Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Find commands in Office 2007 and AutoCAD 2009

You know what you look for in Word, Excel or PowerPoint but cannot find it in the Ribbon. Now with the free Search Commands this is so much easier.

Do you know for example where you can find the command to Insert Form Field?


It is found on the Insert tab and under Quick Parts. Took me a while to find the first time.

Or click on the Search Commands tab and enter "field" and there you have it as well as other related commands.

Hoover with the mouse over any of the results and you find more information including where it is found.

BTW. Similar functionality is included already out-of-the-box in AutoCAD 2009.

And here are the matches using Search menu.


The Microsoft Office Lab Website and Blog. This is another blog to keep a watch on as more useful tools will be released.

Max AutoCAD entity handle number

The handle value is stored as a 64 bit number (8 bytes) in the DWG file no matter if you run 32-bit or 64-bit AutoCAD. The maximum value for a handle is: "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF" as hexadecimal or 6744073709551615 as integer.

If you for example use the LIST command you see the handle listed:
Handle = 1e9

Or if you list the properties using AutoLISP:
that can give a result like this:
(5 . "1E9")

If you with AutoLISP want to delete an object based on its handle ("1E9") this can be used:
(entdel(handent "1e9"))

The last tip can be useful if you have a problem with for example:
*Warning* Multiply owned object, handle "1e9"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Foreign DWG File

Here is a new dialog box in AutoCAD 2009 that shows up if you open a DWG file that was saved by an application that was not developed or licensed by Autodesk.

Foreign DWG File

Something new is if you check the box to make sure you don't get a message like this again you can at any time restore it through Options>System>Hidden Message Settings.

Hidden Message Settings

At the bottom of the Hidden Message Settings dialog box you can also see a full preview of what the message look like.

For more information on TrustedDWG:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

JTB FlexReport 4.1.2 released

JTB FlexReport 4.1.2 is now available to help you report on your network license usage. Check the revision history for details.

JTB FlexReport

Autodesk's new prior usage and Package license file introduced with AutoCAD 2009 and other 2009 products is fully supported.

Fully functional trial is available upon request.

PS. This information has been emailed to all customers and trial users and if you have not received any email it might be that your email filter has stopped it so please contact me one way or the other.

Excel document version created in year 1601

I had one of the rare crashes of Vista and when I fired up Excel next time I notice that the original had this information. Version created last time the user saved the file 1:00 am January 1, 1601". That was some hundred years ago. Call it the Year 1601 bug.

Excel Document Recovery

Friday, April 25, 2008

You're Not as Backed Up as You Think

Ziff Davis Enterprise has a white paper about online backup, SaaS backup, cloud backup or whatever you want to call it. I've used Mozy for quite a while and think it's really convenient. My Outlook PST files, Visual Studio projects, AutoCAD drawings, everything is backuped and I don't need to think about closing Outlook or AutoCAD to have the backup working in the background several times a day.

IT departments typically configure user PCs so all work files are stored on network drives. But most users circumvent this approach, storing files on their hard drives. Additionally, laptops users often work outside the office and offline, synchronizing only sporadically and keeping their current work on the local drive. As a result, data on local drives doesn’t get backed up.

I know by experience how true that is with users having the bad habit to save all their CAD work on the desktop instead of in the correct location on the network for example.

You can find the white paper here after registering.

If you want to just try Mozy you can do it for free as long as you don't need to backup more than 2 GB. If you need more there are affordable plans for unlimited space.

What does Encyclopaedia Britannica say about CAD?

Not much actually but you should be able to read the full article computer-aided engineering thanks to the Encyclopaedia Britannica WebShare initiative open for web publishers and bloggers.

computer-aided engineering in industry, the integration of design and manufacturing into a system under the direct control of digital computers. CAE combines the use of computers in industrial-design work, computer-aided design (CAD), with their use in manufacturing operations, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)....

Have you seen a non-digital computer?

Tried searching for BIM but there was nothing found. Architecture on the other hand had quite a large article that you only can access via the link from this site unless you have access to it as a subscriber.

the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. The practice of architecture is employed to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements of civilized people and thus embraces both utilitarian and aesthetic ends....Roman aqueduct

This link will hopefully take you to an image of Pont du Gard, Roman aqueduct, Nîmes, France, by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, during the Augustan period.

One good reason to blog is having full access for a year on Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The table of contents on the Architecture page did not work good at least in IE7 as I hardly could navigate without having the list automatically scroll.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Autodesk NavisWorks Freedom 2009

The free viewer Autodesk NavisWorks Freedom 2009 is available now. It is a great 3D viewer and with great performance on even very large BIM models created with AutoCAD, Revit or several other applications.

A good news is the support for 3D DWF files as they can be created without the need to have any of the full versions of NavisWorks and if you have tried with a really large model in Autodesk Design Review you will probably find that Freedom handles it much better.

When running the downloaded exe file Autodesk_NavisWorks_Freedom_2009_English_Win_32bit.exe (126MB) it says it will install in C:\Autodesk\NavisWorks Freedom 2009 but what it actually does it to extract all files required to run the setup to that folder and then the real install starts.

New Features

Autodesk NavisWorks Freedom 2009 contains a number of key enhancements for this release.

Interface Enhancements

  • .NET GUI Modernization - Up-to-date look and feel including new icons, improved control bar docking and tabbed control bars.

  • The Selection Tree Control Bar - Shows the internal structure of the loaded NWD, allowing direct navigation through the tree list to required elements in the project.

  • The Properties Control Bar - Shows all properties of a selected geometry item.

  • TimeLiner Playback - Abitlity to play back a TimeLiner sequence.

  • Animation Playback - Ability to play back viewpoint and object animation.

  • New Editor for Global Options. - A change from complex tabs to a logical tree structure, making finding options much simpler. Also making global options sharable across multiple PCs through import and export.

  • Viewable Comments - Ability to view comments recorded in NWD files.

Display Enhancements

  • 3D Text Support - The visualization of 3D text brought into other NavisWorks products from AutoCAD and MicroStation, and exported in the NWD.

  • Parametric Support - Any parametric data brought into other NavisWorks products and exported in the NWD will be displayed in Freedom. This data increases cylinder accuracy, and dramatically reduces the memory footprint to load and display them.

Operating System Support

  • Microsoft Vista Support - Full support for Microsoft's latest operating system.

  • 64-bit Support - Support for 64-bit versions of both XP and Vista.

File Formats

  • Autodesk DWF support - Freedom is now capable of reading and displaying Autodesk’s DWF Design Review format. (comment by me: only DWF files with 3D content as this is a 3D viewer)


For more about NavisWorks see this previous post.

Why was not this simple thing fixed or added to AutoCAD 2009?

Don't underestimate the work needed to implement something new for a large company like Autodesk.

Now that AutoCAD 2009 is on your desktop or installed you might wonder why didn't Autodesk fix this or that or add this simple thing that would save my day. Take a look at the newsgroups and you'll see proof of that.

I looked at the list of people behind AutoCAD 2008 that is showing in the hidden easter egg and found the following:

118 Software Development
59 Test Development
7 Integration and Build
18 User Assistance
16 Product Design
15 Product Management & Marketing
9 Project Management
38 World Wide Localization
3 Beta Team
11 Interns
7 Special Helpers
9 Senior Management

The AutoCAD 2009 team is probably in the same size.

So here is one small wish I have listed on my AutoCAD 2009 page:
"Saveall command should respect the Options setting to save in another version."

How much work can it be?

It might look like this in no specific list order:

  • One developer to spend five minutes implementing the change.
  • Activate the Beta Team so some guinea pigs can give it a try outside the walls of Autodesk.
  • One program manager to write the specification.
  • One localization expert to review the specification for localizability issues.
  • One usability expert to review the specification for accessibility and usability issues.
  • At least one dev, tester and PM to brainstorm security vulnerabilities.
  • One PM to add the security model to the specification.
  • One tester to write the test plan.
  • One test lead to update the test schedule.
  • One tester to write the test cases and add them to the nightly automation.
  • Three or four testers to participate in an ad hoc bug bash.
  • One technical writer to write the documentation.
  • One technical reviewer to proofread the documentation.
  • One copy editor to proofread the documentation.
  • One documentation manager to integrate the new documentation into the existing body of text, update tables of contents, indexes, etc.
  • Eleven translators to translate the documentation and error messages into all the languages supported by AutoCAD.The managers for the translators probably live in in other countries like China and Europe, which are both severely time-shifted from the HQ, so dealing with them can be a fairly complex logistical problem.
  • A team of senior managers to coordinate all these people, write the cheques, and justify the costs to their Vice President.
  • Still wondering? Hopefully not that much now.

    I was thinking about the post Is Eeyore Designing Your Software? when I wrote this.

    LTCCLispWiki a free lisp source code repository

    You find the Wiki launched by Greg Robinson at As the startup page is not much edited click on All Pages on the left side.

    Greg Robinson's "LTCC was instrumental in creating the Bonus Tools program extension to AutoCAD release 14, which continues to be part of the core software package as 'Express Tools'"

    I contributed with my hatchb.lsp as a starter.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Find blocks and more with Autodesk Seek

    Looking for drawings, blocks for AutoCAD or Revit? Autodesk Seek finds DGN, DOC, DWF, DWG, DXF, GSM, LCF, PDF, RFA, RVG, RVT, SKP, ZIP files.

    Found on Autodesk Seek

    What is Autodesk® Seek?
    It is a web service that allows designers - architects, engineers, students - to search and find generic or manufacturer-specific building products or components and associated design content. This content could include 3D models, 2D drawings, specifications, and descriptions for that product or component.

    Which industries are you targeting with Autodesk® Seek?
    Currently, it is targeted at designers working in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry. We are considering extending the service to include content particularly useful for mechanical designers in the future.

    How do I use the browse capability on Autodesk® Seek?
    The browse capability on Autodesk® Seek allows you to browse for content using AEC industry standard classifications, including MasterFormat 2004, Omniclass 1.0, and Uniformat II.

    Autodesk Seek

    Senior Software Architect of Autodesk Inc. Mike Haley discusses the company's latest product Autodesk Seek and its business model at See also The Autodesk Seek Taxonomy System and the Autodesk Seek Search Engine.

    Via Between the Lines

    AutoCAD 2009 redundancy ToolTips and Quick Properties

    Talk about redundant information seeing both rollover ToolTips and Quick Properties at the same time with the same information.

    It could be useful it if was possible to set transparency of these two.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Solve uninstall problems with Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

    If you fail to install any program this utility can come handy. It is one of the tools you should know about and use in emergency situations. It can be used even with Autodesk products like AutoCAD.

    Once you have removed the application using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, it is strongly recommended that you follow the steps in solution TS45252 to remove other Autodesk applications and clean up any folders or registry keys left behind.

    Download and instructions on and Autodesk Knowledge Base document: Product uninstall from the Control Panel fails

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Win32/Vundo.gen!D OneCare and Skype conflict

    Skype Skype and Microsoft OneCare OneCare seem to have a problem to solve. You probably don't have a trojan in your computer.

    Trojan:Win32/Vundo.gen!D is Quarantined OneCare says after scanning the PC.

    To find out more I created a support log and found this information.

    Windows Live OneCare found potentially harmful or unwanted software on your computer.
    Threat Name: Trojan:Win32/Vundo.gen!D
    File Name: pid:1200
    Threat Severity: Severe
    Threat Category: Trojan
    Threat found by On Demand Scan: (ANTIVIRUS_ONDEMAND)
    Threat Status: Quarantined

    Still it did not say anything about what and where this was. I then figured out that Skype was closed each time after a scan and obviously OneCare think Skype does something it should not do. Let's see if it is Microsoft or Skype that fixes this as there are no Trojan really there and there is no unwanted software that should be stopped from running.

    Update: Problem is now solved by Microsoft.

    Ribbon image sizes in AutoCAD 2009

    Image handling in AutoCAD needs more work to be done as well as documentation. If you want to do customization you will find that there is a lot of trial and error. Unfortunately with the new Ribbon there are a lot of problems.

    In CUI there are three sizes available, Standard, Medium and Large. It is not obvious what the difference is.

    If Standard is used and no label is showed there is a frame around the icon as seen below on the one without a label. If Medium or Large is used and there is a Large image specified it will be used.

    Another thing is that the image size is not respected. Notice that the images above are larger than the correct 32x32 size below.


    What if you want to use other image formats than BMP. The "select image file dialog box" is limited to BMP file formats but if you enter * as file name and press enter or *.png you will find that you actually can select and use PNG, GIF, JPG if you want. One good thing with and reason to use PNG is the support for transparency.

    Share your tips in the comments.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Autodesk Register Today


    I have a problem with this Register Today dialog box that shows up in different Autodesk products when registering the application. I cannot use Alt+Tab to switch to it and it is not visible at the task bar. It's a minor thing that is quite annoying as I need to switch to another application to grab my login details.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Rearrange the Ribbon tab order in AutoCAD 2009

    This cannot be done with the Office 2007 Ribbon. It's easy. Just drag and drop the tab and you are done. Make sure your workspace is saved automatically if you want the location to persist. The other way is to use CUI (right click and select Customize).

    Drag and drop of the Annotate tab

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Silver Peak still significant performance gains with DWG 2007

    Head over to the blog post "Riverbed and DWG 2007 file format workaround" and read the comment by Silver Peak on the DWG file format changes and WAN accelerators issue.

    "Riverbed is affected by the AutoCAD file format/ISP setting issue more so than rival Silver Peak, and Silver Peak would like the world to know. To be clear, Riverbed will still accelerate AutoCAD DWG files over the WAN, even on a full save, but the data reduction is less than what Silver Peak is able to accomplish." - Infoworld

    I'm still wondering how it is with AutoCAD 2009 and verticals like AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 and there were no word on verticals in the article.

    Understanding Floating Point Precision in AutoCAD, Excel, etc.

    AutoCAD has had 64-bit accuracy in the 32-bit platform for many years but still with 64-bit accuracy things can go wrong with with "unexpected" result.

    Why is 1.320 - 1.3190 not equal to 0.001 when it really is 0.001?

    Excel caluculation

    Be careful when you make comparisons like this.

    Both AutoCAD, Excel and many other applications are designed in accordance to the IEEE Standard for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic (IEEE 754). The standard defines how floating-point numbers are stored and calculated.

    A floating-point number is stored in binary in three parts within a 65-bit range: the sign, the exponent, and the mantissa.

    1 Sign Bit
    11 Bit Exponent
    1 Implied Bit
    52 Bit Mantissa

    A detailed article that describes this thoroughly is Understanding Floating Point Precision, aka “Why does Excel Give Me Seemingly Wrong Answers?”

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Autodesk subscription customers and previous releases

    I have previously written about Autodesk support for prior versions and wanted to add this information as well.

    Usually updates to terms and conditions might slip through but this one is useful and another incentive to be on subscription.

    The TsAndCs_WW.pdf has all the fine prints. There is also a list of eligible products.

    Effective April 7, 2008, Subscription customers may now use previous versions up to three releases back from the 2009 product release up to the total number of licenses of the product currently under Subscription.

    As part of the new enhancement to the current policy, a Subscription customer is no longer required to have owned the previous version in order to use it.

    The updated terms and conditions clarify the extended policy and how you may use previous versions. (Section 2.4)

    Access the Eligible Previous Version list in Subscription Center. Once logged in click on the Subscription Administration link on the left hand navigation.
    What do you need to know?

    The new terms and conditions (Adobe® PDF format, requires Adobe® Reader®) apply immediately if you have an existing Subscription contract.

    The new terms and conditions apply if you renew your contract, or purchase additional products on  subscription, or add new products or services to an existing contract.

    No action is required for the new terms and conditions to take effect. Please refer to Section 8.9 of your existing Subscription terms and conditions if you want to see the options you have when Autodesk revises the terms and conditions.
    The terms and conditions, which are referenced in all order confirmations, are available on Subscription Center, or you can also download the terms and conditions as a Microsoft® Word document. (Download ZIP file)
    If you still have questions about the new terms and conditions or would like to notify us that you do not accept them, contact your Authorized Autodesk Reseller or the Autodesk Business Center.
    Thank you for choosing Subscription for your Autodesk products.
    The Autodesk Subscription Team

    Do you want to republish any of the blogs posts?

    I have got some requests from Autodesk resellers if they can republish some of the blog posts or other AutoCAD related things from the website.

    If you have a newsletter, knowledge base or want to inform your customers or user group in any other way feel free to contact me and let me know how and where you want to use the information. I will most probably let you do it for free as long as you give credits to JTB World and link back to the blog or website.

    Splogs and the like are of course not welcome stealing content.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Autodesk NavisWorks 2009 is shipping today

    Autodesk NavisWorks 2009 contains many new features and enhancements.

    NavisWorks Clas Detective

    Here is what "Manage" contains and to some extent the other variants "Review" and "Simulate":

    Interface Enhancements

    • Object Animation

      Animate objects across an animation timeline using simple but powerful object manipulation and animation tools.

      Interact with objects whilst they interact with the viewer, all via new simple but powerful scripting tools.

      Link object movement with TimeLiner for precise object movement scheduling based on project tasks, for more informative and realistic 4D process planning.

      Link object movement with Presenter for enhanced worksite realism in exported photo-realistic animations.

      Link object movement with Clash Detective to automatically check for interferences between static and moving objects, for example a door colliding with an obstructing column.

      Link object movement with both TimeLiner and Clash Detective together for full time-based interference checking. Scheduling the moving of a crane on-site could coincide with the delivery of construction materials, all simulated in Autodesk NavisWorks Manage 2009, all checked for scheduling and interference issues, all adding up to a powerful, automated workspace simulation and planning tool.

    • .NET GUI Modernization

      Up-to-date look and feel including new icons, improved control bar docking and tabbed control bars.

    • Workspaces

      Allow predefined default window and menu layouts, as well as full customization and sharing of layouts across multiple PCs.

      New editor for Global Options.

      A change from complex tabs to a logical tree structure, making finding options much simpler. Also making global options sharable across multiple PCs through import and export.

    Licensing Enhancements

    • FlexLM Licensing

      The capability of check-in / check-out of licenses, timed-out licenses to automatically return checked-out licenses after a set period of time.

    • Autodesk Standalone Licensing

      Support for the well-known and well-documented Autodesk standard licensing technology.

    Operating System Support

    • Microsoft Vista Support

      Full support for Microsoft's latest operating system.

    • 64-bit Support

      Support for 64-bit versions of both XP and Vista.

    File Formats

    • 3D Text Support

      Visualization of 3D text from AutoCAD and MicroStation.

    • Parametric Support

      Increasing cylinder accuracy, and dramatically reducing the memory footprint of file formats containing them. Of key benefit to the MicroStation exporter and DGN file reader.

    • Object Animation Playback

      Playback of object animations inside NWD and NWC files that have been created in Autodesk NavisWorks Manage 2009 or Autodesk NavisWorks Simulate 2009.

    • File Format Updates

      Revit 2009

      ArchiCAD 11

      MAX 9 (32-bit and 64-bit)

      MAX 2008 and 2009

      VIZ 2008 and 2009

      AutoCAD 2009 (32-bit and 64-bit)

      Inventor 2009

      Primavera v6

      Faro 4.1

      MicroGDS 10

    What are the minimum system requirements?
    XP or Vista and 512 MB minimum in RAM and 2 GB or more recommended.

    If you have a previous version of NavisWorks installed on your system, you can install Autodesk NavisWorks Manage 2009 and keep other versions of the program on the same system.

    NavisWorks 2009 does not include the Ribbon but it would surprise me if it was not added to NavisWorks 2010.

    Previous related posts:
    Welcome Autodesk NavisWorks describes the difference between the NavisWorks products.
    NavisWorks forum on AUGI

    It will probably not take long before a NavisWorks discussion group is added.

    From the press release:
    Revit Architecture 2009, Revit Structure 2009, Revit MEP 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 and Autodesk NavisWorks 2009 now shipping

    Autodesk is now shipping the 2009 versions of its comprehensive software solutions for building information modeling (BIM) including Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, AutoCAD Civil 3D, and Autodesk NavisWorks software solutions.  BIM is an integrated workflow built on coordinated, reliable information about a project from design through construction and into operations. By adopting BIM, architects, engineers, contractors and owners can easily create coordinated, digital design information and documentation; use that information to more accurately visualize, simulate, and analyze performance, appearance and cost; and reliably deliver the project faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact. The 2009 Autodesk BIM Solutions include:

    · Revit Architecture 2009 (BIM for architects and designers) allows customers to capture early design concepts with improved analysis and visualization capabilities through increased sustainable design and energy analysis capabilities via interfaces with partner applications. The new Mental Ray engine for rendering has improved visualization functionality, improving speed, quality, and usability.

    · Revit Structure 2009 (BIM for structural engineers, designers and drafters) has been enhanced with greater modeling and documentation capabilities.  The AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite now includes AutoCAD Structural Detailing, enabling steel and reinforced concrete detailing and shop drawings as well as state-of-the-art formwork drawings

    · Revit MEP 2009 (BIM for Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing engineering) provides customers with enhanced modeling capabilities, more robust Building Performance Analysis capabilities that support sustainable design, and more than double the previously available content.

    · AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 enables the benefits of BIM for civil engineering, from surveying and design through to documentation submittal and the delivery of 3D models for GPS machine control during construction. Important new functions in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 include a stormwater hydraulics and hydrology solution for storm sewer design, watershed analysis, detention pond modeling and culvert analysis, survey functionality that allows users to directly import raw data and criteria-based road design that follows local design requirements such as stopping and passing sight and headlight distances.

    · Autodesk NavisWorks 2009 software solutions (Autodesk NavisWorks Review, Autodesk NavisWorks Manage, Autodesk NavisWorks Simulate, and Autodesk NavisWorks Freedom) improve coordination, collaboration, and project sequencing for design and construction projects. With the 2009 versions of the Autodesk NavisWorks solutions, users can aggregate design models and data from documents created on both Autodesk and non-Autodesk software applications; develop more comprehensive views of projects and analyze for clash detection; and make better design and construction decisions.

    Autodesk’s 3D modeling technologies are helping customers understand and improve the performance and operation of their designs before they are built.  The updated BIM solutions also improve project collaboration and integration between the building design, civil engineering and construction disciplines.

    Share and Review Models

    Fully integrated with the Revit platform for BIM and AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk Design Review is the free* all - digital way to share, review, mark up, and measure models created within the BIM process.  For more information, please visit

    Autodesk Design Visualization Award 2008

    Congratulations to the students Emil Andersson and David Hultberg that got this award. Autodesk is giving it to students in a building visualization class.

    Among the applications used where AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD, Autodesk 3ds Max 9, Autodesk Combustion and Autodesk DWF Viewer. (Did they not use Autodesk Design Review?)

    This is an interesting project as it is a elevator bridge for ships that go on the famous "Göta kanal" (190.5 km and 58 locks) that makes it possible to sail across Sweden and will now take a jump over a high way.

    The Göta Canal was opened back in 1832 and was largely built by 58,000 billeted soldiers from 16 different regiments. During the 22 years building was in progress, about 60,000 men, including a company of Russian war prisoners and a number of civilian workers, worked a total of about 7 million man-days, each of 12 hours.

    To keep the men in good spirits, 14 measures of schnapps were included in their weekly rations, since fingers and feet were liable to go numb in cold weather.

    Invigningen av Göta kanal i Mem år 1832. Målning av K. Chr. Berger

    The opening of the Göta Canal in Mem, Sweden 1832. Painting by K. Chr. Berger

    Göta canal in showed in red

    More on Göta kanal at and the Swedish press release.


    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Solution to Outlook.exe keep running after exit

    For some time I've run into the problem that Outlook 2007 is not closed fully. The application is no longer visible but the process keeps running as can be seen in Task Manager. It is normal that it can take a few seconds up to some minutes but now it never stops running. And if an email comes during this time I got notified about it and can open that email. If I try to start Outlook it shows the application using the same Outlook.exe process. This happens on Vista SP1 and might happen on other Windows versions as well.

    The solution in my case was that I found Skype (version 3.6) locking up Outlook because it was set to "Show Outlook Contacts" in the View menu. When I disabled that option Outlook closed as it should.


    One symptom I have seen is that I get the notification that "A data file did not close properly the last time it was used as is being checked for problems. Performance might be affected while the check is in progress."

    data file did not close properly notification

    Another is this message when starting Outlook could be "Outlook failed to start correctly last time. Starting Outlook in safe mode will help you correct or isolate the startup problem in order to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode. Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?"

    Outlook failed to start

    Then "Data file check in process" can be seen for quite a while.

    Outlook Data file check in process

    Some other tips if this happens are to check the consistency of the PST files using SCANPST.EXE. Check also for other applications that might connect to Outlook or access the PST files like Google Desktop. Antivirus programs could also be the cause of the locks.

    If nothing else works you can try to select "Perform an automatic sen/receive when exiting." in Options>Send/Receive...

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    One house to house 100000 in London

    Maybe like this according to London based Populararchitecture.


    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    Windows Vista indexing sidebar gadget

    and after a while the index is up-to-date

    I rely heavily on being able to quickly find information on my computer and among my emails in Outlook so this is a useful gadget.

    It's easy to pause the indexing and also force it to index now with the latest Windows Search 4 update for Vista. Previously I used a couple of home made shortcuts for that purpose to a couple of cmd files with:
    NET START "Windows Search"
    and also
    NET STOP "Windows Search"

    Thanks Brandon Paddock for making it available. Get it via his blog or directly here.

    I got an error that it could not find the adaptive.vbs script file but it was easily solved by adding an "en-us" folder and move the vbs folder there.

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Package license file introduced with AutoCAD 2009

    One of the new features in Autodesk 2009 products is prior version support.

    This knowledge base document describes the details:

    Package license files for prior version licensing

    You received a package license file for prior version network licensing and you want to know more about the new license file format.

    The package license file contains a set number of licenses for four different versions of your software. For example, an AutoCAD 2009 package license file will contain a set number of licenses that can be used for AutoCAD 2009, 2008, 2007 or 2006. Note: Running an instance of any one of these versions will consume one license in the package. Running more than one version, even on the same machine, will consume more than one license in the package.

    If you have a 2-license package for AutoCAD 2009, the following scenarios can be expected:

    • Two machines running AutoCAD 2009 will consume two licenses. No licenses will be available for other users.
    • The same machine running AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD 2009 will consume two licenses. No licenses will be available for other users.
    • The same machine running three instances of AutoCAD 2007 will consume one license. One license will be available for other users.

    Important notes regarding package license files:

    • Package license files come with the current version and three previous versions of the same product only. It is not possible to configure the products included in the package in any way.
    • Package license files may be combined as usual with license files for different products. See the following solution for details on combining license files: Combining Autodesk® license files.
    • Do not combine package license files with non-package license files for product versions contained in the package. Doing so will disable the older license INCREMENT for the product and only the package license count will be available. For example, do not combine an AutoCAD 2009 package license file with a regular license file for AutoCAD 2008, 2007 or 2006. 
    • Both the PACKAGE and INCREMENT sections of this license file are required for licensing to work correctly. When you combine license files, be sure to include both of these sections along with any PLIST INCREMENTs.
    • License borrowing, options files and license cascading work the same for package license files as they do for regular license files. When you configure an options file, use the feature codes of the individual product versions contained within the package. For example, if you want to reserve 5 licenses of AutoCAD in an options file, you will need four separate RESERVE statements, one for the feature code that corresponds to each version.

    The following is an example of a package license file for AutoCAD 2009:

    SERVER servername 123456789012
    VENDOR adskflex port=2080
    PACKAGE 64300ACD_F adskflex 1.000 COMPONENTS="57600ACD_2009_0F \
        54600ACD_2008_0F 51200ACD_2007_0F 48800ACD_2006_0F" \
        OPTIONS=SUITE SUPERSEDE ISSUED=09-Apr-2008 SIGN="012E 89A4 \
        36DD 8159 57BA 4F7E 90B7 8D70 F7BB 894D F530 73BD 9F61 CFB5 \
        B219 1F86 83A0 A9B1 6996 6866 B63A D7F2 88B7 0DDB AFB4 C576 \
        90BE 792B 7YT4 2AE1" SIGN2="1150 74B2 6D6C D194 9IT2 0B6E F745 \
        BE18 48A1 D48B B049 0A4A F4B0 7F13 45DE 04E3 BDEA EA5B EE04 \
        806B 4001 C1BB 4826 423A 971D 4349 12AA 6178 724F 4257"
    INCREMENT 64300ACD_F adskflex 1.000 permanent 1 \
        SUITE_DUP_GROUP=UHV ISSUED=09-Apr-2008 SN=321-12345678 \
        SIGN="016F 83DD FBDE 7D7E 7E53 AD0F 0750 2B2C 04EB A746 B2BB \
        41C0 5986 C1F1 7603 1128 F51B 920C 3CA7 B8FF 6B39 D4C7 6C44 \
        F86B E5C2 683C 0FB2 7904 4393 D8A8" SIGN2="0236 3870 7AC9 B755 \
        123A F111 AFEF HS%$ 4554 3EE6 547E 8DE4 E7D3 26D8 96EA 0398 \
        A696 1A87 2DCE 04B0 E49C 910C B707 459D JD6A 92C3 0120 BCAA \
        961F AC90"
    INCREMENT PLIST adskflex 1.000 permanent 1 \
        VENDOR_STRING=A07:51600ACDLAND_2007_0F:52200CIV3D_2007_0F;B07:51900AMECH_PP_2007_0F:51300INVBUN_11_0F:52900INVPRORS_11_0F:53000INVPROSIM_11_0F:51400INVPRO_11_0F;C07:51200ACD_2007_0F:52500REVITS_9_0F:54100REVITS_9_1F:53700REVSU_3_0F:54200REVSU_4_0F;D07:52600REVIT_9_0F:52500REVITS_9_0F;E07:57600ACD_2009_0P:59300INVBUN_2009_0P;F07:51800BLDSYS_2007_0F:53100REVSYP_1_0F:54500REVSYP_2_0F;G07:53400REVITST_3_0F:53700REVSU_3_0F;H07:54300REVIT_9_1F:54100REVITS_9_1F;I07:54400REVITST_4_0F:54200REVSU_4_0F;A08:55500ACDLAND_2008_0F:55400CIV3D_2008_0F;B08:54900AMECH_PP_2008_0F:55000INVBUN_2008_0F:55100INVPRORS_2008_0F:55200INVPROSIM_2008_0F:55300INVPRO_2008_0F;C08:54600ACD_2008_0F:54700REVITS_2008_0F:54800REVSU_2008_0F;D08:57100REVIT_2008_0F:54700REVITS_2008_0F;F08:55600BLDSYS_2008_0F:55700REVSYP_2008_0F;G08:57200REVITST_2008_0F:54800REVSU_2008_0F;A09:59800ACDLAND_2009_0F:59700CIV3D_2009_0F;B09:59200AMECH_PP_2009_0F:59300INVBUN_2009_0F:59400INVPRORS_2009_0F:61700INVMFG_2009_0F:59500INVPROSIM_2009_0F:59600INVPRO_2009_0F;D09:62100REVIT_2009_0F:60900REVITS_2009_0F;C09:57600ACD_2009_0F:60900REVITS_2009_0F:61000REVSU_2009_0F;F09:59900BLDSYS_2009_0F:60000REVSYP_2009_0F;G09:62200REVITST_2009_0F:61000REVSU_2009_0F;J09:67800RVTMPJ_2009_0F:60000REVSYP_2009_0F \
        SUPERSEDE ISSUED=09-Apr-2008 SIGN="1DA3 DE47 4E42 2C8C 6342 \
        E829 9E8D 1C22 3095 5717 63F3 152F 30D6 C903 7726 1B03 7F59 \
        C85D D60D D920 20C7 0E04 88BE BAB6 A55A 0182 EBB9 9B44 12C5 \
        E5AE" SIGN2="10B8 3138 5505 2D5B 3963 D17B 4950 1CF3 EBB9 5782 \
        4085 3A4A D888 9A5E 5371 173D A556 074D 5FBD A93A 5203 1127 \
        13CD 3DE4 6EED ED54 6F33 D840 C4C2 8426"

    Knowledge Base document: Package license files for prior version licensing

    JTB FlexReport works with these license files and can also report company wide usage on combined usage of multiple versions of one product.

    Solve problem with AutoCAD 2009 Help Search

    If you find that your Search tab in AutoCAD 2009 Help is broken it can be fixed by running a repair of AutoCAD. One reason why this can happen is if you install AutoCAD 2009 and after that AutoCAD 2008.

    Broken help

    This is what it should look like.

    AutoCAD 2009 Help

    If you know a quicker way to repair this make a comment on how.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Access 2007 Runtime SP1 available

    I have updated the detailed network license reports in JTB FlexReport that can make use the Access 2007 Runtime SP1. Download details are found in this previous blogpost.

    Found out about SP1 via the Access Team Blog.

    AutoCAD 2009 on Citrix? Citrix & Autodesk alliance

    Do you want to run AutoCAD 2009 on Citrix? AutoCAD 2009 itself is not possible but AutoCAD Map 3D 2009 is Citrix Ready and is of course based on AutoCAD 2009.

    Citrix XenApp (new name for Presentation Server) is used for server virtualization that makes this possible.

    Citrix & Autodesk website

    -Are other AutoCAD 2009 platform–based applications available that are Citrix Ready?
    No. AutoCAD Map 3D 2009 is the only AutoCAD 2009–based application that has been designated Citrix Ready.

    -Why is AutoCAD Map 3D the only AutoCAD 2009 platform–based application that is Citrix Ready?
    In response to requests from customers, AutoCAD Map 3D was selected for the Citrix Ready certification program in 2008. Other Autodesk products may be added to the program at a later date as we evaluate customer satisfaction with AutoCAD Map 3D.

    -How does AutoCAD Map 3D performance in a Citrix environment compare to AutoCAD Map 3D installed in a stand-alone environment?
    Graphics performance may be affected because most servers are not configured with high-end graphics systems.

    -Does JTB FlexReport work with the Citrix Ready AutoCAD Map 3D licensing?
    Yes you are able to monitor your license usage with JTB FlexReport.

    I really hope other products will be Citrix Ready soon as well. I have long time seen a valid need for that. At an EPC company where I worked before we used Citrix extensively and often had engineers on site or traveling and many times I found that it had been really useful for them if we had been able to install AutoCAD and other verticals including our customizations and other 3:rd party applications on the Citrix server.

    Visit for details.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008

    Finally IE Automatic Component Activation Available

    I wrote about this problem more than two years ago in the post Problem with embedded DWF Viewer.

    Now you will no longer have this problem with "Press SPACEBAR or ENTER to activate and use this control" or "click to activate".

    See details on the IEBlog.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008

    Autodesk Draw important application using Google Gears

    Project Draw from the Autodesk Labs is recognized among the so far few applications using Google Gears.

    Using Google Gears

    If you are on a plane or on the beach you can work with drawing a flowchart or a Windows UI mockup using the free Draw.


    Via Google Operating System blog

    Some of the latest blog posts

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