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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 - Second Fiddles

We all have our ‘lead guitars’ in AutoCAD; for some it's Blocks, for some it's Polylines, and on it goes. In this offering of Michael's Corner, it looks like most of these tricks would play second fiddle to the big dogs, but they are equally powerful and have a sound of their own. And for the most part, these all came up in the training I did up in Port Huron, MI for a group of users from Semco Energy. We had a great three day session, and I'm heading up there soon for our Level II session. So hats off to the team in the cold northern climes of east Michigan!

Here's what you'll find when you scroll down…

…How to overlap viewports and fade the viewport layers with a Transparency value
…How to apply a Background Mask to Dimension text. You'll be surprised.
…How you can toggle Ortho On and Off… without toggling Ortho On and Off
…How AutoCAD 2015 will now snap to a user-specific Polar increment… for all values of that increment!

I hope you're all staying healthy… and have even checked off a few things on your To-Do list for 2015.

Keep up the good work!

This month's articles

Transparent Viewport Layers
Mask Dimension Text
Ortho Shift
User Increment Angles for Polar (new in 2015)

From the Vault

Originally published April 2008


Delete Layer Filters

Although many of the AutoCAD tips and insights in my articles come from things I think of while presenting my training courses across the country, I also subscribe to Cadalyst Magazine's Tips & Tools Weekly.

In one of those weekly eNewsletters several months ago, Faith Merriman (Mullins & Sherman Architects, Sanford, NC) sent in a tip that I really have to pass along to you all. In the product formerly-known-as Architectural Desktop, there was a buried command that also goes back to at least AutoCAD 2006.

The FILTERS (plural) command opens a dialog box that enables you to Keep or Remove all those snarky layer filters you may encounter when receiving a drawing from another vertical market version.

Got Unreconciled Layers?

As for that Unreconciled Layers notice you may have encountered, AutoCAD's Help database has the following review of the LAYEREVAL variable. For a broader review of related Unreconciled Layer topics including Concept and Procedure, go into Help and Search on this variable.

LAYEREVAL: Controls when the Unreconciled New Layer filter list in the Layer Properties Manager is evaluated for new layers. The setting is stored in an integer using one of the following values:

0 - Off
1 - Detects when new Xref layers have been added in the drawing
2 - Detects when new layers have been added in the drawing and Xrefs

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