Monday, May 31, 2010

JTB FlexReport 6 released

Finally JTB FlexReport 6 is released.

Network license monitoring (FLEXlm/FlexNet/IBM LUM/12D/SPLM or most any other application usage monitoring and reporting on is made easy. It will be useful when deciding if and when to add more licenses or to cut back on the number of licenses you have at your company. Many make use of JTB FlexReport to help splitting license and maintenance costs among their users or groups of users.

News:
  • SQL Server/SQL Server Express support.
  • Better performance for chart reports.
  • New chart reports and other changes to the chart client.
  • Drilldown on chart reports.
  • Copy chart to clipboard.
  • Hour chart improvements and hour filters.
  • Process Monitor improvements.
  • Database structure changes.
  • Bug fixes.
Chart report on how many hours users have been using a feature. The hours chart now support many different combinations to create the chart you want to see as well as the ability to filter for example if you only want to see hours greater/equal than specified amount.

Drilldown to find who might have used licenses at a specific point in time.

Histogram Chart that can help to determine if you need more or less licenses.

Downloads and documentation are found at the JTB FlexReport site. Uninstall previous installations first before installing this new version.

Contact us to get a time limited license file for free. You can try it in your environment with your real data for a few weeks with full functionality.
Full support is provided during trial period.

Now work is started on JTB FlexReport 6.1 that will include a better application to administrate groups of user, hosts, feature and servers without the need of Access. Grouping of usage based on IP ranges. Support for SafeNet's Sentinel License Monitor (SLM). Improvements on other things and probably some bug fixes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Windows Live Writer 14.0.8117.416

First post using Windows Live Writer 14.0.8117.416. Hope some of the bugs that annoy me are fixed. So I’ll be using this while waiting for the new big Windows Live Wave 4 release that hopefully comes soon with a new update of WLW.

Windows Live Writer 14.0.8117.416

“New version of Wave 3 Windows Live Writer. No new features but higher quality. Upgrade today!” – WLWriter on Twitter May 12th

For solutions and forums see the Live Writer Portal. Only problem I found was that I got it in Swedish when I wanted it in English. But that was solved by changing the order in Language Preferences in Internet Explorer > Internet Options > Language Preference.

Internet Options > Language Preference

What is the solution if AutoCAD 2011 hangs at startup?

If you try to start AutoCAD 2011 and it hangs and becomes unresponsive the solution might be to that the Autodesk InfoCenter file C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\WSCommCntr\lib\WSCommCntr2.exe is still running. AutoCAD starts to the point that you can see the application UI, command line, Properties and so on. This happened to me right now so I though I should share the solution.

If you just kill the WSCommCntr2.exe process in Windows Task Manager AutoCAD becomes responsive again and you can start using it. No need to kill the acad.exe process.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ribbon problem solutions for AutoCAD

How to fix a broken Ribbon? It can certainly be a pain with such a problem in AutoCAD and it doesn’t heal by waiting like when a rib is fractured.

If you find yourself in a situation where you see the text “The Ribbon does not have any tabs or panels currently loaded.” and don’t know how to restore the Ribbon and menus here are some tips. It might be because you have done some customization in a wrong way to accidentally deleted all workspaces or messed up something else.

The Ribbon does not have any tabs or panels currently loaded

I’ll try to come up with a solution here.

The easiest method is to click on the black down arrow and click on Workspace.

Then select one of the workspaces from the Workspace dropdown.

Another method is the following:

Run the command WSCURRENT and you might find that it has an empty value. This indicates that something is wrong.

  Command: wscurrent
  Enter new value for WSCURRENT <"">:

Run the CUI command.

If there are no Workspaces existing

No Workspaces existing

try first to use Restore ACAD.CUIX and if that does not work try Reset ACAD.CUIX.

Restore ACAD.CUIX

Now this is what it look like when there are Workspaces but none current.

No current workspace

Right click on any of the Workspaces and select Set Current.

Set Current Workspace

Close CUI.

If the Ribbon still is missing run the RIBBON command.

If Express Tools menu is missing run the EXPRESSTOOLS command.

If the Ribbon is missing next time you start AutoCAD you probably need to show it again and then save the workspace using WSSETTINGS command.

See also Restore lost workspace, menus and profile in AutoCAD Architecture.

Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite remedy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

AutoLISP tip to find nested block information

How to find the layer of a block that is nested? This was a question I got. This can be useful if the entities in the blocks are on layer 0 and you really want the layer the nested block is inserted on but not the parent block. The key is to use nentsel.

(defun c:FindLayer (/ Ent)
  (setq Ent (nentsel "\nPick object: "))
  (princ (strcat "\nLayer: " (if (cadddr Ent) (cdr (assoc 8 (entget (car (cadddr Ent))))) (cdr (assoc 8 (entget (car Ent)))))))
  (princ)
)

Here is from the help about nentsel.

Prompts the user to select an object (entity) by specifying a point, and provides access to the definition data contained within a complex object

    (nentsel [msg])

The nentsel function prompts the user to select an object. The current Object Snap mode is ignored unless the user specifically requests it. To provide additional support at the Command prompt, nentsel honors keywords defined by a previous call to initget.

Arguments

msg
A string to be displayed as a prompt. If the msg argument is omitted, the Select Object prompt is issued.

Return Values

When the selected object is not complex (that is, not a 3D polyline or block), nentsel returns the same information as entsel. However, if the selected object is a 3D polyline, nentsel returns a list containing the name of the subentity (vertex) and the pick point. This is similar to the list returned by entsel, except that the name of the selected vertex is returned instead of the polyline header. The nentsel function always returns the starting vertex of the selected 3D polyline segment. Picking the third segment of the polyline, for example, returns the third vertex. The Seqend subentity is never returned by nentsel for a 3D polyline.

Note: A lightweight polyline (lwpolyline entity) is defined in the drawing database as a single entity; it does not contain subentities.

Selecting an attribute within a block reference returns the name of the attribute and the pick point. When the selected object is a component of a block reference other than an attribute, nentsel returns a list containing four elements.

The first element of the list returned from picking an object within a block is the selected entity's name.

The second element is a list containing the coordinates of the point used to pick the object.

The third element is called the Model to World Transformation Matrix. It is a list consisting of four sublists, each of which contains a set of coordinates. This matrix can be used to transform the entity definition data points from an internal coordinate system called the Model Coordinate System (MCS), to the World Coordinate System (WCS). The insertion point of the block that contains the selected entity defines the origin of the MCS. The orientation of the UCS when the block is created determines the direction of the MCS axes.

Note: nentsel is the only AutoLISP function that uses a matrix of this type; the nentselp function returns a matrix similar to those used by other AutoLISP and ObjectARX functions.

The fourth element is a list containing the entity name of the block that contains the selected object. If the selected object is in a nested block (a block within a block), the list also contains the entity names of all blocks in which the selected object is nested, starting with the innermost block and continuing outward until the name of the block that was inserted in the drawing is reported.

For information about converting MCS coordinates to WCS, see the Entity Context and Coordinate Transform Data topic in Using AutoLISP to Manipulate AutoCAD Objects in the AutoLISP Developer's Guide.

Examples

Draw a 3D polyline with multiple line segments; then load and run the following function and select different segments of the line. Pick off the line and then pick the same segments again to see the subentity handle. Try it with a lightweight polyline to see the difference.

(defun c:subent ()
(while  
(setq Ent (entsel "\nPick an entity: "))
(print (strcat "Entity handle is: "
(cdr (assoc 5 (entget (car Ent))))))
)
(while  
(setq Ent (nentsel "\nPick an entity or subEntity: "))
(print (strcat "Entity or subEntity handle is:  "
(cdr (assoc 5 (entget (car Ent))))))
)
(prompt "\nDone.")
(princ)
)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Excel 2010 and Excel found unreadable content bug

I have got Excel reports from Share-it that I had no problem to open before. Now when I use Excel 2010 I just cannot open them.

Excel found unreadable content in 'document.xls'. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.

If I click on Yes I get this message.

Excel was able to open the file by repairing or removing the unreadable content. Excel recovered your formulas and cell values, but some data may have been lost.

But still after that the spreadsheet is empty just three sheets named UnknownSheet1, UnknownSheet2 and UnknownSheet3.

Seems to be a bug in Excel 2010 version 14.0.4760.1000 (32-bit).

If you know the solution or if I find it I will update this blog post.

Update: Share-it has fixed the problem on their end so files created by them now work. Now it’s up to Microsoft to fix so that these files can be opened in Excel 2010 as they can be opened in earlier versions.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Propulate tutorial for DWG properties

If you want to work with DWG properties inside and outside of AutoCAD learn how to use Propulate as it will automate the work to update these properties.

Together with DWG Columns and DWGInfoTip it is possible to see drawing metadata within Windows Explorer either in one or several columns or as an InfoTip.

DWG Columns

In this example you need to have information in one or many blocks with attributes. Here we have a title block named “Title Block” with several attributes that will be used.

Propulate allows quick, automated population of the Drawing Properties dialog data fields. This data is seen when using the DWGPROPS command or when viewing the properties of a .DWG file though the Windows Explorer, outside of AutoCAD. Drawing Property data can be updated, listed or removed from the current drawing or a subdirectory of drawings.

Using a predefined template, PROPULATE can fill in Drawing Properties data in entire directories of drawings. The information that can be applied includes literal strings, attribute values extracted from specified attributed blocks and lists of attached xrefs, images and fonts. Example: You have a whole project directory full of drawings that use the same attributed title block. Using PROPULATE and a customized template you can have the attribute values from each title block in each drawing extracted and added to that drawing's Drawing Properties dialog. PROPULATE can also insert (into the comment field) a list of the xrefs, images and fonts used by each drawing.

Run the command PROPULATE.

Command: propulate

Default template file: C:\Users\JTB\Documents\template.prp
Enter an option [Active template/Edit template/List/Remove/Update] <Update>: e

Using the option Edit Template opens up this dialog box. Notice the Block Attributes dropdown at the bottom. Make a selection of what block and attribute you want to add.

In the Template menu select Insert Attribute.

Give the Custom property a name. Here two attributes have been added.

Default template file: C:\Users\JTB\Documents\template.prp
Enter an option [Active template/Edit template/List/Remove/Update] <Update>: u

Update Drawing Properties information from template
Enter an option [Current drawing/Other drawings] <Current>: c

Writing C:\Users\JTB\Documents\AutoCAD Sheet Sets\2 revision test.dwg Drawing
Properties Info.

Running DWGPROPS shows how PROPULATE has updated the custom properties on the drawing.

One limitation with PROPULATE is that it is not compatible with dynamic blocks.

There is also a bug that makes it impossible to use PROPULATE if the DWG file name contains commas and possibly other special characters.

PROPULATE can be automated with AutoLISP like this where specified template is activated and then the current drawing is updated:

(command "._propulate" "_a" "c:\\Users\\JTB\\Documents\\template.prp"
"_u" "_c")

The above can be used to automatically run before saving the current drawing either by having a special command, menu command or button. Another method is to undefine the qsave, saveas, save, quit and close commands and redefine them to run propulate first.

Unfortunately it is not possible to use a reactor to run propulate before saving a drawing because calling propulate can only be run asynchronized so it in reality is probably run first after saving the drawing.

So here is an example how the most common commands are redefined to make sure propulate is run. Add the code below to the acaddoc.lsp file so it is loaded into each drawing that is opened. SAVEALL and CLOSEALL are not supported here.


(vl-load-com)
(setvar "cmdecho" 0)

(defun propulate ()
  (setvar "cmdecho" 0)
  (command "._propulate" "_a" "c:\\Users\\JTB\\Documents\\template.prp"
"_u" "_c")
  (setvar "cmdecho" 1)
)

(command "._UNDEFINE" "CLOSE")

(defun c:close ()
  (propulate)
  (vla-sendcommand (vla-get-activedocument(vlax-get-acad-object)) "._close\r")
  (princ)
)

(command "._UNDEFINE" "QUIT")

(defun c:quit ()
  (propulate)
  (vla-sendcommand (vla-get-activedocument(vlax-get-acad-object)) "._quit\r")
  (princ)
)

(command "._UNDEFINE" "SAVE")

(defun c:save ()
  (propulate)
  (initdia)
  (command "._save")
  (princ)
)

(command "._UNDEFINE" "SAVEAS")

(defun c:saveas ()
  (propulate)
  (initdia)
  (command "._saveas")
  (princ)
)

(command "._UNDEFINE" "QSAVE")

(defun c:qsave ()
  (propulate)
  (initdia)
  (command "._qsave")
  (princ)
)

(setvar "cmdecho" 1)
(princ)


More details as mainly found in Express Tools help file.

Command: PROPULATE
Default template file: g:\acad2000\express\template.prp
Enter an option [Active template/Edit template/List/Remove/Update] <Update>: Enter option

Active template
Specify the template file to be used to update Drawing Property fields.

Edit template
Launches a dialog for creating and editing Propulate template files. See Editing the Propulate template.

List
Displays the Drawing Properties for the current drawing or directories of drawings.

Remove
Deletes the Drawing Properties from the current drawing or directories of drawings.

Update
Uses the active template to populate Drawing Properties to the current drawing or directories of drawings.

The following prompt is displayed when selecting the List, Remove or Update options
Enter an option [Current drawing/Other drawings] <Current>:

Current drawing
Applies the selected task to the current loaded drawing file.

Other drawings
Applies the selected task to a user-specified directory of drawing files.

These prompts are displayed when selecting the Other option
Enter search directory and drawing name: Specify a starting location and drawing name or wild-card to search
Search subdirectories? [Yes/No] <Yes>: Enter Yes or No to recursively search subdirectories
For example: g:\project\PG*.dwg will search all drawings whose names start with PG starting in the g:\project directory


Editing the Propulate Template

Propulate uses a template file to determine what values should be inserted into the Drawing Property fields of a drawing. The template file must be edited before use to specify what and where values are applied to the Drawing Properties dialog. You can create as many different templates as you need however there is only one active template at a time. The default template file name is template.prp. The easiest way to edit an existing template or create a new one is to use the 'Edit Propulate Template' dialog.

File menu options

New...
Clears all edit fields in preparation for creating a new template. Will prompt a for a new template file name when the OK button or one of the Save menu options is selected.

Open...
Opens an existing template file.

Save
Saves the template file currently being edited.

Save As...
Saves the template file currently being edited to another name.

Template menu options

Insert Xref list
Inserts the @[XREFLIST] command at the current cursor location.

Insert Font list
Inserts the @[FONTLIST] command at the current cursor location.

Insert Image list
Inserts the @[IMAGELIST] command at the current cursor location.

Insert Attribute
Inserts the value selected in the Block Attributes list at the current cursor location.

Make active template
Sets the template currently being edited to be the default template. This option is unavailable if the edited template is already the default or if it has not yet been saved to a file name.

Fill from Current Drawing
Clears all edit fields and fills them with the existing Drawing Properties values from the current drawing. Useful if you want to create a template based on the current drawing.

To edit the template file, enter text or one of the special insert options in the appropriate field. For example, entering Downtown Renovation in the Subject field would insert the string Downtown Renovation into the subject field of the Drawing Properties dialog for each drawing processed with this template. In addition to literal strings like this, there are four special commands that can be used to extract drawing specific information and insert that data into the Drawing Properties dialog.

Special Insert Commands

@[block.attributeTag]
Extracts the attribute tag value from an attributed block and inserts it in the specified field.
For example: inserting @[title.drawnby] in the Author field causes Propulate to search the drawing for an attributed block named title, extract the value of the attribute tag drawnby and insert that value in the Author field of the drawings Drawing Properties dialog. If common blocks are used across a project it is a simple matter to update a large number of drawings to reflect their specific attribute values.

@[XREFLIST]
Inserts a list of the xrefs currently attached to the drawing being processed. Attached xrefs are preceded with 'A'. Overlay xrefs are preceded with 'O'. Only works in the comment field.

@[FONTLIST]
Inserts a list of the fonts currently used by the drawing being processed. Only works in the comment field.

@[IMAGELIST]
Inserts a list of the image files currently attached to the drawing being processed. Only works in the comment field.

Example: Entering @[XREFLIST] @[FONTLIST] @[IMAGELIST] in the Comments field could produce the following:


Xrefs:
  A  d:\xrefs\1a6
  A  d:\xrefs\2a6
  A  g:\project\work\3a6
 Fonts:
  G:\ACAD2000\support\simplex.shx
  G:\ACAD2000\fonts\txt.shx
  G:\ACAD2000\fonts\ROMANS.shx
 Images:
  G:\Acad2000\acadsig.jpg

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Access Database Engine Redistributable 2010

This is great news as it makes it possible to make add-in programs for example for AutoCAD 64-bit to access MS Access databases. Among JTB World’s software I plan on implementing this for ACAD_db and ACA_db. If there is a need for it JTB FlexReport could be supported as a native 64-bit application and still have the option to support MS Access databases, not sure if there is any pressing need for it though.

Formerly known as Office Connectivity Component, Access Database Engine 2010 is now available in both 32-bit and 64-bit. It is available in 9 languages. You can download it here.

This download will install a set of components that can be used by non-Microsoft Office applications to read data from and write data to Office 2010 system files such as Microsoft Access 2010 (mdb and accdb) files and Microsoft Excel 2010 (xls, xlsx, and xlsb) files.

  • If you are an application developer using OLEDB, set the Provider argument of the ConnectionString property to “Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.14.0”
  • If you are connecting to Microsoft Office Excel data, add “Excel 14.0” to the Extended Properties of the OLEDB connection string.
  • If you are application developer using ODBC to connect to Microsoft Office Access data, set the Connection String to “Driver={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb)};DBQ=path to mdb/accdb file”
  • If you are application developer using ODBC to connect to Microsoft Office Excel data, set the Connection String to “Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls, *.xlsx, *.xlsm, *.xlsb)};DBQ=path to xls/xlsx/xlsm/xlsb file”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Project Butterfly – Autodesk’s CAD in the cloud

Work is progressing with Autodesk’s Project Butterfly that I was covering in a previous blog post about Project Butterfly. At that time, the technology preview was just entering the Autodesk Labs’ sandbox.

Project Butterfly allow you to edit AutoCAD DWG files in the web browser as well as review and co-edit them with others. Could this eventually be a Autodesk Design Review killer as there definitely is some feature overlap.

Autodesk’s cloud offerings are evolving and one of the technology’s enhancement is Google Maps integration. It is very easy and intuitive to use.

For more about Project Butterfly check out the teams blog at: http://autodeskbutterfly.wordpress.com that also lists some of the missing features.

Recently added are support for complex linetypes, leader styles and improvements to Multiline Text as well as the review crop functionality. Try also the easy to use file sharing.

It will be interesting to see if HTML5 will be embraced eventually because now it rely on Adobe Flash Player plug-in to work and thus cannot be used on for example an Ipad.

I still don’t like the offset function as mentioned in the previous blog post: “Offset is limited to specify the distance in the dialog only. It would be useful to be able to specify it on the screen too just like you can with the Move command.”

One thing I could see useful for the timeline functionality is to compare drawings between different dates and have them marked up in red/yellow/green like Drawing Compare in AutoCAD Architecture or the compare function in Autodesk Design Review.

Friday, May 14, 2010

VBA 7 for AutoCAD 2012?

VBA is having 7 lives it seems.

Office 2010 is now available in a pure 64-bit version. How about VBA then? This document mentions that with the introduction of the new 64-bit version of Microsoft Office 2010, a new version of Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), known as Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 7.0 (VBA 7), is being released to work with both 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

VBA 7 is a new code base, replacing the earlier version of VBA. VBA 7 exists for both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office 2010.

This is an old quote from Microsoft. “We understand that VBA is a critical capability for large numbers of our customers; accordingly, there is no plan to remove VBA from future versions of Excel.”

Autodesk is having plans to remove support for VBA in AutoCAD 2012 and have prepared for that by having VBA as an optional installer. Now that Microsoft officially keep supporting VBA will Autodesk follow along and make use of VBA 7?

See also Learn how to migrate from VBA to .NET for AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Architecture 2010 Update 2

Here are some news for AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP users.

AutoCAD® Architecture 2010 Update 2 includes fixes for AutoCAD 2010 Update 2.

AutoCAD® MEP 2010 Update 2 includes fixes for ACA 2010 Update 2 and AutoCAD 2010 Update 2.

Knowledge Base document: Trim Hotfix

This hotfix repairs a problem that causes AutoCAD Architecture 2011 and AutoCAD MEP 2011 to crash while trimming entities. The problem is sometimes triggered by other modifications such as Fillet, Chamfer, and Extend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Snagit 10 review

Snagit 10 is now available.

All-in-One Capture is a great and convenient feature. See why in this 1:11 minute screencast. The All-in-One input combines the functionality found in the Region, Window, and Scrolling Window inputs and with a useful magnifier and ability to justify the region using the arrow keys.

Transparency is finally supported making it possible to get rounded corners showing nicely or transparency of windows forms.

Input Properties

Here is a screenshot of Windows Media Player using a special skin.

 

And here is a simple window with rounded corners.

One thing that is still missing is support for Windows shadows like this one.

The Editor is also updated with: Rich text formatting for text capture, Transparency support, Page Curl Effect, Cut-Out Effect, Custom Trim Effect, Rotating Text boxes, Deleted images go to the Recycle Bin and Screencast.com output.

See also What's new in Snagit 10

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Autodesk possible cross-product scripting language/IDE

This post has best before date of May 30th, 2010.

Autodesk is researching candidates for a possible cross-product scripting language/IDE. What is your preferred language?

  • Javascript/ECMAScript
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Lua
  • VBA/VBScript

If you want to make your voice heard on this question and others take the survey for the product you work with.

AutoCAD®
AutoCAD® Civil 3D®
AutoCAD® Map 3D®
Revit®
Autodesk Inventor®
Autodesk Navisworks®

Via Through the Interface: API wishlist surveys for Autodesk products

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cascading Sequences for AutoCAD 2011

If you want to know in what order cascade licensing checks for available licenses in Autodesk 2011 products. Here is en excerpt:

AutoCAD 2011 Cascading Sequence:
AutoCAD 2011
AutoCAD Mechanical 2011
AutoCAD Visualization Suite 2011
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011
AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite 2011
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Visualization Suite 2011
Autodesk Design Suite Standard 2011
Autodesk Design Suite Advanced 2011
Autodesk Design Suite Premium 2011
Autodesk Building Design Suite Advanced 2011
Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2011
Autodesk Education Master Suite 2011
Autodesk Education Suite for Architecture and Engineering 2011
Autodesk Education Suite for Civil and Structural Engineering 2011
Autodesk Education Suite for Industrial Design 2011

AutoCAD Architecture 2011 Cascading Sequence:
AutoCAD Architecture 2011
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Visualization Suite 2011
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Premium 2011
Autodesk Factory Design Suite Advanced 2011
Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2011
Autodesk Building Design Suite Advanced 2011
Autodesk Education Master Suite 2011
Autodesk Education Suite for Architecture and Engineering 2011
Autodesk Design Academy 2011    

Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011 Cascading Sequence:
Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Visualization Suite 2011
Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2011
Autodesk Building Design Suite Advanced 2011
Autodesk Education Master Suite 2011
Autodesk Education Suite for Architecture and Engineering 2011
Autodesk Design Academy 2011

Full details in this Knowledge Base document: Cascading Sequences for Autodesk 2011 Products

See also Autodesk network license feature codes that is work in progress as I don’t have all 2011 feature codes yet.

Friday, May 7, 2010

AutoCAD 2011 training video

Looking for great AutoCAD training for yourself or your users? No previous AutoCAD knowledge and experience needed.
AutoCAD is an industry standard design and documentation software program that is easy to learn, but complex to master. In this video training CD, expert author Brian Benton guides you through the fundamentals of AutoCAD 2011 and teaches you everything you need to know to be on your way to becoming an fully functioning AutoCAD user. Starting with the basics what AutoCAD can do, Brian quickly brings you up to speed on the interface, and then dives right into applying the basics, and ends each important chapter with a project that reviews everything you have learned in each section. Using this hands on approach allows you to more quickly absorb and apply the material being communicated, increasing your retention and understanding of AutoCAD 2011. By the completion of this 10 hour tutorial, you will be familiar and comfortable with AutoCAD, and capable of drawing, decorating and annotating an AutoCAD project. Also included are work files to allow you to work along side the author, and further understand what he is showing you, step by step. The training consists of 103 mini-lessons.
The video is available here as download or DVD.
Brian Benton has done a great work putting together this educational material now also for AutoCAD 2011. Check out Brian Benton’s blog CAD-a-Blog as well.
Here are the main chapters of the AutoCAD 2011 Fundamentals Video:
  • Getting Started
  • New Features in AutoCAD 2011
  • Interfacing With AutoCAD
  • Basic Operations
  • Drawing & Drafting Tools
  • Editing Tools
  • Utilities: Tools To Know What's Going On
  • Precision Tools: Tricks To Help You Draw Accurately
  • AutoCAD: Using Layers
  • Annotations
  • Blocks
  • Model Space And Paper Space
  • Plot & Publish
  • Final Project
  • About The Author
If you would be interested in doing a similar training video about Revit please contact me and I can get you in contact with the video producers.
This is an affiliated ad blog post but I do recommend this product. I try to avoid random ads like Google ads that I cannot stand behind and control.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Autodesk Assistance Program and Autodesk 2011 products

The following 2011 products are now available through the Autodesk Assistance Program:

  • AutoCAD 2011
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2011
  • AutoCAD MEP 2011
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011
  • AutoCAD Map 3D 2011
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2011
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2011
  • Autodesk 3ds Max 2011

The Autodesk Assistance Program is designed to help displaced employees in the Architecture, Engineering, Design and Manufacturing industries update their skills and improve their employability in a down economy. The program is valid through January 31st, 2011.

  • Free* Software License
  • Free Online Training
  • Classroom Training
  • Information on Certification
  • Industry Careers
  • Special Offers from Autodesk and Partners

All details found at www.autodesk.com/assistance


For more great free learning resources check out AutoCAD Exchange and Plant Exchange and get answers from Ask the AutoCAD Expert or Ask the Navisworks and Plant Expert.

This AutoCAD 2011 Polyline and Spline Editing video describes the direct manipulation functionality for pline and spline editing as well as the enhanced join functionality.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

SSMPropEditor 4 beta 1 – renumber sheets

SSMPropEditor 4 introduces some real time savers that you now can give a try if you are a user of AutoCAD’s Sheet Set Manager. In the post SSMPropEditor sneak peeks I showed the indexing/renumbering functionality making it possible to renumber all or selected sheets in a sheet set as well as counting the number of sheets and changing the path to the sheet drawing.

To use Sheet Indexing select at least one sheet and the property you want to act on. Click on Sheet Indexing button. If you want to index or renumber all sheets it is enough to select just one sheet and then use the All Sheets option.

Next make the changes in the dialog box to match your needs. Minimum value length pads with leading zeros to specified minimum length. If you want 001 you set the value to 3.

This can for example be useful if you add new sheets in between or move the location of sheets and need all sheets numbered in one series. Imagine having to renumber 100 or more sheets manually using SSM. It takes a lot of time and is a tedious work. Now with a few click this can be done automatically.

In addition to new features there have been performance improvements when selecting sheets in the tree view as well as some small bug fixes and UI improvements.

It is not advisable to use this beta on production sheet sets. It is recommended that to backup the DST. Or even better take a copy of a DST and try on. SSMPropEditor only edits the actual DST file and not the drawings in the sheet set. Please report any issues found. Contact us with all feedback good and bad.

Here is the download for the beta. It is time limited until end of May. To make it possible to keep running any current installation of SSMPropEditor there is no installer. You just create a folder on your PC and extract the files to it. The program to run is SSMPropEditor.exe.

See also How to use unsupported characters in Sheet Set Manager and DST editor – SSM editor without need for AutoCAD


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