Tips

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....

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 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

If you work on a particular project frequently, you can save a step by creating a desktop (or start menu) shortcut for launching AutoCAD, and have it automatically open the desired Sheet Set.

Here is how to do it.

  • Copy the shortcut that you normally use
  • Open the properties of this new shortcut.
  • On the Shortcut tab, find where you can edit the "Target"
  • Add the following to the end of the target: /set "path\name_of_sheet_set.dst" (of course, use the actual path and name of your desired sheet set.)
  • Optionally, switch to the General tab and change the name of the shortcut to better fit its purpose.



Note that the field in which the target string is located is almost always too short to see the entire string. You could copy the existing string into notepad and then do your editing there so you can see the entire thing - then paste it back into the Target field when you are done.

This tip should work for any Windows based, AutoCAD based application, such as Civil 3D, shown in the image above.

For more information, including other startup shortcut switches, see Customize Startup topic in the AutoCAD documentation.

Read more about Open a Sheet Set when launching AutoCAD

Here is a quick tip regarding layouts. Use Designcenter (command:ADC) to easily copy complete layouts from one drawing to another. By complete layout, I mean the layout, any geometry in the layout and the page setup.

You might even create several differently sized layouts with various title blocks, borders, etc. and keep them in a standard drawing that you can access using Designcenter. Read more about Working with multiple layouts

I wonder how many people are familiar with this macro? I am pretty sure it used to be in the stock OOTB AutoCAD menus a long time ago, maybe on the screen menu?

The macro I'm talking about is one that executes the ERASE command with the single object selection, and then repeats. This can be very useful if you are working in a congested area and you need to erase some objects, and where a window or crossing selection is too risky because you might erase something by mistake.

The macro itself is *^C^Cerase single - and it is documented in the AutoCAD documentation.

The leading asterisk causes the macro to repeat, and the single option after the erase command starts means that it will let you select one object and immediately delete it. This should work in both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Give it a try.

Animation of Erase>Single in action Read more about Erase Single Macro

In the External References palette, in the List View, there is a status column. As you might expect, this informs you of the status of the reference file. Have you ever seen a status that you did not know the meaning of? There are SIX documented states for a reference file, plus at least one more.

  • Loaded - The reference file is currently loaded and attached, and there are no issues.
  • Unloaded - The reference file is unloaded, but still attached to the drawing. This does not indicate a problem either.

If you produce construction documents, chances are the majority of your work is produced in black and white, for eventual printing and/or reproduction on a monochrome printer. If you use color dependent plot styles, then your default CTB file may be set up so that all of the ACI colors (1-255) plot black.

Read more about Adding Color to your B/W drawings

One of the new commands in AutoCAD 2011 (and its verticals) is ADDSELECTED. This command will create a new object based on the object type and properties of a selected object.

You could do something similar in the past by creating a tool palette command. For example, you might create a tool palette button to draw a line on a certain layer, with a certain linetype. The difference with the ADDSELECTED command is that you are copying the properties from an existing object in the drawing. Read more about Addselected Command

A few items to note.

  1. Autodesk is conducting another poll/survey consisting of six questions "so that we may better understand the structure of your organization". You can participate by clicking here.
  2. Second, Augi has opened up the voting for the Civil 3D Wish List. Click the link to vote for up to seven of your favorites. Voting closes at 4:59am (UTC) on November 21st.
  3. The November 2010 Hot Tip Harry tips are out. Download one or all of this months tips at http://cadtips.cadalyst.com/1110harry - and stick around and browse or search for more tips while you are there. If you missed the tips for October, go here

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