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Are you one of those companies who names their layout tabs to reflect the actual sheet numbers?  Are you finding yourself updating layout tab names only to have to return to the layout to update the sheet number?  Are you not using the sheet set manager to manage the sheet numbers?  If so then, you may want to try using a field that reflects the layout tab name.  Here's an example . . . Here I have a layout tab titled "A-1".  I'd like my title block sheet number to reflect that layout tab name: So in the title block (either use the block editor or edit the title block prior to inserting it) I use the FIELD command to add a system variable ctab field: Adjust the justification and height as needed, but when done you should have something similar to this: Now (after you close the block editor and save changes or upon the insertion of the title block) you will see that your title block sheet reflects the layout tab name: And it should follow throughout your project for any tab ...

John Sayre, Technical Marketing Manager for Autodesk, and Eric Chappell, Civil Community Evangelist for Autodesk, put together this great video that explains the way to use the Autodesk Shared Reference Point productivity pack tool to seamlessly share a file between Civil 3D, Revit, Navisworks, and Infraworks so that the content of the files locates itself on the site correctly.  I highly recommend watching this video:

Yesterday AutoCAD 2018 was released by Autodesk.  If you don't yet see it in your Autodesk account or you don't yet have an Autodesk account then you can download your free trial here: AutoCAD 2018 Free Trial.   So what's new in this release of AutoCAD?   First and foremost, it must be known that the drawing format has changed to 2018.   Some of the highlighted enhancements include: Updates to PDF imports including better importation of geometry, SHX font files, fills, raster imagery and True Type fonts. The ability to fix broken external reference paths for externally referenced files. A stronger object selection to include items you've selected even if they pan or zoom off screen.  Updates to the user interface to include some of the more commonly used tools. High-resolution monitor support for the best possible viewing experience, even on 4K and higher resolution displays. And much more!!! Here is a general overview of the new features: Here is a link to all the ...

Top Challenges on Moving from AutoCAD® to Revit®
There’s plenty of skepticism that comes with the idea of moving from AutoCAD® to Revit®. Sure, maybe you are doing just fine with AutoCAD. Or maybe you simply don’t have the time. Skepticism aside, you know you’ve considered it. You may not want to admit it, but deep down you know you need to make the move sooner than later. On the flipside, maybe you recently made the move to Revit and feel like you’re in over your head.    No matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, we understand, and we are hosting the perfect webinar for you on Tuesday, March 21 at 12:30 PM EST. Join us to learn about the top challenges on moving from AutoCAD to Revit so that your transition can be as smooth as possible. We’ll uncover the main areas of struggle that we’ve seen and offer tips to help you determine the best way to handle the transition with your team.   We’ll also share reasons why you should go ahead and move from AutoCAD to Revit. You’ll learn how Revit can transform your team’s ...

We recently had a pickle of a support issue that I felt needed to be shared with everyone.  Upon the time Autodesk announced that they were no longer going to be selling perpetual licenses we had many people run out and purchase some for future use.  We had a company purchase several licenses of AutoCAD for Mac.  Recently, they decided to install the software on a system, but they wanted to know if it was possible to install it on a PC instead.  According to this document, Windows and Mac Cross-Platform Licensing for AutoCAD, it’s possible: The problem we had was that we attempted several installs using the correct serial number and the product key for the PC.  It appeared as though the software was treating the activation as a term license though and wanted the user to login.  But that was not correct.  It should have worked.  Well, after some back and forth with Autodesk and our support team we were at our wits end.  Then someone decided to just attempt to install it on the PC with the ...

Here’s an interesting issue that can start happening when launching any flavor of AutoCAD.   The message comes from the ACInetEngine and states the following: “Could not write to the Internet cache on your computer.”  Following the error message is instructions on what to do to cure the problem, but for some users the problem persists. If you have experienced this problem and have tried the prescription but are still experiencing the issue, try the following additional steps as outlined in the following Autodesk Knowledge Network (AKN) article. Could not write to the Internet cache If you continue to experience the issue after attempting the steps outlined, please contact our support team for assistance.

To Create a DWG file to Use as a Title Block You can insert any DWG file as a title block, provided that it does not contain any unsupported objects. Use AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, or a different AutoCAD vertical product to create lines, text, images, attribute definitions, and other 2D geometry to generate your title block.  To Insert a DWG File as a Title Block 1. Under Sheet Settings, select Title Block > Insert Title Block.  2.Select the DWG file to insert as a title block.  The DWG inserts into the drawing sheet. For correct placement, make sure the WCS origin point (0,0) in the AutoCAD DWG file is the bottom right corner of your title block.  To Define Attributes in AutoCAD When you create attribute definitions in the DWG file using AutoCAD, those attributes are "picked up" by the Fusion Drawings workspace, meaning if you double-click the title block, you can populate your own title block prompts in the text fields.  1. At the command line in AutoCAD, enter the ATTDEF command. The Attribute Definition dialog box displays.  2.Add a Tag. Tags identify the location of the ...

You can now view the class "AutoCAD Plant 3D: Tricks of the Trade 2" from this year's Autodesk University.  You will learn such things as... Complex pipe routing tricks Structures and platform creation tricks Equipment creation tricks Support placing tricks and BONUS Tricks Click here >> AutoCAD Plant 3D: Tricks of the Trade 2

In AutoCAD you notice that the text within menus, the ribbon, dialog boxes, and palettes is rather large and may overlap other elements within the user interface or not appear at all.   The cause of this due to the fact that the Windows operating system governs how the user interface text is displayed in AutoCAD, and a high definition or high DPI monitor can make the program interfaces appear very small on the screen.  Scaling up the text size to compensate for this can have an adverse affect on how user interface text shows in AutoCAD. Current versions of AutoCAD-based products are optimized for monitor displays with a resolution under 2000. The solution is to install update 2017.1.1 for AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017 and other AutoCAD 2017-based vertical products.  However, you cannot simply go to the Autodesk website to install this update.  The AutoCAD 2017.1.1 update can only be downloaded and installed via the Autodesk Desktop App.   To read more about this issue and resolution read this:  Odd text display within user interface elements in AutoCAD

I have been seeing a plague hitting the AutoCAD world.  A plague of bad Profiles.  How in the world does a Profile go bad?  I am scratching my head on that one.  The symptoms, obviously things are not working right.  VBA routines are not loading or worse yet, they load but then don't work.  Same with the AcadDoc.LSP not loading at all.  Yes, the paths are there in the Support Search path, but they just don't load.  I can type in at the command line, (findfile "acaddoc.lsp") and it returns right where it should be.  I can load it manually, but it won't work automatically.  The out-of-box <<Unnamed Profile>> can't be used to rebuild either.  Believe me, I tried it.  Everything looks fine, but something is amiss somewhere. Easiest thing to do? The easiest fix is run Reset Settings to Default and don't save any custom settings.  Start over on those.  The Reset replaces the <<Unnamed Profile>>, which I recommend then to use Add to List... and add back in the custom folders to the newly created Profile.  Everything seems happy ...

Fresh off the press! AutoCAD 2017.1 Update. Autodesk just released an update to AutoCAD 2017 for subscription users. Check your Autodesk Desktop App to install and review the Readme for what to expect in this latest update. AutoCAD 2017.1 Readme

When at attempting a standalone or network version to launch AutoCAD 2017 (or any 2017 vertical product) for the first time the software opens and then displays a dialog box titled "Licensing Error" and the message inside reads, "The License manager is not functioning or is improperly installed. AutoCAD will shut down now."   Autodesk provided a solution for this problem here:  The license manager is not functioning or is improperly installed

AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac versions 2016, 2015, and 2014 are compatible with Mac OSX v10.11 (El Capitan), but are not designed to run on the Sierra.  For the official word from Autodesk read this:  AutoCAD and Apple MacOS Sierra (10.12) what you need to know. The only workaround appears to roll back to the supported operating system.   UPDATE:  There was an update released shortly after this blog was written that resolves this issue.  However, this update is only for AutoCAD 2016 for the Mac:  AutoCAD 2016 for Mac Update 4 and AutoCAD LT 2016 for Mac Update 4.  For 2015 and previous versions the above workaround is still the only solutions.  

In training classes I am always saying there are 5 or more ways to access the command for "<enter a command here>".  The AutoCAD GUI has multiple redundancies for every command.  So, I thought, how many ways other than the GUI is there available in AutoCAD to just draw a LINE.  This isn't a comprehensive list by any means: Enter at the Command Line, either "L" or "LINE", uppercase/lowercase doesn't matter.  Then follow the prompts picking points.  But as well, LINE could be selected from the Draw panel on the Ribbon as well as the Draw Tool Palette.  So, would that count as four ways? Script (SCR):  Note the location of the cursor, a <RETURN> initiates the entry.  A script file could be created that would follow the same as the Command Line entry.  The only difference could be introducing some AutoLISP calls...which leads us to the next way.                                                  ...

The other day I was working with a client and they had a dynamic block that needed to have a stretch action in which, when the grip was stretched in one direction, the opposite side of the block would stretch in the opposite direction equally.  I showed them this method, and, since there was very little spoken about this on the web, I decided to make this short video.  I hope you find it helpful.  

When you toggle on ortho mode using the F8 key you notice that AutoCAD either freezes or takes long to respond. But if you use the icon in the task bar to toggle on the option it responds immediately.   We have found this to be an issue with AutoCAD products on a Windows 10 operating system.  It seems to be the Windows 10 Anniversary update is cause of this issue.  To resolve, simply adjust your TEMPOVERRIDES system variable to 0.  But be aware that by adjusting this value you will be disabling the option of using your SHIFT key to temporarily enter into ortho mode should you not have ortho mode toggled on.   This is a Microsoft issue and it should be noted that this is only a "band-aid" until another Microsoft update resolves this issue.    

Autodesk recently released an update that has some really exciting features, however, the update is strictly for subscription-only users.  Well, this means that I cannot even provide you a link (because one does not exist) to this update.  So how do you get it?  You can only find it in the Autodesk Desktop App.  It is titled, "AutoCAD 2017.1 English Update 64-bit."   Some of the new features that I find most exciting are. . . You can now import a PDF file that contains SHX geometry.  Several popular SHX fonts are supported.  The performance and reliability of 3DORBIT are improved for rendered visual styles, especially for models with a large number of small blocks containing edges and facets. To see a full list of what has been updated you can read the ReadMe file here:  Autodesk AutoCAD 2017.1 and AutoCAD LT 2017.1 Update Readme

In this Tips and tricks session. I had a customer call in with an issue. They were XREF'ing another file into their drawings and the "text" was not showing up at all. Even though the layer was on the text seem to disappear all together and would just show the leader line....crazy right.... Well the issue was with a Font style used in the XREF was not a Font style that the end user had. Sooooo instead of AutoCAD replacing the font with another it just DIDN't SHOW the text. The variable here in AutoCAD was the culprit. The command "Fontalt" if set to "." will turn off text that your system doesn't have the same font installed as the xref'd file. There is a setting here to select an alternate font. Makre sure to have the alternate font such as simplex listed. Below is a link to a short video on Autodesk's Screencast on how to fix this. https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/1cba04ba-b711-4e19-a100-c1404e7817b0 Best of luck out there, Rick Kremer Applied Software

“Use the Force, Luke” The following is a few tips and tricks I introduce to AutoCAD users during training sessions.  There is mistaken belief out there that if you use AutoCAD then you know how to use AutoCAD.  Sounds like an obvious sequitur but often users of AutoCAD are too busy working to actually learn how to use AutoCAD effectively. The best place to start is with the Graphical User Interface or GUI pronounce ‘gooey’.  Sometimes just exploring the GUI you will discover commands and features that you didn’t know AutoCAD even had.  So, let’s setup and streamline the AutoCAD GUI for productivity. Where to begin?  For most, the biggest change to the GUI was the introduction of the Ribbon back in AutoCAD 2009.  Immediately, users cried, “Give us back the Classic”.  My response, “Get over it, the Ribbon is here to stay.”  Launch your AutoCAD and follow along. Review the image below and note that I am using AutoCAD 2017 and I have the Workspace: Drafting and Annotation active.  Since we aren’t actually going to be drawing, I have the drawing area ...

Reduce time spent on sheetfiles by using templates and visibility states.

There have been reports of Autodesk apps that are using the plug-in auto loader mechanism breaking after the install of AutoCAD 2017 Service Pack 1.  I know we've had at least one individual internally to our company have this issue, and it's been happening more and more.   The problem appears to only happen in vanilla AutoCAD and not in verticals like AutoCAD Architecture.  A workaround is to remove the SeriesMax entry from the PackageContents.xml. For example: xmlSeriesMax="R21.0". Or to change it to xmlSeriesMax="R21.1". You can read more about it on the JTB World Blog here:  AutoCAD 2017 Service Pack 1 and a word of warning   JTB World also released an Autodesk hotfix that addresses this issue which, at the time of this publication, was not yet made public:  AutoCAD 2017 App Autoloader Hotfix

A recurring issue that comes across my inbox is how to properly clean a AutoCAD file for use within Revit. Too many times users just insert an AutoCAD file "as is" and weighs a Revit model down or even worse causes corruption. This quick tip will show you the steps needed to properly clean an AutoCAD file. This process will remove most corruption issues that might occur with a AutoCAD file. This process is Crucial when bringing in files from consultants and you want to make sure your AutoCAD file that your bringing in is Clean and as lightweight as possible. Please click on link below to view this screencast. How to properly clean an AutoCAD file for use in Revit. Enjoy, Rick Kremer Senior Technical Consultant Applied Software

This week’s blog takes us back to AutoCAD basics. I’m prompted to write this by the fact that in the past couple of months I’ve worked with a couple of people who were completely surprised by this command while working with them. Let’s say that you’re working on a drawing and that you’ve erased an object. You’ve proceeded forward in your drawing by using other commands. At one point you realize you needed that object you erased a few commands ago. Don’t UNDO all your work until that object reappears. All you need to do is use the OOPS command. The OOPS command will restore the object(s) erased by the last ERASE command. Remember, you can only use the OOPS command to restore object erased by the last ERASE command. You cannot use the command to restore any and all objects you’ve erased through the history of the drawing, and you cannot restore any erased objects if you’ve closed your drawing and reopened it. Here’s the explanation of the command from the AutoCAD help file:

Of course, there are several exciting features released with this version of AutoCAD, and you can read about all of them in Autodesk’s AutoCAD 2017 Preview Guide. I will focus on the one’s that I believe are the most exciting and most relevant to you. • A simplified license manager. Have you ever installed AutoCAD as a standalone software or a trial and then needed to convert it to network software? Well, if you have then you already know that, historically, you had to uninstall the software and reinstall it as the type of software you need. It has always been a real pain. Now you simply install the software and when you launch it you are prompted for the type: If you find you need to change the type of software from network to standalone, or vice versa, you use the Infocenter > Manage Licenses option to do so: • Several dialog boxes have been enhanced to allow the user to stretch them to better view the information within that box. These dialog boxes include: Select File ...

We all know that if you type in U and hit ENTER you’ll undo the last command. And if you continue this process you’ll eventually undo back to the beginning of the session of your drawing. The UNDO command provides you a lot of useful tools. Just read the commandline:    · Auto: Groups the commands in a macro, such as a menu macro, into a single action, making them reversible by a single U command. UNDO Auto is not available if the Control option has turned off or limited the UNDO feature. · Control: Limits or turns off UNDO. Note: The Auto, Begin, and Mark options are not available when None or One is in effect. If you attempt to use UNDO while it is turned off, you are prompted to re-enter a Control option. All: Turns on the full UNDO command. None: Turns off the U and UNDO commands and discards any UNDO command information saved earlier in the editing session. One: Limits UNDO ...

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