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Michael’s Corner

Michael BeallMichael's Corner is a monthly publication written by Michael E. Beall, Autodesk Authorized Author and peripatetic AutoCAD trainer. Michael travels all over the USA, bringing his fantastic experience and great understanding of AutoCAD to his clients. Michael's Corner brings together many of the tips, tricks and methods developed during these training sessions for the benefit of all users.

Michael's Corner provides something for every AutoCAD user. Every month, a number of articles cover a wide range of topics, suitable for users at all levels, including "The Basics" for those just starting out. Essentially, the aim of Michael's Corner is to help all AutoCAD users work smarter and faster.

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This month…

June - Summer Simplicity

It seems like summer just kind of crept up on us and I can't believe we're nearly halfway through the year already! I'm still investigating AutoCAD 2015 and will present additional content in the months ahead, but this month I simply wanted to show you a few things I encountered in my training sessions recently.

…A very simple but effective method of creating a Solid with the Sweep command
…The new feature in A2015 that conforms to the simple motion of dragging to select objects
…Variables that will make life much simpler if you are aware of what they can do
…An object snap that makes snapping to the insertion point of a block quite simple

Needless to say, the point of summer is to hopefully find time to enjoy the simple things… in AutoCAD.

Safe travels!

This month's articles

Sweeping a 3D Shape around a Pline
AutoCAD 2015 ‘Lasso’
“Buriables” (Buried Variables)
Use the INSERT Osnap on Blocks

From the Vault

Originally published July 2005

DesignCenter - Part II

Now that you're acquainted with what the DesignCenter is capable of, let's look at some more ways in which it can be used.

AutoCAD 2004 + DesignCenter

Although the tool palette feature was first introduced in AutoCAD 2004, the ability to drag objects (blocks, dimensions, etc.) directly onto a tool palette was not implemented until AutoCAD 2005. Therefore, in A2004 you use DesignCenter to populate an existing tool palette or create an entirely new tool palette from existing blocks or drawings.

Instructions to Add a Block to the Tool Palette in A2004 (works in A2005/A2006, too)
  1. Open DesignCenter [CTRL+2] and open the Tool Palette window [CTRL+3].
  2. In DesignCenter, navigate to the drawing containing the blocks you want to add to the palette.
  3. Click on the Blocks node under the DWG name on the left side of DesignCenter.
  4. In DesignCenter, drag the desired block from the right side of DesignCenter onto the palette.

Note: For more on Tool Palettes in A2004, take a look at my March 2004 column. For additional palette features that were added to AutoCAD 2005, take a look at the November 2004 article.

Palettes from DesignCenter

Regardless of your version - A2004 / A2005 / A2006 - if you have a drawing containing blocks, you can make a tool palette containing all the blocks from the drawing with a single click. Seriously. And what if you have a folder containing .DWG files you "Wblocked out" in an effort to make blocks you could insert into other drawings? Make a palette!

Instructions to Create a Palette of all the Blocks in a Drawing
  1. Open DesignCenter [CTRL+2] and open the Tool Palette window [CTRL+3].
  2. In DesignCenter, navigate to the drawing containing the blocks.
  3. Right-click on the Block node, then click Create Tool Palette.
  4. Count backwards from 10 and you'll have a palette with the name of the drawing before you hit "0".
Instructions to Create a Palette of DWG Files in a Folder
  1. Open DesignCenter [CTRL+2] and open the Tool Palette window [CTRL+3].
  2. In DesignCenter, navigate to the folder containing the drawing files. [Remember, only DWG files are displayed in DesignCenter.]
  3. Right-click on the folder node, then click Create Tool Palette of Blocks.
  4. See step 4, above.

Next issue we'll look at even more applications for DesignCenter!

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