Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Palette Auto-hide Speed tips

With our Palette Auto-hide Speed freeware you can adjust how the palette roll-up/roll-out (show/hide or minimize/expand) for most palettes in AutoCAD and its verticals.

Here the tips: Set Roll-up to 0 (or higher if he want the palette to stay open longer after moving away from it) and Roll-out to a high value like 5000. Using this trick you either will need to click on the title bar of the palette to show it or wait 5 seconds hovering over it before it rolls out. 

Palette Auto-hide Speed 

Here’s an animation showing how it works and notice that just moving the mouse over the bar does not open the palette. It is first when clicking on the bar that the palette is opened.

Palette Auto-hide Speed animation

Give Palette Auto-hide Speed freeware a try and use your preferred settings.

What do you want customized or automated? Take a look what we can do and Contact us.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets guide

Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets is made easier thanks to a guide R.K. McSwain (CAD Panacea blog) and Heidi Hewett (Autodesk) put together. 

Read the Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets series on the AutoCAD Blog here or if you don’t want to wait for all posts to be published, you can get it for free by downloading the Mastering AutoCAD Sheet Sets guide.

“Whether you design manufactured parts, maps, or buildings, the sheet set functionality in AutoCAD enables you to efficiently create, manage, and share your entire set of sheets from one convenient location. At first glance, the powerful functionality offered by the Sheet Set Manager may seem overwhelming but the good news is you don’t have to learn and implement all the functionality simultaneously.

We have developed this 60-page free e-book so you can immediately begin reaping the benefits of Sheet Set functionality. The eBook is structured to be self-paced, allowing you to progress through each level of implementation from the simplest to the most complex at your own speed. Spend just a few minutes each week or at your own pace until you’ve created a fully functional sheet set with minimum disruption to your current workflow.

The e-book is conveniently organized into 17 chapters with step-by-step instructions on how to create a new sheet set, how to transition to sheet set master and how to implement sheet sets for maximum efficiency.”

Sheet Set Manager (aka SSM) is available in AutoCAD since version 2005, in AutoCAD LT from version 2012, in BricsCAD V13 and newer, and GstarCAD 2015 and newer.

More resources about the Sheet Set Manager and some related apps from JTB World:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update

AutoCAD 2018 has got another update with bug fixes. This time the AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update.

Either get it via the Autodesk Desktop App or Autodesk Account. Not publically available on Autodesk Knowledge Network.

Here are some details from the readme:

The AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update contains all of the updates previously released for AutoCAD 2018 so the download is up to 452 MB depending on if it’s for AutoCAD LT, 32-bit or 64-bit.

AutoCAD Updates can be applied to AutoCAD installed as a standalone application and AutoCAD-based vertical products. You can install the AutoCAD update in addition to any applicable updates for your vertical products listed below.

AutoCAD and Vertical Products:

  • AutoCAD 2018
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2018
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2018
  • AutoCAD Map 3D 2018
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2018
  • AutoCAD MEP 2018
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D 2018
  • Advance Steel 2018

After applying this patch, the Product Version in the About box will be listed as O.154.0.0 AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update. If you use one of the vertical products, the Built On version will be listed as O.154.0.0 AutoCAD 2018.1.1 Update. _VERNUM returns "O.154.0.0 (UNICODE)" (read only). When installed it shows up as version 22.0.154.0 in the list of installed updates in Windows.

As a result of the detailed information that we received from customers who used the Customer Error Reporting Utility, we were able to identify and fix several defects with the following results:

  • Occasional crashes when opening the block editor no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when selecting or creating a non-associative hatch no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when clicking the Insert View button on the ribbon in some drawings no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when modifying certain dimension styles no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when editing the grip of a spotlight in some drawings no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when opening DXF files containing Xrefs no longer occur.

Several additional defects have been fixed with the following results:

Blocks

  • The attribute position of a block remains the same after editing the block.

PDF/Plot

  • PDF files plotted from certain drawings now display correctly in Adobe Reader.
  • Hatch patterns in PDF files are consistent with lineweight.
  • Raster images are plotted correctly when Shadeplot is set to the Rendered option.

General

  • The AEC property-set data in DWG files can be successfully exported to 3D DWF files.
  • Certain Pro/E files can now be successfully imported into AutoCAD.

Monday, August 21, 2017

JTB CAD Automation Tools 5.3 released

JTB CAD Automation Tools for AutoCAD has been updated to version 5.3 and got a bug fixed.

  • Fixed bug in AUTOINS command that showed error "no function definition: XREFPATHTYPE".

If you love to use Excel spread sheets to make edits then JTB CAD Automation Tools is for you as you can do a lot of AutoCAD automation with help of Excel like creating new drawings based on templates (useful for electrical diagrams and more), update title block attributes, inserts text, blocks or xrefs, run custom LSP files and much more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to fix problem with multiple ribbon tabs for apps in AutoCAD

Have you run into the problem with apps (plug-ins or add-ins) showing up in separate ribbon tabs? AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D and possibly other AutoCAD verticals have this problem.

I noticed this problem in also AutoCAD Architecture 2018. Note even the updates have fixed this.

Steps to solve this were found here.

(Note that Steps 2-4 are not necessary for 2015 and newer, though you may just want to check that the alias is there.)

1. Open the Customize User Interface (CUI) dialogue box by typing the CUI command (or choose Customize from the Workspace drop down list)

2. Under Customizations in All Files, and All Customization Files, expand Ribbon > Tabs and select Add-Ins

3. Under Properties > Advanced, click on the [...] that appears next to Aliases

4. Type ID_ADDINSTAB in the Aliases dialogue box, then click OK

5. Under Customizations in All Files, expand Workspaces and select [Your Workspace]

6. Under Workspace Contents, click on Customize Workspace (the Workspace Contents values should turn blue)

7. Under Customizations in All Files, scroll down and check the box next to "Add-Ins" (under Ribbon > Tabs)

8. Under Workspace Contents, click Done

9. Under Customizations in All Files, expand Partial Customization Files

10. Right-click each plug-in .CUIX that you have and choose "Unload..." (examples of plug-ins are: SKETCHUPIMPORTSKP, CHRONICLE, APPMANAGER

11. Click OK at the bottom of the CUI dialogue box

12. Make sure to select Add-ins from the left pane and change Show to Yes

13. Restart AutoCAD

Much better:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Altair HW monitoring with JTB FlexReport tip

Altair HW now uses almutil.exe, take copy of this file and rename to lmxendutil.exe and put in the JTB FlexReport folder and point to the location of it in JTB FlexReport Config>LM-X.

With JTB FlexReport you can report on and monitor license usage.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

AutoCAD Architecture 2018.0.2 Update

AutoCAD Architecture 2018.0.2 Update was released Aug 1, 2017 and comes with these fixes. Get it via Autodesk Desktop App or from the Autodesk Account website. It’s not on the Autodesk Knowledge Network so it’s probably only for those on maintenance/subscription.

  • Fatal error caused due to unwanted increase in windows graphic objects during AEC object insertion.
  • The viewport layers do not stay frozen on MVBlocks. Related to External References.
  • AEC Objects in Xref with display override frozen in viewport still plot.

Readme

In the About dialog box we can find the Product Version: 8.0.60.0 and if you want to find it using AutoLISP here’s how: How to know what service pack is installed for AutoCAD

See also AutoCAD Architecture and MEP 2018.0.1 Update and AutoCAD 2018.1 Update.

Monday, July 31, 2017

AutoCAD 2017 Model Documentation Hotfix

An AutoCAD 2017 Model Documentation Hotfix has been released. Get it and ready about it here. The download is 143 MB. Not available via Autodesk Desktop App and Autodesk Account.

This Hotfix resolves multiple issues when using views in conjunction with the model documentation feature.

AutoCAD Model Documentation

This Hotfix applies to the following: All publicly released 64-bit versions of Autodesk AutoCAD 2017 and Autodesk AutoCAD 2017-based vertical products.

When installed it shows up with version 21.0.451.0 among installed updates in Windows.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

AutoCAD 2018.1 Update

AutoCAD 2018.1 Update is here and comes with some good new features and some bug fixes.

If you start AutoCAD you may see this notification

AutoCAD Notifications

Autodesk Desktop App

Autodesk Desktop App

Autodesk Account

Autodesk Account

Here’s the full readme and below is partly an excerpt from it:

The AutoCAD 2018.1 Update contains all of the updates previously released for AutoCAD 2018.

AutoCAD Updates can be applied to AutoCAD installed as a standalone application and AutoCAD-based vertical products. You can install the AutoCAD update in addition to any applicable updates for your vertical products listed below.

AutoCAD and Vertical Products:

  • AutoCAD 2018
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2018
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2018
  • AutoCAD Map 3D 2018
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2018
  • AutoCAD MEP 2018
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D 2018
  • Advance Steel 2018

After applying this patch, the Product Version in the About box will be listed as O.107.0.0 AutoCAD 2018.1 Update. If you use one of the vertical products, the Built On version will be listed as O.107.0.0 AutoCAD 2018.1 Update. _VERNUM returns "O.107.0.0 (UNICODE)" (read only). When installed it shows up as version 22.0.107.0 in the list of installed updates in Windows.

New Feature and Feature Enhancement Summary

The following table summarizes the new features and enhancements provided in this Update. For detailed information, consult the AutoCAD 2018.1 Update Preview Guide and this YouTube video.

Feature
New Feature or Feature Enhancement
Feature Comments
Xref Layers Override New Feature

Improvements to Xref Layers make it easier to identify overrides and restore them to their default values.
System variables: VISRETAINMODE, XREFLAYER, LAYEROVERRIDEHIGHLIGHT
Xref Layers Override

Toggle Override Highlight

A new system variable, XREFLAYER, allows you to specify a default layer on which to place attached Xref files regardless of which layer is set as current.

When you rename or delete an Xref layer in the Xref drawing, it will automatically be renamed/deleted when you reload it in the host drawings.

VISRETAINMODE (System Variable) controls the behavior of VISRETAIN system variable when you set it to 1. Use this system variable in conjunction with the VISRETAIN and the XREFOVERRIDE system variables to control which xref layer property overrides you want to automatically sync on reload. See online help for more.

LAYEROVERRIDEHIGHLIGHT (System Variable) Toggles the visibility of the background color highlighting for layers that have overrides.

Views and Viewports New Feature

A new Named Views panel is added to the View tab to make it easy to create and restore named views from the ribbon, and to create scaled views and viewports for your layouts. The new layout viewports are automatically assigned a standard scale that can easily be changed from a new scale grip on the viewport.
Primary commands: MVIEW, NEWVIEW

Insert View

Viewport Grip Enhancements

Viewport Grip Enhancements

NEWVIEW (Command) Saves a new, named view from the display in the current viewport, or by defining a rectangular window.

High Resolution Monitor Support(High Pixels per Inch) Feature Enhancement Supports additional dialog boxes. Palettes and icons are correctly adjusted to the Windows setting for the display scale.

For the best results, use the Windows 10 operating system and a compatible video card.

More than 200 dialog boxes and other User Interface elements have been updated to ensure the best possible viewing experience on 4K displays and higher.

3D Graphics Performance Feature Enhancement

Work on performance continues to optimize the speed of 3D display for the Wireframe, Realistic, and Shaded visual styles. Increases in graphics performance will vary depending on the size and content of the 3D DWG files. For the best results, use these 3D visual styles in their default states on a 64-bit machine with a compatible graphics card.
Primary Commands: 3DORBIT, ZOOM, PAN, VSCURRENT    

Measuring the frames-per-second performance in six large benchmark models, the median FPS performance increase in AutoCAD 2018 Update was 175% faster (2.75x) than the FPS in AutoCAD 2017, and 37% faster (1.37x) than in AutoCAD 2018 (pre-update).

Plot and Preview offer significant performance improvements for drawings with missing SHX fonts.

Defects fixed

  • Occasional crashes when switching the visual style to 3D after using the PDFCLIP command no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when right-clicking the drawing from the Start tab no longer occur.
  • Occasional crashes when saving to the AutoCAD 2004/LT 2004 Drawing format or an earlier format no longer occur.
  • The properties of complex linetypes are now supported by standards files (.dws).
  • AutoCAD no longer hangs on Windows 10 when copying objects between AutoCAD 2018 and AutoCAD 2017.
  • Crossing Window and Fence selection can select objects that are not on the current UCS XY plane.
  • The Digital Signature Warning dialog box does not display on every save or autosave operation.
  • Plot preview performance is improved on some drawings that previously were slower than expected.

Quote from the readme: “Your reports gave us the opportunity to improve the product for everyone's benefit.” Well, not really everyone. Unfortunately these defects are not deemed serious enough (Severity: High according to Autodesk Account) to be made available to customers without paid maintenance/subscription. See also Steve Johnson’s blog post.

More about AutoCAD 2018.1 Update here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

JTB CAD Automation Tools 5.2 released

JTB CAD Automation Tools for AutoCAD has been updated to version 5.2 and got a couple of bugs fixed and some minor updates.

  • Fixed bugs in AutoUpd command
  • Fix bugs when attribute text is changed by Excel because it is formatted as number or formula
  • Add sorting options in AutoUpd Excel file (We got this question and now it's possible: Is it possible to export the attributes of the block in order as the attributes appear in the DDATE  fill-in screen?)
  • Minor changes for better user experience

If you love to use Excel spread sheets to make edits then JTB CAD Automation Tools is for you as you can do a lot of AutoCAD automation with help of Excel like creating new drawings based on templates, update title block attributes, inserts text, blocks or xrefs, run custom LSP files and much more.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Autodesk AutoCAD 2015-2018 Geolocation Online Map Hotfix

Autodesk AutoCAD 2015-2018 Geolocation Online Map Hotfix is now available.

Microsoft is ending support for version 7 of Bing Maps on June 30th, 2017. This Hotfix will upgrade your version of Bing Maps to version 8 so that you can continue to use the Geolocation Online Map Data feature.

This Hotfix applies to all 32-bit and 64-bit publicly released versions of the following products (including Service Packs and Updates):

  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2015, Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2015, and Autodesk AutoCAD 2015-based vertical products
  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2016, Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2016, and Autodesk AutoCAD 2016-based vertical products
  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2017, Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2017, and Autodesk AutoCAD 2017-based vertical products
  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2018, Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2018, and Autodesk AutoCAD 2018-based vertical products

Using AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT 2014? See More About End of Feature Support for Bing Maps Version 7

Please check the Readme for detailed instructions and download the hotfix.

Extract Autodesk_AutoCAD_2015_to_2018_Geolocation_Online_Maps_Hotfix_32bit_64bit.zip and run Autodesk_AutoCAD_2015_to_2018_Geolocation_Online_Maps_Hotfix.sfx.exe

The hotfix can’t be uninstalled and even a repair or reinstall of AutoCAD will not restore this specific file. In this case it’s not too bad as it will not work anyway soon but for other hotfixes it can be a problem. The hotfix installer does not even create a backup copy of the old version. Also the hotfix will probably not show up in Autodesk Desktop App which is too bad. Delivering hotfixes like this is not a good practice.

The Autodesk product version showing in the About dialog box and the _VERNUM are not updated by this hotfix so only way to tell if it’s installed is by checking the version of the AcGeoLocationUI.arx located in the AutoCAD main installation folder.

File version for AcGeoLocationUI.arx:

AutoCAD 2015: 20.0.210.31

AutoCAD 2016: 20.1.107.33

AutoCAD 2017: 21.0.402.3

AutoCAD 2018: 22.0.102.0

If you’re curious what the hotfix installer does and learn some VBScript take a look at the vbs files in C:\Autodesk\Autodesk_AutoCAD_2015_to_2018_Geolocation_Online_Maps_Hotfix
This can be used to modify so you can install it in an environment with many AutoCAD installations.

Update. After June 30th, 2017 when you run for example GEOGRAPHICLOCATION command you can see a dialog like this:
Geolocation - Online Map Data
You do not have permission to access Online Map Data.
Go to Account Settings and check your entitlement to use online maps.
You can continue using Geolocation without access to maps.

Geolocation

Followed by:
Geolocation - Online Map Data Update
You must update your software before 2017-06-30 to continue using Online Map Data.
Get update information – You will be redirected to the Autodesk update website for more information.
Update later – If you choose not to update, then you can continue to use Geolocation without maps after 2017-06-30.

Geolocation

BOMLengths.lsp AutoLISP freeware

Get the accumulated length of multiple objects with this free AutoLISP app. The total length of lines, circles, arcs, ellipses, polylines and splines are supported.

In this update it was added support for circles and ellipses and fixed a bug in the error handler.

BOMLengths.lsp has been tested on AutoCAD 2018 with this update but should work for other versions of AutoCAD as well and possibly on other CAD applications supporting AutoLISP like BricsCAD, DraftSight, GstarCAD, CADopia, IntelliCAD, progeCAD and ZWCAD.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How to Automatically Update the Sheet List Table

The Sheet List Table that comes with the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD needs to be updated manually by default causing troubles like new or changed sheets not showing up correctly or certain properties not being up-to-date.

Sheet List Table

The command DATALINKUPDATE can also be used. Run the command and select the option “Update data link” followed by “all data linKs”. It’s possible to select the table or specify the name of the Sheet Set as well.

Now to how this can be done automatically. Here’s one way using AutoLISP:

(command "._datalinkupdate" "_u" "_k")

If you want to run this automatically when a drawing is opened you can make use of acaddoc.lsp. If you want this to happen during publish make sure background plotting (BACKGROUNDPLOT system variable) is turned off as acaddoc.lsp is not loaded then. This limitation can be worked around but will require customization in .NET and something we can help with. If you want the update to happen automatically before running the plot command on the current drawing then there are ways to do this by using a reactor, something we also can help with.

Hopefully this can help you avoid discrepancies in the Sheet List Table in the future.

A wish for future updates to AutoCAD is that DXEVAL settings would be used to automatically update also the Sheet List Table.

JTB Batch Change 1.6 AutoCAD app

In JTB Batch Change version 1.6 we fixed bug in find and replace text in Mtext that happens since version 1.3 and added support for Drawing Template file(*.dwt).

Batch process AutoCAD with the help of Excel with JTB Batch Change. Some feature examples are:

With Batch Rename Objects you can rename layers in hundreds of drawing by substituting text "Concrete" with "CONC", or add a prefix of "AC " to each layer's name

With Batch Find and Replace you can find and replace text on multiple drawings.

You can import and update all blocks from a standard drawing to hundreds of other drawings.

You can replace all inserted blocks "DOOR-BD3" in layer "Archs" with block "DOOR-AC1", and move them to layer "ARCH-FURN"

You can change all texts whose styles are not prefixed with "ELEC" to "ELEC Standard" style, then change all block's attributes whose tag is "DATE" to current date.

You can convert all your inserted blocks from dynamic to static, or to anonymous blocks.

You can flatten all your drawing objects by setting all Z coordinates to 0.

You can Unload or Detach xrefs or change their name, file name or path.

Batch change drawing properties

Additionally, you can perform Batch Audit and Purge as well as much more.

When done with a batch processing you can see what has been processed in the log.

This is a great tool in the hands of AutoCAD users or CAD managers.

Some of the latest blog posts

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