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Michael’s Corner

Michael BeallMichael's Corner is a monthly publication written by Michael E. Beall, Autodesk Authorized Author and peripatetic AutoCAD trainer. Michael travels all over the USA, bringing his fantastic experience and great understanding of AutoCAD to his clients. Michael's Corner brings together many of the tips, tricks and methods developed during these training sessions for the benefit of all users.

Michael's Corner provides something for every AutoCAD user. Every month, a number of articles cover a wide range of topics, suitable for users at all levels, including "The Basics" for those just starting out. Essentially, the aim of Michael's Corner is to help all AutoCAD users work smarter and faster.

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This month…

October - One-derful!!!

It's a God-thing.

I had no idea that 14 years ago I would be given the opportunity to make an impact on the professional lives of so many. Only God knew what was ahead, and hopefully, the contributions I have made through Michael's Corner have equipped many of you to be more productive and a bit more savvy using AutoCAD. And apart from all the AutoCAD bashing that is going on, I'm sure it has a long life ahead.

So, in an effort to keep the AutoCAD fires burning, here's what I have for my final installment…

…A reminder on how to customize your hot keys
…Three Power Tools — one for Zoom, one for editing, and one for Layers
…Two Odd Spots — one for Layers and one for Hatching
…Buried text treasure
…And how to Search 14 years of the Archives

As for what's ahead for me, I will continue to present a variety of AutoCAD sessions — Fundamentals, Intermediate, Customizing, Updates, and 2D & 3D. I will also keep training CAP Designer, 20-20 Worksheet, Visual Impression (those three from 20-20 Technologies, Inc.), and some Revit Fundamentals. Next year I'm looking forward to being very involved in training CET (from Configura, Inc.) when Herman Miller joins the growing number of manufacturers embracing this software that is being touted as the ‘Future of Space Planning’. Personally, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Donna, my lovely bride of 30 years. When this posts, we'll probably be within days of going on our 30th Anniversary vacation to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson; Ee-Hah! We had such a good time when we went for our 20th, we figured we'd do it again!

Ah, and I'm hoping to have The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition out before snow flies.

And with that, Mike drop! …so to speak.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

This month's articles

Change F1 to ESC
Smoother Zoom
Stretch with Extension
Lock Layers with a Crossing Window
Layer Columns & Hatch Background Color
Text Frame on Mtext

From the Vault

Originally published December 2003

Grip Copy and Rotate

Grips have been around for many versions now and they have a feature that is relatively little known which enables you to make copies in user-defined intervals. When using this feature in a polar application, it's like an infrequent Array. As you see in the figure, one of the grips of the T-shape polyline was selected, then I pressed <Enter> a couple times to proceed to the Rotate mode, set the Copy option, then set the Base point to be the center of the circle, as seen in this command sequence:

** ROTATE **
Specify rotation angle or [Base Point/Copy/Undo/Reference/eXit]: C
** ROTATE (multiple) **
Specify rotation angle or [Base point/Copy/Undo/Reference/eXit]: B
Specify base point: cen of

After establishing those conditions, I still have a prompt for the "rotation angle" at which point I entered 30 to place the first copy 30 degrees in a counterclockwise rotation from the original object.

Cool part: At this point, hold down the Shift key and as you rotate your cursor, copies of the gripped object can now be placed at 30 degree increments!

This can also be implemented in any non-polar pattern after using grips to copy an object. After placing the first copy (all modes have the Copy option), hold down the Shift key to repeat that distance for the next copy.

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