Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer with Tilt Wheel not recommended for AutoCAD users

This Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer with Tilt Wheel is NOT something I can recommend for AutoCAD users.

Since I got so used to use the wheel to pan and zoom extents in AutoCAD I really cannot recommend this mouse. To hold down the wheel to pan quickly is hardly possible because so much force is needed to hold down the wheel. Double clicking to zoom extents is equally hard to do. Microsoft talks about "Ergonomic Design". For work in AutoCAD this design is definitely not ergonomic.

Other than that I think the mouse ease quite good even though I think the wheel is a bit to hard to roll. The thumb buttons are placed to high though to be easy accessed.

I have to agree with Steven Johnson's comments. With the latest drivers for the Mouse you can get the wheel to "work" in AutoCAD but as I said it's not productive and not easy. For those wanting to know how to set it to "work" in AutoCAD. Set it to AutoScroll in the settings for the wheel button.

Now I have to get hold of the purchase responsible for mouses at Pharmadule Emtunga where I work so no more of these things are bought for AutoCAD users.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Windows Desktop Search finds text within DWG's

AutoCAD 2006 supports search of text within drawings from Windows Explorer. I tried this also with the newly released Windows Desktop Search and it worked great as you can see. TEXT, MTEXT, ATTRIBUTES, LAYER NAMES and more can be found.

AutoCAD 2006 - Solution when editing rotated text

I got this question: "The new TEXT and MTEXT editor in 2006 is great. Problem is I sometimes have to edit text on its side or even upside down. Gets very confusing to edit in this way. Is there some way of changing this new feature so I don't break my neck every time I edit a non-horizontal piece of text? I have tried MTEXTED set to OLDEDITOR but this only works for MTEXT and not TEXT."

There is a new system variable named DTEXTED that specifies the user interface for editing single-line text using the DDEDIT command. When set to 0 DDEDIT displays the In-Place Text Editor. When set to 1 DDEDIT displays the Edit Text dialog box.

MTEXTED can as said be used to get the old version of the mtext editor by setting the value to oldeditor. There is also the alternative to set it to :lisped. This will show a dialog box if the mtext has less than 80 characters. The default editor is used when the value is set to internal.

The new WYSIWYG editor that AutoCAD 2006 introduces is really good for many users but if you have a lot of rotated text it can be problematic. One solution is to use the Properties palette to edit the text content even though it's quite restricted. Another is to use MTEXTED and DTEXTED.

You can also create a button on a toolbar or a tool on the tool palette that runs a custom command.
A simple macro could look like this:
^C^C(setvar "DTEXTED" 1) DDEDIT \;(setvar "DTEXTED" 0);
In that case you can double click on the text if it's readable and if it's too rotated just click on the button or the tool.

A more automated way would be to redefine the DDEDIT command so it shows a dialog box depending on the rotation of the text in relation to the screen. I leave that for you to experiment with.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tips when changing license server

If you have to move or transfer your AutoCAD Network License Manager to another server the users have to be pointed to this server as well.

Instead of having to manually update all users LICPATH.LIC file I have a VBScript that runs when the user logs in that solves this. Otherwise also Group Policy Object settings can be used.

On Error Resume Next
Set WshShell = Wscript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
Set WshSysEnv = WshShell.Environment("SYSTEM")

When ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE, the registry, and licpath.lic are used, the order of precedence is:
  2. registry
  3. licpath.lic
  4. License Finder dialog box is displayed
When ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE, LM_LICENSE_FILE, the registry, and licpath.lic are used, the order of precedence is:
  2. registry
  4. licpath.lic
  5. License Finder dialog box is displayed
JTB FlexReport can help with your network license management.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

AutoCAD 2006 and how to start AutoCAD with different Workspaces

Here is a tip on how to start AutoCAD 2006 with a specific Workspace.
There is not direct way to start AutoCAD 2006 with a specific Workspace but it can be done with a script file.
Create a shortcut with this Target:
"C:\Program Files\AutoCAD 2006\acad.exe" /b "C:\CustomWS.scr"

CustomWS.scr holds this row where CustomWS is the name of the Workspace:
(if (/= (getvar "wscurrent") "CustomWS") (command "wscurrent" "CustomWS"))

The reason for why I made the code above like this is because of performance. It just set wscurrent to CustomWS when needed.

Then you can add as many shortcuts as you want for your different Workspaces.

Monday, May 9, 2005

Surprising ad about Visio for 2D in Autodesk magazine

I was quite surprised when I read through the Swedish Autodesk magazine 'Autodesk DESIGNER' to see a full page ad about Electric diagrams with Microsoft Office Visio 2003. The ad is comparing the cost of Visio against CAD applications with a price 4-12 times the price of Visio. I'm sure they aim against applications like AutoCAD LT and the like. www.eurocitysoftware.com/visio www.microsoft.se/visio

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