Friday, May 30, 2008

OSNAPS in AutoCAD MEP 2009

In a previous post, I discussed Object Snaps often being a common problem area.

On of the differences in 2009 software, is that when you right-click on the OSNAP toggle in your status bar, you will not just receive a choice of settings, but you will see all the OSNAPS listed.

At first, I thought this was a different way to choose an OSNAP, but I soon learned that this was not the case. This list simply shows you which OSNAPS you have currently selected to be on.

Also, different in 2009, is the Object Snap tab of the Drafting Settings dialog box. This is what you will see when you choose Settings after you right-click on the OSNAP button mentioned above.

Before 2009, there was a separate tab shown for MEP Object Snaps. Now, all are together under one tab. There is also a section for AutoCAD Architecture.

You can reduce or expand each section with the small arrow on the right portion of the section. You can also use the check box beside that arrow to select all or clear all OSNAPS for that section. That is not as intuitive as Autodesk might have counted on.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Common New User Mistakes-OSNAPS

I get a lot of questions that I can answer in my head and add to a list of common user mistakes almost before the person finishes asking the question.

Many users are self-taught or learn on the fly from someone else in their office and know only what they need to know to go through the motions to do their job. While other users may take a class, they are still going through the motions and not enough attention is given on these common mistakes.

One mistake that I see a lot is with the use of OSNAPS.

For AutoCAD users, OSNAPS that are turned on at the bottom (called running OSNAPS) often cause snapping to objects you had no intention of snapping to at all. Often training has you turn these on, but I much prefer to only teach to use then when you are dimensioning or are drawing something with a lot of repetition and need for these. Otherwise, I recommend using the OSNAP toolbar or using Shift + Right-click to access the shortcut menu of OSNAPS.

To turn the running OSNAPS on and off, you simply left-click the OSNAP button in your drawing status bar. In 2009, it's not an actual button, but you still click it to turn it on and off.

To set which OSNAPS are on, you right-click and choose Settings.

This will bring up your Drafting Settings Dialog box.

These are the basic AutoCAD OSNAPS.

For AutoCAD MEP users, there are separate settings for MEP. They are MEP snaps, but you access them in the same way. There is just a separate MEP tab for releases before 2009.

When you are using MEP snaps, you do NOT want to use any AutoCAD snaps. Let MEP snap on the type of MEP object it is. You don't want an AutoCAD OSNAP snapping the endpoint or midpoint of a piece of duct work. You want to connect with the Duct Connector.

So check how you are using OSNAPS.