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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…

February - There He Is, Out Standing in His Field

Out standing in his fieldAutodesk University speakerIt's old news to many of you by now, but I'm still pretty excited about receiving the Autodesk University Speaker Award for Hands-On Labs. My seminar, ‘Click My Ride: Customizing Autodesk® AutoCAD® for How You Work’, received the highest feedback rating among all the labs at AU. With over 700 seminars and labs, the competition was pretty substantial, so this award—for me—is the top of the heap. So however you may want to look at it, I guess I'm out standing in my field.

To continue with that ‘Click My Ride’ theme, in this (now bi-monthly) column, I want to take a look at a couple automation tools, as well as some of the things that we go back and forth with in our daily AutoCAD activities.

…Running a script from the Quick Access Toolbar
…Useful routines for the ACADDOC.LSP file
…Layer column arrangement options
…The fundamental power of Layer Previous

Hope this finds you all well on your way to a productive and prosperous 2014, and keep up the good work!

This month's articles

Running a Script with One Click
ACADDOC.LSP
Layer Column Positioning
Layer Previous

From the Vault

Originally published March 2006

The Importance of the Palette Source File

Have you ever been working along and wrote down the steps to do something and thought, "Ooh, I have to make sure I pass that along"? I was training the wonderful design team from the Madison & Milwaukee offices of Interior Investments when I put something on the board that is a great tip when using the tool palette.

Scenario: Someone sends you a drawing and in that drawing you see a really cool block that you would like to add to you tool palette.

Insert

Problem: If you drag and drop that block directly onto your palette from the drawing (A2005 & A2006 only; A2004 users have to do it from DesignCenter), you have established that drawing as the "source drawing" for the block. If the drawing is renamed, archived, or deleted, the block on your palette is… "toast" (I put that in for my friend in Sao Paulo).

Suggestion: Don't drag anything onto your palette from a drawing that you can't keep track of. Put it in a drawing you have dedicated as a source drawing for all your blocks. Let's say you have one called Block_Source.dwg…

Instructions to Efficiently Add Blocks to a Palette
  1. Open the drawing with the cool block.
  2. Open your source file, Block_Source.dwg.
  3. Tile your drawings vertically using WindowTile Vertically.
Drag and drop
  1. Click on the cool block, then click and drag it into the source file.
  2. Save the source drawing.
  3. Drag cool block to the palette.  Job done.

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