Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Linetype Scales

How to keep your linetype scales constant throughout your drawing irrespective of viewport size and scale.

This is something that bothered me for a long time now and caused much anxiety when trying to utilise model space and paper space properly for complex drawings.
It is sometime needed to produce large masterplans at one scale with inserts of that plan at a different scale on the same drawing or even on a seperate layout tab. The problem I used to have was getting my linestyles to match no matter what my plotted scale was. In the past I have tried to find a happy medium for my scaling to cover all drawings. Well no longer, if you are having the same problem then follow the procedure below;

  1. Construct you drawing as you normally would at 1:1, assign all your linestyles as normal and alter the scaling so that it looks ok in model space.
  2. For test purposes, create two new viewports at 2 completley different scales so that you can see an obvious difference in the linetype scale.
  3. Make sure you are now in paperspace, and type PSLTSCALE, hit enter, type in 1 and hit enter. Type in LTSCALE, hit enter, type in 1 and hit enter.
  4. Double a viewport to activate model space through paperspace and click view from the drop down menu and click regen. This should have changed the way your assigned linetype looks. Repeat this procedure for each viewport you have.

You can now crreate as many viewport as you like on any layout tab at any scale and they will look exactly the same. Remember to regen the drawing in model space through the viewport. If the linetypes are too small or large when printed then to globally change these you can alter the linetype scale as you normally would in model space. This should then change the scaling throught all viewports and layout tabs automatically.

Hope this has been usefull

Monday, 14 January 2008

Selction Preview

On complicated Autocad drawings selecting the correct element can be tricky, selections are much easier now that AutoCAD highlights (previews) objects as you mouse over them by either thickening the selection, showing it as a dashed line or both. However, it can still be difficult to select the right object when drawings become complicated with lots of overlapping objects. AutoCAD allows you to cycle through all overlapping objects under the cursor.

Hold down the Shift key and then repeatedly hit the Spacebar (Shift + Space). Each object under the cursor will be highlighted in turn and you can easily pick the one you want.

The same process can be used select sub-objects such as faces and edges on 3D Solids. To cycle through sub-objects, hold down the Control key and hit the Spacebar repeatedly (Ctrl + Space).

Saturday, 12 January 2008


ABC too boring for you?

When you start MTEXT in Autocad and draw your boundary box, you see “sample text” showing you the current text style and height. This is always shown as 'ABC'. You can set the text to anything you want (up to 10 characters) with MTJIGSTRING.

Not strictly a to tip but good for some fun.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Layers - Working Faster

Ever wanted to manipulate more than one layer at a time - Well here's how to.

You can modify more than one layer at a time. In the Layer Properties Manager dialog box (click Layers on the Object Properties toolbar) right-click and choose Select All or Clear All. Choose a range of layers by clicking the first layer, holding down Shift and clicking the last in the range. Choose multiple individual layers by pressing Ctrl as you choose each additional layer. Changes to color, linetype, or lineweight affect all the selected layers. And don't forget that you can sort the listing by any column. For example, if you want to change all your red layers to magenta, click the word "Color" at the top of the Color column to sort all your layers by color. You can now easily select all the red layers to change their color.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008


Why Use e-Transmit?

Are you sick of getting Autocad Files with missing .shx files, raster images and xrefs?

If you use the e-Transmit function in Autocad (File, e-Transmit) then if you have any non standard hatches, images or shape files that have been created in house, e-transmit will collect all the relevant files and automatically bundle them into a .zip file along with the drawing you wish to send, prepare and send the e-mail as a whole for you.

Hey presto the client has all the information they need to be able to read the drawing properly, nice one Autocad a useful tool.

The Importance Of Layers

Autocad Layering:

I'm not here to lecture but I can not stress enough the importance of having a good layering convention when using Autocad. It is even more crucial when working in a multidisciplinary team where xrefs and multiple changes need to be carried out at short notice.

Time spent at the beginning of the job will always pay dividends towards the end. The number of times I have received drawings from external sources that need a full days work on them to reorganise the layering structure is unbelievable.

Am I the only one who comes across this, your thoughts appreciated.

Offsett Tips

Autocad Offsett Command

If you want to use the autocad to offset a line equal distances from a central line and you only know the overall distance type x/2 as the offset distance.
For example, if you have a line which needs to be at the midpoint of an overall offset of 762mm, use the following command: Offset - 762/2 - The line can now be offset 381mm either side.A great command for non-whole numbers or if you're not great at maths!
I personally use this one when I'm putting windows or doors on a floor plan and I want them to be central to the room, hence the midpoint.

Switching Viewports

Switching Between Viewports;

Sometime you may have created a viewport within a viewport, easy to create but why does it always select the outer viewport when trying to work on the inset viewport. Who knows? To get around his simply select any viewport and press Ctrl+R this will then cycle through all viewports in that particular layout.