Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick Tips for LT: Part 1

This is the first of a short series of AutoCAD/LT tips presented here in simple entries to share and read at your convenience. Where noted, some tips are LT2012 specific:
  • Renaming the BAK file is the quickest way to recover a corrupt DWG file. Review the LT forum discussion topic here
  • UNITS settings in files from different sources may be difficult to decipher, but this forum tip is one option to explore
  • Another method of adding office standards like layers to existing files, without using template files:
  • Rotate and Scale commands both have a COPY option: your original will remain intact should you need it without exiting and restarting.
  • Use the ENTER keyboard key jump between Table cells.
  • Use ALT+ENTER keyboard keys to type more than one line of text (hard return between them) in a Table cell.
  • In AutoCAD/LT 2011 and higher, set VPROTATEASSOC variable to 1 and rotate your Viewport AND it's content together in one motion.
  • You can grip edit Viewports (editing capabilities when object grips are selected) : stretching, moving, rotating, scaling, and mirroring.
  • Temp Overrides in AutoCAD/LT: while in a command like LINE, hold SHIFT down to toggle ORTHO's running status.
  • PLINEGEN variable, if set to 1 may not display a segment of a dashed (or sim) Pline at each Vertex. Set it to 0 to see every one instead.
  • When in BEDIT command use the BATTORDER command to set the order the attributes will be prompted. See extra tip in forum
  • Alternatives to WIPEOUT command? With CECOLOR set to 255, use SOLID command or HATCH>Solid pattern. Control with DRAWORDER command.
  • VIEWGO command is a quick way to switch to your saved VIEW in a drawing file without going through the main dialog pop-up.
  • Highlight your text and press Ctrl+Shift+U to convert your selection to Uppercase or Ctrl+Shift+L for Lowercase: works with Text and Mtext.
  • SPLINEDIT and PEDIT commands allow you to easily convert a Spline to a Pline.
  • Use CHSPACE command to move objects from modelspace to paperspace, or vice-versa, while keeping their relative scale intact.
  • Prefer to see frames but not have them plot around Raster Images, DWF, PDF, XCLIP and DGN files? Set FRAME command to 2.
  • MULTIPLE command repeats the command-line command that you enter until you press ESC button on keyboard. Abbreviate it and others for speed.
  • Change the Text Case to/from ALL CAPS: Right click the highlighted text and select CHANGE CASE. Works with both MText and Text editors.
  • Highlight your text and press Ctrl+Shift+U to convert your selection to Uppercase or Ctrl+Shift+L for Lowercase: works with Text and Mtext.
  • You can set MTEXT (but not TEXT) to always type in ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME. when inside the MTEXT editor, right-click select AutoCAPS.
  • Extract a list of layers from an AutoCAD file: Select ALL then CTRL+C from the open Layer Dialog Box into a Microsoft Excel worksheet.
  • CLIP command is a single command to clip Images, XREFs, Viewports, and underlays (DGN, PDF, DWF and DWFx) in your drawing file.
  • AutoCAD/LT2011 and higher: Do you have many DWG files open right now? Type QVDRAWING command and get a preview of each one on screen.
  • Do you get the message "Object selected is not a polyline, do you want to turn it into one?" Set PEDITACCEPT to 1 to answer yes and never see that qestion again.
  • Need to find patches, known issues and updates quickly? Explore Autodesk's Knowledge Base webpage for information:
  • Use QSELECT to select all text items; open PROPERTIES and change the rotation of the text to one direction. No more head twisting to read.
  • HATCHTOBACK selects all hatches in the drawing (plus solid fills and gradient fills) and sets their draw order behind all other objects.
  • Use TINSERT command to place blocks within TABLE cells in your drawing file. Shortcut: select a cell, right-click and click Insert Block.
  • PICKSTYLE variable controls the use of group selection and associative hatch selection. Explored in the video here
  • Lose your LT2009 (as of this post's date) or higher version installation disk? Order product documentation and replacement software here:
  • QVLAYOUT command is the quickest way to preview all of those many Layouts you have in a single DWG file:
  • Migrating Toolbars to the Ribbon? Start CUI command, right-click over a Toolbar and turn it into a Panel then place it on a Ribbon Tab.
  • Turn on POLAR TRACKING (F10 key) and set it to 15 instead of using ORTHO (F8 key): think of it as Ortho+extra
  • Cut/Paste into MTEXT bring unwanted formatting? Instead of CTRL+V, right-click, select Paste Special, then pick one of three Paste options.
  • HPSEPARATE variable controls whether your consecutively drawn hatches are treated as one hatch object, or as separate hatch objects.
  • HATCHEDIT command: use to separate hatch objects. Start the command, select one of the hatches, then check the Separate Hatches box.
  • HATCHEDIT command abilities: Add and Remove Boundaries, Change Type, DrawOrder, Layer, Color, Transparency, Hatch origin and more.
  • TEXTTOFRONT command brings text, or dimensions, or both of them in front of all other objects in the drawing:
  • Need to add plot style tables to PLOT command’s choices STYLESMANAGER command opens the folder AutoCAD/LT is using. Move them there.
  • Can't see your preferred CTB plot style tables on the PLOT pop-up? Convert your drawing to that format using CONVERTPSTYLES command.
  • Fields are updated automatically when the drawing is opened, saved, plotted, regenerated, or sent through ETRANSMIT:
  • When DEMANDLOAD system variable is set to 2, fields cannot be updated until you use FIELD or UPDATEFIELD:
  • To lengthen or shorten a dimension, you can use TRIM or EXTEND commands: the edge you aim for must be in line with the dimension extension.
Look for additional quick tips next week. ◦