If you want a date field that always updates (or at least as often as defined by the system variable FIELDEVAL), use a DIESEL expression. (DIESEL stands for Direct Interpretively Evaluated String Expression Language).

Here is an example that will give you the full month, spelled out and the four digit year, in uppercase.

$(upper,$(edtime, 0, MONTH YYYY))

Which will give you this:

The DIESEL function "edtime" allows for almost any date string you might need. In addition to the DIESEL reference, see this for more info also. Read more about Date Field that updates


Many people are aware of the AutoCAD drawing (v 2.18) of the solar system, circa 1985. The name of the file is solar.dwg and it was included as a sample drawing at one point. You can download the drawing from this Between the Lines post from a couple of years ago.

Why am I bringing this up again now? I just thought is was pretty awesome that you can view this drawing using AutoCAD 360, on a smartphone. At one extreme, you can view the entire solar system including the almost 6 BILLION km orbit of Pluto. At the other extreme, you can zoom all the way down to the ±1/3 inch writing on the plaque on the lunar lander sitting on the moon. See screenshots below. (Note: I changed the colors of the linework to green in the screenshots for visual clarity)

Read more about Solar System drawn to scale on your smartphone

If you have an AutoCAD shape file (.SHX) and you want to make changes to it, you will need the source file (.SHP) from which is was created. If you do not have the source file, there is a way to convert the .SHX to .SHP if you have Express Tools installed with your copy of AutoCAD. Read more about Converting AutoCAD SHX to SHP

Here is a list of "What's new in AutoCAD" by CAD Panacea for past AutoCAD versions. This page will be a permanent home for these links as they grow.

AutoCAD 2009

AutoCAD 2010

AutoCAD 2011

AutoCAD 2012

AutoCAD 2013

AutoCAD 2014 Read more about Links to our [What's new in AutoCAD] articles.

I have seen this question a few times in person and on various forums. For at least one version prior to AutoCAD 2011, AutoCAD arcs included directional arrow grips on the ends that performed as Lengthen grips.

AutoCAD 2011 introduced multifunctional grips that allow for (you guessed it) multiple functions, and the arrows disappeared.

If you want to restore the arrow grips, you can set GRIPMULTIFUNCTIONAL to 0

Read more about Missing those arrow grips on AutoCAD arcs?

If you work with scanned images in AutoCAD, have you ever wanted to perform OCR from right inside of AutoCAD? Raster Design includes this ability, and Raster Design is now included in many of the suites. Read more about OCR in AutoCAD

Here, we are going to add a custom paper size in AutoCAD. If you print to a Windows system printer, you can add the paper size to the system printer. In this tutorial, we are adding a custom paper size to a PC3 file, and in this particular case the built in printer DWF6 ePlot.pc3.

This is a new empty drawing and the default size for our layout is 8-1/2"x11" (dimensions were added manually to illustrate the paper size).

Read more about Adding a custom paper size in AutoCAD

It is not uncommon to see this problem around the AutoCAD world. You press Ctrl+S or click the save icon and you get a message that says something like this:

"Unable to save to drawing K:\mypath\mydrawing.dwg
Drawing saved to SAV98C2.tmp"

In order to understand why this error happens, you need to understand how AutoCAD saves a drawing.

When you save a named drawing in AutoCAD, it actually does this (*steps 2 and 3 only occur if you have .BAK file creation enabled) Read more about Unable to save to drawing....

When making entity selections in AutoCAD, sometimes the results can be unexpected. You may select a hatch object and move it its associative boundary stays put, or you may erase a line and other geometry disappears with it. Situations like this can be controlled by a system varible named PICKSTYLE.

PICKSTYLE controls two things, how associative hatches and their boundaries behave and how grouped objects behave. Let's take a look. Read more about Controlling AutoCAD selections with PICKSTYLE

I have been recently running across AutoCAD DWG files that contain hundreds of non-purgable linetypes, some with strange names, some that appear to be nested in mysterious blocks, etc. With help from the Autodesk Forums and some independent research, I became pretty sure these were created by importing Microstation DGN files.

Read more about Purging unwanted linetype bloat



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