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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 November 2006

The DISTANCE Command

There is more to the Distance command than meets the eye. Literally. If you have adjusted the height of your Command line bar to be less than three lines high, you aren't getting the full report when you use the command.

Command Line

If you expand the height of the Command line bar (or hit F2 for the AutoCAD Text Window), you will see there is quite a bit of information that is returned from the two points you pick.

3D Drawing Distance

For reference purposes, I set the UCS onto the front corner of this part, then used the Distance command with Endpoint snap and picked point A, then point B. The X-Axis is red, the Y-Axis is green and the Z-Axis is blue.

Here's what you get from those two picks

Distance = 0.233 Physical distance between point A & B.
Angle in XY Plane = 90 Emphasis on "in". Looking down on the XY plane, the angle of an imaginary line from point A to point B; calculated counterclockwise from 0 (the X-Axis).
Angle from XY Plane = 45 Emphasis on "from". Put a pencil on the table (the XY plane), tilt one end up and the pencil is identifying and angle "from" the XY plane.
Delta X = 0.000 Not a sorority; "Delta" means "change in". Since every point in AutoCAD has an X,Y,Z coordinate, a Delta X value means there was no change in the value of the X-coordinate for points A and B.
Delta Y = 0.165 The difference between the Y-coordinates for those two points was 0.165.
Delta Z = 0.165 Ditto for the Z-coordinates.

2D Drawing Distance

For 2D drawings, use the Distance command one time to find the size of a room by picking points between the diagonal corners…

Distance = 16′5-7/16″, Angle in XY Plane = 50.34,
Angle from XY Plane = 0.00, Delta X = 10'6″,
Delta Y = 12′8″, Delta Z = 0′0″

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