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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 November 2007

Custom Button #2: Revcloud from an Object

Last month we covered how to make a button on the palette that gave you a perfect revision cloud every time.

This month we're going to copy that button and add something to it so you can select an existing object - such as a rectangle, circle, or polyline - and turn that object into a revision cloud. I'm going to build on what we did in last month's article, so click here to go to the October 2007 article so you can catch up.

When converting an object to a revision cloud, you use the Object option of the Revcloud command and it goes like this…

Minimum arc length: 2′-0″ Maximum arc length: 6′-0″ Style: Calligraphy
Specify start point or [Arc length/Object/Style] <Object>: O
Select object: [Select the object to convert; note the backslash in the macro, below]
Reverse direction [Yes/No] <No>: [Press Enter for the default option]
Revision cloud finished.

Instructions to Automate the Object Option of Revcloud

  1. Open the palette containing your revision cloud button. [See October 2007]
  2. Right click on Revcloud button, then click Copy. Right-click just below the Revcloud button, then click Paste.
  3. Right-click the new Revcloud button, then click Properties.
  4. Change the Name to Revcloud - Object, then edit the Command String to read as follows (the additions for this month are in red):


Here's what the additional characters mean:

; Presses Enter; it's easier to discern a semi-colon than a space when pressing Enter in a macro.

O The Object option of the Revcloud command. Yes, it's the default and you could have used a semi-colon to accept the default, but it's always a good habit to put the letter of the option being invoked, even if it's the default.

\ Backslash; Pause for user response.

Before and after

Note: Whenever your command sequence requires that the user respond to the current prompt (as in the case of the process of converting an object to a Revcloud where you need to select the object), you must accommodate for that action but putting a backslash in the macro.

Next month: Automating UCS Align & UCS World

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