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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…

October - One-derful!!!

It's a God-thing.

I had no idea that 14 years ago I would be given the opportunity to make an impact on the professional lives of so many. Only God knew what was ahead, and hopefully, the contributions I have made through Michael's Corner have equipped many of you to be more productive and a bit more savvy using AutoCAD. And apart from all the AutoCAD bashing that is going on, I'm sure it has a long life ahead.

So, in an effort to keep the AutoCAD fires burning, here's what I have for my final installment…

…A reminder on how to customize your hot keys
…Three Power Tools — one for Zoom, one for editing, and one for Layers
…Two Odd Spots — one for Layers and one for Hatching
…Buried text treasure
…And how to Search 14 years of the Archives

As for what's ahead for me, I will continue to present a variety of AutoCAD sessions — Fundamentals, Intermediate, Customizing, Updates, and 2D & 3D. I will also keep training CAP Designer, 20-20 Worksheet, Visual Impression (those three from 20-20 Technologies, Inc.), and some Revit Fundamentals. Next year I'm looking forward to being very involved in training CET (from Configura, Inc.) when Herman Miller joins the growing number of manufacturers embracing this software that is being touted as the ‘Future of Space Planning’. Personally, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Donna, my lovely bride of 30 years. When this posts, we'll probably be within days of going on our 30th Anniversary vacation to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson; Ee-Hah! We had such a good time when we went for our 20th, we figured we'd do it again!

Ah, and I'm hoping to have The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition out before snow flies.

And with that, Mike drop! …so to speak.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

This month's articles

Change F1 to ESC
Smoother Zoom
Stretch with Extension
Lock Layers with a Crossing Window
Layer Columns & Hatch Background Color
Text Frame on Mtext

From the Vault

Originally published March 2013

Angular Dimensions

Angular DimensionsThe addition of Angular dimensions is pretty straightforward, but I also want to pass along some editing insights.

How to Add an Angular Dimension

  1. Set the desired layer and dimension style to current first.

  2. On the Home tabAnnotation panel, expand the dimension flyout, then click Angular.

  3. Finding the angleTo find the angle between two lines—as shown in the figure with the doorway—pick the first line, and the prompt sequence will follow as shown here.

    Select arc, circle, line, or <specify vertex>: [PICK]
    Select second line: [PICK]
    Specify dimension arc line location or [Mtext/Text/Angle/Quadrant]:

  4. When positioning the dimension line location after picking two lines, move your cursor to any position defined by the vectors of the two lines, then specify the final location for the dimension line.

  5. To dimension an arc, simply click on the arc, then position the dimension line.


  • To reposition the dimension line of an existing dimension, select it, then click in the grip on the dimension line and reposition it.


  • To edit the components of the dimension, select it, then right-click >Properties [or Ctrl +1].

    Dimension to edit

    If you want different arrowheads, make the adjustment under the Lines & Arrows heading.

    Change the arrows

    Under the Primary Units heading you can tweak the precision.

  • Change units precision

My apologies for not having any coverage over the last decade(!) on how to create a Dimension Style. Although it's on page 171 in AWB2, I promise to make amends in a future Corner.

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