Tool palettes are quite the hit among my customers across in the US. Once they understand how they can be implemented I'm getting high fives and big smiles. This month will be an overview of the whole palette thing.
For those of you considering the upgrade to A2005 [it was announced last month and should be at a reseller near you soon], you will find some additional enhancements made to this timely feature. Suffice it to say that if you have yet to upgrade to A2004, it would be worth your while to go ahead and get in the A2005 boat.
If you would like to contact me directly, you can do that also.
Blessings to one and all,
DesignCenter's great, but when it comes to placing blocks, it's about 50% bigger than required for the task at hand. Thus the birth of tool palettes. Create a tool palette containing your most frequently used blocks and/or hatch patterns and you have minimized the need for DesignCenter (not eliminated, just reduced the access frequency).
Tip: If you have the most recent version/patch for A2004, you will see an option string prior to specifying the insertion point for the block on the drawing. Some of you may not see an option string. In either case, simply type R and enter the desired rotation angle.
Please note, however, if that's not the orientation you expected, type R again …BUT… enter the new rotation value based on the original orientation of the block, not based on your first attempt.
Note to you "cutting edge" folks: With A2005 you can drag the block directly onto the palette from the drawing. VERY nice.
Tip: If you have created a drawing with your favorite blocks such as electrical components, HVAC/MEP blocks, doors for your architectural plans, etc., simply right-click on the block icon in either the tree view or list view and select Create Tool Palette from the context menu. AutoCAD will go about the business of creating a tool palette with the drawing name containing all the block definitions from that drawing.
Note: If you "relocate" the source file of a tool palette block, you may get what is cautiously referred to as "unexpected results". Simply re-establish the source location for the block using the Tool Properties dialog box and you should be fine.
Note: For heavy 3D users, if you are using the hardware accelerator for your graphics [Options/System/Properties button/Hardware radio button at the bottom right], transparency is disabled.
Another note to you "cutting edge" folks: With A2005 you can drag a hatch directly onto the palette from the drawing.
My apologies to those of you without A2004 who did not find an AutoCAD tip in my column that you could use right away. I promise to have a broader range of tips next time.
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Note from Michael: I want to thank all of my customers for continuing to retain my training services (some for over two decades!) and let you know your donations do not go to me personally, but to the ongoing maintenance of the CADTutor ship as a whole and to support the yeoman efforts of my friend and CADTutor captain, David Watson, to whom I am grateful for this monthly opportunity to share a few AutoCAD insights.