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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 February 2014


First, I do not write full routines in Lisp. Ben & Lee are my go-to guys if I have any worthwhile ideas. I can, however, write one-liners which have randomly appeared on these pages over the last 10 years. For future reference—or to see what other commands you can add to the following exercise—take a look at Michael's Corner for February 2012.

It has been many years since I encountered the benefit of ACADDOC.LSP, and I was reminded of it when I was preparing this article and came across the following information in acad2014.lsp:

Note: This file is normally loaded only once per AutoCAD session. If you wish to have LISP code loaded into every document, you should add your code to acaddoc.lsp.

Let's say that occasionally you would like to turn off the Selection Preview feature—such as when you're working on complex 3D drawings in a Visual Style other than 2D Wireframe—and there are also times when you would like to split your Model Space into 2 views. Both of these requests would require more than a single click to accomplish… unless you add them to a .LSP file.

How to Add Routines to ACADDOC.LSP

  1. Launch Windows Notepad.

  2. Enter the following lines. For reference, take a look at my very first article on Lisp back in February 2003. (And yes, it does appear that I have a tendency to write about .LSP file in February!)

    ;Michael's Corner, Feb/Mar 2014 ; ;This routine sets the Selection Preview feature to Off (the Default is On) (DEFUN C:P0()(COMMAND "SELECTIONPREVIEW" "0")(PRINC)) ; ;Split Model space into 2 vertical halves (DEFUN C:S2()(COMMAND "-VPORTS" "2" "VERTICAL")(PRINC)) ; ;Set Model space to a Single viewport (DEFUN C:S1()(COMMAND "-VPORTS" "SI")(PRINC))

    In these routines, if you type what follows the C:, you will run the command and options that follow. Type P0 and it turns off the Selectionpreview condition. Type S2 to split Model space into 2 vertical section, then type S1 to put it back to a single view.

  3. To make this work, you must name the file ACADDOC.LSP, and save it to AutoCAD's ..\Support folder [C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 201x\Support].

  4. Since this is the first ACADDOC.LSP file that you have created, you will need to close AutoCAD, then relaunch.

  5. To test it, draw a rectangle and confirm that the variable SELECTIONPREVIEW is set to something other than 0. Now enter S2 to split your screen. Enter P0 to turn off the preview feature, then hover over the rectangle and it doesn't highlight. Now type S0 to put your screen back to a single view.

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