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AutoCAD Productivity

Possible Solutions to the Disappearing Drawing

by Michael Beall

From: AutoCAD Productivity Articles #142
Originally published: October 2015

Purge dialog boxMany of my customers encounter a situation where the drawing disappears when they change the view or use Zoom Extents. Here are a few of my suggestions that I'm beginning to include in all my training sessions:

  1. Purge and Audit a drawing you inherit or haven't worked on in a while. In the Purge command, if the two boxes under Unnamed Objects are ‘live’, check them both.

  2. Save the current layer condition as a layer state, then turn On and Thaw all layers. Objects that are on layers that are Off are still ‘seen’ when you Zoom Extents. Saving the layer state will give a fallback position, just in case.

  3. Set the QTEXT (Quick Text) feature to ON, then Regen the drawing. Turning on Qtext will replace all text objects with boxes and may make the dots around the perimeter of the screen easier to see. This feature was used extensively in the early days of pen plotters when it just took too long — albeit very entertaining over a lunch hour — to plot drawings with a lot of text. Instead of pppllloootttiiinnnggg out each letter, it just drew a quick 4-sided bounding box around the text. (Set QTEXT back to OFF when you're finished.)

  4. Set PDMODE to 35 to display Points in the Circle-X format. All my furniture/facilities customers have drawings with Point objects on the insertion points and other vital locations on their furniture. Setting the PDMODE — Point Display Mode — to 35 makes any floating Point object visible. (Set PDMODE back to 0 to go back to the default condition of dots.)

After all's said and done, hopefully you will see the misbehaving object that's keeping your drawing from displaying as you expected. At that point, you can either move those objects back among their peers… or simply delete 'em. That's your call, but at least now you know what that problem was!

See all the articles published in October 2015

Michael's Corner

Between 2003 and 2016, Michael Beall (and one or two guests) wrote almost 600 articles for CADTutor. The focus of these articles is AutoCAD productivity, and although some of them are now more than a few years old, most remain relevant to current versions of AutoCAD. The article above is just one example. Check out Michael's Corner for a full listing.

Tip of the Day

Layer States and Viewports

Did you know that Layer States can be saved and used to control visibility of layers per viewport? If you create and save a couple of layer states within an active viewport, you can then toggle them back and forth without affecting any other viewports, or model space. The changes only occur within the active viewport.

Try this:

Create a bunch of random objects in model space on different layers. Now switch to paper space and create two viewports so that you can see all the model space objects in both viewports. Now activate one of the viewports and open the Express Tools LMAN layer states manager. Create and save a new layer state. Now close LMAN and freeze some of the objects within the viewport. Open LMAN back up and create another new layer state. All of this must be done within the active viewport. You can now toggle back and forth between the two layer states within the active viewport without affecting model space or any other viewports. You can also switch to another viewport and use the same layer states on it, or create new ones.

Today's tip is by Cad64

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