Global updates, sweeping edits… and an idea on how to find that "lost drawing" on the Model tab. Once again, the features I cover this month are a result of questions and applications I encounter at customer sites.
Although editing an xref in-place is what many folks use Refedit for, it is also the "go-to" command if you need to globally modify block geometry. And rather than finding the distance between objects for an array, just pick the points graphically. Nobody said you had to have a number for the X and Y offset.
And finally, I continue to get questions and emails about drawings "disappearing" on the Model tab, but it looks just fine in the viewport on the Layout. While I was onsite in Colorado this week, I came up with something that I hadn't used in years that may solve that problem with the "mystery dots" on the edges of the drawing. I'd be interested in hearing how any of you solve that problem, too.
If you would like to contact me directly, you can do that also.
Blessings to one and all,
The fact that the Refedit command can also edit blocks is frequently overlooked. More commonly known as the method by which to edit an xref while in the host, the Refedit command is a powerful way to make one-off edits to all references of a block in a drawing. You can access the command from the Refedit toolbar, the Modify menu, or the shortcut menu of a selected block.
For example, you have created a tool palette containing your favorite architectural blocks. One of the door blocks, however, needs to be graphically emphasized. Using Refedit, you select one of these doors and make the necessary edits. When you complete the Refedit command by saving the changes back to the reference, all instances of that block are updated automatically.
[See this month's challenge if you know what variable governs that percentage.]
Your drawing updates all instance of the edited block with the changes. The original block from the tool palette is not effected by this procedure, just the references in the current drawing.
When creating a rectangular array, you can graphically specify the X and Y values using an existing pattern.
Note: When picking the two points for the offset, the points specified can be anywhere in the drawing.
Specify the number Columns and Data Rows you would like, then click OK to close the dialog and return to the drawing where the upper left corner of the table is attached to your cursor.
Have you ever clicked on the Model Space tab, then did a Zoom Extents… and the drawing is gone? You probably have "floaters" or those mystery dots that hang out on the periphery of the screen; one on the top or left and the other(s) at the bottom or on the right. One of them is actually your drawing, the rest of them have been flung to the far reaches of who knows where.
The basepoint of a block was not specified. When creating a block in that drawing, the basepoint may have been left at 0,0, rather than specified on a more useful location. Most of the mystery dots I encounter turn out to be blocks with or without attributes.
No-text text. Another guilty party is the piece of text that somehow contains only a space.
Right-click when moving or copying an object. It may occasionally happen that when moving or copying an object, instead of left-clicking to pick the second point of displacement, a user may inadvertently right-click. This causes the default <use first point as displacement> option to be used, shooting your object off in an upper-right direction. Essentially, this option takes the coordinates of the base point and doubles them. So, if your basepoint is at 1000,1000, the moved object will end up near 2000,2000 and possibly way off screen.
When searching for objects that can't be seen, you usually zoom out a bit, then start windowing areas in an effort to display the grips of the objects on the edge. Two things that will help in that effort:
Once you have found those objects on the edge, use the Move command and move them a closer to the other dots. At least this way, when you do a Zoom Extents, you'll be able to see the objects.
Where Ortho is great for 0, 90, 180, and 270 drawing and editing, the Polar setting provides a method for you to draw at an angle. Standard angles including 45 and 30 can be selected, or you can create your own.
Heads-up: Unlike Ortho, the Polar tracking feature doesn't lock your cursor into an angle until you move around to the next incremental angle value. If you 'drift' from the displayed angle by a couple degrees, you lose the polar angle tracking and the tool tip and dotted vector will be released.
Note: If you toggle on Ortho (F8), Polar will automatically turn off since they cannot both be on at the same 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.