Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Civil 3D Tip: Change Styles Quickly

I'm sure everyone is either at AU or keeping up with everything from AU with your preferred social media, but here is a quick Civil 3D tip. If you use Civil 3D chances are that you change styles and change them often, try changing them quicker by going to the Settings tab in the Prospector, go to your style that you would like to change, and right-click then select Replace with...

Then just select the style that you would like to replace it with in the dialog box.

This will change the style of every Civil 3D object using the previous style.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Create a layer filter for Non-xrefed layers!

Occasionally I work with a lot of layers and a lot of xrefs and it gets pretty annoying when I am scrolling the the layer properties manager looking for a specific layer. But that's why we have layer filters!

Here is a "No Xref" filter that will hide all the xref layers. First, go into your layer properties manager and hit Alt+P or click on the New Property Filter icon at the top.

Now in the layer filter properties dialog box give your filter a name, something original like "No Xref". Then under filter definition in the Name column put ~*|*. This will display all of your layers without the "|" symbol which is in every xref layer.

Monday, September 30, 2013

#30n30 - Fix This Crap!!

Okay, This is not a real command.  This handy little lisp command will deploy three commands at once, _setbylayer, _Purge, and _audit.  Great way to fix all the crap in a drawing.


(defun C:fixthiscrap ()
(command "setbylayer" "all" "" "y" "y")
(command "-purge" "a" "" "n")
(command "audit" "y")

#30n30 - Object Isolation

No, it’s not the same as Layer Isolation, it’s object isolation. You can isolate one or more objects even if they are located on a different layer. 

1. Select the objects to isolate.


2. At the bottom right corner of the software, you will see a little light icon. Selecting the icon will give the ability to hide or isolate the objects selected. 


3. The little light icon will now turn red telling you that you have objects in your drawing that are not displayed.
4. To show all the objects, simply select the light icon.

#30n30 - Block to Xref

Ever wish you could just change that darn block to an xref? Just deploy the command, select the block, and then map the xref. This tool works well with title blocks. 

Comman: _blocktoxref

#30n30 - Fields

Fields can add dynamic text to your drawing and make updating faster and more productive. A number of fields can be added to your text. Anything from area to sheet set information. Today we are going to add an area field to mtext. 

1. Run command mtext. 

2. In text, right click and select “Insert Field” 


3. Select the field name “Object”. 

4. Under “Object type” select the box to the right. This takes you back to the drawing allowing you to select the object needed. Select “Object” 

5. Under property select “area” 

6. Change the format and precision as needed 

7. Select “OK” 


8. Now the area is added to the mtext 


Once you create the field text, it will update with the object. Just refresh when the object is updated.

#30n30 - 3D View Control

If you hold down shift and your middle mouse button, you are able to rotate the object in 3D view.

#30n30 - Action Recorder

Action recorder is one of my favorite little tools for doing mindless drafting. All it does is record your moves and commands in AutoCAD and then you can play it back. As your recording, you can pause for user input. 
The command can be found in the Ribbon > Manage > Action Recorder. 

#30n30 - QQuick Access Toolbar

With the AutoCAD ribbon, it's sometimes hard to find tools you use all the time.  Adding a new tool to your Quick Access Toolbar is just a right click away. 

1. In the ribbon, find the tool you wish to add to the Quick Access Tool Bar. 

2. Right click on the needed tool and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar. 


3. The new tool is now added to the Quick Access Toolbar. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

#30n30 - QQUIT

If you ever need to close AutoCAD quickly just use the Express Tool QQUIT. This will save and close all of your drawings and then close down AutoCAD.

For an even quicker close add QQUIT to a function key!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

#30n30 - Wipeout Frame

A value was added to WipeOutFrame in the new AutoCAD 2014.  If you give the value of 2 the wipeout frame will display, but not print.

Wipeout Frame Values:
0 - No display
1- Display
2- Display, but not plot


#30n30 - Command Search

I quick way to find out more information about a command is to do a internet search for it.  Now there is a fast way to do a search from AutoCAD.  Just start typing the command, you will see a little planet next to the suggested commands, once you select the planet your web browser will open with the proper search.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

#30n30 - Array Classic

If you are a fan of the original array dialog box then array classic is for you. Just type in ARRAYCLASSIC into the command line and you will get the dialog box instead of using the dynamic command line.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

#30n30 - Drawing Clockwise

From the beginning of time AutoCAD only draws arcs and angles counterclockwise, but in The newest version of Autodesk products allows you to change that by simply holding control key in the middle of  the command will change it to clockwise.

#30n30 - Tab on....Tab off

I am loving the new drawing file tab in AutoCAD, but sometime you need some more space. You can toggle drawing tabs on and off by using a combination of two commands. FILETAB command will open drawing tabs and FILETABCLOSE will quickly close drawing tabs. 

Command: FILETAB

#30n30 - Burst

If you are running thru your drawings and exploding dynamic blocks (which I do not endorse) try using the BURST command instead. This will allow you to "explode" a dynamic block while keeping the attributes of the block.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

#30n30 - Convert to Mtext

I find there are a lot of people that love single line text in AutoCAD, I am not one of them. That helps me love this command more and more everyday. TXT2MTXT is a command that converts all your Dtext lines into one Mtext box.


#30n30 - Classic Layer Manager

 The command Classiclayer will pull up the old layer manager.  Just like the good old days!


#30n30 - Audit

Audit is a amazing command that helps clean up errors in your drawing. When I have a number of problems with a drawing this command is typical the fist thing I try.


Monday, September 16, 2013

#30n30 - Layer Previous

This little tool help you restore to your previous later status.  Very helpful when you have a large number of layers in you drawing.


#30n30 - Layer Freeze

No this is not a command that keeps your layers on ice, but one that freezes (turn off) the selected layer in the current view.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

#30n30 - Merge Layers 2014

One of my favorite new features in AutoCAD 2014 is the ability to merge layers while inside the layer properties manager. I think this has been something that has been long overdue.

To merge layers, first select the layers you would like to merge inside the layer properties manager and then right-click.

Then you will be prompted to select which layer is your target layer.

Once you hit "OK" you will be asked to verify your selection and then your done!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


If you find yourself spending hours just scrolling in and out of your drawings try adjusting the ZOOMFACTOR! Simply type ZOOMFACTOR into the command line and select a number between 3 and 100. I have mine set at 50.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I have to deal with a lot of surveys at work and occasionally I have a surveyor override the properties of an object to something other than BYLAYER. After I throw my mouse against the wall and contemplate using a new surveyor, I remember that I can use the SETBYLAYER tool to clean up my drawing.

Just type in SETBYLAYER in the command line and you can change the Color, Linetype and Lineweight of an object you can even change Byblock to Bylayer!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Autodesk Software - Why buy when you can Rent?

Autodesk announced today that it will start offering a "Pay as you Go" option to most of there design suites.

Find out more info Here

Would you rent software? and Why?

#30n30 - Purge

Purge is a quick and simple way to remove a number of unused linetypes, layers, hatches, and other things. This is a great tool to keep your drawing clean and a clean drawing is a happy drawing.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

#30n30 - Block Count

Block count is a quick way to list and count the blocks in a drawing. Enjoy!


Friday, September 6, 2013

#30n30 - Object Viewer

A quick and simple way to view one or more 3D objects in a drawing is to use Object Viewer.  Once you have the objects you wish to view right click and select "Object Viewer".  Now you are able to view all your 3D objects using 3D orbit.


#30n30 - NCopy

NCopy is nice little tool that allows you to copy an object from a xref or a Microstation underlays.  Okay now for that bad news about this command, you can only copy one object at a time. :^(


Thursday, September 5, 2013


If you ever get tired of the pop-up balloon notifications that show up in the lower right hand corner of AutoCAD, just use the variable TRAYNOTIFY and set it to 0. This is saved in the registry so you will not have to do it in every drawing.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#30n30 - Change Space

Change space is a quick tool that I use all day everyday, because I end up drawing stuff in paper space that needs to be in model space.  This command allows you to push objects from model space to paper space and back.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

#30N30 - Move, Copy & Rotate

Yes I am talking about three commands in one! The move, copy & rotate commend allows you to do all three commands to the same object. Try it out!

Command: _mocoro

Monday, August 12, 2013

Autodesk Magazine

Autodesk has introduced a digital magazine. Autodesk Infrastructure Magazine, is a digital magazine that will show you how companies are using BIM solutions for their infrastructure projects. Best of all it's free!

Hit the link below to checkout the magazine.

Engineering the Future

#30n30 - Trim and Extend

If you ever wanted trim and extend in the same command, you are able to do so by hold down the shift key to change trim to extend and vic verca.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CAD Clues in your Inbox

If you are a fan of the service ifttt.com (if this then that), then you will be happy to know we have the perfect recipe for you to enjoy. Get the most up-to-date post from CAD clues delivered to your inbox.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Drawing Tabs - Autodesk Exchange

This is an Autodesk Exchange app that I came across and I have found very useful and so have many of my coworkers. Drawing Tabs is a plug-in that allows you to switch between open drawings. It places tabs for all the open drawings at the top of your drawing. This is a lot faster than the "Ctrl+tab" method I was using to switch between drawings.

Here are the links to download Drawing Tabs from the Autodesk Exchange store for those of you running 2013, and for those of you running 2010-2012 there is a link to download the MDITabs.ARX application. Let me know what you think.

Drawing Tabs for 2013

Drawings Tabs 2010-2012

I should mention that Drawing Tabs will be a part of AutoCAD 2014.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Autodesk Homestyler

For those of you that are remodelers, interior decorators, or maybe you just want to rearrange some furniture. You might want to checkout the Homestyler app from Autodesk, you can use pictures of your own rooms and experiment with different colors and finishes and even take a look at your design in 3D.

The Autodesk Homestyler app is now available for download for iOS and Android devices.

Android: Homestyler
iOS: Homestyler

Quick Clue - Select Similar

This is one of my favorite tools inside AutoCAD, I use it all the time in Civil 3D and if you are not using it on a daily basis then you should be!

The command does it exactly what it says, Selects Similar objects. So if you are in a drawing with control points or contour labels and you want to change the properties of those labels quickly just select one and right-click, and the Select Similar command is at the bottom of the menu.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

AutoCAD WS is Dead!

Autocad WS is being replaced with the new mobile and web application call AutoCAD 360.  The update is available for download on your mobile device, so there is no need to download a new app or change your browser bookmark. Check out the video bellow for more details.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Autodesk's redesigned website

We talked about the new Autodesk logo back in March, but did you know that Autodesk has a redesigned website?  The redesign makes it faster to find the information you need and it's a slick looking website.

Convert PDF to DWG Free!

There are times we need to import a PDF file into our drawings, sadly almost every time the reference PDF file slows down our drawing.  Well why not convert that PDF to DWG for free?  Just head over to http://www.convertpdftoautocad.com to upload your PDF file and within minutes you will receive an email with a download link to the converted drawing.

Service features

1. Hight quality conversions with lines, arcs, scale presets and text preserved, and no need for future touch-ups.
2. Files of up to 40MB can be uploaded and converted within minutes.
3. All uploaded users data, including emails, will be deleted in accordance with there privacy policy.
4. Everything is free! If you are wondering why it's free....it's ad supported.

Site: http://www.convertpdftoautocad.com

Friday, March 1, 2013

Autodesk New Logo

The new Autodesk logo was released on 02/26/2013.  The new logo makes me want to learn how to do origami. 
You can read more about the new logo change and the future vision of Autodesk on there "In The Fold" blog.

What do you think of he new logo change?

AutoCAD WS hits 11,000,000 Downloads

AutoCAD WS hits 11,000,000  download between iOS and Android.
Do you use AutoCAD WS?

If you have not downloaded it yet, give it a chance.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quick Clue - Add Selected

This is a great tip I found just the other day, and I use it more then I use polyline.

Command: _addseleced

This command allows you to add the type of object selected with the same properties into the drawing without launching any other command or changing properties of the object.

To launch the command just select the type of object you want to add > right click > and select Add Selected.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10 More Must Have Engineering Apps

1. Autodesk 360 Mobile
This is a great application for keeping up with data located on the Autodesk servers.

iOS: Download

2. PDF Max Pro
This app is a must have for me. If you need to take notes or review a set of plans, this PDF viewer will get the job done.

Site: Here

iOS: download
Android: Coming Soon!

3. OnLive Desktop
If you ever wanted to run Windows 7 on an iOS or Android device, this handy app can do the trick.

Site: Here

iOS: download
Android: download

4. Turbo Viewer
Turbo Viewer is a nice drawing viewing application to have when you don't have internet access to your device. The ablillity to view both 3D and 2D drawings on the go is a big plus.

Site: here

iOS: download
Android: download

5. GoodNotes
This is not just another PDF viewer, this is the best one for CAD users. The abillity to review a pdf files on the go is helpful, but this app gives you the best way to hightlight comments after updating the drawing file.

Site: here

iOS: download
Android: Sorry. :(

6. Team Viewer
I have used this app for years and it just keeps getting better. Team Viewer is the best way to access a desktop computer.

Site: here
iOS/Android/Windows/Mac: download

7. Google Currents
This little app from google is a great way to keep up with CAD news.

Site: here

iOS: download
Android: download

CAD Clues on Google Currents: CAD Clues on Currents

8. Google Drive
If you are not using Google Drive, stop reading this and go get it....NOW!! Yes this is another cloud storage service, but the best way to update documents on the go for free.

Site: here

iOS: download
Android: download

Readers Sugesstions.

9. Unit Pro (from Jorge G.)
A nice and simple unit conversion app.

iOS: download
Android: Sorry! :(

10. ThermoFluids (from Vermilion Labs)
This app gets single phase thermodynamic properties for a range of fluids.

iOS: download
Android: Sorry! :(

Do you have any must have apps?