For certain tasks in Civil 3D, I have Quick Properties (QP) enabled. I started noticing in 2013 that when QP is enabled and I select an entity, the focus is removed from the AutoCAD window. In other words, the crosshairs change to the pointer. So if I want to pick a Grip or a command on the contextual ribbon - it requires an extra pick. One pick to restore focus to the window and a second pick to activate the grip or menu item.

In this image, the manhole is selected, QP is visible, and the crosshairs have been replaced by the standard windows pointer. Read more about Quick Properties issue in Civil 3D 2013

In the last post, we added some math formulas to numeric fields, but pointed out that this does not work with traditional Date fields. So what are we doing here? There is a different method that you can use that will allow you to do this.

Instead of using a Date field, we are going to use a DIESEL expression. If that sounds strange, don't fear. I will not cover intricate details regarding DIESEL functions and you will not need it for this tutorial. Read more about Using Math with Date Fields

Here is a little tip on using math in fields that reference other fields. How could this help you? Let's look at an example where we will create a field that shows us 1/3 of the length of a line. Read more about Using Math with Fields

Sometimes it may be faster to use the -INSERT command to avoid the dialog. Of course it helps if the block name is short, but if you know the block is in the support file search path then give this a shot. Here are some tips when using this method. Read more about Tips when INSERTING blocks

Here is a unique situation that I have run across a few times recently.

We have one shape file that we use for all of our complex linetypes. It's name is "my-custom,shx". Suddenly one day, a user cannot load linetypes, he gets this error:

Line 63 of the LIN file is a complex linetype that references the shape file "my-custom.shx". Well, I know the shape file is available, and I know there is no error in the LIN file. Read more about Bad definition of XX at line XX of file xxxxx.lin

If you are about to install DWG Trueview 2013, or you are in the process of doing so and are running into problems, read on. Read more about DWG TrueView 2013 Install Help

Here is a quick tip on drawing tangent lines and arcs. Before getting started, you can easily drawing tangent arc and line segments when using POLYLINEs, but we are going to discuss using plain LINE and ARC entities. Read more about Tangent Lines and Arcs

DWG TrueView 2013 is available for download here. If you do not want to download and use the Akamai download manager currently required on the Autodesk DWG TrueView page, there are direct download links listed here on this JTB World blog post. Read more about DWG TrueView 2013 Free download

Seems too simple, right? Who doesn't know how to create a new drawing in AutoCAD? You click the NEW button in the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), or choose NEW from the Application Menu, or type in NEW at the command line....right?

Do you really know what each of those do though? The NEW button in the QAT actually executes the command named QNEW. If you choose NEW from the Application Menu or type in NEW at the command line, you are executing the NEW command. You may have other UI elements such as toolbar buttons that call one or both of these commands. What is the difference? Read more about Starting a new drawing in AutoCAD

So if you think this post look familiar, you are right. This originally ran back in 2009, but it was very popular and I wanted to update it and run it again so that it is at the top. I'm sure it will be new to a few people too.

How many of these do you know? How many do you use? What is your favorite "obscure" AutoCAD command or system variable? Leave a comment. Read more about 10 AutoCAD commands you have either forgotten or never knew (Update)

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