Friday, February 25, 2005

Performance tips when using SSM

If you use Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD 2005 or Project Navigator in ADT 2005 you might experience performance problems. This is especially when you have the DST placed on a location on the network with a slow connection like 10Mbps and/or if there are a lot of sheets in the Sheet Set. This can be related to the FIELDEVAL variable settings. You can find it here as well in Tools>Options>User preferences>Field Update Settings. You can for example uncheck it to update when running the Regen command. To force an update you can run the Updatefield command found in Tools>Update Fields.

The Fieldeval variable is saved in the drawing so you might want to force it into all drawings by using acaddoc.lsp and (setvar "fieldeval" 14), set it in the template drawings or something like that.

Other solutions might be to check the virus scan software and exclude DWG, DST and maybe some other safe files, possibly ACAD installation folder or acad.exe.

On a couple of PC's I found out using Filemon (now Process Monitor) from Sysinternals that the SSM was looking a lot in the folder C:\windows\csc. That is a folder related to off-line files. When I disabled offline files the performace increased a lot.

Run Process Monitor and filter on acad.exe and look for clues that might result in the performance issues.

With SSMPropEditor you can also edit many sheet properties or sheet custom properties at the same time in a Sheet Set.

See also Sheet Set Manager performance tips and the below information from an Autodesk knowledge base article:

Improving performance of Sheet Set Manager
You want to know how to improve performance when using the Sheet Set Manager.

The performance of sheet sets is largely dependent on the following factors: the speed of the network, the number of sheets in the sheet set, and the number of users on the network that are accessing the same sheet set.

A slow network connection can have a major negative impact on the performance of the Sheet Set Manager (SSM). In addition, the more sheets you have in a DST file, the longer it will take the Sheet Set Manager to check the network in order to refresh its status. When you multiply the negative effect of these factors by the number of users accessing the SSM simultaneously—all periodically refreshing a network DST file—it is easy to see how quickly performance can degrade.

Aside from increasing the network speed (something over which you may or may not have control), you can use the following tips to improve performance when working with sheet sets:

  • Increase the SSMPOLLTIME system variable to lengthen the time between refreshes. The default refresh time is 60 seconds, but you can increase it to a maximum of 600 seconds (10 minutes). Note: The system variable, SSMSHEETSTATUS must be set to 2 for the timer to operate.
  • Turn off automatic refreshing of sheet sets completely by setting SSMSHEETSTATUS to 0 (in this case, refreshing must be done manually). Making this (or the previous) change for all the users on a network may help minimize the amount of traffic to and from a DST file.
  • Turn off the Offline Files setting if it is enabled on your Windows operating system. If this setting is active, the Sheet Set Manager may include offline folders when polling for information during a file search. Note: The SSM does not explicitly poll offline folders; this is a result of the Windows functions called when a file search is performed. To turn off Offline Files, follow these steps:
    • In Windows Explorer, click Tools menu.
    • In the Folder Options dialog box, click the Offline Files tab, and clear the Offline Files check box.
  • Check how frequently fields are refreshed. If your sheets contain a lot of fields and they are refreshed often, this will negatively impact sheet set performance. Check the FIELDEVAL system variable or the Options dialog box (User Preferences > Field Update Settings) and adjust how often the fields are evaluated.
  • Close the DST file if you are not using it. This is different from simply closing the Sheet Set Manager. You need to right-click the sheet set name at the root of the SSM tree and select Close Sheet Set from the shortcut menu.
  • Disable background publishing.
  • Turn off SSMAUTOOPEN to prevent the automatic opening of a DST file when you load an associated drawing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Generating Documentation for Your Visual Basic .NET Applications

Here is a great article on how to use the free PowerToy to easy make comments in VB.NET using VS 2003. You can download VBCommenter here.

Silent installation of Autodesk DWF Viewer

If you want to deploy the DWF Viewer you can use these command line switches:
DwfViewerSetup.exe /q
or without the progress dialog box
DwfViewerSetup.exe /q2

There is no msi installation file delivered by Autodesk for the DWF Viewer. If you really need one, you have to create it your self with some of the tools that can do it.

The latest version can be downloaded here: The latest build right now is

Sunday, February 20, 2005

ADT/ABS 2005 Hotfix that solves .dst file corruption

Here is the hotfix from Autodesk that solves the problem. If you have ADT or ABS 2005 make sure to install it or ask your IT/CAD Manager to deploy it to all users. Make sure that ADT SP1 or ABS SP2 is installed and read the readme file. Here is how I deployed it for ADT using VBScript:
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

filespec="C:\Program Files\Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2005\AecProject45.arx"
if fso.FileExists(filespec) then
  Set f = fso.GetFile(filespec)
  if f.size=971392 then
    fso.CopyFile "\\CAD\ADT\2005\DST Hot Fix\AecProject45.arx", filespec
  end if
end if

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Search added to this blog

Now you can search among the posts on this Blog. It is just to the left below the links.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Silent installation for Autodesk DWF Writer

I got a question on how to deploy DWF Writer. Here is what I do. To install DWF Writer with a click on a button create a VBScript. Then you can just send a link to the file to the users. Open Notepad and enter the following code and save the file with the vbs file extension.
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
runstring="msiexec /I ""\\server\Autodesk DWF Writer\DWFwriter2Setup.msi"" /qb!"
WshShell.Run runstring,1,true
Since there is no msi file on the CD you can extract it by running the DWFwriter2Setup.exe. When it has started you open the temporary folder by opening Windows Explorer and enter %temp% in the address field. Sort the files in date order and look for a newly created msi file. It will be named with some random numbers and letters. Just take it and rename it and place it where you want to have it.

Silent installation of Autodesk DWG Viewer

I got a question on how to deploy DWG Viewer. Here is what I do. To install DWG Viewer with a click on a button create a VBScript. Then you can just send a link to the file to the users. Open Notepad and enter the following code and save the file with the vbs file extension.
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
runstring="msiexec /I ""\\server\Autodesk DWG Viewer\view.msi"" /qb! "
WshShell.Run runstring,1,true
You have to correct the path to the msi file. If you want you can add a row in the end of the file to tell that it is ready.
msgbox "Installation ready."
For complete options to use with msiexec command, see Using VBScript it's also possible to prepare a profile in DWG Viewer. Make a reg file of it and install that prepared profile for the end user. This includes any custom files like ctb, pc3, fonts etc. You can also make sure that this happens if another user logs in on that PC. Otherwise that user will have the default profile. I will post some examples if requested.

Silent installation of Autodesk DWF Composer

I got a question on how to deploy DWF Composer. Here is what I do. To install DWF Composer with a click on a button create a VBScript. Then you can just send a link to the file to the users. Open Notepad and enter the following code and save the file with the vbs file extension.
on error resume next
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
runstring="msiexec /I ""\\server\Autodesk DWF Composer\SetupDWFComposer.msi"" /qb!  " & _
WshShell.Run runstring,1,true
You have to correct the path to the msi file as well as change the serial number. If you want you can add a row in the end of the file to tell that it is ready.
msgbox "Installation ready."
For complete options to use with msiexec command, see

Autodesk, UGS Form Alliance Around DWF, JT Formats

This sounds like a great initiative. Read the press release at TenLinks.comhere.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

MSDN Search Beta

Here is something for the developers that wants to search within MSDN. Take a look @

Friday, February 11, 2005

DWF Batch Printer 1.7 released

The free DWF Batch Printer 1.7 is now released. You can get it here or here. It's great if you need to plot multiple DWF's.

How to preset a sheet set and tool palette when starting AutoCAD

Here is one way if you want to have one profile and just change the tool palettes as well as the sheet set.

You can create different shortcuts for different projects.

Change the target on the properties of the shortcut. Right click on the shortcut and select properties.

"C:\Program files\AutoCAD 2005\acad.exe" /b "R:\PROJECT1\PR1.SCR"

Create the file PR1.SCR (or whatever you will name it) using Notepad.

It should include the following rows:


If multiple path are needed just separate them with a semicolon. ;
If you just want to specify the Sheet Set you can use the switch /set instead of specifying and creating a script file. This will work.

"C:\Program files\AutoCAD 2005\acad.exe" /set "R:\PROJECT1\PR1.DST"

And for those that doesn't want the Sheet Set Manager window to display on startup there is the switch /nossm that you can use.

Set the Default Template File Name for QNEW using LISP or VBA

This can be set using the Options dialog box or code as well as directly accessing the registry. But writing to the registry directly from AutoCAD doesn't work since AutoCAD overwrites it when exiting AutoCAD or when the Options dialog box is opened. Writing to the registry only works if AutoCAD is closed. Reading from the registry works. What on the other hand works is the following. Using VBA where QnewPath is the Template File Name:
ThisDrawing.Application.Preferences.Files.QNewTemplateFile = QnewPath
Using LISP:
(vla-put-QNewTemplateFile (vla-Get-Files
  (vla-Get-Preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))) QnewPath)
or using LISP and setenv
(setenv "QnewTemplate" QnewPath)
Here you can see how VBA code can be translated to LISP and the other way around. To get the application object using VBA ThisDrawing.Application is used and in LISP vlax-get-acad-object is used.

Sunday, February 6, 2005


Here is an interesting way to create a free replacement of MS-Paint. They have succeed well so far I would say after playing with it for a while. Much better than the old MS-Paint. It's open source so you can get the C# source code as well. "Paint.NET is a senior design project aided by a mentor at Microsoft. It is a paint program designed entirely by students and written using Microsoft's .NET Framework. The program makes it easier to create and edit photos. It maintains some of the best features of the original MS-Paint application and includes new, powerful tools."

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Solve math equations using MSN Search

Want to solve math calculations, equations or convertions? You can do this using the new MSN Search and Encarta. Here's a sample: x^2 + 13x - 5 = 33 and the solution Only one unknown constant can be found though. This is only one of the cool stuff that you can use MSN Search for. .

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Testing creation of PDF's with 3D contents using Deep Exploration

I've been testing Right Hemisphere's products to see if I could convert some 3D AutoCAD DWG files to the U3D format to be able to embed them into the new Acrobat PDF 7.0 format. I downloaded the trial of Deep Exporation that should be able to convert DWG files into U3D. But I was not able to translate 3D information good enough. Solids where not translated exept if they where created of 3dface objects. When I had created the U3D file I could add it to a PDF using these steps from the Acrobat help file:

1. To select the 3D tool, choose Tools > Advanced Editing > 3D Tool.
2. Drag a rectangle on the page to create the canvas area for the 3D file.
3. In the Add 3D Content dialog box, click Browse to select your 3D file.
4. (Optional) To include a JavaScript (JS) file, click Browse and select the file. If you created a JavaScript file with the same name as the 3D file, it loads automatically when you select the 3D file.
5. Specify how you want your 3D file to appear before it's enabled by choosing a Poster Setting, and then click OK.

Right Hemisphere’s Deep View technology was included in Acrobat 7.0 software to allow users to view 3D content but I'm not impressed of the 3D navigation functionality, it was not so easy to use when I tried with some of the PDF's from Bentleys website. The animation was cool though.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

MSN Search Launches

MSN Search Launches

Trying DWG gateway

I just tried to install the free DWG gateway that enables you to save down a drawing from within AutoCAD : R14, R2000, R2000i, R2002, R2004, R2005 down to version 12 if needed. It can also open newer version of DWG files from older AutoCAD version. Of course you have to be aware that translations error can and will occur and maybe even corruption of the files.

Here are some drawings that I saved down to DWG version 12 and 13 from within AutoCAD 2005. Posted by Hello

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