Most people know that you can export an AutoCAD drawing file to DXF format. Unlike DWG, DXF is a documented file format that can be used to exchange drawing data with others who do not use AutoCAD. Here we are going to discuss a couple of tricks worth knowing. Back in the old days the command was named DXFOUT, and that should still work today. But you can access the DXF file format from the normal file selection dialogs that you get with the SAVE and SAVEAS commands.

Let's take a look. Below is the normal SAVEAS dialog box with the file types expanded at the bottom. There are as many versions of DXF available as there are of DWG. Your choice will depend on many factors, most important being: what version can your file receipient read? Read more about Exporting to DXF tips

CAD Panacea and other AutoCAD Blogger Council members have been invited to a special Autodesk event next week at the Autodesk offices at One Market in San Francisco. The content of this event has not been made fully available to us, so we are pretty excited to see what's in store.

Stay tuned for more information next week as it is revealed to us. Meanwhile if you are ever in the San Francisco area, we highly suggest taking the free tour of the Autodesk Gallery at One Market. There are many creative exhibits to view showing what imaginative designers are creating using the latest technology. I suspect we will get another opportunity to tour the Gallery again, which will be nice because the exhibits changes every so often. We'll leave you with some photos of past trips to One Market. Read more about AutoCAD Blogger Council Event

Earlier this week, Autodesk launched "Autodesk Instant" in North America. Autodesk Instant is a group messaging app for the workplace available for iOS and Android. Read more about Autodesk Instant App for iOS and Android

Beginning with AutoCAD 2014 SP1 (and presumably in future later versions), drawings "infected" with the educational plot stamp will no longer plot the EDU stamp and you will not be warned about the stamp when opening the drawing.

Read more about No more AutoCAD Educational plot stamps or warnings

Philip Schmelzer from Autodesk has posted the direct download links to DWG Trueview 2014, 32-bit and 64-bit.

These are direct links to the full install EXE file, no download manager, no pre-installer, or anything like that. Read more about DWG Trueview 2014 Direct Download Links

If your delete key stops working in AutoCAD, check the value of PICKFIRST. Make sure it is set to 1.

When PICKFIRST is set to 0, selected items are ignored when you launch a command. This does not really have anything to do specifically with the delete key, but this is one of the most reported symptoms.

The value of this system variable is saved in the registry so you should only have to set it once. The GUI for changing this variable is in Options, on the Selection tab, under Selection Modes, and is named Noun/Verb selection. When this toggle is checked, PICKFIRST = 1.

Noun/Verb selection toggle
Read more about Delete key not working?

If you need to import a KML/KMZ file into Civil 3D or Map 3D, you can do it using a free download from SL-King Spatial Solutions. Be sure to read the readme file because the install does require you to copy some files and edit an existing file.

We have tested it using Civil 3D 2013 64-bit and it works just fine. If you want to read some more information on it, take a look at this thread in the Civil 3D forums.

  Read more about Import KML/KMZ files into Civil3D

The goal here is to produce a cut and fill map similar to what is shown above, where:

  • The positive and negative values are different colors
  • The positive values include a leading "+" sign
  • The negative values include a leading "-" sign

The inherit problem is that you want to place a single label and have it display the proper sign and be in the proper color. If you do not require the "+" sign, then you can do this in a different (and less complex) way. So back to our goal stated above. I have seen various ways of doing this, and this is probably a combination of a few of them as far as I can tell. Read more about Cut and Fill color map in Civil 3D

Do you get annoyed at AutoCAD when those little blue boxes that appear on objects and quickly start mashing the ESC key? Are these blue boxes, better known as Grips, just in your way? Let’s take a look at Grips and how you might use them to your advantage instead of causing you grief.

Grips allow you to perform many tasks in fewer steps than you may realize. The most common editing commands are built into grips for all entities, including Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, and Mirror. Multifunctional grips offer even more editing commands that vary depending on the object type.

Grips are located at strategic points which also vary depending on the object. So think about this for a second; you select an object and a key point on that object is already selected. You have done two things with one pick, this is what makes pre-selecting objects so powerful. Now what exactly can you do with Grips? Let’s take a look. Read more about AutoCAD Grips 101

As we mentioned here back in September, Autodesk Design Review is being discontinued. Autodesk Labs program manager Scott Sheppard confirmed this again yesterday, along with a notice that Autodesk Freewheel will be shutdown on January 31, 2014. You can read Scott's post in the Autodesk forums here. Read more about The end of Autodesk Freewheel



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