Sunday, August 28, 2005

Find more in AutoCAD 2006

FIND in AutoCAD 2006 now permits the wildcards * and ?.

To find these characters add a reverse quote before. `*AB matches *AB.

All characters that need a reverse quote before are:

# (Pound) that Matches any numeric digit

@ (At) that Matches any alphabetic character

. (Period) that Matches any nonalphanumeric character

* (Asterisk) that Matches any string and can be used anywhere in the search string

? (Question mark) that Matches any single character; for example, ?BC matches ABC, 3BC, and so on

~ (Tilde) that Matches anything but the pattern; for example; ~*AB*matches all strings that don't contain AB

[ ] that Matches any one of the characters enclosed; for example, [AB]C matches AC and BC

[~] that Matches any character not enclosed; for example, [~AB]C matches XC but not AC

[-] that Specifies a range for a single character; for example, [A-G]C matches AC, BC, and so on to GC, but not HC

` (Reverse quote) that Reads the next character literally; for example, `~AB matches ~AB

Thursday, August 25, 2005

AutoCAD 2006 SP1

Now AutoCAD 2006 Service Pack 1 is here and I really recommend you to install it since it solves a long list of problems, probably some you have run into. More about it:

Friday, August 19, 2005

Installations and Virus Scan Applications

We have McAfee VirusScan Enterprise and there seems to be both taking longer to install applications like AutoCAD and ADT when the On-Access Scan is active and there might even be some problems that are related to having the VirusScan on during the installation. The problem is that policies are checking of VirusScan is off and puts in on again after a minute or two. What I did was the following. I have a VBScript that runs the installation including several settings and other customizations. The first thing I do is to run another VBScript using: WshShell.Run """\\share\StopVirusScan.vbs""",1,False "False" in the above row is used to allow the main script to continue. Below is the content of StopVirusScan.vbs:

on error resume next Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell") for i=1 to 20 WshShell.Run "net stop ""Network Associates McShield""",0,True WScript.sleep 60000 next

It loops several times and every minute it stops the service for the VirusScan. This continues long enough for the installation to take place.

VBScript formula that uses the ADT API

After reading this blog post by Richard Binning, Beside the Cursor about ADT: VBScripting Resources List I recall a little VBScript for ADT that I've used in a Formula Property Definition in a Property Set Definition. I wanted to schedule the width of the wall that the door is anchored to. These few rows solves this by using the Handle of the door and using the ADT API to get the Width.

on error resume next
Set app=GetObject(,"AutoCAD.Application")
Set aDoor = app.activedocument.handletoobject("[Handle]")
Set anAnchor = aDoor.GetAnchor
Set aWall = anAnchor.Reference
RESULT= aWall.Width

Sunday, August 14, 2005

AutoCAD Wish List Ballot

Make your voice heard on the future features of AutoCAD. The new AUGI AutoCAD Wish List voting is now live By Shaan Hurley on AutoCAD
AutoCAD Wish List Ballot Welcome to the August 2005 Wish List Ballot. We have included 50 or so of the best wishes since the April release of AutoCAD 2006. Now is your chance to rank your top five. The title of each wish is actually a link to the thread in the Wish List Forum. ... The results will be tabulated at the end of the month and the Top 10 will be presented to Autodesk in September. Don't miss your chance to help pick some of the new features for AutoCAD 2007!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

VBScript tips to refresh the desktop

If you are using VBS and is deleting some shortcuts after an installation and then adding your own shortcuts you have maybe problem with having the desktop refreshed just like it automatically is when manually deleting something on the desktop. If the desktop is not refreshed the new icon will be placed after the already deleted icon, not on the same place.
Here is a tips how to do it using VBScript:
' Refresh the desktop to remove the deleted shortcuts correctly
set oShell= createobject("shell.application")
set oDesktop = oShell.Namespace(0)
oDesktop.self.invokeVerb "R&efresh"

Friday, August 12, 2005

Does Google support wildcard searches?

Does Google support wildcard searches? Yes and No. Found on the Google blog.

If you have problems with AutoCAD 2006 read this

AutoCAD 2006 Service Pack 1 Final Release Candidate is just around the corner. If you want to make an impact on it check this post from Shaan Hurley at Autodesk. There is still time to either have critical fixes solved by SP1 or to stop new problems introduced by SP1.
Some of my favorite fixes in SP1 are the following:
-External references (xrefs) that have been unloaded are no longer reloaded when you click a balloon notification in the host drawing.
-You can now run a script to open another drawing after the first drawing has been closed.
-Dot linetypes with line weight are now plotted correctly.
-Plot styles for systems with a large number of plot styles are now assigned properly.
-The time needed to open the Plot dialog box has improved for customers who have a large number of plot styles.
-The name of the layout is now correctly appended to the file name for drawings that are plotted or published to PDF.
-Inability to close the Attribute Extraction dialog box (EATTEXT) under some circumstances has been corrected.
Still there are other bugs and problems not solved as you can see on my AutoCAD 2006 page.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Autodesk University 2005 info

I will hold one additional class at AU 2005. So now there are two classes. If this sounds interesting sign in for one or both of them. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. PD12-1: Multidiscipline CAD Usage at an EPC Company. Session Type: 1.5 hr. Class Date: November 28 Start Time: 10:00 AM End Time: 11:30 AM Expertise: All Levels Description: This case study will discuss CAD usage at Pharmadule Emtunga. They are aiming for project execution using a mix of CAD applications that best suit their needs. AutoCAD, Autodesk Architectural Desktop, PDMS, third-party applications as well as in-house-developed tools are used. An engineering database application is a hub for the information flow. EDM and ERP are also deployed. A data-centric P&ID application is on its way. Topics Covered - Computer-integrated engineering and project execution - AutoCAD integration with PDMS - 2D, 3D, and BIM - P&ID and engineering databases - Customization of AutoCAD

Who Should Attend AEC engineers, drafters, CAD managers PD13-1: Plant Design Tips and TricksSession Type: 1.5 hr. ClassDate: November 28 Start Time: 01:00 PM End Time: 02:30 PM Expertise: All Levels Description: This session is a generic tips and tricks class that focuses on how to use AutoCAD features for plant design. Topics covered will be how new features in AutoCAD 2006, such as Dynamic Blocks, Block attribute extraction, and Tables can be used for creating schematics and isometrics, making calculations, and Bill of Materials. The class leader is the CAD manager at an EPC company with a focus on Plant Design. Learn from his experience, increase your productivity, and learn to have a lot of fun using AutoCAD as well. Topics Covered - How to use your CAD tools in your daily work - Dynamic Blocks - Block attribute extraction - Tables - Fields - 2D/3D - Practical uses of dbConnect and MS Access - Hidden or forgotten gems in AutoCAD Who Should Attend Plant design engineers and designers of all engineering disciplines who want to learn how to better use AutoCAD 2006.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

buildingSMART (get over it)

I recommend reading this article by Mario Guttman, HOK about buildingSMART, BIM, ADT, Revit and real life common sense.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Blog Explorer

Put your blog on the map or see others worldwide. Take a look at Blog Explorer!

Monday, August 8, 2005

Realize Your Ideas Tour archived Webcasts

Due to time zone differences I've missed some of the Autodesk Realize Your Ideas Tour Webcasts but can now see and listen to them as they are archived. You can find them here.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Randall S. Newton is having fun

Bentley: You are hereby ordered to stop conducting body-cavity searches for hidden money when customers come calling. Autodesk: Retire AutoCAD immediately. Someday the unwashed 2D masses will thank you for it. AVEVA: Stop acting so veddy veddy British with your snail’s pace development schedule and your fakey Monty Python Voice of God corporate announcements. Get busy or I’ll turn you all into Frenchmen. More at: It's funny, still with a bit of seriousness.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Recommendation for CAD Managers

I can recommend Mark Kiker's site for existing CAD Managers and those wanting to be one. I recognize my self and the work I do a lot when reading articles like the one about hats. There is also a valuable blog that I keep reading.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Compress large Office files with embedded images

I run into a user that had an Excel file that was 114688KB in size and wondered if it was possible to make it smaller. In Excel, Word and PowerPoint there is a command to compress embedded pictures. Open the Picture toolbar and click on Compress Pictures. It does the following:
  • Reduce resolution (to 96 dots per inch (dpi) for Web and 200 dpi for print), and unnecessary information is discarded.
  • Discard extra information. For example, when a picture has been cropped or resized, the "hidden" parts of the picture are stored in the file.
  • Compress the picture, if possible.

After that the Excel file went down below 1000KB.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Add 'Copy to Folder...' to Windows Explorer Context Menu

Here is a little know Windows tips. I know it works for Windows XP.
You can both add "Copy to Folder..." and "Move to Folder..." to the right click menu when having files or folders selected using this little registry hack.
To activate use this reg file.
To deactivate use this reg file.

Update: Corrected links.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

ctrl+alt is equal to alt gr

Here is a tips if you are using Microsoft Remote Desktop or some other applications that might give this problem.
On my Swedish keyboard I use the alt gr button to enter characters like \, @, £, $, and ~
Sometimes this doesn't work when using Remote Desktop but a workaround is to use ctrl+alt instead of alt gr.
It took some time before I found out this solution so I just wanted to share it in case you too have had this problem.

Dynamic Block Wish List

Do you have any wishes regarding Dynamic Blocks please let Mark Douglas know. I know one big wish and that is full support for 3D. I know it's possible to do this to a little extent.

Kids Programming Language

I love programming and with KPL your kids or someone elses might learn the fun of programming. Or if you just want to begin learning programming. KPL is a freeware and can be found here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Autodesk Architectural Desktop Customer Council

See the post by Chris Yanchar on the ADT blog Between the Walls how you can participate in making ADT what you would like it to be. Direct link to ADTCC.

Monday, August 1, 2005

SmartPurger 2.1 released (script files can be run now!)

SmartPurger 2.1 is now released. Download it and try it for free. No upgrade cost for existing customers. Compared to version 1.6.7 and 2.0 beta a lot of things has been added and been fixed. Most notably is full support for AutoCAD 2006 and now you can execute custom script files (.SCR) or AutoLISP files (.LSP, .FAS or .VLX).

Change the way Export to AutoCAD works in ADT

Here is a tips on how to change the way Export to AutoCAD works in Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006.
The commands are ExportToAutoCAD, -ExportToAutoCAD, ExportToAutoCAD2000 (Export to AutoCAD 2000 Format...), ExportToAutoCAD2000Dxf (Export to AutoCAD 2000 DXF Format...) , ExportToAutoCAD2004 (Export to AutoCAD 2004 Format...) , ExportToAutoCAD2004Dxf (Export to AutoCAD 2004 DXF Format...) , ExportToAutoCADDxf, ExportToAutoCAD12Dxf. Some of them are not mentioned in the help documentation and has to be entered on the command line.
Open the Options dialog box using the command Options or select it from the Format menu.
Click on the AEC Editor tab.
There you have some settings that Export to AutoCAD uses.
If you have problem with drawings created using Export to AutoCAD so that the color changes on objects it could be that you have different settings on layers in different xrefs and when using the Insert Method only one of the xrefs settings are used. If the Insert Method is used frozen layers could be thawed and layers can change color or linetype. So even though more layers are created by having the Use Insert Method when Binding xrefs cleared I recommend to have it cleared anyway to get the best result.
Bind xrefs gives you the option to bind the xrefs or not. (This is not in the help though)
Block Properties of Exploded Object applies to Export to AutoCAD commands as well even though it's not stated in the documentation.

From the help documentation:
Under Export to AutoCAD, select Use Insert Method when binding Xrefs if you want all objects from an xref drawing referenced in the file you export to be incorporated into the host drawing.
If you select this option, the names of the xref drawings are discarded when the exported drawing is created. In addition, their layers and styles are incorporated into the host drawing. For example, all exploded walls, regardless of their source (host or xref) are located on the same layer.
Clear Use Insert Method when binding Xrefs if you want to retain the xref identities, such as layer names, when you export a file to AutoCAD or to a DXF file. For example, the blocks that define walls in the host drawing are located on A-Wall in the exploded drawing. Walls in an attached xref drawing are located on a layer whose name is created from the drawing name and the layer name, such as Drawing1$0$A-Wall.
Enter a prefix or a suffix to be added to the drawing file name when the drawing is exported to an AutoCAD drawing or to a DXF file.
Under Block Properties of Exploded Object, select Maintain Resolved Layer, Color, Linetype to maintain the layer, color, and linetype of AEC objects when you explode them.
When you explode an AEC object, you create several primitive objects grouped in a block definition. If this option is selected, any objects whose component layer, color, and linetype properties are set to ByBlock take the layer, color, and linetype of the parent object. If this option is cleared, when you explode an object, properties that are ByBlock remain ByBlock. Clear this option if you want to explode the block definition even further.
For related information see:
AutoCAD 2006 and the included ADT OE

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