This collection is, once again, driven partly by questions from the many emails I receive, as well as a follow-up to last month's article on the UCS. The Basics section reaches back to a very fundamental but important element in creating and editing objects.
And in response to those managers who need to know why you should upgrade to A2005, let me refer to a customer response after I presented my A2005 Update course: "We won't be saving just minutes, we'll be going home before dark!".
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Blessings to one and all,
In the June 2003 Michael's Corner article, I covered the concept of named views in the Basics section. As a follow-up to the UCS article from last month, I wanted to show you where UCS can be used to your advantage with named views.
Prior to saving the named view, however, you need save the current position of the UCS by name. Oddly, this process is still driven from the command line only.
Current ucs name: *NO NAME*
Enter an option [New/Move/orthoGraphic/Prev/Restore/Save/Del/Apply/?/World] <World>: S
Enter name to save current UCS or [?]: Reception
You may want to consider saving the overall project view by name, as well. This may include the UCS set to the default of <World>.
It doesn't seem like much, but one of the BIG changes made to the properties of a block on the Tool Palette is the ability to set the Prompt for Rotation.
In A2004, the only way of rotating a block prior to placement was by entering R after getting it from the palette; what a pain that was. In A2005, set the Prompt for Rotation to Yes in the Tool Properties dialog for any block. Each time that block is accessed from the tool palette, after picking the insertion point, you can either enter a rotation value, or drag it into position, just like a normal Insert routine!
Have ever deleted an associative hatch and the boundary disappeared as well? Here's the problem. The PICKSTYLE variable was set to <2> or <3>.
In the Options dialog box, on the Selection tab there are a collection of Selection Modes as shown in the first figure. If the "Associative Hatch" box is checked, when you use the Erase command, the boundary as well as the hatch will be erased.
Using the Express, you will find the following information regarding this variable:
Controls the use of group selection and associative hatch selection.
0 No group selection or associative hatch selection
1 Group selection
2 Associative hatch selection
3 Group selection and associative hatch selection
When adding a Hatch, remember to set the Composition setting to Associative. This will enable the hatch to adjust when the boundary is modified.
If you've worked with AutoCAD for more than a day, you have probably encountered the need to draw a diagonal line to a specified distance. Polar tracking is useful if you need to draw or edit in one of the default angles such as 30 or 45, but what if you need to draw a line (or Move or Copy) at a unique angle such as the 12 degree angle shown in the top figure?
In the next illustration, the dot indicates where the Line command was started. At the prompt to specify the "Next point", the following value was entered: @8.5<-12 …which breaks down as follows:
@ - You're telling AutoCAD to go from where you're at, essentially.
Distance - Enter the length of the line segment.
< - The less-than sign is the closest thing on the keyboard to that angle sign you used in 7th grade Geometry class. It precedes the angle value entry.
Angle - This is based upon the Cartesian coordinate system of 0 degrees at horizontal and positive being CCW.
When entering the angle value, you can enter a negative value for a clockwise angle definition.
Tip 1: If the length of the line needs to be edited, use the Lengthen command rather than drawing the line again at the proper length.
Tip 2: If you find it difficult to remember which symbol should be used as the polar cordinate seperator (< less than), consider that normal (cartesian) coordinates use the comma. For a polar coordinate, think Shift+comma.
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