CADTutor: The best free help for AutoCAD on the web

Michael BeallMichael’s Corner #21
September 2004

Productivity Solutions

by Michael Beall

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!".

RSS FeedAs always, if you would like to be notified when Michael's Corner is posted each month, just subscribe to our mailing list and we'll be sure to let you know when this critter comes online. There's well over 2,000 of you now and it is an honor to be looked upon as a resource for your AutoCAD well-being. You can also keep in touch using the RSS feed. If you would like to contact me directly, you can do that also.

Blessings to one and all,
Michael

Saved Views & the UCS

View SettingsIn 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.

Instructions to save a UCS position by name
  1. Orient and position the UCS as necessary. This may be an orientation you will need during the course of the project that is other than the default World UCS position.
  2. Launch the UCS command and use the Save option to save the current UCS position with a name:

Command: UCS
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

View Toolbar
Instructions to save a Named view with the named UCS position
  1. Launch the View command. (The default alias is V .)
  2. Click the New button to open the New View dialog box and enter a name for the current view.
  3. Select the UCS Name from the list at the bottom of the dialog.
  4. Click OK to return to the View dialog box and see your view listed along with the name of the associated named UCS.
View Dialogue Box
  1. Click OK to close the View dialog box and return to the drawing.
  2. You can use ZoomPrevious to return to the previous display. Use the default of <World> in the UCS command to put the UCS "back where you found it".

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>.

Top of page

Power Tool

Prompt for Rotation

Tool Properties Dialogue BoxIt 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!

Top of page

The Odd Spot

Deleted Hatch Boundary?

Selection ModesHave 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 ToolsToolsSystem Variable Editor, you will find the following information regarding this variable:

Controls the use of group selection and associative hatch selection.

Composition0 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.

Top of page

The Basics

Polar Coordinate Entry

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.

Top of page

Share this page:

Share at Facebook Submit a link at Reddit Share at StumbleUpon Share at del.icio.us Share at Technorati

Local Navigation

Sponsored Links

Accessibility statement

Valid XHTML 1.0!Valid CSS!Creative Commons Licence