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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.

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 January 2009

Editing Existing Attribute Definitions

Block EditorLet's say you're updating your existing attributed title block or sheet borders and you need to change the prompt or maybe the position of an attribute. Here's what I just passed along to one of my customers and thought you may be interested.

The Block Editor was introduced in A2006 when Dynamic blocks arrived and I have found it to be a more user-friendly method of editing blocks - dynamic or otherwise - than the Refedit command.

Instructions to Modify an Attribute Definition

  1. Single click on the attributed block to be modified, then right-click and click Block Editor.

Edit Attribute DefinitionTip: If you have not opened the Block Editor previously, you may get a dialog box regarding learning more about Dynamic Block and the Editor. You can click No at this time. You can also check the box in the bottom left corner to suppress that dialog box in the future.

  1. At this point you have free reign on the block geometry. To modify an attribute definition (the point of this exercise), double-click the desired definition to open the Edit Attribute Definition dialog box and make your edits. In this example, I included a date format in the Prompt to remind the designers of the company standard.

Insert Field…Gold star tip: Right-click in the Default text box of the Edit Attribute Definition dialog box, then click Insert Field. Field text can be used to automatically place the Drawing name, Create Date, Plot Date, etc. in the specified location. See the Main article in Michael's Corner, July 2005 for the use of Fields.

  1. Enhanced Attribute EditorAfter making the necessary modifications to the block, click Close Block Editor (located in the middle of the Editor toolbar) and save your changes. Now when you edit the attributes of the block, you will see your changes.

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