AutoCAD 2014 Merge Layers from the Layer Properties Manager

This new feature is cool in many ways but one reason why is that I remember reading somewhere like the Augi wish list (http://www.augi.com/wishlist) or even on twitter that Jimmy B from http://www.jtbworld.com/ simply wished that he could easily select the layers from the Layer Proprieties manager and tell them to merge into another layer. And the next thing you know, that same feature shows up in AutoCAD 2014. So it is cool to know that Autodesk listens.

This new feature is really as simply as described above.

Open the Layer properties manager: LA <enter>

Layer Merge 1A

 

You can select a single layer or multiple layers. To select multiple layers use the normal multiple selection method either with the CTRL button or Shift button

Once the Layers are selected, right Click

Select “merge selected layer(s) to…”

Select the a layer from the pop-up box. These are layers that were not included in the selection of layers that you previously made because these are the “destination” layers. If you do not see your destination layer in this list, it is most likely because it was included in the selection of layers. So you will need to back up a little and re-select your layers. This time DON’T include the destination layer in the selection set.

Once you have selected a destination layer from the “Merge to Layer” dialog box, click OK

Then verify that the layer will be merged to the specified layer and click “Yes”

Merge Layers 1

 

The result is that the Layers and all of their objects have been merged into the layer that you specified and the old layers have been purged from the drawing.

Merge Layers 2

 

Posted in BASICS, Layers, New in 2014 | 8 Comments

AutoCAD 2014 Arc Improvement

With AutoCAD 2014, the ARC command has a simple-but-needed improvement. By default in AutoCAD, arcs are created counter clockwise. With 2014 you can control the creation of arcs to be clockwise or counter clockwise by simply holding the CTRL button.

See below for a more detailed look:

Simply opening the Arc tool’s flyout, there isn’t any obvious, visible change.

 

2014 Arc feature1

 

The direction that arcs are created are controlled in the UNITS dialog box

2014 Arc feature2

 

Although the new ARC direction option is available in all of the various arc tools, the most practical and obvious uses of the new ARC direction option are found in the ARC options shown below.

2014 Arc feature3

 

In the picture below, the upper arc that is being created shows the default ARC direction. The lower arc shows the new ARC direction option by hold the CTRL button during the command

2014 Arc Feature4

Posted in BASICS, New in 2014, TIPS | 3 Comments

Embed a Picture (Not as a Reference)

There are times when an image needs to be included in a drawing. For example, a client logo that needs to be part of the title block. It would be better to convert the logo into a block object by tracing over the image in AutoCAD and applying hatching as needed. But there are some logos that are not so simple and therefore using an embedded image is preferred.

If you have dragged and dropped the image into the drawing or used the OLE method, you realize that file is being referenced and therefore the separate picture file needs to be included when you send the file to the client.

Today’s tip shows how to bring the picture into a drawing so that it is not a reference and is therefore one less file to have manage…

Click here for original post: http://wp.me/p1aURt-uO

Here’s how:

  • Navigate to the picture file
  • Right click on the file and select “edit”
  • You could also open the picture in from the Windows Paint program

Embed Image 1

  • Select either the whole picture by using Ctrl + A or select a portion of the picture by dragging a window over the area you would like to insert into your drawing.
  • Copy the selected picture either using Ctrl + C or by clicking the Copy button

Embed Image 2

  • To paste the image in AutoCAD, use the command PASTESPEC or click the “Paste Special” button found on the Home tab > Clipboard panel > Paste drop down list > “Paste Special”

Embed Image 3

  • Accept the default option of “Paintbrush Picture” in the Paste Special dialog box
  • Click OK

Embed Image 4

  • Place the picture in the drawing and specify the scale

(In this example, the image is placed in paperspace)

  • Verify that the image is not an XREF by entering XR <enter> or XREF <enter> in the command line

Embed Image 5

~enjoy

Posted in Manage, Paper Space, TIPS, XREFs | 33 Comments

AutoCAD Script – Overkill

The command OVERKILL in AutoCAD is useful in removing overlapping objects but some times you just want it to do its thing and move on without worrying about its settings.

The Script today could be a starting point for you to automate this task.

For example, you might want to have the OVERKILL command run and clean up everything that is overlapping no matter their layer or color settings and maybe another time you would like to run the OVERKILL command and have it only “optimize polylines” where it removes extra vertices… Well, with a script, you can easily set these settings and have these various scripts on hand and run the specific script as needed.

Click here to download these OVERKILL script that uses the default values: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_y9I236zHwON01aR2kxRjYtZ3c/edit?usp=sharing

~enjoy

OverKILL script

Posted in Customization, Manage, Modifying, Polylines, Scripts, TIPS | 1 Comment

AutoCAD Script – Drafting Settings Toggles

Continuing with the AutoCAD script theme, here is one that controls the toggles that are found in the status bar.

Download the script from this link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_y9I236zHwOd1E3TDA2VVRvYWc/edit?usp=sharing

I made the script to turn off all of these toggles but i also tried to document within the script what settings you can change to suite your needs. So please customize the script…

For older versions of AutoCAD please modify as there have been new toggles added to the status bar. To cancel a line of the script, place the cursor at the beginning of a line and place
a ; at the beginning of the line. Everything on that line of the script will not be processed.

~enjoy

Drawing Status bar toggles

Posted in AutoCAD 2013, Customization, Manage, Modifying, Scripts, TIPS | Leave a comment

Export To AutoCAD Script

When drawings are created with an AutoCAD “vertical” software like AutoCAD MEP, P&ID, Mechanical and others, the specialized objects that these verticals create may not display in a session of vanilla AutoCAD. These objects may display a box where objects should be. These objects are somteimes referred to as “proxy”objects/entities or AEC objects. There are free add-ons that you can install on your computer called “object enablers” that will display these objects while being opened in a session of vanilla AutoCAD.
Autodesk provides these free objects enablers [here]

Bentley provides object enablers as well but their entire website and forums  are a total mess so it is easier and simpler to use google to search for the particular object enabler (Autoplant, ProStructures…)

There are times though that someone may not want to install anything in order to view the drawing. In this case, there is a command within AutoCAD (actually 2 commands…) that let to convert the special objects into AutoCAD objects (solids).
The command is -EXPORTTOAUTOCAD. Notice the minus sign (or dash) before the command. The other command is actually just another way of starting the same command. This other command is AECTOACAD.

The command has a series of prompts and the end result is that it will create a new drawing and converts the objects to AutoCAD objects. If you accept the defaults at the prompts, the new file that is created is the same name as the original file but with the prefix “ACAD-“

That is where the AutoCAD script file comes in handy, it automates the process for you.

Download here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_y9I236zHwOVTJzZmNaYWtReDg/edit?usp=sharing

Please save the below code as “Export To AutoCAD.scr” the “.scr” file format is important. This will change the file to an AutoCAD script file. To run this file, simply drag and drop this file into the drawing area, and viola – it is done. You can hit F2 or CTRL + F2 (for AutoCAD 2013) to view the command history to see what it does.

DragNDropScript


Posted in Customization, Manage, Modifying, TIPS | 1 Comment

Up and Running with the 2013 Core Console

With the release of AutoCAD 2013, there is a new feature that is called the “Core Console.” This Core Console is a stripped down version of of AutoCAD that includes no buttons or user interface other than what looks like a cryptic command line.

If you have an AutoCAD 2013 product installed, you can open it and see for yourself what it looks like. It is located at C: drive > Program Files > Autodesk > AutoCAD 2013 > “accoreconsole.exe”Core Console 2

After  launching the Core Console it looks a lot like the windows command line…

Notice the size of the Core Console. It weighs in at only 27kb on my computer. compare that to the acad.exe which loads when you open the normal AutoCAD interface and you can see why this Core Console can be your new best friend when it comes to batch processing files.

Core Console 3

So if you need to run batch routines on files, the Core Console is meant to be quick and capable of running AutoCAD script files (.scr), LISP routines, .NET (dot net) dlls and other programming routines. (I am only familiar with script files and LISP so that is where I will focus my attention).

As I mentioned above, the Core Console is limited in what it can do. And luckily Kean Walmsley has already done the hard part and found out what commands the Core Console will recognize found [here] and Kean has also put together a nifty .txt file that contains the available commands as well found [here]. Thanks for putting that together Kean!!

If you have launched the Core Console as shown above go ahead and close it. You can see that it is a bit cryptic in that it isn’t obvious as to how to even use it even though they give an example of the syntax… It took me a while to get it to run for me and like the name of the post, I want to get you up and running with it as well.

For this post we will learn how to run the Core Console 2 ways. 1) by running ScriptPro 2.0 and 2) by running it by itself through a windows .bat (batch) file. Both ways we will use the same AutoCAD script file that prints the layout tab named “Layout1″ to a PDF file.

If you would like to follow along with this example – Create a folder on your C: drive and name it “Test”. Place some drawings that contain a layout tab called “Layout1″ and also place a copy of the below AutoCAd script file called “Plot2PDF.scr” in the C:\Test folder.

Link to script “Plot2PDF.scr” > https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_y9I236zHwOYm00NllzbVRsQ2s/edit?usp=sharing

Core Console 4

Using ScriptPro 2.0
ScriptPro 2.0 is free and can be downloaded from the following [THIS] link. The old version of ScriptPro does not let you set the Core Console to run the batch. The old version automatically uses the full-blown acad.exe file.
Once you have it installed go ahead and launch ScriptPro 2.0
There should be a desktop icon that was installed or you can navigate to it by:
Start > All Programs > Autodesk > ScriptPro.exe (shown below)

Core Console 6

The only trick to using ScriptPro and the Core console is setting ScriptPro to use the correct .exe file.

Once ScriptPro is open,

  1. Click “Settings”
  2. Browse – navigate to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2013\accoreconsole.exe Select the .exe file.
  3. Click OK

Core Console 7

Now that the Core Console is set, you can build a list of files and select a script as normal.

To select files:
Click “Add From Folder” button and then browse to a folder from the list and then click OK.
One great thing about ScriptPro is that you can build a list

Core Console 8

To select a script file that will be run on each of the files:

  1. Click “Browse” in the “Script file” section
  2. Browse to the location of the script file
  3. Select the script
  4. Click “Open”

Core Console 9

Now that the files are listed and the script file is set the batch process can use the Core Console to process the files.
To process the files that have a check mark next to them press the button “Checked” (shown below)

Core Console 10

To use a batch file (.bat) use the following and adjust accordingly for your needs.

If you copy the following line into a Notepad file and save it with the extension .bat it will become a batch file.

But before you run it, it would be nice to know what it is doing so below is a simple explanation of what the .bat file does:

Core Console 11

Here is the content of the batch file:
FOR %%f IN (“c:\Test\*.dwg”) DO “C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2013\accoreconsole.exe” /i “%%f” /s “c:\Test\Plot2PDF.scr” /l en-US

Make sure to copy it as it is shown in the picture -meaning in one line. I was not able to get it to run when the content was on multiple lines. It only worked for me when it was all in one line. (but then again, I am a novice at these batch routines….)

The result of this is the following: it created PDFs of Layout1 of each of the drawings and placed the PDFs in the same folder as the drawings.

Core Console 12

Posted in AutoCAD 2013, AutoLISP: Manage, Manage, Modifying, New In 2013, Printing - Plotting, TIPS | 10 Comments