There are various "Drawing Tabs" add-ons for AutoCAD available, I created a quick review of some popular ones last January.

Autodesk released one themselves back in October 2006, for AutoCAD 2007. It was OK for a first effort, but not the greatest.

Now in AutoCAD 2009, you will find the "Quick View Drawings" feature. This is "drawing tabs" on steroids (no offense to current MLB players....) Read more about AutoCAD 2009 - Quick View Drawings

Well, it's that time again. Another 12 months, another version of AutoCAD, whether you are ready or not. You will find all sorts of detailed reviews at various websites. This is not meant to be a detailed review. This is simply a quick look at some of the highlights in AutoCAD 2009.

AutoCAD 2009 is going to blow you away at first, not because of any spectacular new features, but because the UI has changed in such a dramatic way. So where to start...? Read more about AutoCAD 2009 in 2 minutes

According to this press release, Autodesk has revoked the UAR (Unique Application Reseller) status of Carlson Software, because Carlson "ha[s] been determined not to meet the current Autodesk partnering needs." The partnership ends 02-20-08. Read more about Autodesk drops Carlson

One of the problems that has plagued AutoCAD 2008 and it's verticals has been the bloated scale list. Scale list entries are propagated from drawing to drawing similar to the way named layer filters did back in AutoCAD 2002.

You may not even be aware that this problem exists in some of your drawings. To take a peek, click on the Annotation Scale popup located in the AutoCAD status bar. If you get something that looks like the image below, it's time to clean up.

screenshot Read more about Bloated Scale List

If you program with autolisp, you have probably used the command function at some point, probably to construct drawing entities. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. However, if you are working on a large program that constructs a lot of drawing entities, you may have noticed that the command function runs pretty slow.

I put together some tests to compare the (command) function to two other methods of entity creation, (entmake) and (vla-add...). The test constructs 1,999 line entities using various methods.

Read more about Command vs. entmake vs. vla-add

Starting in AutoCAD 2006, you can specify a highlight color and opacity to your selection areas as illustrated by the green area shown in the example below.

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Below is a description of these options and how to change them.

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If you want to go through the OPTIONS dialog, open it up and switch to the Selection tab. Click on the Visual Effect Settings button. Everything you need to control is there on the right half of this dialog, shown above. Read more about Selection highlighting in AutoCAD

Confused about the various polyline types that you see in AutoCAD?

From the end user perspective there are 3 polyline types listed in the PROPERTIES command, even though there are only two "entity" types.

  • polyline - this is an LWPOLYLINE entity, always 2D.
  • 2d polyline - this is a POLYLINE entity, also 2D.
  • 3d polyline - this is a POLYLINE entity, usually 3D, with each vertex at a different elevation. It is possible to have a "3d polyline" and have each vertex at the same elevation.

In AutoCAD, you can assign a non-continuous linetype to a 3D polyline, but it will not display or plot.

If you need 3D polylines, and you need a non-continuous linetype, for example to represent the flowline of a ditch - there are a couple of workarounds. Both assume that you have assigned the correct linetype to your 3D polylines.

    AU2007 badge

    Autodesk University 2007 is over. There were a lot of good classes, and a couple that....well, I'll get to that later...

    Here were some of my favorites.

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