Last month I covered some fun editing features and I found a couple other ones that I wanted to pass along. As I was reviewing the last 22 months of tips (yes, I am coming up on the two year anniversary of writing this column for this terrific website), I discovered that I needed to pass along the updated features of Palettes in AutoCAD 2005. Now that may take a couple issues. In the meantime, carry on and pass along your questions and insights anytime.
On a personal note, it looks like I will be traveling to the continent of Africa to present training in Egypt and Zimbabwe early next year. There are a number of you in the UK/EU who have visited my website, too, so if you are interested in hosting or attending my AutoCAD Toolbelt Workshop, please contact me soon as planning this trip will take a bit of time.
If you would like to contact me directly, you can do that also.
Blessings to one and all,
The Object Snap setting of Parallel enables you to rotate selected objects to be parallel with another object. In the following exercise, the Rotate command is implemented with the Reference option and you take the skewed objects and make them parallel to a specified vector.
Tip: You can acquire more than one vector as the parallel object.
In my March 2004 column I did a review of the Tool Palettes in… AutoCAD 2004. There were a number of changes to tool palettes in AutoCAD 2005 which I wanted to bring to your attention. Especially since I frequently teach from this column when students have questions and donít want to take copious notes.
You can drag blocks from the drawing directly onto a tool palette. [In A2004 you could only get blocks onto the palette from the Block node in DesignCenter.]
The Tool Properties dialog box for a block has two new options since A2004:
Auxiliary Scale: Choose to scale the block by the Dimscale or the Plotscale. This would be a good idea if you had created a "unit block", one which is scaled based upon the current drawing's Dimension or Plot Scale.
Prompt for Rotation: Set this to Yes if you would like to be prompted for a rotation after specifying a basepoint. [In A2004 you needed to type R prior to specifying a basepoint to place the block].
You can drag a hatch from the drawing directly onto the a tool palette. The icon displayed on the tool palette also reflects the hatch parameters, such as angle of the hatch and if it is double-hatched.
Tool Type: You can edit the hatch tool type and change the hatch from a standard hatch pattern to a Gradient pattern type.
Tip: If you drag an object from the drawing to the palette, the command used to create that object is added to the palette.
Tip: To add an image to your User-Defined tool, right-click in the Image area and select Specify Image. File types include BMP, JPG, PNG, TIF or GIF.
Since Autodesk rarely takes anything out of their flagship product, I wanted to remind you of a few features you may find "missing". One of those buried treasures is the Vmax option of Zoom. It zooms out as far as possible without incurring a Regen. That could be real helpful for some of those monster drawings you have. Another entire string of options can be found under the New option of the UCS command. Youíll find:
Curiously, if you know which option you would like to use, you need not go through the New option, just enter the one you want to use. For example, if you want to select an OBject to align the UCS, simply launch the UCS command, then enter OB at the first string of options… or enter E for Entity since they didn't take that one out either!
When creating a closed polyline, it is best to enter C for the Close option rather than using Endpoint snap and picking the final point for the polyline closure. Hereís a few reasons why:
Tip: To close an open polyline after the Pline command has been completed, use Pedit, select the open polyline, then enter C for the Close option.
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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.