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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 June 2012

Add Rename to a Panel's Dialog Box Launcher

Dialog Box LauncherWe haven't done any Ribbon customization recently, so this month I wanted to show you a little item in the corner of some Panel title bars called the Dialog Box Launcher.

Since this will require a custom Tab and Panel, I'll refer you to my August 2009 coverage on that particular topic. Once you have created your custom tab and panel, join us with this exercise.

I decided to launch the Rename dialog box, because A) It's a very powerful and little-known routine, and B) I haven't covered it for 9 years! The command itself hasn't changed one bit, so the article [see the Power Tool of Michael's Corner June 2003] is still true as the day it was posted!

How to Launch a Dialog Box from the Ribbon

  1. Create a custom tab and panel, then open the CUI.

  2. Navigate to the location of that panel — [Partial Customization FilesCustomRibbon] — then expand the Panel node. Under the Panel node you see the Panel Dialog Box Launcher, Row 1, and <SLIDEOUT>.

  3. Under the Command list, scroll down to the Rename command.

  4. Now drag the Rename command up and release it next to the Panel Dialog Box Launcher when you see the small triangle.

    Drag the Rename command

    Note: Curiously, you won't see a plus sign beside the Launcher to indicate something has been assigned to this node. However, if you click on Panel Dialog Box Launcher, you will see a reference under the Properties section, over in the lower right, regarding the Ddrename command.

    Associate panel and tabImportant: If you have not already associated your custom Panel with your custom Tab, be sure to drag that panel up and release it next to the tab. This process is easily overlooked in the initial making of a custom tab and panel, so I just wanted to make sure this association was made.

  5. Customize WorkspaceNow, to assign the changes you made to your Workspace, go up and click on the name of the (Current) workspace, then in the upper right corner, under Workspace Contents, click Customize Workspace.

  6. On the left, you will notice that the screen jumped to the location of the Ribbon. Put a check in both the boxes for Tabs and the name of your Tab. You will also see the name of your tab under the Workspace Contents section.

    Check Tabs
  7. Under Workspace Contents, click Done, then click OK to close the CUI and apply your settings.

  8. New dialog launcherOpen your tab, then click on the small arrow in the corner of the title bar to launch the Rename dialog box!

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