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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 December 2006

Another A2007 3D Feature: PRESSPULL

Presspull in action

This one is so-o-o easy and so-o-o cool! The Presspull command creates a 3D solid and, when once you've worked with it, you'll see it is simply the logical, graphic progeny of the Extrude command.



  • Any closed area is fair game. If it doesn't have a gap and the geometry is all coplanar, it's good to go.
  • It's more fun if you adjust your view so you're not looking down on the shape when you "pull" it up.
  • Contrary to an Extrude result, the 3D Solids generated from Presspull are independent of the original shapes from which they were created AND the new solids reside on the current layer.

Instruction to use PRESSPULL

  1. To easily position your view, go to View3D Views, then choose one of the Isometric views at the bottom of that list.
  2. Open the Dashboard (ToolsPalettesDashboard).
  3. In the 3D Make Control Panel area (the top one, by default), click Presspull.
  4. Place your cursor anywhere inside a closed area and the area will automatically highlight.
  5. Click in the area to initialize the command, then move your cursor away from the shape (in either direction), then enter the desired distance for the "pull". Job done!

More Insights

  • After you have generated some 3D solids, run Presspull again and hover over a surface that is not parallel to the current XY plane.
  • On some solids generated using Presspull, click on the solid to display the grips and you will notice a triangular grip that enables you to edit the height of the solid!
  • For those of you who have worked with Solids for any length of time, you will notice that Presspull is the perfect method of changing your primitive shapes!

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