When AutoCAD 2005 was nearing completion, Autodesk approached me to write a book for them on transitioning from AutoCAD 2000 to AutoCAD 2005. Released as Autodesk Official Training Courseware (AOTC), it included coverage on the new features of tool palettes, gradient hatches… and sheet sets. This month I thought I would at least introduce you to what that Sheet Set Manager window is all about. When you get your new software this month (as many of you are moving from A2004 up to A2007 or A2008), I also wanted to introduce you to those dynamic blocks on the sample tool palettes, specifically the one that has a built-in bubble with a number and you can edit the length of the line after you add a title and a plot scale.
In the Odd Spot, I wanted to follow-up on my coverage in August 2006 on adding a command to the tool palette by showing you how to add a blank button to a palette. Once you have one of those, you can copy it to other palettes and customize the command string of that blank button to do anything you want. Quite Quul (I just made that word up; you can use it). And finally, just a final word on adjusting the dimensions in a drawing by changing the value for the Overall Scale Factor.
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Blessings to one and all,
What I'm going to do here is give you the key features of Sheet Sets. The things that I first wrapped my head around as I was learning about this new concept that was to be introduced in A2005.
The Sheet Set Manager in its simplest form is a window in which you can organize the drawings for a project. That's about it; plain and simple. Yes, it has useful features like letting you choose the title block/border sheet you want to use for each size page, and providing a dialog box in which you can number and name your "sheets", along with many other features, but at the end of the day, it's a giant organizational tool for existing drawings.
When you use the sample sheet set, several subsets are provided such as "General", "Architectural", "Structural", etc. Just like you would organize a set of working drawings for a project, the Sheet Set Manager provides a forum in which you can organize your DWG files.
Hopefully that helps you understand the general idea of sheet sets. More could be written, of course, but the intent here was mostly for exposure. The AutoCAD Help feature would be a great place to turn as an additional resource.
Sometimes I totally forget to show my customers this easy way in which they can add labels to viewports. The dynamic block for Drawing Title has been on the Annotation tab of the Tool Palette window since about A2006.
When you're on a layout tab, click the Drawing Title – Imperial tool, then move into the drawing and place it as necessary. The insertion point of the block is configured so you can snap to the lower left corner of the viewport frame for the drawing title to be placed just right.
Double-click the block and make the desired changes to the Scale, the Name, and the Number. On the end of the horizontal line there is a Stretch parameter assigned so you can adjust the length of the line and retain the integrity of the attributes.
Last summer [August 2006] I was quite delighted to let you know about the improved method by which to get a command button onto a palette. While training in Birmingham (Alabama, USA) this week, I reminded my students that they can actually get a blank button onto the palette with one extra step. Here are all the steps…
^C^COSMODE;8 This routine cancels the current command, launches the Osmode variable (the semi-colon essentially presses Enter), then sets the binary value for Osnap to 8 which is Node snap only. To find the Osmode value for the osnap settings you like, set up the osnaps, then run Osmode and see what the value is. That’s what you would use in the command string on your button.
^C^CTFRAMES For those of you who have inserted raster images for your logos, in order to move them you have to have the frame of the raster image on. After moving the image, you probably would prefer to have the image frame off. The Tframes command is one of the Express tools that "toggles frames" for raster images as well as wipeout objects.
Remember, if you want to add a raster image for your button, in the Tool Properties window, right-click on the blank area under Image, then click Specify Image.
Sometimes you just need to bump the size of all the dimension elements up a little bit. Maybe your view is a little smaller than you had originally intended or you just need to punch up the dimensions for a particular plot. The solution is to simply edit the factor for the Overall Scale Factor. Veterans refer to it as the Dimscale… which is also the name of the dimension variable.
If you will need to have different sizes of dimensions for various drawing applications, you may want to consider having two (or more) different dimension styles.
Aflac - Those of you in the US may find it interesting to know that, apart from sounding like a duck, AFLAC stands for American Family Life Assurance Company
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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.