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1. If you inadvertently start a command that you donít want, press Esc. The command-line prompt returns. 

2. If you are saving a drawing for the first time, the Save Drawing As dialog box appears. Down the left side of the dialog box are several buttons to help you find a location to save drawings more quickly. Together, these buttons are called the Places list. In a nice touch, you can reorder the buttons in the Places list. Just drag any button to a new location.

3. You can choose Window > Close All to close all open drawings. If any have unsaved changes, AutoCAD prompts you to save the changes. If you installed the Express Tools (see Appendix A for details), you can choose Express > File tools > Quick Exit, which closes all open drawings (prompting you to save ifnecessary) and then exits AutoCAD. You can also choose Express > File tools >

Close All Drawings to close all drawings without exiting AutoCAD. You are prompted to save any unsaved changes.

4. Name your templates in a way that clearly differentiates them from regular drawings. You may want drawings set up for each of the standard paper sizes (A through E), with a title block in each. Useful names might be tb-a.dwt, tb-b.dwt (tb meaning title block), and so on.

5. If a dialog box has a question mark (?) icon in the top-right corner, click it to

6. Switching from the mouse to the keyboard and back is time-consuming. In

7. You can also press the Spacebar at the Command: prompt to repeat a command

8. If you create a toolbar button that executes a customized set of actions, rightclick

 9. The Begin/End and Mark/Back options of the UNDO command are useful when you are trying something new and want to be able to undo a whole series of commands in one UNDO command in case things donít work out as planned. 

10. You can type @ at the first prompt of any drawing command to indicate the

11. Turn on NumLock on your keyboard and use the numerical pad for typing in

12. You can choose either polar snap or grid snap (switch between them) by rightclicking

13. If you are working with a small snap spacing and the dot grid is too dense, set

14. Many users like to work with three or four running object snaps on at once, such as endpoint, midpoint, center, and intersection. If you canít find the object snap you want because you have several object snaps near each other, press the Tab key to cycle through the object snaps, one by one, until you find the one that you want. 

15. When using point filters, you do not need to use existing coordinates for both

16. You can use most object snaps with construction lines and rays. (You can't use

17. You can also create a circle tangent to other objects by using the 2-point (2P) or

18. If you have many filled objects in your drawing, AutoCAD may need to take

19. You can use the hatch feature to fill in any object with a solid fill, with a great

20. If you are using points for temporary reference, instead of erasing them, you can

21. In a very large drawing, you can create views as soon as you create the title block ó for example, one for each quadrant of the drawing, and another for the title block lettering. This helps you move quickly from one section of the drawing to another. As you determine the need for more specific views, you can add them. 

22. Many users commonly use one viewport to display the entire drawing and the

23. The grid does not have to be on, but it helps you get your bearings when

24. After creating a new, rotated UCS such as the one in the previous exercise, type

25. Use snap points and object snaps as much as possible in an isometric drawing.

26. Polar coordinate display is very helpful while drawing isometrically. The

27. When you move an object, choose an object snap on the object or a nearbyrelated

28. An alternative to using Remove to deselect objects is to press Shift and deselect

30. Most mirror lines are orthogonal. Therefore, after you specify the first mirror

31. If you need to create a number of copies of an object along a straight path, use a one-column or one-row array instead of the COPY command. Itís faster and easier. 

32. While using the TRIM command, you can switch to extending objects by

33. Generally, you pick the objects to be trimmed individually. You cannot use Windows to select them. However, you can use the Fence object-selection method. AutoCAD trims the side of the object that the fence line crosses. You can also press Enter at the Select cutting edges: prompt. Then, when you select the objects you want to trim, AutoCAD automatically uses the cutting edge nearest your pick point. You can use this feature to trim to multiple cutting edges without having to specify each cutting edge.  

34. If the object you want to use for the cutting edge is already selected before you start the TRIM command, AutoCAD deselects it. At the Select cutting edges Ö prompt, you can type p Ąp to reselect that object.  

35. While using the EXTEND command, you can switch to trimming objects by pressing the Shift key as you select objects to trim.  

36. Usually, you want to stretch at an orthogonal angle. If you are going to stretch by picking, turn ORTHO on. Object snaps, polar tracking, and snap mode are other helpful drawing aids for stretching.  

37. Sometimes you may want to break an object into two pieces at a point, without erasing any part of the object. Use the Break at Point button on the Modify toolbar to help you easily break an object at a point. After selecting the object, pick where you want to break the object at the Specify second break point or [First point]: prompt. The two new objects look the same as before on the screen óuntil you select one of the objects. To break objects at a point, AutoCAD uses @, which always signifies the last point entered, to specify the second break point. Thus, the first and second break points are the same.  

38. You can also press the spacebar to cycle through the grip editing modes. For example, to move an object, press the spacebar once.  

39. The Properties palette has its own undo function. Right-click the item that you changed in the Properties palette and choose Undo. Multiple levels of undo are available.  

40. To create several new layers at once, click New and type all the layer names you want, separated by commas. If you want a new layer to have the same color and/or linetype as an existing layer ó which is very common ó choose that existing layer and click New. The new layer will inherit the properties of the selected layer. You can then make any changes you want.  

41. Both the off and frozen states make layers invisible. AutoCAD introduced the frozen and thawed layer states to reduce regeneration time ó and thatís the main difference between On/Off and Thawed/Frozen layer visibility options. However, todayís computers are faster, and AutoCAD has since introduced several ways to avoid regeneration while panning and zooming ó such as Aerial View, Zoom Dynamic, and real-time zooming and panning. Also, remember that thawing a layer causes a regeneration, whereas turning a layer back on only causes a redraw. As a result, you might actually save a regeneration by using On/Off instead of Thawed/Frozen.  

42. When you work with a large number of layers, think carefully about how you name them. Naming layers in groups is common. For example, if you have several text layers, you could name them Text Title, Text Notes, and Text Schedule. A systematic layer-naming scheme makes it easy to filter the layers you need, which in turn makes it easy to make changes to groups of layers.  

43. You can modify more than one layer at a time. In the Layer Properties Manager dialog box, right-click and choose Select All to choose all the layers. Choose Clear All to deselect all layers. You can choose a range of layers by clicking the first in the range, pressing Shift, and clicking the last in the range. Finally, you can choose individual layers by pressing Ctrl for each additional layer. Changes you make to color, linetype, or lineweight affect all the selected layers.  

44. When purging objects in the Purge dialog box, you can select more than one item at a time to purge. To select an additional item, press Ctrl as you click. To select a contiguous group of items, click the first item, press and hold Shift, and select the last item in the group.

45. You can always change an objectís color back to ByLayer, using the same Color Control drop-down list you used to change the color originally.  

46. You can always change an objectís linetype back to ByLayer, using the same Linetype Control drop-down list you used to change the linetype originally.  

47. The global linetype scale is held in the LTSCALE system variable. You can change the linetype scale by typing LTSCALE at the command line and typing a scale.  

48. Remember that you can set the point display by choosing Format>Point Style. An easy-to-see point style is especially useful for the DIVIDE command. Specify the point style before using the command.  

49. By default, text is left-justified. To change the textís justification, right-click and choose Justify at the Specify start point of text or [Justify/Style]: prompt. AutoCAD responds with this bewildering prompt: Enter an option [Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/TL/TC/TR/ML/MC/MR/BL/BC/BR]: However, if you know the option abbreviation of the justification you want, you can use it at the Specify start point of text or [Justify/Style]: prompt.  

50. The most common way to edit single-line text is to use the DDEDIT command. Double-click the text. However, if you start the DDEDIT command instead by choosing Modify>Objects>Text >Edit (or typing ddedit Ąp on the command line), you are prompted to select an annotation object. Select the object and the Edit Text window opens. When you finishing editing the text and click OK, you are again prompted to select an object. The command continues to prompt you for objects until you press Enter at the prompt. Use this method when you want to edit several lines of text.  

51. To create an exponent (or superscript) in the Multiline Text Editor, type a number and then a carat, as in 2^. Select the number and the carat and click the Stack/Unstack button. To create a subscript, type a carat, and then the number, as in ^2, and stack it.  

52. To indent an entire paragraph in the Multiline Text Editor, right-click in the editor and choose Indents and Tabs. Then use both first line and paragraph indentation. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

53. It's easier to set indentation and tabs on the Multiline Editor's ruler than in the dialog box. Drag the first line indent marker (the top triangle at the left of the ruler) or the paragraph indent marker (the bottom triangle) to the left or right. To set a tab, click on the ruler where you want the tab. To delete a tab, drag a tab marker off the ruler. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

54. When the Multiline Text Editor is open, you can change the width of the Mtext object by dragging on the right edge of the ruler. You can also change the width of the editor itself by dragging on the right edge of the editor box. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

55. When you draw in three dimensions, you need to figure out how to combine three-dimensional models with two-dimensional text. You can use the HIDETEXT system variable to choose whether you want text to act like a 3D or a 2D object. Use the On setting, the default, if you want text to be hidden behind other objects and to hide other objects when you use the HIDE command, such as other 3D objects. If you use the Off setting, text will not hide other objects, or be hidden, unless it has a thickness. (See Chapter 21 for more on the HIDE command and adding a thickness to objects.)  

56. Strangely enough, if you donít have any misspelled words in your drawing, you cannot open the Check Spelling dialog box. AutoCAD simply issues the Spelling Check Complete message. The trick is to insert a misspelled word and then use the SPELL command. You can erase or correct the word afterward.  

57. Another way to edit the custom dictionary is to open the file directly with a text editor. The AutoCAD custom dictionary is called sample.cus. To find sample.cus, choose Tools>Options and click the File tab. Double-click Text Editor, Dictionary, and Font File Names. Double-click Custom Dictionary File. Click the path list to view the location of sample.cus.  

58. If you often turn layers on and off (or freeze and thaw them), you may want to create a separate dimension layer for each layer of drawing data. For example, if you dimension an electrical layer that you turn off regularly, you can have a special Dim-elec dimension layer that you can turn off with the electrical layer.  

59. Before dimensioning, create a text style for your dimensions. Set the height of the text style to zero. You can then set the text height when you create the dimension style. If you do specify a fixed height in your text style, that height overrides any height you specify in the dimension style.  

60. Make it standard practice to use object snaps for choosing extension line origins. The point you pick specifies the definition point that determines the final measurement. Also, proper association of dimensions with their objects depends on the points you specify. Accurate dimensioning requires accurate drawings and therefore exact specification of the points you want to use for the dimensions.  

61. For best results, turn ORTHO on while trying to drag the dimension line or the dimension text. Polar tracking also works well.  

62. When defining the arrowheads in a dimension style, you can set a different arrow just for leaders. Choose the arrow you want from the Leader drop-down list.  

63. When trying to fit dimension text, lines, and arrows in a narrow space, AutoCAD also uses the gap to calculate the minimum space required on either side of the dimension text. Reducing the gap can therefore help fit more of the dimension elements between the extension lines.  

64. Double-click any dimension to open the Properties palette where you can change the properties of that dimension.  

65. You can create a new dimension style from an existing dimension on the fly by using the Properties palette. Double-click a dimension to open the Properties palette. Click the arrow next to the type of change you want to make and make the change. After youíre done, right-click in the drawing area and choose Dim Style>Save as New Style. The New Dimension Style dialog box opens so that you can give the dimension style a name. Click OK.  

66. You can compare a dimension style with the current dimension style. To do this, follow these steps: Choose Dimension Style from the Dimension toolbar and choose Compare. AutoCAD opens the Compare Dimension Styles dialog box. In the Compare and With drop-down boxes, choose the two dimension styles you want to compare. AutoCAD lists the differences by system variable. For more information about system variables used in dimensions, see the sidebar, ďDimension system variables.Ē  

67. Click the Copy button at the right side of the Compare Dimension Styles dialog box to copy the comparison to the clipboard. You can then paste it into another document. For example, you might want to e-mail the file to a client.  

68. You can change any line or arc into a polyline. Start PEDIT and choose a line or arc. AutoCAD responds: Object selected is not a polyline. Do you want to turn it into one? <Y>. Press Enter to accept the default. AutoCAD turns the object into a polyline. (In AutoCAD 2004, you can change the new PEDITACCEPT system variable to 1 to suppress this prompt and automatically turn non-polyline objects that you select for the PEDIT command to polylines.) You can use this technique to turn a series of connected lines and arcs into a polyline. First, turn one of the objects into a polyline as I just explained. Then use the Join option and select the other objects individually or by a selection window. After you finish object selection, AutoCAD tells you how many segments were added to the polyline. In order to create a polyline in this way, the individual lines and arcs must connect exactly end to end. However, if you use the Multiple option, explained following the current list, you can join lines that are not exactly touching.  

69. Create a separate layer for hatch patterns. You may want to turn off or freeze your hatch layer to reduce visual clutter or assist in selecting objects. Hatches are also typically a different color than the model you are hatching.  

70. When hatching, while you are in your drawing before or after picking points or selecting objects, you can right-click to open a very useful shortcut menu. Choose from the following options on the shortcut menu. This shortcut menu enables you to manage the hatch boundary without returning to the dialog box. Enter: Returns you to the dialog box. Undo Last Select/Pick: Undoes your most recent object selection or point pick. Clear All: Undoes all your picks/object selections. Pick Internal Point: Switches to picking of internal points. Select Objects: Switches to selection of objects. Normal Island Detection: Sets island detection to normal mode. Outer Island Detection: Sets island detection to outer mode. Ignore Island Detection: Sets island detection to ignore mode. Preview: Previews the hatch.  

71. When creating a new multiline style, first set as current the multiline style that is the most similar to the one you want to create.  

72. When defining the offset for multiline style elements, you define offsets that are above or below the multilineís pick points. Think of the multiline as being drawn horizontally to the right to help you visualize what above and below mean.  

73. To add your own title block, create it as a drawing and save it in the \Templates folder. (To find the location of this folder, choose Tools>Options and click the Files tab. Double-click Drawing Template Settings and then Drawing Template File Location.) Notice that most of the templates in that folder have corresponding drawings that are used in the Layout Wizard. If you have a template that you use for a title block, open a new drawing using that template and save it as a drawing in the \Templates folder, using the same name as the template. (It has a .dwg file name extension, however.)  

74. To cycle from viewport to viewport while in model space, press Ctrl+R.  

75. Another way to turn off a viewport is to select it (by clicking its border while in paper space), and then right-click and choose Display Viewport Objects>No. Choose Yes to display the viewport objects again.  

76. If you create dimensions in a viewport in paper space and then zoom or pan in that viewport, the objects and the dimension get out of sync. Use the DIMREGEN command on the command line to reset the dimension to match its object.  

77. To avoid inadvertently plotting to a Windows system printer when you should be plotting to a plotter, you can hide the display of Windows system printers in the Plot and Page Setup dialog boxes. Because these printers wonít appear on the list of plotters, you canít plot to them. To hide system printers, choose Tools>Options and click the Plotting tab. At the bottom-left corner of the dialog box, check Hide System Printers and click OK.  

78. If you create a number of block definitions that you do not end up using in the drawing, use the PURGE command to delete them. This reduces the size of the drawing file.  

79. When you save a drawing that you plan to insert as a block, use the BASE command to create the insertion point. By default the base point is 0,0,0. By setting the base point to another point in the drawing, such as an object snap on one of the objects, you can control how that drawing is inserted.  

80. If you really donít know where the file is, or are not even sure of its name, use the Windows Find feature. Choose Start>Find/Search>Files or Folders. In the screen that appears, set the criteria for the file. For example, you could find all drawings starting with the letter C by typing c*.dwg in the Named text box. From the resulting list, choose the drawing you want and drag it onto your drawing using the same steps listed previously.  

81. The first procedure when working with attributes is to draw the individual objects that are to make up the block. The exception is when you want to create attributes without creating any other objects in the block. You might do this to extract attributes that apply to the drawing as a whole. If the block already exists, explode it and then redefine the block, adding the attributes.  

82. When defining an attribute, the Value item is used for setting a default value. You can use the value to clarify a format that should be followed when entering information. For example, you could set the value of a date to dd/mm/yy so that users know how to format the date.  

83. If you are creating many blocks with similar attributes, you can copy just the attributes, modify them as just described, place them near other objects, and then create the blocks. This way, you donít have to define all the attributes from scratch.  

84. If the order of the attribute prompts is important, donít use a window to select the attributes ó select them in the order in which you want the prompts to appear. You can then use a crossing or window box to select the rest of the objects to be included in the block. The order of the attribute prompts will be important if you are taking the data for the attributes from a listing ó perhaps a spreadsheet that you have printed out. It will be much easier to insert the attribute values if the prompts follow the order of the printed document you are using.  

85. When you add properties to the listing in the Block Attribute Manager, resize the dialog box so that you can see all the columns.  

86. If you export attributes in tab delimited format, you can open the Multiline Text Editor and click Import Text to import the output file into your drawing. You can also open the output file, copy it to the clipboard, and paste it into your drawing. The Import Text method enables you to format the text as you would any multiline text but may take some experimenting to align the columns. You cannot format the text you import using the clipboard method, but it is nicely lined up in columns.  

87. In the Xref Manager (Insert>Xref Manager), you can change the width of the columns in List View by placing the cursor on a column dividing line until it changes to a two-headed arrow. Then drag in either direction.  

88. The XCLIP command enables you to create a border in an xref and hides any part of the xref outside the border. You can also clip blocks.  

89. If you want to create an index for an existing drawing, click OK once to return to the Save Drawing As dialog box. Click Cancel. In other words, you donít have to actually save the drawing to set up the index, which is controlled by the INDEXCTL system variable.  

90. This may be obvious, but the first principle of managing xrefs is to keep them simple. Overly complex nested configurations are hard to manage, no matter what you do.  

91. If you set the XREFCTL system variable to 1 (by default it is set to 0), AutoCAD makes a copy of all xref activity for your current drawing in an ASCII text file. You can read the log to troubleshoot problems that may occur. AutoCAD places the log file in the same folder as your drawing and uses your drawing name with the .xlg file name extension. This file can get long. Therefore, once in a while, you should delete all or part of the file.  

92. To get the Data View window out of the way, you can dock it. Right-click in the Data View windowís toolbar area and choose Allow Docking. Then drag the window to the right edge of your screen (assuming your dbConnect window is on the left side of your screen).  

93. If you want, you can copy your formatting, including sorting, to the clipboard and paste it into your DBMS. To do this, select the records you want to export. To export the entire database, click the grid header. Then right-click any cell and choose Copy. Open your DBMS and click Paste from the Standard toolbar.  

94. When you use View Linked Objects, the selected objects form a selection set. You can then use the results with other commands that allow prior selection of objects. For commands that you must execute before selecting objects, type p Ąp at the Select objects: prompt to use the Previous option and get the selection set.  

95. When exporting links, you are prompted to select objects. You can select the entire drawing (type all Ąp at the Select Objects: prompt) and AutoCAD finds just the linked objects.

96. If you want to create curved shapes in 3D space, you can create 2D polylines with a width and then add a thickness and an elevation. Elevation and thickness are both explained in the next section.  

97. Because it is easy to forget the current thickness, unless you are drawing a number of objects with the same thickness, it is usually safer to draw objects with no thickness and then change the thickness. If you do change the current thickness, donít forget to change it back to zero when you are finished creating the 3D objects.  

98. In the Viewpoint Presets dialog box (View>3D Views>Viewpoint Presets), thereís an art to using the two dials to set the view angle that you want. If you click the inside border of either one, close to the indicator needle, AutoCAD sets the angle based on exactly where you clicked. This results in uneven degrees, such as 47.6. However, if you click the outside border of either image, or the numbers themselves, AutoCAD rounds the angle to the value in the segment.  

99. If you want to create curved shapes in 3D space, you can create 2D polylines with a width and then add a thickness and an elevation. Elevation and thickness are both explained in the next section.  

100. 3D orbit can be used as a substitute for DVIEW.  

101. You can use 3D orbit transparently, that is, in the middle of another command. Just start a command, type '3dorbit Ąp, rotate your model as you want, and press Esc or Enter to close 3D orbit. AutoCAD then continues the command in progress.  

102. For faster performance, select only the objects you want to view with 3D orbit before starting the command. Objects you did not select disappear while you are in 3D orbit mode. Of course, they reappear as soon as you leave 3D orbit mode.  

103. Specifying the proper coordinates for camera and target location in the 3DORBIT command can be difficult in 3D. You may find it helpful to place a point object at the two desired locations before starting the command. You can then use the Node object snap to pick the camera and target positions you want. 104. If you want, you can create your own block and name it dviewblock. Create it with X, Y, and Z dimensions of 1. When you press Enter at the Select objects or <use DVIEWBLOCK>: prompt, AutoCAD looks for dviewblock and uses it to display the results of the perspective view settings.  

105. When using the DVIEW command options, if you want to set the angle in the XY plane first and limit the effect of cursor movement to that change, you need to use the Toggle suboption to get to the Enter angle in XY plane from X axis: prompt. After you set the angle in the XY plane, the suboption ends. Start the Camera option again to set the angle from the XY plane.  

106. While it is common to choose a target point on one of the objects in your drawing, often you want the camera point to be off the objects so that you are looking at the objects from a certain distance and angle. To pick the camera point, choose Format>Point Style (before starting DVIEW) and choose an easily visible point style. Decide what elevation you want, type elev Ąp, and set a new elevation. From plan view, choose Point from the Draw toolbar and pick a point. The point is created on the current elevation. Then use the Node object snap to snap to the point when specifying the camera point in the Points option.  

107. Figure 22-44 shows the result of SOLPROF after also freezing the layer that SOLPROF created containing the hidden parts of the model. In this case, the layer was named PH-159. Look for the h, which stands for hidden. The last part of the layer name is the handle of the object you are profiling and so differs for each object. As soon as you have a separate layer for the hidden portion of the model, you can modify that layerís color and/or linetype to show the hidden lines in a contrasting color or linetype.  

108. It often helps to prepare for a complex 3D face by creating 2D objects for some or all of the faces. You can then use Endpoint object snaps to pick the points of the 3D face. Place these 2D objects on a unique layer, such as Frames or Const.  

109. In order to easily draw a polyface mesh with PFACE, draw 2D objects as a guide for picking vertices. Then you can use object snaps to pick the vertices. Also, for polyface meshes on more than one plane, draw a diagram that numbers the vertices. This helps you specify which vertices make up which face.  

110. If you have several adjoining objects that you would like to use as one path curve, remember that you can use PEDIT to change lines and arcs to polylines and join them together.  

111. The DELOBJ system variable determines whether objects used by EXTRUDE to make other objects are retained. By default, they are deleted. Therefore, when you use a 2D object to make a solid, the 2D object is deleted. If you make a mistake during extrusion and notice it later ó after itís impractical to undo several commands you want to keep ó when you erase the solid, you have no 2D object to use to re-create the solid. (You can put such objects on a layer that can be turned off, in case you need them again.) Set DELOBJ to zero (0) to keep objects used to create other objects. On the other hand, if you are sure about what you are doing, keeping DELOBJ at 1 avoids having to erase unwanted 2D objects in your drawing.  

112. You can also use the UNION command with 2D regions, either for 2D drawings or as a basis for a 3D model.  

113. You can use INTERFERE for troubleshooting and visualizing a complex drawing. For example, you can use INTERFERE to determine which solids need to be subtracted from other solids. The new objects are created on the current layer. You can change the current layer before using INTERFERE to help you more clearly distinguish the new solid you create.

114. The SECTION command creates the region on the current layer. Make the current layer color different from the object layer color so that the region is clearly visible.  

115. Sometimes creating an object in the XY plane and then rotating it afterward is easier. In other words, you may create an object in the wrong plane on purpose and use ROTATE3D later to properly place it.  

116. The trick when aligning in 3D is to properly visualize the parts. It helps to hide the drawing first, as you did in the exercise. Also, take the time to find the UCS and a viewpoint that make the points you are specifying easy to see and pick.  

117. In most cases, white light is fine. You can get some unexpected results when using colored lights on colored objects.  

118. Use a name that makes it clear that the light is a point light. Keep the name short. A simple sequence of P1, P2 is often sufficient. However, you could also use P-overhd and P-door or something similar.  

119. Set the intensity to zero (0) to turn a light off. You can use this technique to switch a scene from a day view to a night view or to experiment with different lights without having to delete them.  

120. To turn the distant light off, set the intensity to zero (0). You can use this technique to switch a scene from a day view to a night view or to experiment with different lights.  

121. For your practice renderings while you are creating lights and materials, turn shadows off in the Render dialog box. Shadows significantly add to rendering time, and youíll do a lot of waiting. When you are satisfied with the other settings, turn shadows on.  

122. If you donít find the exact material you want, import the closest one you can find. You can then create a new material based on that material. The next section explains how to edit existing materials.  

123. Attaching materials by layer can be a very efficient method. It requires some planning in advance. For example, if you have a block that is a chair, and if you create it so that the legs are on one layer and the seat and back are on a second layer, then you can easily attach a wood-like material to the legs and a decorative pattern to the seat and back.  

124. Knowing the appropriate scale of an image before inserting it is often hard. When you move the cursor at the Specify scale factor or [Unit] <1>: prompt, you can see a bounding box that will help you visualize the resulting size of the image.  

125. To dock the DesignCenter, right-click the title bar and choose Allow Docking. Then drag the DesignCenter window to the left or right of your AutoCAD window. To collapse the DesignCenter down to its title bar when you're not using it, right-click the title bar and choose Auto-hide; whenever you move the mouse cursor off the DesignCenter it collapses. Just move the cursor back onto the title bar to expand it again. Sometimes the DesignCenter docks when you are trying to drag it past the AutoCAD application window. To avoid unwanted docking, either uncheck Allow Docking on its title bar or press Ctrl as you drag. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

126. If you have docking enabled, but want to drag the Tool Palettes window without docking it, press Ctrl as you drag. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

127. If you just finished associating a standards file with a drawing, you can click Check Standards in the Configure Standards dialog box.  

128. When translating layers in the Layer Translator dialog box, you can select more than one layer from the Translate From list by pressing Ctrl for each additional layer. You can select a contiguous group of layers by clicking the first layer in the group, holding Shift and selecting the last layer in the group. Then select the layer from the Translate To list that you want to map that group of layers to and click Map. You can also quickly map all layers with the same name by choosing Map Same.  

129. One low-tech way to keep track of drawings is to keep a book of 8-1/2x11 plots. Place the drawing name and date written in large text on a separate layer in the drawing. Set the Plot property of the layer to Not Plottable while you work and for Regular Plotting. Set it to Plottable for your batch plots. Then, even reduced, youíll know the drawing name when you look at the drawing in the book.  

130. In the Reference Manager (Start>Programs>Autodesk>AutoCAD 2004>Reference Manager), you can also choose Find and Replace Selected Paths to change all references that use a certain saved path and replace them with a new path. Use this feature when you have a large number of drawings that need paths to changed referenced files.  

131. However, if AutoCAD or your entire computer crashes, you will probably be left with one or more .ac$ files. A good guideline for erasing .ac$ files is to only erase those from yesterday or earlier. Leave todayís alone. If you donít see the date and time of the files in Explorer, choose View>Details.  

132. You can attach rendered images to your drawing if you have saved them as TIF, TGA, or BMP files. A great way to do this is to create a floating viewport in paper space for the rendered image, letting your clients see not only the regular drawing but the rendered result on one sheet of paper. Remember that you can now plot shaded and rendered images. (AutoCAD 2004 only.)  

133. The IMAGEFRAME command turns off the frame that surrounds all images in a drawing. Choose Modify>Object>Image>Frame. Turning off the frame often improves the way the image looks. However, you select an image by clicking its frame. Therefore, an Off setting means you cannot select the image, except when using commands specific to images, such as TRANSPARENCY, IMAGEADJUST, and IMAGECLIP. Donít turn the frame off until you have finished editing the image. You can also select raster images using Quick Select. Because raster images are considered to be on the layer that is active when they are inserted, you can use Quick Select to select them by layer.  

134. The DRAWORDER command changes the display order of objects, including raster and OLE objects. (OLE is discussed later in this chapter.) This command is very helpful when working with raster and OLE objects, where you may or may not want to hide the other objects in your drawing. You can move an object to the top or bottom or change its order in relation to another object ó above or below it. To change an objectís display order, choose Tools>Display Order and choose one of the submenu options. AutoCAD then prompts you to select objects. Draw order settings are now saved with the drawing.  

135. If you donít mind a few steps, you can sometimes get good results importing large Excel spreadsheets by way of Microsoft Word, as follows: In Excel, use Save As to save the spreadsheet in Text (Tab delimited) format. Insert the file into Word (choose Text Files from the Open dialog boxís Files of type dropdown list). Select the entire file and choose Table>Convert>Text to Table. Change the Page Setup to accommodate the large size of the table, using a custom paper size. Format the table if you want. Copy it to the clipboard. In AutoCAD, choose Paste on the Standard toolbar. (AutoCAD 2004 expands the ability to import large spreadsheets, but you may still find this tip helpful.)  

136. If you try to use HIDE on a 3D model that contains OLE objects, the OLE objects disappear! The solution is to insert them in paper space. You can then hide the 3D model in one floating viewport and display the OLE object in another.  

137. You can hide a 3D view and copy and paste the view into another application. However, you cannot copy and paste a rendered view. To bring a rendered view into another application, save it as an image and import it. You can freeze any layers that you donít want to include, such as dimension and text layers.  

138. The eTransmit feature is essentially the same as Pack and Go in Microsoft Office, packing together all associated files with your drawing so that you can e-mail it to colleagues, clients, customers, and so on.  

139. Because you donít need the transmittal file after you have sent it (you already have all the files), you can put it in the Windows\Temp file or another location where you place files that you will delete.  

140. You can use the Web toolbar, to navigate back and forth between previously visited Web sites, drawings, and other locations.  

141. You can resize the Publish Drawing Sheets dialog box by dragging on its lower right corner. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

142. If you are creating a multi-sheet DWF file and are not in the habit of renaming your layout tabs, you might find that your sheet names are rather unhelpful. Handwheel-Layout1 doesnít explain very much. To rename a layout tab, rightclick it and choose Rename. In the Rename Layout dialog box, enter a new name and click OK. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

143. You can print/plot drawings from Autodesk Express Viewer without having AutoCAD. The print options are somewhat like those in Microsoft Word because they take into account the fact that the DWF file can have many pages. Click the Print button to open the Print dialog box, as shown in Figure 28-19. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

144. On the Autodesk Express Viewer toolbarís drop-down list of sheets in the drawing set, each layout is numbered. You can use these numbers to specify which pages you want to print. (AutoCAD 2004 only)  

145. If youíre not sure of the command name but know the menu or toolbar item, execute the command on the menu or toolbar and then press Esc. AutoCAD displays the command name on the command line.  

146. You can print out acad.pgp and tape it up on the wall where you work.  

147. An important part of managing toolbars is finding a place to dock them so that they donít take up valuable real estate on the screen. You can make several small toolbars and fit them in the blank spaces next to existing toolbars. The AutoCAD 2004 Standard toolbar is shorter than the previous one and gives you more room for your own toolbars.  

148. If you make a mistake when editing a toolbar button, itís easy to correct it. If you place a red pixel over an existing black pixel, choose black and redraw the black pixel. If you place a red pixel in a wrong spot, choose the Erase tool and click the pixel.  

149. From within a script file, you can open (and close) other drawings. In this way you can run a script file on as many drawings as you want. Itís nice to leave the last drawing open so that when you return to see the results, you can see that the last drawing has been properly edited. You then feel pretty sure that all the previous drawings were similarly edited.  

150. You can save any drawing as an image file and import it into a presentation program that creates slide shows, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Lotus Freelance Graphics, or Corel Presentations. You can add text, special effects, and more to create a professional slide show.  

151. When running a slide show, you might want to maximize the screen area by reducing menu and command-line space. You can unload your menu, thus quickly dismissing toolbars from the screen. Drag the top border of the command line area to reduce the number of lines of text on the command line to Remember that when you unload the menu, you have no menus available.  

152. When creating a slide library using the SLIDELIB utility you create a text file containing the names of the slide files. SLIDELIB can read a listing created using DOSís dir command with the /b parameter, which creates a simple listing of just the file names. Therefore, you can place all the slide files in a folder and redirect the dir listing to a file. For example, you can create a list named ab30sld.lst by typing the following at the DOS prompt: dir *.sld /b >ab30sld.lst  

153. If your linetype definition will include both dashes and dots, youíll get best results if you start a linetype definition with the dash. Starting the definition with a dash is a matter of aesthetics, perhaps, but such a line connects better to other lines.  

154. When creating a complex linetype that includes shapes, you need to allow for the space that the shape takes up. In the example, note that the space after the shape (created with the -.5 code) is larger than the space before it (created with the -.25). This is largely a matter of trial and error, but if you know the shape definition well, you can make a good estimate. When you go back and change the linetype definition (if your first trial was an error), donít forget to reload the linetype (by using the Load option).  

155. Sometimes you want a menu item to switch to another menu item. This is called menu swapping. You could use this technique to create a menu that swaps to an image menu that inserts commonly used blocks. However, the new Tool Palettes (AutoCAD 2004 only) are another way to accomplish a similar effect.  

156. AutoCAD supports panning and zooming with the IntelliMouse. The MBUTTONPAN system variable controls the third button or wheel on your pointing device. By default, it is set to 1, which supports panning and zooming. Set it to 0 to support definition in the .mnu menu file.  

157. The titles of pull-down POP menus appear as the menu title. Keep these fairly short to keep the menu titles from running into each other. Donít place spaces in menu title names ó it becomes hard to distinguish where one menu ends and the next one starts.  

158. Although the examples shown here use both the initial underline to allow for translation and the ampersand to allow for keyboard entry, you donít need to use these if you donít want to. When was the last time you used the keyboard to choose a menu item on a shortcut menu?  

159. The Screen section is very long. If you donít use the Screen menu, you can delete it from acad.mns or the menu file you are using. Donít forget to back up acad.mns, or your own menu, first.  

160. The Visual LISP window contains a number of tools that make your programming life simpler. You can highlight all the code between matching parentheses. To highlight from left to right, place the cursor in front of a left parenthesis and press Ctrl+Shift+] or simply double-click. To highlight from right to left (backwards), place the cursor after a right parenthesis and press Ctrl+Shift+[ or double-click.  

161. A common practice is to consolidate all AutoLISP routines in one folder for ease of use. To do this, you can create a folder called LISP in any drive or folder where you keep files that you create. Then choose Tools>Options. On the Files tab, expand the Support File Search Path and click Add. Add the path by typing it directly in the edit box or clicking Browse and navigating to it.  

162. To locate other ActiveX functions that create objects, you need to look in the AutoCAD ActiveX and VBA Reference. In Visual LISP, choose Help, Visual LISP Help Topics. From the Contents tab, double-click ActiveX and VBA Reference, and then Methods. You immediately see an alphabetical list with the Aís displayed. Here are all the VBA methods that add drawing objects. To create a Visual LISP function, add VLA- before the method. For example, to add a circle, you would use VLA-AddCircle.  

163. When typing a function in the Visual LISP editor, you immediately know if the function is correct, because it turns from black to blue as you enter it.  

164. You can resize the module text editor as you would any window. As you start adding code to the text editor, you will find it easier to work with a larger window. Click the Maximize button to enlarge the text editor to its maximum size.  

165. You can resize the panes in the VBA window. Place the mouse cursor on the bar between the panes until you see the double-headed arrow and drag it either left or right.  

166. You can customize these colors by choosing Tools>Options from the Visual Basic menu and then choosing the Editor Format tab. Choose a type of text and then choose the desired color. Click OK.  

167. If you think the Toolbox toolbar has lots of possibilities, right-click the Toolbox toolbar and choose Additional Controls. From the Additional Controls dialog box, you can choose from many more controls.  

168. Thereís an art to laying out a dialog box so that it is clear and easy to understand. After a while youíll get the hang of it. Pay more attention to the dialog boxes you use every day to pick up some design pointers.  

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