like Shaan Hurley beat me to it. Read up on it here.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

AutoCAD 2008 - Multileaders FINALLY!

Today Autodesk is announcing the 2008 product line. Another year of new products begins.

I have been playing with AutoCAD 2008 beta for a little while. You, too, can participate in beta. See my recent post about how to do so.

For almost as long as I can remember, multileaders have been on the AUGI Wish List. I can remember back in R12-R2000 purchasing a small add-on program that contained a lisp routine to do this. It was called CATS and also contained a lisp routine that I used for creating leader bubbles with consecutive numbering. CATS had a tablet menu (yes, I'm dating myself) and had several handy routines. Gradually some of the routines became obsolete as AutoCAD created commands to perform the same tasks. Yet in all these years, multi-line leaders never came about until the 2008 release.

The new multileaders are not as intuitive as my old CATS leaders were, but I'm happy to have them finally.

One of the other new features that must be mastered to take better advantage of the leaders and any annotation is the Annotative option.

If you are an ADT user (and it's not going to be called ADT any longer), then you may be somewhat used to having drawing scale that controls annotation scale if you use the ADT AEC Text and Dims.

With selecting Annotative in various parts of the Dimension Style, you can choose for a scale choice in your status area to control the scale of your annotation rather than setting your dimscale. This will be a different method for AutoCAD users and may even be for ADT or ABS users if you have not been using the AEC annotation.

Almost like with ADT, you have a Multiline Style. This is found under the Format pulldown menu and gives you some of the choices you previously had when you started a leader and right-click to choose options with additional options.

Help has also been improved with videos to now explain. See the above screen capture of the help topic for annotative scale and you may see a play button arrow at the bottom of the topic.

I'll have much more to elaborate on these new features. There is much to cover just in Annotative Scale and Multileaders.

While Autodesk has stated that one of the benefits of annual releases is to put fewer features to learn in each release, that doesn't seem to be the case this time. To be proficient with all the new tools, you are most certainly going to need to invest time in training and allow a learning curve.

Of course new features that do not involve 3D are also in LT and roll to vertical products such as AutoCAD Architecture (formerly ADT), and AutoCAD MEP (formerly Building Systems).

More to come...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Revit Laptops & Graphics

For many Autodesk products, the NVIDIA graphics cards are the most recommended. Probably Inventor and Civil 3D are two of the most intense programs for graphics I would guess.

You can, and should, always check the Autodesk Certified Hardware list for graphics cards. I would expect that list to change once the new 2008 products come out over the next month or two.

If you use Revit, you should visit the Revit Hardware forum at the AUGI website. Yes, you must be a member, but it's free. And you should be a member of AUGI anyhow!

You will find useful information on graphics cards that are proven to work with users among other "real" hardware input from "real" users.

One new thread is from someone whom I respect and trust that lists laptop recommendations.

Revit is not AutoCAD and you should shop for your hardware and change your settings differently than an AutoCAD user.

Visit the Revit Community today.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Adobe Security Warning

You may have received an email about this. If you haven't, you might want to check your version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Be warned though that you should be careful when downloading this. Adobe is one of several software vendors that is including Google or Yahoo Toolbars with downloads. Most people fly through dialog boxes clicking "Next" and not paying enough of attention.

The add-on toolbars often cause a number of problems including performance issues. They should be avoided at all cost in my opinion.

Security bulletin

Update available for vulnerabilities in versions 7.0.8 and earlier of Adobe Reader and Acrobat
Release date: January 9, 2007
Vulnerability identifier: APSB07-01
CVE number: CVE-2006-5857, CVE-2007-0045, CVE-2007-0046, CVE-2007-0047, CVE-2007-0048
Platform: All Platforms
Affected software versions
Adobe Reader 7.0.8 and earlier versionsAdobe Acrobat Standard, Professional and Elements 7.0.8 and earlier versionsAdobe Acrobat 3D
January 16, 2007 — Updated to reflect the availability of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 6.0.6 for Windows.
January 9, 2007 — This Security Bulletin provides a solution for the issue originally documented in Security Advisory APSA07-01 on January 4, 2007, as well as other issues.

This Security Bulletin addresses several vulnerabilities, including issues that have already been disclosed. An update is available for a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in versions 7.0.8 and earlier of Adobe Reader and Acrobat that could allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary JavaScript into a browser session. This vulnerability, previously reported in APSA07-01 on January 4, 2007, has been assigned an important severity rating. Additional vulnerabilities have been identified in versions 7.0.8 and earlier of Adobe Reader and Acrobat that could allow an attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. These vulnerabilities have been assigned a critical severity rating. A malicious file must be loaded in Adobe Reader by the end user for an attacker to exploit these vulnerabilities. It is recommended that users update to the most current version of Adobe Reader or Acrobat available.

Adobe Reader on Windows
Adobe strongly recommends upgrading to Adobe Reader 8, available from the following site:http://www.adobe.com/go/getreader.
Users with Adobe Reader 7.0 through 7.0.8, who cannot upgrade to Reader 8, should upgrade to Reader 7.0.9. Adobe Reader 7.0.9 is available as a full installation package and not a patch. It can be installed on top of any older version of Reader 7 and user preferences will be preserved:http://www.adobe.com/go/getreader.
If customers are using Adobe Reader 6.0–6.0.5 and are unable to upgrade to version 8 or 7.0.9 due to Operating System constraints for example, Adobe recommends upgrading to version 6.0.6 either via a series of patches from: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/ or by using the auto-update mechanism within the product when prompted.