You may have read here and other places where I have been critical of some of the new features in AutoCAD over the years. Things like the Ribbon, the Action Recorder, Infocenter, Quick View Drawings instead of simple tabs, etc.
But the purpose of this post is to discuss some things that really make AutoCAD better, some real time savers. Here is my Mt. Rushmore of new features.
Over the years, I have seen some confusion over the definition of a "closed" polyline in AutoCAD. Let's try to clear it up...
If you start drawing a polyline and at the end, snap back to the original endpoint, you have not created a closed polyline. It is closed in the sense that it forms a closed area, but AutoCAD does not consider it closed.
To check this, run the ._PEDIT command and select the polyline. Notice that the only choice for the Open/Closed option is Close, meaning that this polyline is OPEN. If you close it now, you will have two vertices at the same point.
Try this again and when you are ready to close the polyline, use the "C" option. This will create the final closing segment and correctly "close" the polyline.
You may be thinking... "Why do I care... as long as it looks closed?" - and for some cases that can be true. But I have seen some 3rd party applications that require closed polylines for certain operations, hatching can do strange things with open polylines that only appear closed, and area calculations could be affected. I understand CNC machines are particular about closed polylines also.
For the lisp gurus, examine the group 70 DXF code for POLYLINE and LWPOLYLINE entities. If the 1 bit is present, then it is a closed polyline.
If you are a long time, experienced user of AutoCAD, how many times have you stepped back and looked at the program from a novice point of view? Think about some of the tasks that seem trivial to you and then consider how you might perform them if you were new to AutoCAD.
I ran into this case recently, when the question was brought up "How to bring in a raster image in the shape of a circle?" Easy, right? But think about being a new AutoCAD user and not knowing about the various commands used to do this, or even how to go about finding them. I have not search Help, but I doubt this particular task could be found in the User's Guide.
When freezing layers inside of a viewport using the ._LayFrz command, pay attention to the Settings before clicking an object. One of the available settings is whether or not you want to freeze the layer just in this viewport or freeze the layer overall for the entire drawing.
Current settings: Viewports=Vpfreeze, Block nesting level=Block
Select an object on the layer to be frozen or [Settings/Undo]: _S
Enter setting type for [Viewports/Block selection]: _V
In paper space viewport use [Freeze/Vpfreeze] :
Select an object on the layer to be frozen or [Settings/Undo]:
If you are working mainly in 2D and the ViewCube is getting in your way, you can turn it off by entering NAVVCUBE at the command line and setting it to OFF. This is a per-viewport, per-drawing setting so if you want to disable this feature for future drawings, be sure to change it in your template drawing(s).
The May 2010 voting results on the AutoCAD wish list are in. The top 10 are listed at the link above, or click on the image. Numbers 11-75 can be found on the same page by clicking the button at the bottom.
The Autodesk Assistance Program provides FREE 2011 version software, online and classroom training, software certification, and discounts on retail versions of software. Click on the link below for important DETAILS.
Initially, there was some excitement when this was released, but that quickly turned to bewilderment when people started to figure out that the code which this tool created was a new proprietary, binary, un-editable, and undocumented format, also for which there was no API. On top of that, a recorded action itself was virtually uneditable.
I believe there were some enhancements to the Action Recorder in the 2010 release, but did this fix the issues users were complaining about? I really don't know. Were there any further enhancements in the 2011 release? I don't recall seeing any.
Which brings me to my questions.
Are you using the Action Recorder?
Have you tried and gave up? If so, why?
Have you just not tried because of feedback from others?
How much better is the 2011 version than the 2009 version?
Autodesk is taking a public survey regarding your UI preferences. Do you like the Ribbon or do you like toolbars and pull-down menus? It sounds like they are considering removing pull-downs and toolbars from AutoCAD.
I can not figure out what purpose this would possibly serve. The screen menu has been dead for a decade or more and it's still available if you want to use it...
Let Autodesk know your thoughts by taking this survey.
Dear AutoCAD User!
Please provide us with your opinion - the destiny of Toolbars is in your hands!
Ever since AutoCAD quit shipping with physical manuals, I have still ordered my fair share at http://www.autodeskdocandmedia.com/. I understand the reasons for digital help files and such, but there are times when I just like the feel of a real book in my hands.
I guess those days are over as far as AutoCAD manuals from Autodesk are concerned. I ran across this KB article (TS14913682) published a few days ago which says pretty plainly... "Printed manuals are not available for 2011 products."