AutoCAD® 2004 FAQ


Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00086

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


If, due to previous formatting limitations of multiline text, you are in the habit of creating many single-line text objects, you may want to rethink your text creation methods in AutoCAD® 2004. The ability to use tabs and intents in the Multiline Text Editor enables you to create well formatted notes and tables within a single text object. You can easily convert existing multiple text objects to a single multiline text object using the TXT2MTXT express tool. From the Express menu (Express Tools are included on the AutoCAD 2004 install CD but are not automatically installed), choose Text > Convert Text to MText. Select all of the text objects you want to combine into a single Mtext object. A Text to MText options dialog box offers more control over the conversion process.

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett

Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00079

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


With AutoCAD® 2004 you can have the best of both worlds when it comes to right-click functionality: Right-click to ENTER and right-click to access context menus. From the Tools menu, choose Options and then select the User Preferences tab. Choose Right-click Customization and turn on Time Sensitive Right-click. A quick click will perform a traditional ENTER (similar to pre-ACAD 2000 functionality) and you can adjust the time delay (try 125 milliseconds) for context sensitive menus. While working in AutoCAD, you simply right-click to perform an ENTER and right-click (holding the mouse-button down for a fraction of a second) to access the context menus.

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett

Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00084

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


You can simultaneously preview all of the drawings in a folder using Windows Explorer or the file navigation dialog boxes (such as File > Open, File > Save) in AutoCAD®. In the file list, right-click and choose View > Thumbnails.

Tip Submitted by:
Heidi Hewett


Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00085

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


Although you may typically run AutoCAD® by accessing a license from a network license server, there may be situations where you need to run AutoCAD without access to the network. For example, you may need to work from home or a project site. Or maybe the network is scheduled for extended maintenance and will be inaccessible to an entire department. With AutoCAD 2004, you can borrow (check out) a network license for up to 30 days. You can return (check in) the license early or simply let it expire, automatically returning the license to the server. To borrow a network license, choose Programs > AutoCAD 2004 > License Borrowing Utility from the Windows Start menu. License borrowing is an installation option when creating a network deployment, so if you cannot find this utility, check with your CAD manager.

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett



Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00080

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


If you like to use the keyboard whenever possible, try using the Ctrl+PageUp and Ctrl+ PageDown keys to navigate through drawing layouts. This functionality is new in AutoCAD® 2004.

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett

Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00081

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


The Object Properties Manager (OPM), introduced in AutoCAD® 2000, can be used to edit nearly every aspect of an object’s properties except the attribute values of a block. In AutoCAD® 2004, the Properties palette (formally OPM) has been enhanced enabling you to edit block attribute values, even ones that are invisible. Simply select a block with attributes, right-click and choose Properties (you may even have the Properties palette already displayed). Scroll down to the bottom of the Properties palette and change the values of any attributes in the selected block.

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett


Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00083

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


With AutoCAD® 2004, under the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system, you can pan past the edge of the display. Use the Real-time Pan command or your mouse wheel to pan without limits!

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett

Published date: 2003-03-08
ID: TP00082

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


Save screen real estate while maintaining easy access to the Properties palette. Turn on the Properties palette; then turn off Allow Docking and turn on Auto-hide (Right-click menu). Push the Properties palette to the edge of your display. You can temporarily unroll the Properties palette by passing your cursor over the title bar, selecting an object and choosing Properties, or double-clicking on an object (depends on the type of object).

Tip submitted by:
Heidi Hewett

Published date: 2003-02-28
ID: TP00010

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004
Autodesk® Land Desktop 3
Autodesk Map™ 6


Need to suppress the foot (ft) ' suffix from angular dimensions? Without exploding or creating another dimension style for only angular dimensions?

1. Create the initial dimension style with the '(ft) suffix.

2. Create a substyle for Angular Dimensions (New, Use for Angular Dimensions).

3. Create an angular dimension.

4. Initialize Properties (Modify-Properties) and select the angular dimension

5. Open the Priamry Units category and remove the '(ft) from Dim suffix

6. Select the angular dimension and right click, select Dim Style-Save as New Style...

7. Select 'initial dimension style$2' and OK.

This will update the Dimension substyle for only Angular dimensions where the '(ft) is suppressed.

Tip submitted by:
Mark Martinez
The D.C. CADD Company

Published date: 2003-02-28
ID: TP00006

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004
AutoCAD® Mechanical 2004
Autodesk® Architectural Desktop Release 3.3
Autodesk® Land Desktop 3


Ever run into the situation where you insert a new block containing nested attributes block only to find that there are attributes blocks in the drawing with the same name as the ones in your block or group? The first thing you would notice is that your nested attribute blocks will take on the characteristics of the existing block with the same name but your attribute tags won't - so you end up with garbage.

If you first copy your block into a new temporary drawing and use the RENAME command in the FORMAT pulldown menu, you will get a dialog box that will give you a list of all the attribute blocks in your drawing and a way to rename them without having to explode anything.

Tip submitted by:
John Person
MulvannyG2 Architecture



Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00007

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004


To draw scale, single-line marking for roads according to 'Traffic sign regulations and general directions 1994', paste the following lines into your acad.lin file.

Note: If the linetypes are OK for long straights, but they seem to lose their scale when too short or joined with other polylines, check your PLINETYPE setting. Your LTSCALE needs to be set to 1 and check that your polyline linetype generation is on.

*D1003 600-300,D1003 ______ ______ ______

A,600,-300

*D1003.1 1000-1000,D1003.1 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A,1000,-1000

*D1003.2 500-250,D1003.2 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

A,500,-250

*D1003.3 700-300,D1003.3 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

A,700,-300

*D1004 4000-2000,D1004 ____ ____ ____ ____ __

A,4000,-2000

*D1004.1 6000-300,D1004.1 ______ ______ _____

A,6000,-3000

*D1005 1000-5000,D1005 - - - - -

A,1000,-5000

*D1005.1 2000-7000,D1005.1 __ __ __

A,2000,-7000,2000,-7000

*D1008 3000-4000,D1008 ___ ___ ___ ___

A,3000,-4000

*D1008.1 3000-6000,D1008.1 ___ ___ ___

A,3000,-6000

*D1009 600-300,D1009 ______ ______ ______ _

A,600,-300

*D1010 1000-1000,D1010 - - - - - - - - - - -

A,1000,-1000

Tip submitted by:
Glenn Fernie
White Young Green/Stockton Borough Council

Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00040

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004
Autodesk® Architectural Desktop Release 2004
Autodesk® Land Desktop 3
Autodesk® Raster Design 3
Autodesk CAD Overlay® 2002
Autodesk CAD Overlay® 2000i
Autodesk CAD Overlay® 2000
Autodesk CAD Overlay® Release 14


If you have a mouse with side buttons and would like to make one of these side buttons pop-up your OSNAP menu (instead of having to hold down the SHIFT key and right-click) try this:

First go to the Windows Control Panel, double-click the mouse settings icon. If you have the correct mouse driver installed, you should be able to assign functions to every button on your mouse. Assign the button that you would like to use for OSNAPS as F12 ( since this funciton key is not used for anything else ).

Open AutoCAD and go to the Tools pulldown menu, choose Customize, then Toolbars. On the Commands tab, click User-defined.

On the top right, drag and drop a User-Defined Button out of the dialog box. This just made a new button and toolbar.

Right-click on the new button and choose Properties.

Name the button something, like OSNAPS. Look for ^C^C in the Macro text field, and type

$p0=SNAP $p0=*

or cut and paste that from the Acad.mns file.

The string should look like the following:

^$p0=SNAP $p0=*

Select the Close button. Next, go to the Tools pulldown menu, choose Customize > Keyboard. Under Categories look for Toolbar1 Toolbar. If you have the right toolbar it should say OSNAPS under Commands. To the right under Press new shortcut key: pick the F12 button. Click the Assign button, Close, and try it.

The method above will also allow you to assign a Diesel macro function to your mouse buttons.

Tip submitted by:
Chad Studer
Sterling Systems



Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00003

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004
Autodesk® Architectural Desktop Release 2004


If you need an ellipse to be a polyline, just change the system variable PELLIPSE from the default 0 to a 1 then all your newly created ellipses will be 2D polylines in the same shape as an ellipse instead of ellipses. This is handy if you use DXF files for CNC programming.

Tip submitted by:
Sean Owen
Artcraft Industries Inc

Published date: 2003-02-28
ID: TP00009

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004
AutoCAD® Mechanical 2004


When wanting to erase multiple objects all at once, preselect the items (in order to see their grips) and then hit the Delete button located on your keyboard. This saves one from pressing E and then pressing enter.

Tip submitted by:
Spencer Hall
Connecticut Tool


Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00008

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004


If you are placing text below a dimension line such as TYP. you can attach the text to the dimension by placing a \X right after the default value "<>" and typing in your text.

Tip submitted by:
Jason Hryhorczuk
Techna-West Engineering

Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00055

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


If you have to plot two or more Layout tabs, there is a trick to plot them all at once. Assuming each Layout has already been set-up for plotting, do the following:

Make the first Layout active.
Hold down the 'Shift' key, and click on the last layout tab. This will highlight all of the tabs (Note: if you don't want all of the layout tabs selected, simply hold down the 'Ctrl' key and select the tabs you want removed).
Click on the Printer icon from the toolbar, or, enter the PLOT command.
When the 'Plot' dialog box appears, select whether to want to 'Plot to File' or not, and then simply click the 'OK' button.

Tip submitted by:
Murray Clack
CBCL Ltd.

Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00052

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


If you want to see where the outside perimeter of a paper space viewport is in relation to model space, do the following:

Using a pline, trace over the perimeter of a viewport boundary (make sure you snap to each endpoint). Then, using the Express tool CHSPACE, select the polyline you just drew, and send it through the corresponding viewport. The next time you go into model space (TILEMODE 1) you will have the exact size, shape, and position of the paper space viewport. This comes in handy knowing exactly where the limit of the viewport is. Another trick is to then put this pline on layer DEFPOINTS or a separate layer so that it doesn't plot.

Tip submitted by:
Murray Clack
CBCL Ltd


Published date: 2003-01-23
ID: TP00001

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004
Autodesk® Architectural Desktop Release 2004


You can easily move and reposition any block attributes which are part of inserted blocks. Just select the block (or that particular attribute) with a single click of your mouse to get object grips to display. Select the grip which belongs to the attribute and drag the attribute to where you need it to be. This is the quickest and easiest ever way to move block attributes without editing the block itself!

Tip submitted by:
Eugene Kazagrandi
Quiggin Cook & Associates


Published date: 2003-01-31
ID: TP00062

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


You can use the INTERFERE command to help you visualize a complex 3D drawing. The INTERFERE command gives you information about how one solid interferes with another. INTERFERE creates a new object on the current layer. By changing the current layer to a layer that uses a different color than the existing objects, you can clearly distinguish the new solid from the existing ones.

Tip submitted by:
Ellen Finkelstein


Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00014

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


Entities: Draw a 3D face over the entities in model space with a z-value of more than the highest z-value in the model. Change to paper space and using the command MVIEW > Hideplot > ON, then pick the viewport that contains the objects that you wish to hide. Text: Change the elevation of the text to a positive value, then continue the same as entities. The entities in model space will not display as hidden but will be hidden when you print the drawing. It is a good idea to check this using print preview before you plot.

Tip submitted by:
Barry Wolhuter
Cadalyst Magazine Newsline

Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00005

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004
AutoCAD LT® 2004


Another way to divide a circle is to draw a polygon with the number of sides equal to the number that you want to divide the circle into. Draw the polygon with the center in the center of your circle. Make the poygon Inscribed and pick a point on the circle (a quadrant or nearest) then you can draw lines from the center of the circle to the intersections of the polygon.

Tip submitted by:
Anonymous

Published date: 2003-01-31
ID: TP00064

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


Do you work with several toolbars open just so you'll have one or two buttons available from each toolbar? You can easily create your own toolbar with the buttons you use most. Choose View > Toolbars to open the Customize dialog box. Click New on the Toolbars tab and name the toolbar. There's now a small empty toolbar on your screen. Open the toolbars that contain the buttons you want. Hold down the Ctrl key (to copy rather than move the buttons), drag the buttons you want onto the new toolbar, and close the Customize dialog box.

Tip submitted by:
Ellen Finkelstein


Published date: 2003-02-01
ID: TP00015

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2004


To xref a dwg into a base dwg at a different elevation simply change the elevation in the base dwg (ELEVATION command), change to plan view, and then xref your dwg. Your xref will appear at the new elevation. Using the external reference feature will lead to much smaller individual file sizes when dealing with 3D drawings, and the individual dwgs are much easier to edit.

Tip submitted by:
Anonymous

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