Friday, January 27, 2006

Add a nice background to AutoCAD

I thought I should mention a not so known command in AutoCAD that works when you are in a shaded display mode. It is the BACKGROUND command and with it you can set a gradiend background as seen on the image or you can use an image as background. You can also set the height of the horizon and rotation used in the gradient background.

The undocumented SPACESWITCH system variable

The undocumented SPACESWITCH system variable in AutoCAD can be used to allow or forbid switching between paperspace and model space within a layout viewport with a double click. This tip can be useful if you have annotations in paper space and don't want to unintentionally activate the floating model space. It was recently added to the Autodesk Knowledge Base so now it's at least somewhat documented.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The old GLOBEtrotter folks behind FLEXlm are back..

Here's the scoop. They are back with a brand new company called Reprise Software. "In 2006, the team has come back together to develop the Reprise License Manager™ (RLM). Initially targeted at smaller ISVs who do not need a high-end product such as FLEXnet from Macrovision, RLM provides the core license management functionality that most ISVs and end-users require." "The main themes of RLM (Reprise License Manager) are openness, simplicity and value."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

AVEVA, Autodesk Announce Suite of Design, Engineering Tech

Working at a company as CAD Manager and having both Autodesk and AVEVA products like AutoCAD, ADT and PDMS I think this news is interesting. "The first half of 2006 will see integration between AVEVA's leading Plant Design Management System (PDMS) and Autodesk's Architectural Desktop and Inventor solutions."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tweakomatic script utility

Tweakomatic is a really useful and free utility that writes VBScripts that allow you to retrieve and/or configure Windows and Internet Explorer settings.
The Tweakomatic is a nifty new utility that writes scripts that allow you to retrieve and/or configure Windows and Internet Explorer settings. So what, you might ask. Well, think about it. Because these are WMI scripts, they can be used to configure settings on remote computers. Need to change something on a remote machine? Then haul out the Tweakomatic. And think about this: because the Tweakomatic writes scripts, you could do something like run these scripts as logon or logoff scripts. In other words, you could quickly, easily, and automatically configure settings on any or all the computers in your organization.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Find the path to My Documents using VBScript

Set WshShell = Wscript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
path=WshShell.RegRead("HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\Personal")
Observe that it's Personal that keeps the path to My Documents. This works if the path is below C:\Documents and Settings\ or redirected to a server location like \\server\home$\Jimmy.Bergmark PS. to show code like above I've used HTML code like this. It's useful when the rows are long. Setting the height and width so it fits for the purpose.
<pre style="margin:0px; padding:6px; border:1px #666666 solid; width:600px; 
height:70px; overflow:auto"></pre>

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

ADT and location of the Content Browser Library

Have you ever wondered how to change the path to the file ContentBrowserLibrary47.cbl that Autodesk Content Browser fires up? I did and could not find any documentation about it. So I made a bit of investigation and came up with this. So here is the tip. Without changing anything it's default location is in ..\My Documents\Autodesk\My Content Browser LibraryUsing the Deployment Wizard it's possible to change that location. But where is that saved? If you use the Deployment Wizard a file named ContentBrowser.ini is created with a content like this. It's located in the same folder as acad.exe. Typically C:\Program Files\Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006
So if you want to change the path on an existing installation ContentBrowser.ini is where you should go. If it doesn't exist just use Notepad and create it. This is ADT 2006 specific as far as I know.

Copy dimstyles between drawings using VBA

' Add reference to AutoCAD/ObjectDBX Common 16.0 Type Library (axdb16enu.dll)
' This samples copies all dimstyles from specified drawing to the current drawing
' Existing dimstyles are not affected
Public Sub ImportDimstyles()
   Dim oAxDbDoc As New AxDbDocument
   oAxDbDoc.Open "c:\DimStyles.dwg"
   Dim oObj() As Object
   Dim oDs As AcadDimStyle
   Dim i As Integer
   For i = 0 To oAxDbDoc.DimStyles.Count - 1
      ReDim Preserve oObj(i)
      Set oObj(i) = oAxDbDoc.DimStyles(i)
   oAxDbDoc.CopyObjects oObj, ThisDrawing.Database.DimStyles
End Sub

ADT and changing the Sheet storage location

Bug warning. It is possible in ADT 2006 to change the Sheet storage location. This might work well but be aware that if you move the project or archive it and maybe some other things like using it as a template might result in a non expected behaviour. If I then open the archived project and repath it and resave all sheets it results in having the Expected layout for a sheet pointing to one location but the found layout is at the old location.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Process piping design and engineering using AutoCAD?

If you are in this business and want to have a chance to influence the future for products in this area take the survey below. This is from the Autodesk Discussion Group.
My name is Peter Quinn and I am a product manager at Autodesk. I am doing research into how our customers use AutoCAD and other CAD applications for process piping design and engineering. If you are interested in providing feedback, please click on the link below to answer a couple of question. Thank you Peter Quinn Autodesk (415)507-8152

Draw a line at design time in Visual Studio

In Visual Basic 6.0 there was a Line control that could be used to draw a line on a form. In VBA, VB.NET, Visual Basic 2005 and other similar programs there is no line control that you can use. The most lightweight and easy thing to do is to use a Label control. Set Height or Width to 1 depending on if you want the line horizontal or vertical Clear the Caption / Text Set the BorderStyle to None Set AutoSize to False Set the BackColor to the color of the line If you want a thicker line increase the height or width Now if you want to draw a diagonal line you have to code a little
' Visual Basic 2005
Private Sub FormPaint(ByVal sender As Object, _
ByVal e As System.Windows.Forms.PaintEventArgs) Handles MyBase.Paint
    ' Draw a diagonal line from the top left to the lower right.
    e.Graphics.DrawLine(Pens.Black, 0, 0, Me.ClientSize.Width, _
End Sub

Get the name of the default printer using VBA

Here is one way
Public Declare Function GetProfileString Lib "kernel32" _
        Alias "GetProfileStringA" _
        (ByVal lpAppName As String, _
         ByVal lpKeyName As String, _
         ByVal lpDefault As String, _
         ByVal lpReturnedString As String, _
         ByVal nSize As Long) As Long

Public Function DefaultPrinter() As String
  Dim strReturn As String
  Dim intReturn As Integer
  strReturn = Space(255)
  intReturn = GetProfileString("Windows", ByVal "device", "", _
  strReturn, Len(strReturn))
  If intReturn Then
    strReturn = UCase(Left(strReturn, InStr(strReturn, ",") - 1))
  End If
  DefaultPrinter = strReturn
End Function

Monday, January 9, 2006

Refreshing blog template design skills

I've made some changes to my blog. You might not noticed because you read the blog using a feed reader. Anyway. I've added dropdowns for the archives and the recent posts. I did some CSS and DIV changes as well as changes to fonts and sizes to have the site look better. I also placed Categories to the right using Blogger search on some typical keywords. Automatic translation using Google translate. I added a little notification text that shows up if you open up the blog in a windows that is smaller than it's optimized for. I hope you like it.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Update a network image with the latest version of DWF Viewer

Do you want the latest version of Autodesk DWF Viewer installed with AutoCAD or any other installation.
Here is one tip:
If you have a network image of let's say AutoCAD locate this file:
Download the latest version of the DWF Viewer and replace it.
Make sure that these rows are in the setup.ini file (or the ini that you use):
PRODUCT_NAME=Autodesk DWF Viewer

If it's not there you can add it.

You also have to edit the row starting with SETUP_PRODUCT_NAMES= so it includes VIEWER

If you don't want the viewer to be installed you can remove it from the ini file as well.

Autodesk DWF Viewer deployment tips & trix

Using VBScript (file with VBS extension) Autodesk DWF Viewer can be installed and configured unattended or silently. Below are some tips & trix that you can get ideas from. By default, DWF Viewer checks for its latest version on the Autodesk Web site (Help > Check for Updates...). You can configure DWF Viewer to check for an update from another location, such as your company's Web site server, allowing you to control which version is available to your users. See the help file on Programming and Administration>Check for Updates from a Non-Autodesk Server.
To install:
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
' /q2 is install without progress meter
' /q is install with progress meter
WshShell.Run """//server/DWF/6.5/DwfViewerSetup.exe"" /q",1,true

Here is something that could be done as a post installation:
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' Delete the link from the start menu
key="HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\" & _
  "CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\"
path=WshShell.RegRead(key & "Common Programs") & "\Autodesk"
fso.DeleteFile path & "\Autodesk DWF Viewer.lnk",True

' Delete the folder from the start menu if it's empty
if FolderEmpty(path) then fso.DeleteFolder path, True

' Do not check for a new version when starting DWF Viewer
  "DWF Viewer\Settings\AutoUpdate\InitialCheck"
WshShell.RegWrite key, 1, "REG_DWORD"

' Do not check that often
  "DWF Viewer\Settings\AutoUpdate\CheckInterval"
WshShell.RegWrite key, 1000, "REG_DWORD"

' Make sure that if the user cannot update from the Help menu
  "DWF Viewer\Settings\AutoUpdate\URL"
WshShell.RegWrite key, "C:\", "REG_SZ"

' Use single click to follow hyperlinks
key = "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\DWF Common\" & _
  "Preferences\User Interface\Single Click Hyperlink"
WshShell.RegWrite key, 1, "REG_DWORD"

' Suppress Getting started Page
key = "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\DWF Common\" & _
  "Preferences\User Interface\Suppress Startup Page"
WshShell.RegWrite key, 1, "REG_DWORD"

Function FolderEmpty (path1)
  Set oFolder = fso.GetFolder(path1)
  Set oFiles = oFolder.Files
  flag = true
  For Each i in oFiles
    flag = false
  FolderEmpty = flag
End function

To uninstall:
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
key="HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\" & _
  "Uninstall\Autodesk DWF Viewer\UninstallString"
if UninstallString<>"" then WshShell.Run UninstallString & " /q",1,true

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Browse the Web safely and avoid the WMF vulnerability

Final update!!!
The security update is ready and released. Update your PC now.
It seems to co-exist fine with the REGSVR32 workaround and the Ilfak patch.

Here are some useful links. Make sure your IT people acts on this. I had to do it at the company I work for since they didn't even know about it even after it had been around since Wednesday, December 28, 2005.

"Microsoft has completed development of the security update for the vulnerability. The security update is now being localized and tested to ensure quality and application compatibility. Microsoft’s goal is to release the update on Tuesday, January 10, 2006, as part of its monthly release of security bulletins. This release is predicated on successful completion of quality testing."
Microsoft Security Advisory (912840) that includes a suggested action (Updated: January 3, 2006)
New WMF 0-day exploit - There's a new zero-day vulnerability related to Windows' image rendering - namely WMF files (Windows Metafiles). Trojan downloaders, available from unionseek[DOT]com, have been actively exploiting this vulnerability. Right now, fully patched Windows XP SP2 machines machines are vulnerable, with no known patch.
Targeted WMF email attacks
It's not a bug, it's a feature
Internet Storm Center recommends Ilfak too
New WMF exploit attacks via email
Bad behaviour
First WMF worm found
Overview of the WMF related articles at the ISC
Handler's Diary: VMWare Browser;Installing a Patch Silently;Checking for .wmf Vulnerabilities
The posts below are not exactly related to the WMF vulnerability but are well worth reading since many vulnerabilities that are exploited requires administrator rights.
Browsing the Web (Part 1) and Reading E-mail Safely as an Administrator. Michael Howard discusses how you can run as an administrator and access Internet data safely by dropping unnecessary administrative privileges when using any tool to access the Internet. Part 2
The Non-Admin blog - running with least privilege on the desktop
Least privileged user access for developers. A blog entry about what developers can and should do regarding least privilege and least privileged user access (LUA) on Windows.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Free ADT Webcasts

Can one drafting feature change your life? Watch these Autodesk Architectural Desktop Webcasts with Amy Fietkau. It's in the Details Webcast Register now. January 12, 2006, 10 am PST. Learn how to create details faster by pulling from a “toolbox” of thousands of pre-made parts. Building Blocks to Success Webcast Register now. February 9, 2006, 10 am PST. See how intelligent blocks not only accelerate the creation of schedules, they also provide important non-graphic data that ensures your construction documents are consistent with your designs. Wide Open Spaces Webcast Register now. March 9, 2006, 10am PST. Find out how you can automatically calculate square footage and generate color-coded floor plans.

AUGI's new look

Have you seen the new look for the Autodesk User Group International web site AUGI? Well done AUGI!

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Add sequential numbering to text objects in AutoCAD

Here is a tip for you. TCOUNT is an Express Tools command that not all AutoCAD users know about. Te command adds sequential numbering to text objects. The numbering can appear as a prefix, suffix or replacement text. It can be started from Express Menu>Text>Automatic Text Numbering or using the command TCOUNT. Let's say you have three rows of text like this: This is the first row This is the second row This is the third row By using different options
  • Sort selection set by X, Y, or Select-order
  • Placement of text- Overwrite/Prefix/Suffix/Find&replace
the result using TCOUNT could be like these three samples: 1 This is the first row 2 This is the second row 3 This is the third row This is the first row 5 This is the second row 4 This is the third row 3 5 10 15

Accept MDB files in Outlook

When you receive an e-mail in Microsoft Outlook that contains an attachment, you might receive the following message at the top of the message or of the Reading Pane:
Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments: []

As default (since some security update) MDB files as well as some other file extensions are stopped but this registry hack solves it if you want to
9.0 is for Outlook 2000 SP3
10.0 is for Outlook 2002
11.0 is for Outlook 2003
12.0 is for Outlook 2007
14.0 is for Outlook 2010
15.0 is for Outlook 2013
Run Regedit, and go to this key:
Under that key, add a new string value named Level1Remove or use the existing one
For the value for Level1Remove, enter a semicolon-delimited list of file extensions. For example, enter
You might have to restart the computer or at least Outlook


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