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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 March 2010

Custom Button #14: Layout Tabs with Titleblocks

Insert Layout(s)Briefly, I am a proponent of having no additional layout tabs in your template. Many of my customers have a template with four or more layout tabs with their titleblocks which, in theory, sounds very wonderful. In reality, they now have layout tabs in scores of drawings they won't be using and simply clutter up the collection layouts. [And no, I don't believe you when you say you will delete the unused ones because I know you are waaaay too busy to bother with that.]

Solution: Create a button on the palette to open the Insert Layout dialog box so you can then select just the layouts you need when you need them.

Prerequisite: A drawing (.DWG or .DWT) with the layouts configured for the desired sheet sizes with their associated titleblocks (similar to this figure).

Model Tab

Need -To-Know: The path and filename of this drawing (needed for step 8, below).

Add a Button to the Palette to Insert your Titleblock Layouts

  1. Open the Tool Palette window (Ctrl + 3) and go to the tab where you want to put this new button.

  2. Open the CUI.

  3. Layout, Layout from TemplateIn the Command list, scroll to the command Layout, Layout from Template.

  4. Click and drag the command Layout, Layout from Template over and drop it onto your palette.

  5. Click OK to close the Customize User Interface; it has served its purpose.

  6. Right-click in the Command line, then click Options to open the Options dialog box.

  7. On the Files tab, expand the node for Support File Search Path.

  8. If the path to the location of your .DWG or .DWT containing the layout tabs is not on the list, click Add, then Browse to add it [per the "Prerequisite" and "Need-To-Know", above]. Click OK to close Options.

  9. On your palette, right-click on the Layout, Layout from Template button, then click Properties to open the Tool Properties dialog box.

  10. Edit the name of your button.

  11. In the Command String, click at the end of the existing string, and use Backspace to eliminate the space that follows the word "template".

  12. After the word "template", add a semi-colon, then in quotes add the name of the .DWG/.DWT containing your layout tabs. What you add is shown here in red and should look similar to the following where your filename (with the proper extension) is in quotes:

    ^C^C^R_layout _template;"MY TITLEBLOCKS.DWG"

  13. Click OK to save and apply your edits.

Click your new button and you should see the Insert Layouts dialog box listing your layout tabs, similar to the figure at the top of this article!

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