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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…

December - Making it Happen at Autodesk University 2014!

The annual event is always pretty stunning. Thousands of people with the full gamut of skill sets (and then some!) milling about Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on a mission to, basically, kick it up a notch. As this goes to press, I have practiced my hands-on Lab a few times and have worked out the missteps, made the appropriate notes, and have the timing down pretty well.

This final offering for 2014 includes some customizing, as well as a couple features that have been around for quite some time, but I had never thought about them until they were brought up by a customer… which is what has driven these topics for the last 12 years!

With an eye toward a more productive 2015, we have…

…A tip on automating the repetition of a viewport plot scale with the click of a button.
…Some old fashioned display tricks you may find interesting
…An option worth considering if your drawing ‘disappears’ when you Zoom/Extents
…How to keep track of the time you spend in a drawing

Thank you all for your continued interest in Michael's Corner. It was a good year for me with 21 new customers and another country added to my ‘Trained In’ list bringing the total to eleven! The first quarter of 2015 is shaping up nicely already with my calendar already booked into mid-March.

Wishing you all a relaxing and joyful Christmas season and a promising New Year!

This month's articles

Automating the Application of a Viewport Scale
Pan and Zoom Antiques
Zoom Extents = Air
Drawing Information

From the Vault

Originally published May 2005

Layer Group Filters

Unfortunately, the Xref layer filter described above is only effective in suppressing the layers of all Xrefs in a drawing that contains multiple Xrefs. So, what if you only want to suppress the layer display of some of the Xrefs? For those of you with AutoCAD 2005 and AutoCAD 2006, the optimum method is to create a layer Group Filter.

A layer group filter is essentially a subset of layers that you create by dragging the selected layers into the Group name.

Note: Before you start this procedure, make sure you have cleared the check box for Invert Filter.

Instructions to create a layer Group of multiple Xref layers
  1. In the Layer Properties Manager, expand the Xref node in the Filter Tree area of the dialog box (the left side) to display all of the Xrefs associated with the drawing.
  2. At the top of the dialog box, click New Group Filter, then enter a name for this filter. In this exercise, I'll call it "MEP Layers".
  1. In the layer list, select the Xref layers you want to add to the Group filter. This can be done by selecting the specific Xref in the Filter Tree area, then selecting the layers in the list, or just by using Windows-compliant methods to make the layer selection in the list.
  1. After selecting the layers, click and drag the selected layers from the list directly onto the Group node in the filter tree.
  2. After building the Group filter from the layer selections, click on the Group name to display the layers in the list.
  3. Now click the Invert Filter check box to display layers that are not in the Group!

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