AutoCAD: Quick clean-up of Dimension Placement

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

DIMSPACE: this command adjusts the spacing between Parallel Linear and or Angular dimensions.

Located in the Annotate Tab   Dimension Panel        DIMSPACE button.

AdjustSpace

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Command sequence:

AutoCAD sequence                                                   User input

Command: _DIMSPACE

Select base dimension:                       This is the Dimension that will stay in place and the other                                                                                        Dimensions will adjust to that one Dimension.

Select dimensions to space:               Here the user selects all Dimensions wanted to adjust. This can be                                                                       done individually or with a Selection Set option.

Select dimensions to space:               Offers another opportunity to select additional Dimensions if                                                                               missed. Once done selecting all Dimensions Enter.

Enter value or [Auto] <Auto>:          Here the user can place a numerical distance or accept the default                                                                        feature <Auto> and allow AutoCAD to adjust the dimension                                                                                spacing.

The first video shows the DIMSPACE Command adjusting the Dimensions using the <Auto> feature and then defining the distance by a numerical value.

Use ZERO for dimensions placed in a Continuous sequence for a quick dimensions adjustment.

At the Enter value or [Auto] <Auto>: prompt type in the number ZERO.

*The AUTO feature references back to the predefined TEXT height of the DIMENSION STYLE of the Base Dimension, which was the FIRST Dimension selected.

Learn more about AutoCAD Clean-up of Dimension Placement by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: Angular Dimensions greater than 180°

Written by Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Have you noticed when placing in Angular Dimensions angles over 180° aren’t an option by default?

Location of Angular Dimension:

Annotate Tab  Dimension Panel within the Dimension drop down.

Also located in the Home Tab Annotation Panel within the Dimension drop down.

Location

The first video shows the Angular Dimension and placement of multiple angles under 180°.

Specify Vertex: Located within the Angular Command is the feature needed to place in an angle larger than 180°.

Command Line Vertex option

The Command sequence:

AutoCAD sequence                                                   User input

Command: _dimangular

Select arc, circle, line, or <specify vertex>:    

Specify angle vertex:                                       Select the Intersecting point of the two lines, if this was     an Arc the vertex selection would be the center of the Arc.

Specify first angle endpoint:                          Select the endpoint of one line. If Dimensioning an Arc                                                                                   Select one end of the Arc at this prompt.

Specify second angle endpoint:                     Select the endpoint of the opposite line. If Dimensioning                                                                               an Arc Select opposite end of the Arc at this prompt.

Specify dimension arc line location or [Mtext/Text/Angle/Quadrant]: Place the dimension on the DWG.

Dimension text = 214                                                                                       Showing the Angle of the                                                                                                                                                 dimension placed.

*When in a Command and AutoCAD offers brackets < > at the end we can simply ENTER and the feature in those brackets < > activates.

Learn more about AutoCAD Specify Vertex Angular Dim over 180° by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: NEW to AutoCAD 2016 Dimension Button

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

This new button (Dimension) allows continuous placement of dimensions. With selection of Geometry or Object Snap it switches from Liner to Radial to Angular and so on for quicker placement of Dimensions.

Dim1

*Dimension Styles are pre-defined as in previous versions.

            *Layers – There is an option within the Annotate – Dimension Panel for Dim Layer

Override. This allows you to select the Companies Standard Layer for the Dimensions to reside on. If you leave it at on Use Current it will place the Dimensions onto the Current Layer – and the current layer would be set in the Home tab – Layer Panel as in previous releases.

Dim2

Hover over Geometry for a preview of the dimension.

 

 

 

Dim4

 

Right-Click options once the user has pick a point on the drawing:

Dim6 LinearDim5 rt Radial

Right-Click option right after activating the Dim command and not yet selected a point on the drawing.

Dim7 Linear

The Video shows the Dim command in use. You will see it keeps the command active (running) until the user stops it – What type of dimension will be placed per the geometry selected (Linear, Angular, Aligned, Radius and Diameter), The Pop-up window when you Right Click while dimensioning a circle to switch the Option from Diameter to Radius.

*No Worries until you are comfortable with this new Button the Dimension drop down is still available and works the same as in previous release.

Dim3

Learn more about AutoCAD 2016 Dimension Button by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: WBlocks (Write Blocks) adjust to the Insert Unit

Written by Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Do you use different forms of units within your projects/company and want to utilize your WBlocks in all projects quickly?

Example. A projects is Decimal Units and another projects in Metric Units, you have WBlocks created in Decimal Units and want to utilize then in a Metric unit DWG.

Steps to take for the conversion to work seamlessly.

  1. When creating a WBlock make sure a form of units that applies to the WBlock is defined in the WBlock dialog box / Insert Units drop down area.

*In this drawing example the WBlock Insert Units are set to Inches:

WBlock Units 1

Wblock Units 2

*Here is the WBlock example, Switch Plate drawn in Decimal units, the Insert units defined as Inches in the Write Block dialog box.

WBlock Imperial units 3

2. Open the next Drawing define the Insertion Scale found in the Drawing units Dialog box. Ex. Millimeters…
Drawing Units Millimeters 4
3. Insert the WBlock: The conversion happens automatically.

WBlock Metric units 5

Imperial Units:   X   the metric conversion of Millimeters (24.5)

2.750    X       25.4   =       70.6120

 

4.500    X       25.4   =       114.3000

 

 

 

 

 

 

The suffix mm was added – within the Dimension Style manager / Primary Units tab / Linear Dimension area.

Hint:   When creating a WBlock for your library stay consistent with the form of units you create them in. If you and your co-workers know all WBlocks are created in Inches they will know to check the Insertion Scale if inserting into a drawing with units other than Inches.  Inches is the example option I chose to use your type of work will direct that choice.

Learn more about WBlocks (Write Blocks) adjust to the Insert Unit features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: Share your Tool Palettes

Written by Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Export and Import

A Tool Palette may be created by an individual to help them work more efficiently and or a company may create Tool Palettes to help keep everyone consistent with company and or client specifications.

Once a Tool Palette is defined the Export option can be used to save it for easy recall. Save this file on the network and all AutoCAD stations can then Import it easily into their system.

A Tool Palette has the extension of .XTP. A Tool Palette Group has the extension XPG.

Steps to EXPORT A Tool Palette:

  1. Manage Tab – Customization – Tool Palettes Icon: (Image 1)

Can also be accessed right from the Tool Palette – Select the Properties symbol in the Title area of the Tool Palette, (Image 2)

From that pop up window select Customized Palettes… (Image 3)

  1. This opens the Customize Dialog Box. (Image 4)
  2. In the Palettes section – Right Click over the Tool Palette Tab you want to Export: (Image 4)
  3. Select Export: *Make sure this file is saved on the Network so Everyone has access to the same Tool Palette (Location is important especially if it is modified this will allow for a quick means of updating all systems)
Image 1

Image 1

Image 2

Image 2

 

Image 3

Image 3

Image 4

Image 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The same process is used for Exporting Palette Groups as Exporting Palettes with the exception you

Right–Click in the Palettes Groups section (just right of the Palettes area). Select Export.

Steps to Import a Tool Palette or Tool Palette Group.

  1. Manage Tab – Customization – Tool Palettes Icon:
  2. This opens the Customize Dialog Box.
  3. Right – Click in the Palettes section and select Import:
  4. This opens the Import Palette Dialog Box – Path yourself out to the location where the Tool Palette or Tool Palette Group was saved.
  5. Select the file – Open – Close. The Tool Palette Panel should appear in the Tool Palette.

Some key points to keep in mind when working with Tool Palettes.

The following information is directly from AutoDesk AutoCAD 2015 Help center:

About Sharing Tool Palettes and Tool Palette Groups

Export Tool Palettes and Tool Palette Groups:

When you export a tool palette or tool palette group, keep these points in mind:

  1. When you export a customized tool palette, an image folder with the same name is may be created in the same location as the XTP file. This folder contains the images for user-created content tools and command tools with user-defined images
  2. Avoid copying tool palette (ATC) files between different product releases. Doing so can cause potential problems when migrating to a future release.
  3. Import Tool Palettes and Tool Palette Groups

When you import a tool palette or tool palette group, keep these points in mind:

  1. When you import a customized tool palette, the image folder must be in the same location as the imported XTP file in order for the icons to appear in the tool palette.
  2. Tool palettes can be used only in the product release in which they were created. However, you can migrate tool palettes from previous releases to the current release using the Migrate Custom Settings dialog box.

**If you share tool palettes with someone who is not using the same AutoCAD-based product or release in which they were created, the tools might not work properly.

Learn more about Tool Palette and other NEW AutoCAD 2015 features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: Tool Palettes

Written by Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Customize by adding your own Blocks / Commands / Patterns:

The Tool Palette is a great way to organize (for quick access) commonly used items such as blocks / hatch patterns / Tables / even your most used commands can be placed into a Tab in the Tool Palette.

* IMPORTANT:

The Tool Palette is a visual means to access information. It creates a link to items and that link has to stay in tacked otherwise access to those items has been lost and they cannot be accessed through the Tool Palette. All will need to be re-associated.

File management must be thought through prior to creating the Tabs and placing items into the Tool Palette. If the pathing location of the Blocks placed into the Tool Palette is changed/modified the connection has been lost, you will not have access. All will need to be re-associated.

Blocks/Drawings cannot be deleted or moved from its original location once placed into a Tool Palette, if this happens there is no access to these files. Deleted files will need to be drawn again and then re-associated.

  1. Access the Tool Palette: View tab / Palettes Panel / Tool Palette button, (Image 1).or by typing in at the Command Line – TOOLPALETTES to open, TOOLPALETTESCLOSE to close:
  2. Tool Palette: (Image 2)
  3. Create a New Palette Tab: Right Click in the Title Bar area select New Palette. A tab with New Palette appears in line with the other tabs type in a Name. (Image 3).
Tool Palette 1

Image 1

Image 2: Tool Palette: To create a new Tab:  Right Click over the Title Bar of the Tool Palette select New Palette. Type in a name for the new Tab.

Image 2:
Tool Palette:
To create a new Tab:
Right Click over the Title Bar of the Tool Palette select New Palette. Type in a name for the new Tab.

Image 3: Creating a New Tab and defining the Name.

Image 3:
A. Creating a New Tab and defining the Name.

B.

B.

C.

C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Items that can be added to a Tool Palette:

(Commands, Blocks, Hatch Patterns)

Ways to add Content to the Tool Palette

1. Pick * Hold * Drag * Drop: With the Drawing File open that contains the block(s) you want to add into a Palette with the Blocks inserted and visible on the screen. Select one block at a time (not on a grip) and drag it into the Palette. If it doesn’t respond SAVE the Drawing and try again.

The Block Image and Name will appear in the Palette. To use these images select and move the mouse into the drawing then place it into the draw area. (as the Insert Command) or Pick Hold and Drag the image into the drawing. You have more placement control with the first option.
2. Through the Design Center – Drag * Drop Drawings and Hatches into a Palette.
3. Through the Customized User Interface (CUI) Editor. Drag * Drop commands from the Command List pane.
4. Through the Customize dialog box Drag Toolbar Buttons into the Palette.
5. Lastly you can Copy and Paste from one Tool Palette to another.

Image 4

Image 4

Next Blog: How to Share your Tool Palettes with others.

Learn more about Command Line Features and other NEW AutoCAD 2015 features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.