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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 2011

Viewport Plot Scale

Scale ListViewport ScaleBy default, when you switch over to a new layout tab, AutoCAD zooms to the drawing extents within the viewport.

To set the viewport scale, activate the viewport, then click Viewport Scale on the right half of the Status bar (the one that probably displays an odd decimal value) and select the desired plot scale from the list.

How to Edit the Plot Scale List

  1. Open the Options dialog box (big red letter 'A'Options below the drawing name listing).

  2. Click the User Preferences tab, then click Default Scale List (A2011) or Edit Scale List (all other versions) to open the dialog box listing the available plot scales.

    Default Scale List
  3. To delete unwanted/unused plot scales from the list, select the ones you want to get rid of (pick & drag, or use Ctrl or Shift to make your selection), then click the Delete button.

    Note: In case you delete the wrong ones or want to start over, click Reset. The Reset feature is also useful if you have an inordinate number of plot scales as a result of Xrefs in the current drawing.

  4. To position your most frequently used plot scales, select the desired scale, then click the Move Up or Move Down buttons.

    Move Up
  5. When you're finished, click OK to close and save your changes, then click OK to close the Options dialog box.

    Important: The scale list is saved by Drawing. Therefore, it would be best to configure the plot scales in your template and at least that way, whenever you use your template, your edited plot scale list is available.

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