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.

      This is Part 2: (Part 1 is here)

      Now you have a drawing containing layouts with the proper plot settings. Let's do some more things.

      Create and scale additional viewports.

      Read more about Layout (paper space) tutorial: Part 2

      How do you "bind" a raster image in AutoCAD?

      Generally speaking, raster images can only be referenced into AutoCAD drawings. If you send the drawing to someone else, you must send the image file also. Use eTransmit to make this task easier.

      Short of using eTransmit, there are four (4) ways to more-or-less embed an image into an AutoCAD drawing. Read more about Bind a raster image

      Here is a quick guide on setting up a layout (or paper space) for plotting in AutoCAD 2000 and later. I used AutoCAD 2008 for these steps, and most of these steps should apply (except for the viewport locking) in all versions, 2000 and later. I know this looks like a lot of steps, but it's really easy. The best part is once you set up a layout, you never have to do it again. You can import this layout (or any other) into any other drawing. Read more about Layout (paper space) tutorial: Part 1

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