Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to recover and fix problematic or corrupt DWGs in AutoCAD

This is a great resource for AutoCAD users. Troubleshooting corrupt DWG files - TS22753433

Usually there is a way to correct drawings with technical problems.

Issue
An AutoCAD DWG file cannot be opened and causes AutoCAD to show error messages or alerts, or to freeze or crash.

Open Drawing - Damaged File - The drawing file requires recovery. Errors were detected in the drawing. The file cannot be opened without being recovered.

The drawing file requires recovery.

Drawing file is not valid.

Drawing file is not valid.

Cause
Possible causes of file corruption:

  • Network (transmission errors, file locking, latent writing of data)
  • Storage media degradation (bad sectors on a hard drive)
  • Defective or failing RAM
  • Operating system issues
  • Power surges
  • 3rd - party applications running inside the Autodesk product
  • DWGs created or saved by non-Autodesk non-RealDWG products
  • AutoCAD terminated while saving DWG (less frequent)

Recommendation: Audit and purge before saving

Solution
If a file cannot be opened, take the following steps:

  • RECOVER command
    --Recovers a selected drawing file
    --If successful, open and run AUDIT command
    --Evaluates drawing integrity and possibly more error correction
    --Set system variable AUDITCTL=1 to create a report of audit results

The drawing file was recovered.

  • RECOVERALL command (introduced in AutoCAD 2008)
    --Recovers a selected drawing file
    --Attached and nested xrefs are also opened, repaired, resaved, and closed
  • INSERT and EXPLODE
  • Start a new DWG with no template
    --Run INSERT and selected the corrupted drawing
    --Check the “Explode” option

If a file can be opened but still shows signs of corruption, take the following steps:

  • RECOVER and AUDIT
  • PURGE command
  • Copy and Paste into a new drawing
  • AECTOACAD (-EXPORTTOAUTOCAD)
    --Exports to a pure AutoCAD file in selected drawing version
    --Strips potentially corrupt custom objects
  • WBLOCK command
    --Set all layers ON, THAWED and UNLOCKED
  • WBLOCK all objects in the drawing to an external block file
  • INSERT the resulting file as block into a new drawing (check the “Explode” option or EXPLODE the block after inserting)
  • AUDIT and PURGE
  • DXFOUT/DXFIN
    --DXFOUT to create a new .dxf file
    --Start new drawing and DXFIN to import the new .dxf file
    --Also try exporting as AutoCAD 12 DXF
  • XREF into a new drawing and BIND

See also Recover damaged drawing when RECOVER command not successful - TS19369

  • Using Windows Explorer or the Windows Find feature, search the entire hard disk for autosave (SV$) files or backup (BAK) files with the same name as the drawing. Rename those files so that they have a DWG extension, and you may be able to open them. (By default, SV$ files are in the %TEMP% folder and BAK files are in the same directory as the DWG file.)
  • Use WBLOCK command to insert the corrupt drawing into a new drawing. Insert at the 0,0,0 coordinate.
  • Open the drawing in a previous release of the software, if available (AutoCAD only).
  • Export the drawing as a DXF™ file, then import the DXF file.
  • If the drawing was last saved in an older format, try using partial open to load the drawing one layer at a time until you find a layer containing an error. Then repeat, skipping that layer next time. See related documents for instructions on using the partial open feature (AutoCAD only).

Drawing Recovery Manager (command DRAWINGRECOVERY)
Displays a list of all drawing files that were open at the time of a program or system failure. You can preview and open each drawing or backup file to choose which one should be saved as the primary DWG file. After a program or system failure, the Drawing Recovery Manager opens the next time you start the application. Drawing Recovery Manager displays a list of all drawing files that were open. The System Variable RECOVERYMODE controls whether drawing recovery information is recorded after a system failure and whether to show the Drawing Recovery Manager or not.

If you want to help yourself, Autodesk and other AutoCAD users make sure to send in any errors to Autodesk when you see the Customer Error Report dialog box (CER).

Finally a solution that sometimes helps if AutoCAD cannot fix the problem is to try to fix the drawing in another program that can open and save DWG files. The more users having the similar problem the better chance it will be fixed in a service pack or future version. Eventually you might get an email saying the problem is fixed.

You may find JTB World’s SmartPurger useful to batch process drawings that needs to be fixed. It includes Audit and Purge functionality as well as a lot more.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Autodesk tips, tricks and news like the AEC Feed

AEC Feed keeps you up-to-date on AEC industry news, trends and the latest updates from your favorite Autodesk AEC software products. You can download the app from Apple App Store (note: iPad 6.0 or higher required). Via Beyond Design

Autodesk University 2013 has ended and the Recorded streams of keynotes, forums and some classes are available if you missed it live or online.

FLEXnet Licensing error:-15,10 when performing Status inquiry on LMtools - TS22754152
Issue: FLEXnet Licensing error:-15,10. System Error: 10049 "WinSock: Invalid address" When performing Status Inquiry on LMtools.
Windows firewall interfering with license server

Educational Watermarks [Plot Stamp] + AutoCAD 2014 SP1. Please be very cautious when using an Educational version of AutoCAD 2014 SP1.  There is a STILL an EDU watermark [plot stamp] but the warning is now suppressed in SP1. - via Up and Ready
Check also out EduFinder by JTB World to find and identify AutoCAD drawings (DWG) that contain the educational stamp.

Stability issues and unexpected exit when you click on a command in the contextual ribbon tab in Autodesk Revit - TS22753368
Customers have been able to solve this issue by updating the WACOM drivers installed on the system.

Some map features are not labeled - TS22745944
Although you've created labels in the Style Editor, many features do not display their labels. Applies to AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Utility Design.

QSAVE does not work because AutoCAD considers the drawing to be read-only - TS22745933
Suddenly you are unable to save an open drawing because AutoCAD considers the file as read-only. The drawing you are working with is saved on a network. Applies to: AutoCAD Map 3D 2014

Extraneous spatial data types showing in Style Editor in AutoCAD Map 3D/AutoCAD Civil 3D - TS22757634

Cannot select schema in Bulk Copy target field in AutoCAD Map 3D - TS22754136

FDO connection still shows Oracle feature classes in Map 3D that were removed - TS22754647

Error: "Failed to create the Data Source file" when trying to Attach Access Database in Map 3D - TS22754416

Dialog box for Define Query does not appear in Map 3D (ADEQUERY command) - TS22753406

Productstream Professional 2011 Client Update for Windows Internet Explorer 10 - DL22757907

Strange graphics behavior and frequent crashing on launch of AutoCAD - TS22754147
Issue: Your AutoCAD-based product either crashes while launching, or when AutoCAD loads,or you notice abnormal behavior in the user interface.
Symptoms: AutoCAD launches but then immediately crashes.
The AutoCAD dmpuserinfo.xml file shows "32-bit" within the <DisplayMode> tag, even though your system is 64-bit.
If AutoCAD launches successfully, and you switch to a Classic workspace, some of the tools and tabs disappear from the user interface.
A repair and/or reinstall of AutoCAD has not resolved the issue.

When I try to install I get an Internal Error 2738 (this can apply to many different Autodesk products) - GS22754600

Objects not visible after zoom extents in AutoCAD - TS22757632
In paper space, the xref and other drawn entities are shown. While in the model space, none of the objects are visible. Performing a zoom extents results in multiple small dots appearing. While trying to zoom to one of these dots, nothing is showing and you cannot see the xref or other drawn entities.
Cause: Objects in the drawing were grouped far away.

Zero upstream distance error for Culvert model in River and Flood Analysis in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 - TS22757720

Zoom to profile view does not work in River and Flood Analysis Module in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 - TS22757610

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Autodesk Structural Bridge Design and other Autodesk news

Here’s some recent Autodesk news:

  • Autodesk Dynamo and Autodesk FormIt Updates– For building designers, Autodesk announced a major update for computational design with the merger of Autodesk Dynamo and Autodesk DesignScript. Dynamo is an open source visual programming environment for BIM. It can be used stand-alone, or allows users to extend the parametric capabilities of Autodesk Revit software products. Autodesk DesignScript is a unique programming language, intended to help designers build and analyze complex geometric models that would be difficult to model with interactive techniques. Now both are coming together in Dynamo to deliver a clear confluence of the best of both worlds: a clean and modern UI that combines DesignScript responsiveness and visual feedback with Dynamo's tight integration with Revit.


    Also today, Autodesk announced that the BIM-based conceptual design tool, Autodesk FormIt, now includes a web-based application that runs on a choice of browsers for Windows and Mac (currently available in beta at autodeskformit.com). On all platforms – including previously released iPad and Android versions – Autodesk FormIt gives architects and designers easy-to-use tools to create, collaborate and share early-stage design ideas and continue their BIM process by taking models straight into Autodesk Revit. FormIt for iPad has been updated to take advantage of iOS 7 and also includes new energy analysis features that enable users to get simple indications of potential building performance – valuable insight at the beginning of the BIM process that can reduce rework later.
    Looking ahead, Autodesk demonstrated a forthcoming feature in the FormIt family of applications that supports real-time collaboration, enabling future designers to simultaneously access and collaborate on design models using their FormIt application of choice.
    For more on the Dynamo and FormIt updates, please see a related blog post here.

  • Graitec Acquisition – Expanding its capabilities in the structural detailing stages of BIM, Autodesk also today announced the close of its acquisition of Graitec’s Advance Steel and Advance Concrete product lines and associated employees. Building on Autodesk’s current portfolio for structural engineering, the acquired product lines offer modeling, detailing, and fabrication solutions to support BIM-based steel and reinforced concrete workflows.

  • Autodesk Structural Bridge Design - For bridge designers and engineers, Autodesk recently launched Autodesk Structural Bridge Design. Resulting from the August acquisition of technology assets from UK-based Bestech Systems, the new software is an important addition to the Autodesk BIM for infrastructure portfolio. Autodesk Structural Bridge Design gives engineers greater flexibility and efficiency in their small- to medium-span bridge design processes by integrating loading, analysis and code checking in a single environment. By using this unique approach, more consistent data can be used throughout the bridge design process allowing projects to be more quickly and accurately brought to completion. For more on Autodesk Structural Bridge Design, please see a related blog post here.

    Autodesk Structural Bridge Design

  • Azalient Technology Acquisition - Also today Autodesk announced the acquisition of technology assets from UK-based Azalient Ltd. The acquisition helps support the evolution to BIM-based design workflows among traffic engineers and transportation planners working on roads, highways and railway projects. The acquired traffic analysis technology enables designers to simulate how people travel - whether by automobiles, busses or trains - in isolation and in series. It also provides transportation customers with tools to help predict demand for new infrastructure projects, forecast how to handle future demand and predict traffic disruptions caused during construction, with the addition of cost and benefit analysis of alternative infrastructure designs. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

  • Topcon Collaboration – Building upon Autodesk's existing collaboration with Topcon, the two companies are working together to further improve the integration of BIM workflows and field layout to support greater predictability, productivity and profitability. Autodesk is developing a new BIM 360 mobile app for iPad that further simplifies the process of precisely locating BIM coordinates on a construction site. Designed for general contractors and MEP trades, the app controls a robotic total station – as well as the new LN-100 3D positioning system from Topcon announced yesterday - that can accurately position control and layout points on the construction site, and as-built data can be fed back into the design model via BIM 360 for quality assurance.

And finally a workaround tip: Performance issue and flickering in AutoCAD LT 2014 when panning and zooming - TS22742730
While working with certain drawings in AutoCAD® LT 2014, the program runs slow and the status bar flickers, especially with multiple files open, even with basic commands such as panning and zooming.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Autodesk University 2013, Autodesk CAM 360 and other Autodesk news

Autodesk University 2013 has started now and the Keynote Address: The Answer Is Outside is recorded if you missed it live or online. You may also check out the posts on It’s Alive in the Lab on this: #au2013 keynote: The answer is outside and #au2013 keynote: customers who have looked outside.

Autodesk, Inc. today unveiled Autodesk CAM 360—the industry’s first cloud-based solution for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). http://cam.autodesk.com

Hotfix for AutoCAD MEP 2014 - True/False Localization Hotfix for Russian - DL22716991

Civil 3D 2014 Fatal error: Unhandled access violation writing 0x006c exception at f3256d5ah - Up and Ready

Marking Menu Hotfix for AutoCAD Electrical 2014 - DL22730324

Terminal Strip Editor Hotfix for AutoCAD Electrical 2014 - DL22730368
This hotfix resolves a performance issue with Terminal Strip Editor. For some projects, Terminal Strip Selection dialog box takes significant time to launch.

Map query causes drawing to lock (AutoCAD Civil 3D or AutoCAD Map 3D) - TS22736443

Inventor menu browser does not work in Parallels Desktop - TS22736367

Monday, November 25, 2013

Autodesk support for Windows XP ends in 2014 and other Autodesk news

Here’s some recent news from Autodesk:

Autodesk Community has been updated. Check it out the new look.

123D Catch 2.0 for iOS makes 3D photography and model creation epically better.
Guided capture tools give you dynamic feedback as you take your photos.
The new gallery provides a streaming showcase of captures from around the world.
And underneath the hood is an entirely new pipeline that makes better, faster, more amazing 3D models. More here.

Microsoft Windows XP support for AutoCAD products FAQ - GS22683753
Autodesk support for the Microsoft Windows XP operating system ends on January 1, 2014 for all new and upgraded versions of AutoCAD products released in 2014 and later. Versions of AutoCAD products (AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD MEP) released prior to January 1, 2014 will continue to be supported on the Windows XP operating system.

The Revit 2014 Daylighting Analysis (RDA) plug-in uses the Autodesk 360 Rendering cloud service to perform very fast and physically accurate daylighting analyses from within Revit. More here.

Hotfix - Autodesk Inventor 2014 (Polish only) Flat pattern text parameters missing - DL22712527

Revit LT 2014 Update Release 2 - DL22607186

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DWG Columns 2.0 now with DXF support

DWG Columns by JTB World has been updated to version 2.0.

The main news is the support for DXF files. DXF version 2004 and newer can hold drawing properties and are supported. Older DXF versions will only show the drawing version. Both ASCII and binary DXF files are supported.

InfoTip/ToolTip can also be seen when hovering over a DWG or DXF (even for BAK, DWT, DWS, SW$ files).

The Details Pane in Explorer will also show the properties.

Finally a 30-day trial has been made available so you can try DWG Columns with full functionality in your environment before purchasing.

DWG Columns works with DWG and DXF files edited or created with applications like AutoCAD, Dassault Systemes DraftSight, Caddie, progeCAD, Bricsys BricsCAD, IMSI TurboCAD, GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD, nanoCAD, MicroStation, ZWCAD+ and others. In AutoCAD DWGPROPS command is used to edit the drawing properties.

Get the trial or purchase on the DWG Columns page.

See also our PROPULATE tutorial that shows how the properties can be updated based on title block data found in block attributes.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Autodesk updates and news like Smithsonian x3D Explorer

Hotfix - Inventor unexpectedly exits after updating to Windows 8.1 - DL22541232

AutoCAD 2013 for Mac Service Pack 2, This update resolves compatibility issues on the new Mac OS X Mavericks and more - DL22614738

AutoCAD LT 2013 for Mac Service Pack 2 - DL22617033

From the Press release: Autodesk and the Smithsonian today debuted the Smithsonian x3D Explorer, an interactive 3D educational tool accessible to anyone via the web. Autodesk built the tool exclusively for the Smithsonian to democratize access to prized specimens and to bring their stories to life. The public can now experience priceless objects digitized by the Smithsonian like never before, from seeing “behind the glass” to holding 3D printed replicas.

Here’s a detail from 1903 Wright Flyer:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

JTB Sheet Set Creator app for AutoCAD

JTB Sheet Set Creator is an add-in for AutoCAD from JTB World that creates new Sheet Sets and Sheets based on an Excel template. If you often create new Sheet Sets JTB Sheet Set Creator can save you a lot of time and efforts.

  • Sheet Set Properties can be populated.

  • Sheet Set Custom Properties can be defined, created and populated.

  • Sheet Properties can be populated.
  • Sheet Custom Properties can be defined, created and populated.

  • Sheets (drawings) can be defined, created and have their properties populated.

When ready the Sheet Set can be opened within AutoCAD.

Download trial and learn more about this app on the JTB Sheet Set Creator page. JTB Sheet Set Creator Trial can also be downloaded and installed as an app from the Autodesk Exchange Apps site.

JTB World also have these AutoCAD Sheet Set related apps. SSMPropEditor, DST converter and Sheet Set Manager Path Edit

If you are interested in other useful AutoCAD helper functions take a look at DigSigStamp, Batch Publish for AutoCAD, DimensionPatrol, TransTips or OffsetInXref.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Revit in a browser and other Autodesk news

Here’s some recent news from Autodesk:

  • Autodesk Provides 3D Design in a Browser via press release and with some comments by Shaan. Collaboration with Amazon Web Services, OTOY and NVIDIA Enables Developers to Access Powerful 3D Modeling from Anywhere, Anytime, with Any Device Using a Simple Web Browser. Even though the press release says it’s available now I don’t find it available yet to test.
  • Autodesk Vehicle Tracking Product Center is Autodesk’s Vehicle Tracking software based on AutoTrack that was acquired by Autodesk. It is a transportation analysis and design solution for vehicle swept path analysis that helps to predictably evaluate vehicle movements on transportation or site design projects.
  • Project Shapeshifter Now Available via Autodesk Labs. See this post.
  • Hotfix - Hebrew language is switching backward while printing and print preview - DL22524059
  • Update 3 for Inventor 2013 Service Pack 2 - DL22436649
  • Hotfix - Frame Generator length results are inaccurate - Inventor 2012 - DL22499412
  • Hotfix - OnPopulateFileMetadata suggests same name for different occurrences in Copy command - Inventor 2012 - DL22499409 

See also Revit 2014's Web Update Release 2 and other Autodesk updates

Thursday, November 7, 2013

DigSigStamp digital signatures stamp app for AutoCAD

JTB World’s DigSigStamp for AutoCAD allows you to specify a block that will change its display when plotted to indicate whether the drawing had a valid digital signature at the time of plotting.

The DigSigStamp AutoCAD plugin helps you identify visually when drawings have valid digital signatures. You use one of the plugin's commands to specify blocks to display when a drawing has a valid digital signature and when it does not. You then assign a particular block reference - which usually exists in the title block of your drawing - that will change its display to one of these two block definitions depending on the state of the drawing. The application even works when plotting, an operation that typically invalidates a drawing's digital signature.

The following are just examples of how the blocks can look like. The design of them is completely up to you. Digitally Signed example. This drawing has a valid digital certificate.

Invalid. This drawing does not have a valid digital certificate.

Unverified example. Digital signature verification application is not enabled.

DigSigStamp can be further customized by JTB World to fit your specific needs and requirements.

Download a trial and learn more on the DigSigStamp web page as well as on Autodesk Exchange Apps site.

If you are interested in other useful AutoCAD helper functions take a look at Batch Publish for AutoCAD, DimensionPatrol, TransTips or OffsetInXref.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Revit 2014's Web Update Release 2 and other Autodesk updates

Revit 2014's Web Update Release 2 is available.

Autodesk® Revit® Platform 2014 Enhancements
 Disables the ability to paste spot elevations into a Sketch mode.
 Improves stability when using Results and Compare for Energy Analysis.
 Improves stability when exporting to AutoCAD 2000 DWG format.
 Improves Online Help experience by properly redirecting help inquiries to Autodesk Help.
 Improves stability when enabling Sun Path.
 Improves graphic display of Analytical Model Walls.
 Improves data integrity of user defined parameters when utilizing temporary view templates.
 Improves stability when editing dimensions.
 Improves upgrade reliability of projects created with a different language version of Revit.
 Improves stability when selecting materials within the Material Browser.
 Restores the appearance of area color fills within linked files, when setting the view as By Linked View.
 Improves stability when upgrading projects which utilize Keynotes.
 Improves stability when importing IFC files.
 Improves stability when editing Filters within the Visibility/Graphics Overrides dialog.
 Improves stability when saving projects which were upgraded.
 Improves stability when combining Phases.
 Improves accuracy of Analytical Volumes.
 Improves display of Imported Categories for DWG files linked into the project using the “Current View Only” option at time of import.
 Improves stability when attempting to turn on sun path while temporary view properties mode is active.
 Improves data integrity when export model to FBX.
 Improves display of hidden lines on walls in Floor Plan and Elevation views.

Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2014 Enhancements
 Improves the visual fidelity of point clouds in MEP discipline views in regards to underlay elements in the view.
 Improves connection reliability between fittings when upgrading MEP projects.
 Improves connection reliability between fittings when changing the size of MEP elements.
 Improves the data integrity of the Outside Air per Area value for a HVAC when exported to gbXML.
 Removes the “Multiple Values” values for Flow, Velocity and Friction parameters and replaces it with the highest value applied to the entire segment length.

Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2014 Enhancements
 Improves display of vertical rebar when the rebar extends past the View Range.
 Improves the location consistency of Structural beams when upgrading projects.
 Improves stability when viewing a sheet which contains Structural Reinforcement Areas.

And here are some more Autodesk updates.

  • Update 1 for Inventor 2014 Service Pack 1 - DL22436654
  • Hotfix - Custom OE derived from a simple AutoCAD entity class - DL22520257
  • Navisworks 2014 SP1 NWF Refresh Hotfix - DL22506086
  • Hotfix - Autodesk Revit LT 2013 - Spot Elevation - DL22511641
  • While installing Inventor 2013 or Inventor 2014 you might get a dialog box with a red X and the text PLACEHOLDER and the installation fails. The only solution is uninstall the the Avast software before installing Inventor. - Up and Ready

See also this recent post about Windows 8.1 and Autodesk products.

Monday, October 28, 2013

How to disable Edge Swipe by showing all Elan Smart-Pad options

Do you have a touchpad and look for how to change settings and cannot find them? I was wondering how to disable the edge swipe from the right gesture that opens up the Charms bar in Windows 8.1.

First thing is that this gesture is no Windows 8.1 function. It is something that comes with the touchpad driver.

By default not all options for Elan Smart-Pad might show up. It might be limited to only a few and I could not find anything. If you have another driver the Right Edge Swipe might be available too.

But there is a solution how to show everything. Note that not all options might work with the laptop or machine you’re using and that might be the reason they are invisible by default. I found however that several of the hidden options did work on my machine.

First merge this SmartPadDisplayActivateAllOptions.reg file by double click on the file and accept the questions.

You can also open up the Registry Editor and go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Elantech\SmartPadDisplay
There set value data to 1 on all value names and they will be enabled and show up.

Then open up Mouse Properties and on the ELAN tab click on Options.

Now all options will be seen.

All One-finger options: Tapping, Clicking, Button, Drag and Drop, Edge Scroll, Edge Zoon, Edge Swipe, Corner Tap Zone and Edge Swipe.

 

Multi-finger options: Zooming, Clicking, Scrolling, Rotation, Edge Swipe, Swipe Page, Fast Keys, Three-Finger Press, Three finger swipe, Four finger swipe, Magnifier Glass and Grab.

   

Additional options: PalmTracking, Sensitivity, Smart Motion, Slow Motion, Inertia, SmarArea, TP Rejection, Device Control, Gesture Effect, Free Typing and Multi-Finger Function.

I find that Slow Motion is great to use when there is a need to move the cursor with better precision.

 

After having edited the options and closed the window only the default options will be seen again so if you want to see all options repeat the registry hack again.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where is my AutoCAD Palette and how can I restore it?

I got this question and wanted to share the solution.

I am missing my sheet set manager window. I wanted to ask if you had any tips on getting it to return. Type SSM, command line acts like its visible but its not. I feel like its minimized somewhere but I cant find it. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Examples of windows or palettes that can disappear (usually outside the visible area of the screen) are Sheet Set Manager (SSM), Design Feed, Tool Palette, Layer Properties Manager, DesignCenter (ADC), External References (Xref ESW), Markup Set Manager, Visual Styles Manager, command line, Quickcalc, Object Properties (OPM), Drawing Recovery Manager, Block Authoring Palette, Parameters Manager. You can fix or edit the coordinates of these in either FixedProfile.aws or Profile.aws files. These files are XML files and can be edited in an XML editor or Notepad.

You can also delete the file as AutoCAD will create a new one with the default settings next time AutoCAD is run.

Only edit this file when AutoCAD is not running. Make a backup of it just in case.
%APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014\R19.1\enu\Support\Profiles\FixedProfile.aws
or

%APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014\R19.1\enu\Support\Profiles\<Profile>\Profile.aws

AutoCAD 2014\R19.1\enu are parts of the path that is different depending on AutoCAD version, vertical and language.

<Profile> is the name of the AutoCAD profile. Default is “Unnamed Profile”.

Wondering what %APPDATA% is?
In XP: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data
In Vista/W7/W8/W8.1: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming

Here is an example of a small part of what it might look like in the aws file:

<Tool CLSID="{BEBBB318-2898-4C03-ADA2-360DC6B7AA69}">
    <CAdUiDockControlBar Orientation="-1" AllowDocking="1">
        <FloatInfo Left="44" Top="208" Width="230" Height="384"/><DockInfo Left="0" Top="0" Width="0" Height="0" MRUDockID="0"/></CAdUiDockControlBar>
    <CAdUiPaletteSet ActivePaletteIndex="0" TitleBarLocation="0" AutoRollup="1" Name="Sheet Set Manager" Style="46" Opacity="100" RolloverOpacity="100" Visible="1"/>

And it is quite obvious that the location of the palette is determined by Left and Top values.

Tawfik mentioned in a comment also another solution. Start a command that shows the palette in question, hold down Alt and press Space, then press M and finally use the arrows to move the palette.

See also Clear sticky Sheet Sets from Recent Documents List in AutoCAD and Palette Auto-hide Speed as AutoCAD app

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac and AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac and AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac were released October 22, 2013.

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac

Retina display support is of course a much welcome news. The right side of the image shows what it look like now compared to before on the left side.

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac Retina display support

Autodesk 360 Sync for your drawings and design files. On a Mac, Autodesk 360 support only includes file sync.

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac drawing sync

Compress, store, and distribute CAD for Mac files with “Package Drawing” that is similar to eTransmit as it is called in AutoCAD for Windows.

AutoCAD 2014 for Mac package drawing

Other news are Autodesk Exchange Apps, Secure load (enhances software security and helps prevent loading and running “unauthorized or malicious” AutoLISP applications), it’s now possible to set a default save-as version for your drawings in OPTIONS, ZeroDocWindow option in General tab, FIND command fixes, usability enhancements, including a new online help homepage, a reworked welcome screen, a print dialogue preview button, detailed print dialog panel expanded by default and of course support for OS X Mavericks.

The online Help Search is not working yet. (UPDATE. I have been contacted by Autodesk and informed about that the issue with the Help Search has been solved.)
http://docs.autodesk.com/ACDMAC/2014/ENU/index.html

A lot of AutoLISP documentation updates have been made. More on Lee’s blog post.

Function Listing (by Name and Feature) - Provides you with access to AutoLISP functions not only by alphabetic names but also by feature classification.

AutoLISP Developer's Topic Map - Listing of all essential topics in one page.

Gone is the separate Windows and Mac AutoLISP documentation, the function reference topics now call out what platform they are supported on.

New Commands

The following commands were added:

ETRANSMIT Packages a set of drawings and dependency files into one unit for sharing.

-ETRANSMIT From the Command line, packages a set of files for sharing.

ONLINESHARE Designates who can access the current drawing from Autodesk 360.

ONLINEOPENFOLDER Opens your local Autodesk 360 folder in Finder.

Changed Commands

The following commands were changed:

PLOT Plots a drawing to a plotter, printer, or file.

OPTIONS Customizes the program settings

WELCOMESCREEN Displays the Welcome window when you start the program.

NEWSHEETSET Creates a new project data (DST) file that manages drawing layouts, file paths, and project information.

FIND Finds the text that you specify, and can optionally replace it with other text.

New System Variables

The following system variables were added:

ONLINEUSERNAME Displays the username that is used to log into the Autodesk 360 account.

ONLINEDOCMODE Indicates whether a copies of your drawings and linked files are uploaded automatically to Autodesk 360.

ONLINEFOLDER Displays the location of your local Autodesk 360 folder in Finder.

SECURELOAD Controls whether AutoCAD loads executable files based on their location.

TRUSTEDDOMAINS Specifies the domains from which AutoCAD has permission to load and execute files that contain code.

TRUSTEDPATHS Specifies the folders from which AutoCAD has permission to load and execute files that contain code.

ONLINEUSERID Displays the ID associated with the Autodesk 360 backend system.

The feature comparison chart shows the differences between AutoCAD and AutoCAD for Mac.

The 30 day trial of Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 for Mac is now available at http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-autocad/free-trial

If you have AutoCAD 2014 (for Windows) or the AutoCAD Design Suite your serial numbers works for the Mac version of AutoCAD 2014.

Customers can purchase AutoCAD 2014 for Mac or AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac from the Autodesk Store, through CDW and Amazon, or from a local Value-Added Reseller.

AutoCAD for Mac is available worldwide in English and French.

AutoCAD 360, optimized for iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, will also be available on the App Store. On the new iPad, AutoCAD 360 opens files faster, and rendering and selection is also twice as fast.

Monday, October 21, 2013

AutoCAD app DimNotes 1.3 released

JTB World’s AutoCAD app DimNotes 1.3 has been released. The news are an added option to preset location and replace settings for each note individually as well as added option to use or not use space when the location is before or after. This makes it even quicker to add noted or comments to AutoCAD dimensions.

The note can be added Above, After with space, After without space, Before with space, Before without space or Below existing text. There is also an option "Replace" to completely replace the text so the associative dimension text is removed if the text is <>.

Location option Replace can be used to add both before and after the dimension. Say the existing dimension text is 28 and the note is (<>) the result will be (28). Even notes using control codes, Text Symbols and Special Characters like
\A0;<> {\H1.5x;}\A2;\H0.71x;%%p0.1 can be used with this result: 28 ±0.1.

Some examples with notes added before, after below or above.

DimNotes can also be downloaded and installed as an app from the Autodesk Exchange Apps site. Purchase is optionally available through this site as well as here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Windows 8.1 AutoCAD Model Documentation Hotfix for 64-bit and more

Windows 8.1 is now available for all. I’ve used first the preview and recently the “RTM” and if you have Windows 8 I see no reason to not update. Here’s how to Update to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8. If you hesitated to update to Windows 8 before I think you really should consider Windows 8.1. I now prefer Windows 8.1 over any earlier Windows version and even without a touch screen I don’t miss the old Start menu especially after the Start button return in Windows 8.1.

There is one annoying bug I have after installing Windows 8.1 though. Windows Live Writer + Windows 8.1 paste/undo bug. Possibly related to the new Internet Explorer 11.

What about Autodesk products and Windows 8.1?

Model Documentation Hotfix for 64-bit Windows 8.1. This hotfix for AutoCAD and AutoCAD verticals fixes Model Documentation and IMPORT command related issues on 64-bit Windows 8.1. Download at DL22443084

Inventor Unexpectedly Exits on Startup on Windows 8.1. Windows reports: "The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142). Click OK to close the application." See solution at TS22238097

And finally another recent update from Autodesk: Cumulative Hotfix 2 for Autodesk Vault 2014 Service Pack 1 Download at DL22258964

  1. When two DWGs are referencing the same part number, and one of them is checked out, performing an Assign Item on the other would cause an error 1455.
  2. Resolved an issue that could result in preventing a server background task from running.
  3. Files checked into Vault, in a folder containing a single quote, would result in an 'Unknown Server Error' when selecting Data Cards from the Inventor Vault ribbon menu.
  4. Logging into ADMS with Windows Authentication and selecting the Administration option would result in the error 'Object reference not set to an instance of an object'.

How about software from JTB World? So far I’m not aware of any issues related to Windows 8.1

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Catenary for AutoCAD trial as AutoCAD app

JTBCatenary is now available as a trial on Autodesk Exchange Apps. When installed it is available in AutoCAD on the plug-ins tab.

The Catenary app for AutoCAD from JTB World makes it easy to create or draw a catenary curve as a polyline by specifying the start and end point and the length and optionally a diameter (width). This can be useful for drawing a freely hanging cable, hose, chain, transmission line, anchor line (anchor rode), cord, rope, string, suspension bridge cable, arch, hawser, wire or the like.

Catenary curves

Feel free to visit JTBCatenary and download the trial.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Palette Auto-hide Speed as AutoCAD app

Palette Auto-hide Speed for AutoCAD is now available as a free AutoCAD app at Autodesk Exchange Apps. The app is available for AutoCAD 2012 and newer including verticals.

With this freeware app you will be able to change the time it takes to show/hide or roll-up/roll-out the palette windows in AutoCAD. You can see the effect with palettes like Tool Palette, Command Line, Properties, Quickcalc, Design Feed, Layer Properties Manager, External References, Sheet Set Manager (SSM), Markup Set Manager, DesignCenter, Drawing Recovery Manager, Block Authoring Palette, Parameters Manager and Visual Styles Manager set to auto-hide.

If you are interested in other useful AutoCAD apps or plug-ins take a look at Batch Publish for AutoCAD, DimensionPatrol, TransTips, OffsetInXref, HTools Menu for AutoCAD, UnitCAD for AutoCAD or HVACPAC.

JTB World can also help to create any custom applications that you need for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Revit as well as BricsCAD and other DWG CAD applications supporting AutoLISP or .NET.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to know what service pack is installed for AutoCAD

The easiest way to see if and what service pack is installed for AutoCAD or any vertical is to check the About dialog box. Either use the ABOUT command or select About from this dropdown at the top right of AutoCAD.

And in the About dialog box the Product Version will be seen showing in this case:
Product Version: I.108.0.0, AutoCAD 2014 SP1

To find out which service packs have been applied to your Autodesk software, you can also use the Windows control panel for uninstalling and changing programs.

  • For Windows XP, click the Windows Start menu Control Panel Add/Remove Programs Show Updates.
  • For Windows 7, click the Windows Start menu Control Panel Programs and Features View Installed Updates.
  • For Windows 8, right-click the Windows Start screen (or use the swipe up gesture from the bottom edge while on the Start screen). Click All Apps Windows System Control Panel Programs and Features Uninstall a Program View Installed Updates.
    Alternatively open File Explorer and on the Computer ribbon tab click on Uninstall or change a program followed by View installed updates.
  • For Windows 8.1, right-click on the Windows Start menu Control Panel Programs Programs and Features View installed updates.
    Alternatively open File Explorer and on the Computer ribbon tab click on Uninstall or change a program followed by View installed updates.

Another way is to use _Vernum, an undocumented system variable that has been around for long and could be used to identify the product version and if a service pack is installed or not. Programmers and CAD managers have often used this in AutoLISP code.

_Vernum for AutoCAD 2014 without SP1 is I.18.0.0 (UNICODE)

_Vernum for AutoCAD 2014 after installation is I.108.0.0 (UNICODE)

But what if having AutoCAD Architecture 2014 installed side by side? If AutoCAD 2014 SP1 is installed and AutoCAD Architecture 2014 has no SP1 installed _Vernum will show I.108.0.0 (UNICODE).

Once up on a time the _Vernum for verticals were different but because the verticals since AutoCAD 2013 are installed in the same place as vanilla AutoCAD _Vernum can not be used to reliably identify if a service pack is installed or not. For a better way read further.

Other related tips to figure out info about the installed product and finally the solution.

Command: ACADVER
ACADVER = "19.1s (LMS Tech)" (read only)

Command: UILOCALE
UILOCALE = "en-US" (read only)
The above is a new system variable in AutoCAD 2014.

(getvar 'PRODUCT)
Result: "AutoCAD"

(vla-get-caption (vlax-get-acad-object))
Result: "Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 - NOT FOR RESALE - [Drawing1.dwg]"

(vl-registry-read (strcat "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\" (vlax-machine-product-key)) "ProductName")
Result: "AutoCAD 2014 - English"

(vl-registry-read (strcat "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\" (vlax-machine-product-key)) "ProductNameGlob")
Result: "AutoCAD 2014"

(vl-registry-read (strcat "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\" (vlax-machine-product-key)) "Release")
Result: "19.1.18.0"
The above will show the release number without the service pack added.

This will only work for AutoCAD 2013 or newer:

(setq reg (strcat "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\" (vlax-machine-product-key)))
(setq LocaleidLen (strlen (vl-registry-read reg "Localeid")))
(setq reg (strcat (substr reg 1 (- (strlen reg) LocaleidLen 1)) "\\Service Packs"))
(setq reg (strcat reg "\\" (car (vl-registry-descendents reg))))
(setq PatchTitle (vl-registry-read reg "PatchTitle"))
(setq Release (vl-registry-read reg "Release"))
Result example for AutoCAD:
PatchTitle="AutoCAD 2014 SP1" and Release="19.1.108.0"
Result example for AutoCAD Architecture:
PatchTitle="AutoCAD Architecture 2014 SP 1" and Release="7.5.106.0"

This last example shows the programmers way to get what service pack is installed for the current AutoCAD product.

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