Monday, October 31, 2016

DWG Columns for Explorer 2.3 released

JTB Word's DWG Columns for Explorer has been updated to version 2.3. If you already have version 2.2 installed and it’s working fine there is no need to upgrade as this version only have improved the installation process to be more stable. There are now also 3 versions of DWG Columns. One fully functional version that can be purchased, one trial and one freeware.

If you want to see the DWG and DXF properties and metadata in Explorer columns please give the trial a try. No need to have AutoCAD or other CAD programs installed for this to work. After the trial has expired you can still use it to show the DWG version information as long as you like.

Click to see a larger version with more columns

Thursday, October 27, 2016

How to get the center of a viewport with AutoLISP

The free viewportcenter.lsp has been updated with more functionalities.

This app shows the coordinates for the center of the current viewport on command line.

If command is run within a viewport in model space it can be run transparently for example like this using 'vpc
   Command: LINE
   Specify first point: 'vpc

If command is in paper space it will ask to select viewport and the point will be available as last used point and can be used with @ like this:
   Command: LINE
   Specify first point: @

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to disable Skype birthday notifications on Android and hidden Skype commands

Here’s how to disable Skype birthday notifications when using Skype on Android. You probably been as annoyed as me that there is no setting for this on the Skype for Android app and that the has a birthday checkbox setting isn’t synchronized from the desktop version of Skype.

has a birthday checkbox

Start a chat with any of your contacts. and type the following row:
and press enter or send.

This message won't be sent to the one in the chat and the change will affect notifications for all contacts.

If it works you may see a message like below:
System: Birthday notifications disabled

There are other available commands that can be found at

If you want to restore or enable the birthday notifications use this command:
/setupkey Lib/Conversation/EnableBirthday 1

The message showing will be:
setupkey: [Lib/Conversation/EnableBirthday] now '1'

I’ve not tested above but it should work for other platforms like iPhone, Windows phone, BlackBerry, Amazon Fire Phone and iPod touch, iPad, Kindle Fire HD, Windows, Xbox One, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Skype for TV, Max and Linux.

As a bonus tip. If you want to make text bold, italic or strikethrough

* surrounding text (*text here*) makes it bold.
_ surrounding text (_text here_) makes it italic.
~ surrounding text (~text here~) makes it strikethrough.

If you start a message with "@@ " (two ats with a space), every formatting function in your message will be ignored except emoticons.

If you start a message with "!! " (two exclamations with a space), every formatting function in your message will be ignored and font will be switched to monospaced.

UPDATE: Some more commands are described on the TechLila Blog.

Monday, October 24, 2016

JTB Layer Palette 1.2.1 for BricsCAD

JTB Layer Palette 1.2.1 for BricsCAD is now available and at half the previous price.

JTB Layer Palette is a palette app for BricsCAD. You can manage layers in BricsCAD without leaving the drawing screen. Customizable view, multiple layers tasking, this will make managing layers much more easier.

More about JTB Layer Palette here. For more of JTB World’s software that you might find useful visit our software list. We also offer custom programming services and can help you with both small and large projects.

Subscribe to our JTB Layer Palette newsletter or any of our other Newsletters.

Monday, October 10, 2016

AutoCAD 2017.1 Update

AutoCAD 2017.1 Update is a subscription-only update for AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017 and available either from your Autodesk Account or by using the Autodesk Desktop App.

Note that even security enhancements and bug fixes are only available for subscription customers. (UPDATE: the update is available for download for non-renters as well, see Steve Johnson’s post When is a subscription-only update not a subscription-only update?) (UPDATE: the update will be available for students. See Shaan Hurley’s post AutoCAD 2017.1 Feature Update for Students)

Import PDF Feature Enhancement - PDFSHXTEXT is a command that you can use after you import a PDF file that contains SHX geometry. It converts any selected PDF geometry into multiline text objects that use a matching SHX font. Several popular SHX fonts are supported. However, Asian Big Font SHX geometry is currently not supported. Commands: PDFSHXTEXT , -PDFSHXTEXT , TXT2MTXT

PDF Text Recognition Settings windows:

High Resolution Monitor Support(High Pixels per Inch) is a New Feature - In the AutoCAD 2017.1 Update, common user interface elements, such as the Layer Manager, Command Line window, Property Palette, File Navigation dialog box, pick box cursor, grips, View Cube, and UCS icon, are correctly adjusted to the Windows setting for the display scale.
For the best results, use Windows 10 due to operation system limitations.
Use a compatible video card for the best results.
Some dialog boxes in vertical products are not optimized.

Object Selection Feature Enhancement - Objects that are moved off screen during selection remain in the selection set. All linetype gaps can be selected and available for object snapping when High Quality Geometry is turned on. System variables: SELECTIONOFFSCREEN, LTGAPSELECTION

Linetype gap behavior is enhanced to support complex and DGN linetypes. In addition, this feature works with all objects, such as polylines with width and splines. Now you can select complex and DGN linetypes or snap to them by picking on the gaps between the geometry.

Security Feature Enhancement - Internal software security continues to be enhanced, closing potential exploits.

3D Graphics Performance Feature Enhancement - The performance and reliability of 3DORBIT is improved for rendered visual styles, especially for models with a large number of small blocks containing edges and facets. Command: VISUALSTYLES

Highlight New Features

And here is a couple examples of what it can look like.

As a result of the detailed information that Autodesk received from customers who used the Customer Error Reporting Utility, they were able to identify and fix the problems listed below:


  • Fixed occasional crashes when inserting some blocks a second time.


  • Fixed occasional crashes when zooming out of a drawing following the 3D Orbit command.


  • Fixed occasional crashes when purging DXF drawing files.

Web and Cloud

  • Fixed occasional crashes when modifying the Online Options settings and signing in to Autodesk A360 from InfoCenter.


  • Fixed occasional crashes when launching AutoCAD in Windows 10.
  • Fixed occasional crashes when inputting the system time in long string format, and then using the DIM command.
  • Fixed occasional crashes when switching layouts.
  • Fixed occasional crashes when performing a 3D rotate in drawings containing a point cloud.
  • Fixed occasional crashes when plotting to PDF using AccoreConsole.exe.
  • Fixed occasional crashes when performing an Undo after detaching a reference using the External References palette.
  • Fixed occasional crashes when PNG images were specified in a CUI resource file.

The following defects have been fixed:


  • Fixed. Xrefs on a frozen viewport layer would still be plotted.
  • Fixed. AutoCAD in Citrix might not default to the primary display adapter.

Open and Save

  • Fixed. Opening a drawing file using an Excel hyperlink was repositioning the AutoCAD application window.

PDF Import

  • Fixed. Importing a PDF Underlay that was attached with relative path could fail.


  • Fixed. The Xref status incorrectly displays the "Needs reloading" message when the dataset is opened from a UNC path to a shared folder.


  • Fixed. When opening drawings created with AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD might crash if the drawing was saved again.
  • Fixed. Plotting with certain visual styles might produce incorrect results.
  • Fixed. Migrating custom settings might fail.

The following are known feature limitations in the AutoCAD 2017.1 Update:

​Vertical Products

  • Some AutoCAD vertical product dialog boxes may not be optimized for viewing at scales greater than 100% on high resolution monitors.

TXT2MTXT enhancements are quite many:

  • You can select Mtext objects in addition to text objects.
  • A Settings option on the Command line displays the Text to MText Settings dialog.
  • Character codes translate correctly between Text and Mtext (for example the degree symbol appeared as %%d when converted to Mtext).
  • The “Select objects” prompt adheres to standard error checking and messaging. For example, objects on locked layers are filtered from the selection set, and so on.
  • Justification (Top left, Top center, Top right) is inferred for the Mtext object being created based on the positioning of the text objects in the drawing instead of always using Top left justification. When no justification can be logically inferred, it defaults to top-left.
  • Numbered and lettered list formatting is inferred when the word-wrap text box is checked. If a line starts with one or two characters followed by a period and up to 10 spaces, list formatting will be applied automatically.
  • An option was added to the Settings dialog box to not combine selection into a single mtext objects (converts text object to mtext without combining).
  • The top-down sorting order is relative to the current UCS and sorting is left-to-right when text objects are collinear. When multiple text objects are collinear, they are treated as if on the same line with a space between them.
  • A new Settings option enables you to force uniform line spacing or maintain existing line spacing.

AcAutoLoader.crx is updated with this update meaning that AutoCAD 2017 App Autoloader Hotfix is included.

See also Autodesk’s blog post AutoCAD 2017 Fall Update and the AutoCAD 2017.1 Update/Enhancement Preview Guide.

Monday, October 3, 2016

JTB DST Tool is a new Sheet Set Manager app from JTB World

JTB DST Tool can merge, purge and convert Sheet Set DST files for AutoCAD, BricsCAD and any other CAD software using Sheet Set DST files. For example AutoCAD's Sheet Set Manager (SSM) or AutoCAD Architecture's Project Navigator (PN) Sheet Set View.

  • Merge one or more sheet sets.
  • The purging is useful for IT or CAD Managers to correct performance problems with SSM Sheet Sets that started to perform badly. Sometimes the DST file can grow unreasonable large and the purging can help.
  • Convert to XML for more advanced editing and convert back to DST again.

If you work with the Sheet Set Manager and want to edit Sheet Sets see our SSMPropEditor app or if you want to create Sheet Sets and their properties in an automated manner take a look at our JTB Sheet Set Creator.

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