As the Christmas season approaches, I want to let you all know I'm very thankful for each one of you and your interest in the tidbits I post in this monthly column. I'm honored to have been a part of the CADTutor team now for 6 years. I have a couple ideas for the New Year, and will keep you in the loop as those ideas develop.
This month, with the exception of the lead article on customizing a flyout button on a toolbar, all of the topics are AutoCAD 2009-specific. There was no real reason for that, but sooner or later, you're all probably going to be able to benefit from these insights.
Wishing you all a safe and blessed Christmas season and a fabulous New Year!!
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Blessings to one and all,
One of my customers in Nashville asked about creating a flyout button, and although I am still a proponent of customizing a tool palette, I thought I'd take a look-see. I was pleasantly surprised that the process is actually quite simple.
The following instructions take you through the process, but you may want to also review my coverage from January 2006 on making custom toolbars using the Customize User Interface.
Note: You will also see a duplicate of the Toolbar at the same indent position as your other custom toolbars.
The Quick Access toolbar in A2009 (the tray of icons beside the big red A) seems redundant if you use the AutoCAD Classic workspace, but for those of you/us trying to self-indoctrinate ourselves into using the Ribbon, it's pretty cool and quite useful from a productivity standpoint.
I can't divulge what the "future" holds, but there are changes afoot that are not far away regarding the aforementioned interface, but in this exercise, I wanted to pass along the very simple process of adding commands to that toolbar. Specifically, the Save As command and any others you may want to add while the door's open.
After you have added those commands to that Quick Access Toolbar, what do you do to modify their position? It's actually not very intuitive, and could be more complicated… but I'm not sure how.
Since the Quick Access Toolbar is Workspace-dependent, you will need to know what Workspace is current.
I wrote about the variable LAYLOCKFADECTL in July 2007 which is the variable that adjusts the fade value for locked layers. Very clunky to say the least. In A2009, however, we now have a slider for that adjustment.
…but then, by the time you have done that, you could have typed LAYLOCKFADECTL and entered an integer between -90 and 90. Which then begs the question, "what happens if the number is less than 0?"
Per AutoCAD's Help: When the value is negative, locked layers are not faded, but the value is saved for switching to that value by changing the sign.
Reason enough to file this under "Odd Spot".
While we're talking about A2009 - and particularly the big red "A" (officially named the "Menu Browser") there is an inconspicuous feature that is available when you view Recent Documents that you may not have been aware of.
First, click Menu Browser (the big red A).
Next, click Recent Documents (down at the bottom) to display a list of the last 10 drawings you opened.
Now, click the (unnamed) button in the upper right corner of that drawing list to see the file display options - Icons, Small Images, Medium Images, or Large Images.
To give credit where credit is due, I think I found this tidbit of information in something Heidi Hewett had on her blog. Heidi is an employee of Autodesk and is the person responsible for the AutoCAD Preview Guides. If you have not visited Heidi's blog site, check it out, especially if you didn't have the opportunity to visit Autodesk University this year. http://heidihewett.blogs.com
Why was there no room at the inn? - Bethlehem is only about 5 miles from Jerusalem, and all the men of Israel had come to attend the festival of Tabernacles as required by the law of Moses. Every room for miles around Jerusalem would have been already taken by pilgrims, so all that Mary and Joseph could find for shelter was a stable. (You'll find the complete Christmas story in Luke 2:1-14.)
I would like to thank Michael on behalf of all his readers for yet another excellent year (his 6th) of articles. How he manages to keep this up month after month I'll never know but we are very glad that he does.
Thank you Michael and here's to a successful 7th year in 2009.
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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.