I have an idea. Those of you that would like me to send you an email each month as soon as my monthly column is posted, send your email address to me using the contact form and as soon as it goes up, I'll send you a link to Michael's Corner. Why? Because you all get busy and don't necessarily remember to run out and check when my column is posted. But one of the few things you DO check is your email. Just a thought to help you get faster quicker.
This year, if you have AutoCAD 2006, definitely resolve to learn more about the Customize User Interface, the CUI. Last month you were introduced to it when I showed you how to customize your F1 key. This month I show you how to make a new custom toolbar as well as how to make a custom button that you can also add to a tool palette. Very useful stuff.
This month is rounded out with a quick comment about the Find utility along with the first installment of what may turn into a series on layout viewports. The idea was prompted by a guy that admitted to ignoring layouts as long as possible, but now found himself in a position where he really had to face the music. Another situation may be those of you in school or just starting out in AutoCAD and trying to learn it yourself. I hope this month's Basics section will get you on your way to a clearer understanding of layout viewports. Ah, yes… and a Happy New Year to each and every one of you and yours!!
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Blessings to one and all,
The AutoCAD 2006 CUI (Customize User Interface) replaces the A2000 - A2005 Customize dialog box and is very… shall we say… robust. You can easily find hundreds of CUI-specific pages on the Internet, but I'm just going to take you through the steps to make a custom toolbar and put one command on it. This month's Power Tool will take it one step further.
Tip: You can click anywhere in the Command List, then type the first few letters of the command you're looking for.
Tip: While you're in the CUI, in the listing of the commands on your custom toolbar, right-click on one of the commands for a shortcut menu enabling you to add a separator between the commands.
The Customize dialog box is now exclusively palette-specific; there's no tab for "Commands" as there was in A2005. So… here's a quick look at how to get a blank button onto a palette in AutoCAD 2006. Once you have one, you can copy it all you want after that.
To add a macro to your blank button, right-click on the blank button on the tool palette, then choose Properties.
^C^COSMODE;8193 - A macro to set the OSNAP to Endpoint and Parallel.
^C^CUCS; OB ;\PLAN;; - A macro to set the UCS to the selected line.
^C^CLAYOUT;T;"Drive:/Path/Filename.dwt" - Select a Layout in the dialog box.
Some of your drawings are really complex. Objects and data everywhere. One of my customers in California has hundreds of numbered voice/data locations on their drawings. When they need to do some reconfiguring of the space plan, this comes in real handy when they need to find one of those locations.
Tip: If the text string is an attribute and the layer on which the text was created is Off or Frozen, you are not advised of the layer status. For all other text objects, you receive a notice regarding the visibility or locked status of the object's layer.
[Note: I'm just going to talk about viewports here, so to learn more about layouts, see The Basics, August 2005.] When you create a viewport in a layout, you are doing nothing more than cutting a hole in the "paper" through which you see the objects on the Model tab. In this procedure, you will need a drawing with some objects in Model Space so you can see them through the viewport you will create.
After creating the viewport you are still in the layout and anything you do will be done on the layout tab. You could add a rectangle as the sheet border, then add text. At this point you can also use the Move or Copy commands to move or copy the viewport to another location.
And that, my friends, is the short version of viewports in a layout. I'll share some more with you next month, but here are some parting suggestions.
From here to NYC When using your map software to find the distance from anywhere to NYC, the destination point is measured to the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle at the SW corner of Central Park.
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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.