Monday, April 30, 2007

Use CopyMode to change how the COPY command works in AutoCAD 2008

Many users wished that the COPY command just kept copying. When Autodesk granted that wish in AutoCAD 2005 many others complained. Now (a bit late) you can have it your way.

CopyMode system variable controls whether the COPY command repeats automatically or not.

0 Sets the COPY command to repeat automatically
1 Sets the COPY command to create a single copy

The value is saved in the registry in the current profile for the current user as seen below:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.1\ACAD-6001:409\Profiles\<<Unnamed Profile>>\General\Copymode

The setting is also available from the COPY command as seen below:

Command: COPYMODE
Enter new value for COPYMODE <1>: 0

Command: COPY
Select objects: 1 found
Select objects:
Current settings: Copy mode = Multiple
Specify base point or [Displacement/mOde] <Displacement>: o
Enter a copy mode option [Single/Multiple] <Multiple>: s
Specify base point or [Displacement/mOde/Multiple] <Displacement>:
Specify displacement <0.0000, 0.0000, 0.0000>:

Command: COPYMODE
Enter new value for COPYMODE <1>:

Monday, April 23, 2007

JTB FlexReport news

The latest version of JTB FlexReport has a great new HTML report that shows the network license usage for FLEXlm- or FLEXnet-enabled software's. Take a look and try this sample report. This html report can for example be made available on you intranet or with a click on a button from within an application like AutoCAD.

Contact us for a free fully functional trial.

  • Try to click on the different links like Expand, Collapse, Show and Hide.
  • Click also on individual applications.
  • Notice the information when a server is unavailable or a feature is not existing.
  • One or more stars (*) indicate that the license has been in use for a long time.
  • The hours a license has been in use shows.

  • Aggregated usage aggregate the usage across multiple license servers.

Existing customers can just download and install the new version. To upgrade there is no need to uninstall first. If you want to be on the safe side just make a backup of the database.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Completely clean out traces of AutoCAD installations

Sometime when installations or uninstallations fails it is good to completely remove every trace that the application left.
See also TS45252 (This will remove all Autodesk products)
For only cleaning out for example AutoCAD 2008 on Windows Vista or Windows 7 look for these folders:
%PROGRAMFILES%\AutoCAD 2008
%PROGRAMDATA%\Autodesk\ACD\2008
%PROGRAMDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008
%APPDATA%\Autodesk\ACD\2008
%APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2008

For AutoCAD 2011:
%PROGRAMFILES%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2011
%PROGRAMDATA%\Autodesk\ACD\2011
%PROGRAMDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2011
%APPDATA%\Autodesk\ACD\2011
%APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2011
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2011

and these registry locations: (Be careful though when using Regedit.exe)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.1\ACAD-6001:409
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.1\ACAD-6001:409
Notice that depending on the locale/language the LocaleID 409 can be something else. See AutoCAD registry details.
If you have AutoCAD 2013 it is R19.0 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2012 it is R18.2 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2011 it is R18.1 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2010 it is R18.0 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2009 it is R17.2 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2007 it is R17.0 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2006 it is R16.2 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2005 it is R16.1 instead of R17.1
If you have AutoCAD 2004 it is R16.0 instead of R17.1
AutoCAD Architecture 2008 (ACA 2008)
Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007 (ADT 2007)
Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 (ADT 2006)

Notice that if you have Windows Vista the paths are somewhat different. The same is if you have another OS language installed.
C:\Documents and Settings folder doesn’t exist in Vista. It is replaced by C:\Users and C:\ProgramData. C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\ in XP is C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\ in Vista. C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\ in XP is C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\ in Vista.

Here are some tips.
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%in XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users
in Vista: C:\ProgramData
%PROGRAMDATA%\Autodeskin Vista: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk
%PROGRAMFILES%\Common Files\Autodesk Shared
in XP and Vista: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared

And then there are folders and files saved per user:
%APPDATA%\Autodeskin XP: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Autodesk
in Vista: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk
%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodeskin XP: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Autodeskin Vista: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Autodesk

The folders can also be found reading from the registry.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\User Shell Folders
For example these:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
Common AppData
in XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data
in Vista: C:\ProgramData
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
Common Programs
in XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
in Vista: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

On the desktop shortcuts can be found.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
Common Desktop
in XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop
in Vista: C:\Users\Public\Desktop

In the Start Menu there is a lot to be found.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
Common Start Menu
in XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu
in Vista: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
AutoCAD Startup Accelerator can be found in the Startup folder.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
Common Startup
in XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
in Vista: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

For the current user there is this registry location that is worth looking at:
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\User Shell Folders

Sometimes even if you deleted everything and then try to install again the installer says the product is already installed. Under this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
you can search for the name of your AutoCAD product and then delete it. For example for AutoCAD Architecture 2013 it is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{5783F2D7-B004-0000-0002-0060B0CE6BBA} and there you can also find the InstallLocation showing where the product was installed.

In some cases it can help to run a registry cleaner like CCleaner or Eusing Free Registry Cleaner.

PS. There are a lot of other places where traces are left (mostly in the registry) but usually these are the most important.
Related info: Enabling verbose logging for installation issues. Windows Installer Error Messages. How to enable verbose logging on a Windows XP-based computer (works for Vista as well).

UPDATE: How to solve problem when setup says AutoCAD is installed

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spell checking tip for large drawings in AutoCAD 2008

The Spell checking in AutoCAD 2008 has improved but since it wants to zoom into the text it might require regen of the drawing. If you don't want it to regenerate set REGENAUTO to Off. You will get the annoying "AutoCAD Alert: About to regen -- proceed?" once in a while. But there is a better way. Make sure a command is active before running SPELL.
If you don't want the AutoCAD Message "Spelling check complete." there is a simple workaround for that too. Set QAFLAGS to 4 before SPELL and set it back to 0 after. This tip works also for older versions of AutoCAD.
Either you can edit the Spell Check button macro on the Text toolbar using CUI or redefine the command with AutoLISP.
Here is how the macro could look like. If a command is not active start the copy command before spell and cancel it afterwards.
(setvar "QAFLAGS" 4) $M=$(if,$(getvar,cmdactive),'_spell;,^C^C_copy '_spell ^C;) (setvar "QAFLAGS" 0)

Determine programmatically if AutoCAD 2008 is 32-bit or 64-bit

Here are some alternative ways that can help you know if AutoCAD 2008 or another AutoCAD version is 32-bit or 64-bit as well as what the platform is.
Why would you want to do this? One reason is that DOSLib 7.5 has separate ARX files for 32 and 64 bit and you might want to check this using AutoLISP before loading DOSLib if you have users with different OS's.
The system variable PLATFORM might also be used. It indicates which platform is in use. The result can be something like: "Microsoft Windows NT Version 6.0 (x86)"
Windows Environment variable PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE is x86 for 32-bit and x64 for 64-bit.
vlax-get-acad-object in 64-bit return a longer object ID number than in the 32-bit so the function Acad64Bit-version will return T if AutoCAD is a 64-bit version.
Acad64Bit-platform will return T if the Windows OS platform is 64-bit.
(defun Acad64Bit-version () (vl-load-com) (> (strlen (vl-prin1-to-string (vlax-get-acad-object))) 40) ) (defun Acad64Bit-platform () (= (getenv "PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE") "x64") )
Disclaimer. I don't have a 64-bit OS so I have not been able to confirm if the above is working but I'm pretty sure it does work. If you have 64-bit and can confirm it works please leave a comment.

Autodesk 3DSOUT Command for AutoCAD 2007 and 2008 based products

Autodesk has released this 3DSOUT utility to allow you to export 3D geometry using AutoCAD 2007, AutoCAD 2008 or newer in an AutoCAD 2007 or later drawing (DWG) file to a 3D Studio (3DS) file.
http://usa.autodesk.com/getdoc/id=DL9481286
Make sure to read the readme. Note the installation instructions if you have Windows Vista.
The 3DSOUT command allows you to create a file in the 3D Studio (3DS) format. 3DSOUT saves 3D geometry and views in the 3DS exported 3DS file. 3DSOUT exports circles, polygonal meshes, polyface meshes, and objects with surface characteristics. Lights and materials created in AutoCAD 2006 or earlier releases are also saved in the 3DS file.
Note Lights and materials created in AutoCAD 2007 and later releases may be exported, but they are not exported properly and their behavior is unpredictable and not consistent with lights and materials created in AutoCAD 2006 and earlier releases.
3DSOUT exports only those objects with surface characteristics. A line or an arc must have a nonzero thickness. A trace or a polyline must have a nonzero width or thickness. Circles, polygon meshes, and polyface meshes are always exported. Solids and 3D faces must have at least three unique vertices. Geometry is tessellated on export, as necessary.
3DSOUT converts named views to 3D Studio cameras. 3DSOUT also converts the following lights (created in AutoCAD 2006 or earlier releases):
  • Photo Real or Photo Raytrace lights are converted to the nearest 3D Studio equivalent.
  • Point lights become omni lights.
  • Spotlights and distant lights become 3D Studio spotlights.
If the name of any object conflicts with a name already in the 3D Studio drawing, the name is assigned a sequence number to resolve the conflict. The name may have to be truncated to accommodate the sequence number.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Enable install of ACA 2008 on 64-bit OS

AutoCAD Architecture 2008 is not supported for 64-bit OS like Vista 64-bit and the installer is even locked for only 32-bit. But there is a nonsupported workaround. Here are instructions how to edit the ACA.msi file using Orca:

http://discussion.autodesk.com/thread.jspa?threadID=562426

I really from experience can see the need to have applications like ACA 2008 and AMEP 2008 supporting 64-bit Vista because much more memory can be accessed and when working with large models or many files open at the same time this is really useful. 3 GB is recommended according to the system requirements but having more than that would really be useful for many.

Update 4-MAY-2007: If you contact Autodesk Support you can now obtain the files and installation instructions needed to solve this.

Drawing Tabs application for AutoCAD 2008

Even though the Readme says other things I've been able to use Drawing Tabs in AutoCAD 2008 and ACA 2008 on Windows Vista. It's a great little piece of freeware.

http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2006/10/trick_or_treat_.html
Download Autodesk Bonus Tool Drawing Tabs ReadMe PDF
Download Autodesk Bonus Tool Drawing Tabs ARX file

Monday, April 16, 2007

DWL2 the new DWL in AutoCAD 2008

You might wonder what these files are. Normally they are hidden because of the H file attribute but if you have selected to show hidden files you will see them. Now with AutoCAD 2008 based products there is the new DWL2 file besides the DWL file that existed in previous versions of AutoCAD.
If you look at the DWL2 file you will find that it is in XML format.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8">
<whprops>
<username>This is the user</username>
<machinename>Here is the PC</machinename>
<fullname></fullname>
<datetime>16 april 2007 12:35:10</datetime>
</whprops>
The DWL file is in pure text format.
Nothing mentioned about the DWL2 file in the help file though.
The information displayed by WHOHAS is stored in a temporary DWL (drawing lock) file. A DWL file is automatically created when a file is opened and then deleted when the file is closed.
Did you know? Running WHOHAS and selecting a DWG that is not open but still has corresponding DWL and DWL2 files because of a crash will simply delete the existing DWL and DWL2 files.

Update for Outlook 2007

This Microsoft update has to be done manually and if you use Outlook 2007 it is worth considering it. I've used it for some days and it seems working fine. I appreciate every millisecond of performance enhancement for Outlook 2007 that is possible to get.

This update fixes a problem in which a calendar item that is marked as private is opened if it is found by using the Search Desktop feature. The update also fixes performance issues that occur when you work with items in a large .pst file or .ost file.

Update for Outlook 2007 (KB933493)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Autodesk Design Review Navigation Wheel wish

The Navigation Wheel in Autodesk Design Review is great but if the background is really dark or black it doesn't show up good.

Related post: Autodesk Design Review 2008: 2D Navigation Wheel

ADT's Project Navigator performing slowly

When you dragged a view into a sheet with Project Navigator, it took several seconds or longer for the view to be inserted.

For tips to improve performance in this case as well as with other issues in ADT 2005, ADT 2006 and ADT 2007 look at this KB article: Project Navigator performing slowly. There are 17 guidelines to follow. Some of them apply ty ACA 2008 as well I would say.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Autodesk Labs new blog: It’s Alive in the Lab

Scott Sheppard has moved from the Beyond the Paper blog to the It’s Alive in the Lab blog. Subscribed!

JTB FlexReport Flash presentation

Thanks RobiNZ for recording this Fash presentation using Camtasia based on the PowerPoint presentation about JTB FlexReport. Great if you don't have PowerPoint or don't want to download and install the PowerPoint viewer.

JTB FlexReport helps you to better manage and forecast license usage for you network licenses for FLEXnet / FLEXlm enabled applications. Optimize how many licenses you need on actual usage not based on guessing.

New reports can be based on GROUPS and HOST_GROUPS defined in the OPT options file.

Lately customers that has purchased JTB FlexReport has been from Canada, Sweden, Japan, US, Israel, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Finland, France, Austria, Argentina and UK. New customers are companies like Marvell, Schlumberger, Sunoco, Yale School of Architecture, Arup in UK, DuPont and many more.

Contact JTB World to get a time limited fully functional version for free.

Remember Vista Windows Explorer window size and location

In Windows Vista you might be annoyed by having to resize and move windows since they keep forgetting the size and location.

Here is the tip. Hold down the CTRL key and close the window. Next time you open Explorer (Computer) it will remember the size and location. The same works for other windows like Control Panel, User Accounts, Help and Support and many more.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A new CADMAN+Tussilago cartoon strip

Remember the backpack we got at AU 2005?

Backpack from Autodesk University 2005

CADMAN+Tussilago home

Monday, April 9, 2007

Purge reconciled layer information in AutoCAD 2008

I looked at where data is saved when a layer is reconciled in AutoCAD 2008.
The so called baseline of layers is saved in an Extension Dictionary on each layer and adds of course to the size of the file.
I made a test drawing with 1000 layers. Not so much if you work with many xrefs that has many layers. With all layers reconciled the size was 113 KB. After purging with the code below the size come down to 81 KB. 32 extra KB per 1000 layers. No big deal but here is a way to purge them using AutoLISP.
Download for PurgeReconciledLayers.LSP
;;; PurgeReconciledLayers.LSP ;;; ;;; By Jimmy Bergmark ;;; Copyright (C) 2007 JTB World, All Rights Reserved ;;; Website: www.jtbworld.com ;;; E-mail: info@jtbworld.com ;;; 2007-04-05 - First release ;;; Written for AutoCAD 2008 ;;; Purge all information about reconciled layers in the drawing (defun PurgeReconciledLayers () (vl-load-com) (vlax-for layer (vla-get-Layers (vla-get-ActiveDocument (vlax-get-acad-object) ) ) (vl-Catch-All-Apply '(lambda () (vla-Remove (vla-GetExtensionDictionary layer ) "ADSK_XREC_LAYER_RECONCILED" ) ) ) (vl-Catch-All-Apply '(lambda () (vla-delete (vla-GetExtensionDictionary layer ) ) ) ) ) (setvar "LAYEREVAL" 0) (setvar "LAYERNOTIFY" 0) (princ) ) ; Remove the row below if you don't want to run the code automatically when the AutoLISP file is loaded. (PurgeReconciledLayers)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Autodesk Impression Technology Preview 5 only for some

In a previous post I mentioned that some links where not working related to Autodesk Impression. Most of them are now working except http://www.autodesk.co.nz/impression-toolbar and http://www.autodesk.com.au/impression-toolbar.

But for these countries it is only Autodesk Impression Technology Preview 5 that is available. The good thing is that it's still free for those countries. The bad thing is that the final release is not available so far. See for example: http://www.autodesk.co.uk/impression-toolbar

If you try to download from another country than those mentioned below you will see this message:

Location Error – Autodesk Impression Technology Preview Download Request

This technology preview is available only in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.  It appears you are accessing the Internet from a point outside the one of these countries, and therefore cannot access the download. 

We appreciate your continued support of Autodesk Impression.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

ScriptPro has been resurrected

Thanks to R.K. McSwain I know that finally the ScriptPro update has been released to support AutoCAD 2007/2008 based applications as well as Windows Vista. It really is no change to ScriptPro since 2003 but now the installer works. You find it here: http://www.autodesk.com/migrationtools

Speaking of scripting you might want to consider SmartPurger. Not free as ScriptPro but with somewhat more functionality. 

Layer Notification in AutoCAD 2008

AutoCAD 2008 news! Clicking on the Settings button in the Layer Properties Manager shows the dialog box below. It allows you to evaluate what should happen when new layers are added to a drawing. Even xrefs can be evaluated and you can be notified on different actions like Open, Save, Attach/Reload xrefs, Insert, Restore layer state and Plot. In a multi-user environment this functionality is useful as a help so you don't end up plotting a drawing with new layers that you are not aware of.
But don't rely fully on it since there are some pitfalls as seen further on.

Unreconciled New Layers is a notification that let you know that new layers has been found. If you right click on the Unreconciled New Layers icon you can also access the New Layer Notification Settings.

Unreconciled New Layers is a temporary filter that shows the layers that can be reconciled using right click. Being a filter makes it also easy to review the layers before acting on them.

LAYEREVAL and LAYERNOTIFY system variables are saved in each drawing and are the settings for unreconciled layer evaluation and notification. It can be a good idea to enforce the values using acaddoc.lsp. But remember even though you set LAYERNOTIFY to 0 it might still show the notification because the notification is showed before the setting is changed. In a single-user environment or if you don't want to use this new feature just add the following two rows to acaddoc.lsp.
(setvar "LAYEREVAL" 0)
(setvar "LAYERNOTIFY" 0)
Layer notification does NOT happen during publish operations that run in the background (such as publishing from SSM).
The drawing has to be opened and saved in AutoCAD 2008 once for the notification to work properly. The "Resave all sheets" option in SSM does NOT initiate this.
The alert before plot shows for the commands PLOT, -PLOT and PUBLISH. It does NOT show if the command is run from a script file (.SCR) or used in AutoLISP. The alert does NOT show if you start using a plot preview followed by plotting.
Take also a look at you templates and consider if you want layers in them to be unreconciled or reconciled. When saving as a template there is an option for that. Consider also what LAYEREVAL and LAYERNOTIFY should be set to.
Since the baseline that is saved in the drawing needs to know if a layer is reconciled it makes the drawing larger and there is no easy way to purge that information once it has been added. Changing LAYEREVAL and LAYERNOTIFY does not help. But I've made an AutoLISP function that solved this. More about it can be found on another blogpost. Download for PurgeReconciledLayers.LSP.
An animation is available on this Autodesk blog post by Heidi Hewett.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

jtbworld.com website and email problem (solved)

JTB World was not alone. Around 20,000 other Swedish hosted websites where down on Tuesday. TDC-Song had a crashed router that took time to replace. 200 km by car to get the new router. Everyone wonder why they didn't use a helicopter.

It was not only the website that was down but also email to @jtbworld.com. Also many of the images on this blog where missing since they are hosted on jtbworld.com. If you have had problems to contact JTB World per email please try again. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Do you want to subscribe to a specific label?

Here is how to do it. You might only be interested in something special on this blog or other Blogger blogs.

For example a feed for what I write with label (category) as AutoCAD 2008:
http://jtbworld.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/AutoCAD%202008

If the label name contains a space make sure to substitute it with %20 so instead of AutoCAD Architecture 2008 it should be AutoCAD%20Architecture%202008.

This is another great way to put the reader in charge. You maybe don't care about VBScript or VB.NET but want to read all about the latest and greatest AutoCAD 2008.

But what if you want to know everything about multiple feeds and don't want feed items to show up more than one time. How about using pipes from Yahoo as described before. I made this little test pipe on AutoCAD and here is the resulting RSS feed that combines three labels (AutoCAD 2008, AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD).

Here is what the Blogger help answers on: Can I get site feeds for specific labels?

Yes, you can! If a blog you read is using labels and also has site feeds enabled, then you can pick and choose which topics you want to subscribe to. The format for label feeds is this:
http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/labelname

Be sure to substitute in the correct blog address for blogname and the label you're interested in for labelname. Also, don't miss the hyphen ("-") in the URL. That's not a typo!

Note that a URL of this form will only work if the blog in question is using this specific label, and has also enabled site feeds. However, no special site feed settings are necessary. As long as the basic site feed for posts is enabled (with either short or full descriptions) then label feeds will also work.


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