Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How do you share DWG files?

One of the easiest and most common ways a typical AutoCAD/LT user shares files is by emailing their DWG file to a recipient. If there are any Referenced files (Xrefs), they are also dropped into the same email message and sent. The recipient, another experienced AutoCAD/LT user with a total understanding of your file structure and with all your custom fonts and shape files, drops each individual file in an identical folder to yours, including the Xrefs, and CAD-life is good for both of you.

The challenge of communicating your intent, file custom content (fonts, shape files etc.) and your filing structure for Xrefs to another user outside the above scenario, especially to a client/customer, needs to be more professionally presented, and more convenient for them (not you) to manage.
AutoCAD/LT can help with ETRANSMIT command: it packages a set of DWG files, and any associated support/dependent files like fonts, plot style tables, all referenced files etc., for transmission and distribution. The command has many features and options:
  • Feature: the DWG file you are in is automatically selected.
  • Feature: By default, dependent files are automatically included in the transmittal package unless you uncheck them. These include any attached DWG/ DGN/ DWF/ PDF/ DWFx/ Raster external references.
  • Option: include other dependent files that are part of your DWG file(s), such as Font Files (SHX and TTF Windows fonts), custom Hatch patterns and linetypes, PMP Plotter model parameter files (used to store configuration information specific to a plotter such as custom paper sizes), OLE objects (linked files) that are linked to files in the drawing are not included in the transmittal package, and CTB/STB plot style tables.
  • Option: Choose your final DWG format conversion here, without leaving the command.
  • Option: Save Transmittal Setups for your project.
  • Option: Package the transmittal package in a ZIP file, in a self-extracting EXE file, or in a folder that is copied to a specified location.
  • Option: Specify that the folder structure of the transmitted files be organized in a logical hierarchy, flattened into a single folder, or copied “as is” to the recipient's computer. If you specify an FTP or HTTP destination, the transmittal package uses the single folder option.
  • Option: Add password protection to the transmittal package, bind xrefs automatically, set the default plotter to “none,” and other options.
  • Explore these and other procedures for ETRANSMIT command through this LINK.
How do you get the content you've just create through ETRANSMIT command? There is that easy-for-you Email attachment option, and assuming the recipient is capable of receiving that large a package, their email server is not set to block your attachment (or deem it Spam and drop it in the wrong folder), your client is expecting it, and confirms receipt of it in a timely fashion, is that the only method to ensure prompt and safe delivery? Explore more about this command HERE.

Online File Sharing is a popular solution: whether your company wishes to host the service on their servers, or an off-site third-party vendor (or your company's Internet Provider/WebHosting service), these offer as limited or as detailed set of features you want. Many allow you to send links to recipients to download the files, or have alerts sent directly to them from watched folders on your server or on remote servers.
FTP is the most popular form for this type of file sharing/delivery system. Many are FREE, others have monthly unlimited files or per-file-count charges and are hosted on secure remote servers. Autodesk, for a per-project price, offers a similar service called BUZZSAW and a free Technology Preview from their Labs, Project Nitrous.

Many popular free and low cost File Sharing services like WIKISEND, YOUSENDIT, BIGUPLOAD, 4SHARED (and MORE), as well as established more permanent online file sharing services like DROPBOX and, offer more options including file syncing and even Mobile Device Access.

Options are plenty for sharing and sending files: explore them and create a professional experience for your recipients and clients wit these tools. ◦

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tweets this week: YouTube and reTweets

Below is a summary of topics we covered this week on Twitter. This week we cover LT resouces on YouTube and sharing files with others. 
  • Do you customize in LT? OSMODE variable is a quick way to set running osnaps
  • “@katemorrical: Block Editor Hotfix Posted ” for LT2012 users this is important.
  • Create DWF quickly, from model or paperspace: EXPORTDWF command, no need to change any predefined PAGESETUPs that aim for another plotter.
  • Join @Lynn_Allen today at 4pm EST for a Twitter chat on #AutoCADWS. Use #dellcad -
  • LT2011 and higher: LAYERP command will Undo the last change or set of changes made to layer settings. Use LAYERPMODE to control the settings.
  • LTisACAD Blog: More LT Resources: YouTube Videos
  • RT @AutoCADLT: More ways to try AutoCAD LT 2012
  • Hatching and Transparency in AutoCAD (and LT) 2011 (and 2012 too) video tutorial:
  • RT @civil3dguide: Are you using fields in AutoCAD? If not attend my free online class this week to learn a couple of ways to use them!
  • Do you share DWF files? Read DWF Markup Sets overviews online at and
We post daily on the topic of AutoCAD/LT and features/abilities of interest to users: you can find us at
Get Twitter updates via Text Message (SMS) by texting FOLLOW LTISACAD to 40404 in the United States. To stop SMS updates, simply text UNFOLLOW LTISACAD to the same number.

Catch a listing of all our twitter postings HERE:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More LT Resources: YouTube Videos

In addition to the AutoCAD LT Resources available to end users for support, training, and education outlined in our previous blog HERE, there is a growing number of excellent short LT-topic-specific training material found at YouTube.

LT2012, the newest shiping version, has amassed quite the collection of videos and continues to expand. From What's New through the new Array functionality, the offerings are quite plentiful and worth exploring in your own time. Start HERE.

LT2011 is equally represented, with a long list of DEMO videos and additonal topic-specific videos: your exploration starts HERE.

LT2010 and LT2009 specific videos are prolific, many of the topics are equally specific to these two versions and are great tools to help you understand what each version added from earlier iterations of LT. There are a few LT2008 videos and non-English LT2007 videos, an LT2006 tip, but LT versions below that are few and rare. But YouTube posting is free, if you are an LT user of these lower versions perhaps you could post tips and tricks for other fellow users. ◦

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tweets this week: Resources, Tips, Puzzle

Below is a summary of topics we covered this week on Twitter. This week we review more tips, a fun word game to stretch your commands knowledge, sharing files and finding LT Help.
  • LT2012: GROUPEDIT command allows you to add and remove objects from selected groups as well as UnGroup. And rename a group too.
  • Test your AutoCAD commands knowledge with this PDF posted by a CAD Manager in the Autodesk Forums:
  • Your client does not need to install any software to view DWG/DXF files: share them for free and maintain control using AutoCADWS Explore more HERE.
  • Start LAYCUR command, select objects, hit on the keyboard and those objects now moved to current active layer.
  • AutoCAD/LT ignores the INSUNITS setting when a drawing whose ANNOTATIVEDWG variable has been set to 1 is being inserted into a drawing.
  • HPSEPARATE variable controls whether a single hatch object or separate hatch objects are created when selecting several closed boundaries.
  • Turn on “Maintain visual fidelity for annotative objects” (Open-Save tab in OPTIONS command) to share Annotative DWGs with 2007 or lower.
  • LTisACAD Blog: LT Resources: free from Autodesk
We post daily on the topic of AutoCAD/LT and features/abilities of interest to users: you can find us at
Get Twitter updates via Text Message (SMS) by texting FOLLOW LTISACAD to 40404 in the United States. To stop SMS updates, simply text UNFOLLOW LTISACAD to the same number.

Catch a listing of all our twitter postings HERE:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LT Resources: free from Autodesk

LT users, new as well as experienced, have a plethora of resources to expand on their skills with new and modified commands, as well as to decipher error messages, program or command limitations, installation guides and more.  Many of the resources are free and designed to be available for you to seek and explore if and when you need help.

Starting within LT itself, HELP (hit the F1 key on your keyboard to start) is the place to start searching for basic how-to instructions for standard installations, command abilities, and variable searches. If you are a user of more current versions HELP, located at the top-right corner with a ready-to-use Search bar, will also search the internet and Autodesk's open Discussion Forums for additional topics that can provide additional (or historical) answers. Get AutoCAD LT training materials directly from the AutoCAD LT Help menu or the New Features Workshop as well. Start Exploring today.
HELP is also available online for LT2011 and LT2012, as are the Getting Started Videos for LT2012 (LT2011: Getting Started videos are accessible from the Welcome Screen), New Features (LT2012 and LT2011), and Downloadable Manuals (User and Installation documentation for LT2012 and LT2011) For other Languages, additional documentation is available in multiple languages from the language drop-down list in Autodesk Exchange.

Autodesk's additional training and help resources can be found if you start at the LT Product Webpage: Below the AutoCAD LT page title is a bar with many links, start with a click on the Support link on SUPPORT. The next page presents you with many topics and additional links to start your search.

  • Knowledge Base is the place to search the support database for answers, hotfixes, tips and service packs. Top Knowledge Base Issues are listed on this page for your immediate use, but if you need more click on the Knowledge Base link to get to a detailed search form to seek out your exact need or question.
  • Product Registration: Register your product online outside of LT's startup if you have the need to register multiple licenses or are not able to do so from within LT.
  • Installation & Licensing Discussion Forum: Get answers to your installation questions - fast. Moderated by Autodesk Product Support Specialists, this forum can help you get your Autodesk software up and running in no time.
  • Up & Ready Support: You are entitled to 30 days of support covering installation and configuration of your new Autodesk software.
  • Per-Incident Support: Speak directly to an Autodesk product support technician when you call for Autodesk Safety Net Support and pay per incident.
  • Updates & Services Packs: Get the latest service packs and other maintenance releases for all versions of AutoCAD LT.
  • Utilities & Drivers: The latest free enhancements and Object Enablers available for each LT version are listed here. Autodesk offers free downloadable enablers that you can use to access, display, and manipulate object data in applications different from their native environment. Note that these are version-specific only.

  • AutoCAD LT Blog is a great resource for the latest AutoCAD LT news, tips and tricks of the current new shipping LT features and commands. LTUnlimited Blog's Tips Section is the continuation of a dedicated previous LT Tips Blog from Kate Morrical, Technical Marketing Manager for AutoCAD LT.
  • Autodesk Exchange: is a single information hub that offers learning and productivity tools, news, discussions, blog posts, and more for the AutoCAD family of products. Explore their Tips&Tricks offerings, Ask An Expert, explore the Community (blogs, twitter, forums and fun), see what others are doing in the Design Showcase, and explore additional end-user Resources. Membership is totally free, sign up HERE.
  • Training Videos: These handy tutorials and webcasts can help you to improve your skills and take full advantage of your AutoCAD LT 2D CAD software.
  • AutoCAD LT Services & Support webpage offers Tutorials for LT2009, LT2010 and LT2011.
  • Learning Paths: Discover the many learning resources available using the AutoCAD LT Learning Path.
  • Custom Training: Most training is not one size fits all. Autodesk can provide you with a custom training program designed to fit your company's unique training needs.
  • Tutorials: Find AutoCAD LT online tutorials, tips, and tricks to help you make the most of your 2D drafting and drawing software.
  • Authorized Training Centers: Get the greatest return on your software investment, faster, by building your knowledge in the areas you need the most at an Autodesk Authorized Training Center (ATC).
  • Tips: Looking for a quick suggestion that you can implement right now? Take a look at the available collection of Autodesk tips.

  • AutoCAD WikiHelp: Access online product help and contribute to the growing AutoCAD (not LT specific) community on the wiki, where you can rate and comment on help information, plus share tips, real-world examples, images, and videos with your peers.
  • Join AutoCAD Exchange: Free access to extensive online eLearning; View exclusive content only available to registered members; Share your designs; Comment, rate and Exchange your thoughts and ideas; Ask the Industry Experts questions and Network, discuss and collaborate on everything AutoCAD/LT.
  • Autodesk Discussion Groups: Ask questions and share information about using Autodesk® software in peer-to-peer forums.
  • Autodesk Blogs: Get news, expert tips, and insider resources directly from Autodesk staff.
  • AUGI LT forum help: The AUGI forum is an online community where AUGI members can discuss what they use everyday. The forum is the place to ask questions about your favorite design software or help others with their questions. AUGI membership is free, join now.
  • AutoCAD LT on Facebook: social networking at a company level.
  • Subscription Member Login: Autodesk® Subscription members receive access to training and learning materials, one-on-one product support with technology experts, and a wide range of resources to help them stay competitive. Not a Member? Learn More.
Explore these many free Support Resources in LT from Autodesk: you are not alone out there, Help is always nearby, seek it out. ◦

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tweets this week: MidPoints, Frozen Layers and Amazon

Below is a summary of topics we covered this week on Twitter. This week we cover Attributes editing inside blocks, explore Lynn Allen's blog for LT users, and more:
  • ReTweet scottsh115: AutoCAD LT online trial accessible from
  • LT2012: HPQUICKPREVIEWTIMEOUT variable helps limit the time AutoCAD spends previewing a hatch pattern before you place it.
  • LAYFRZ command can be used to freeze layers ONLY in viewports: start command, type S for Settings, Select VIEWPORTS then select VPFREEZE.
  • REVERSE command: Reverses the vertices of selected lines, polylines, & splines. Useful for linetypes with text, or Plines w/ varied widths.
  • MTP (or M2P) Osnap: when you need to start drawing/placing an entity in between two points/objects. Start a command, type it, follow prompts
  • LTisACAD Blog: Autodesk Resources: Lynn Allen, recompiled
  • Does your modified block's attributes look different than the other instances of the same block in the same file? Use ATTSYNC command.
  • Edit the properties of existing block attributes using BATTMAN command, without exploding or redefning the block.
We post daily on the topic of AutoCAD/LT and features/abilities of interest to users: you can find us at
Get Twitter updates via Text Message (SMS) by texting FOLLOW LTISACAD to 40404 in the United States. To stop SMS updates, simply text UNFOLLOW LTISACAD to the same number.

Catch a listing of all our twitter postings HERE:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Autodesk Resources: Lynn Allen, recompiled

There are many resources online for AutoCAD/LT users to take advantage of to learn about the program, as well as to sharpen their skills without spending too much money at training classes. One resource worth exploring are the BLOGS at Autodesk that are authored by many core AutoCAD experts such as Lynn Allen.

Lynn Allen, Cadalyst columnist and Autodesk Technical Evangelist, is a prolific writer of tips, AutoCAD presenter, public speaker of all things AutoCAD, and an excellent resource for many seeking better ways to use the AutoCAD program. If she is scheduled to be in your area it is recommended you catch the presentation, you will learn a lot and enjoy it too.

Below are links to many tips LT users can use and find quite useful for every day use. Lynn's many adventures are part of these tip pages:


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tweets this week: LayOff, LayFRZ, H2B

Below is a summary of topics we covered this week on Twitter. This week we have a few tips for layer commands, Offset, hatching and the User Interface: 
  • AutoCAD LT Patches, Updates & Service Packs for all versions can be found here:
  • To add/remove a command to the Quick Access toolbar explore this link
  • Turn a Layer Off with LAYOFF command; Freeze with LAYFRZ command. Use SETTINGS option in each command to control viewport layers behavior.
  • LTisACAD Blog: Quick Tips for LT: Part 2
  • OFFSET an entity to the current layer by starting the command, typing L then C , and continue with the command as normal.
  • HATCHTOBACK command sets the draw order for all hatches in the drawing to be behind all other objects.
We post daily on the topic of AutoCAD/LT and features/abilities of interest to users: you can find us at
Get Twitter updates via Text Message (SMS) by texting FOLLOW LTISACAD to 40404 in the United States. To stop SMS updates, simply text UNFOLLOW LTISACAD to the same number.

Catch a listing of all of your twitter postings HERE:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quick Tips for LT: Part 2

This is the second of a short series of AutoCAD/LT tips for quick reference. Where noted, some tips require LT2012:
  • LAYERNOTIFY variable: Set to 0 (turn it off) so AutoCAD won’t ask to verify new layers added to a drawing or xref.
  • COLOR command: when you select a new color, a preview is shown in the lower-left. Behind the new color is your previous color selection.
  • WSSAVE command to save your current WORKSPACE after you rearrange AuotCAD/LT menus/toolbars. Or the old layout is restored after a restart.
  • You have AUTOCAPS turned on in your TABLE text editor? turn AUTOCAPS off in MTEXT first to turn it off in TABLE as well when editing.
  • Need to compare 2 DWGs? Plot both to DWF & use the "Compare Sheets" tool in Design Review to highlight differences.
  • Polar tracking: Press F10 to toggle on/off. It provides an "ortho" cursor limit at incremental angles that you define.
  • Create PDF quickly, model or paperspace: EXPORTPDF command, no need to change any predefined PAGESETUPs that aim for another printer or plotter.
  • Use ADCENTER to share content between DWG files: Blocks, Dimstyles, Layers, Layouts, Linetypes, Xrefs, and Mleader/Table/Text Styles.
  • Start LINE command: PERP, snap at edge of circle; PERP, snap at the edge of second circle. LINE is between two circles' common centerline.
  • Set PELLIPSE variable to 1 and you will then be able to draw and explode an ELLIPSE.
  • PELLIPSE changes the way Ellipses are drawn (true ellipse vs Pline ellipse): it has no effect in previously created Ellipses.
  • HATCH command will display small red circles at the location of every gap in your boundary that will prevent the command from completion.
  • MULTIPLE command is often missed for it's power: type it, then type MOVE and start selecting many lines to MOVE non-stop. ESC to end.
  • Use any copy/paste command to copy XREFs from one file to another: PASTEORIG to locate the Xrefs in the same ccordinates in the new file.
  • AutoCAD's Design Center (ADCENTER command) can be used to Reverse Search for Xrefs, two tips:: and
  • Instead of SAVEAS (moves your current file) use WBLOCK command’s ENTIRE DRAWING option: it creates a new file with all the layouts intact
  • A hidden command in older LT versions: DIMROTATED command, use it in lieu of DIMALIGNED command, when you need your dimension string to align with an object or specific angle.
  • You can copy Layouts between drawings by either using ADCENTER, or right-click over any layout>Template>File Type>DWG>then find the file.
  • Set DIMASSOC to 2 and your dimensions will move along with your objects if you snapped to those objects.
  • SELECTIONANNODISPLAY turns OFF (or ON) all of the ghosting that occurs if you select an annotative object when using Annotation Scaling.
  • Restore any Dismissed Pop-ups that you turned off and now need back on by using OPTIONS command>System Tab>Hidden Messages Settings button
  • XLINE command's Offset feature: Resulting XLINE’s center point is the start point of the Line or PLine you offset from.
  • Bisect an angle tip. Use XLINE command’s BISECT option: select the intersection point, then the first leg of the angle then the second.
  • XLINE command can create Horizontal, Vertical, set Angle construction lines too: watch the command line for HOR, VER and ANG options.
  • When you finish editing Mtext, instead of clicking OK button, just click in the background screen area to accept the changes you made.
  • Add some extra text in your dims and still keep the actual dimension: use <> when you edit a dimension's text with DDEDIT or PROPERTIES.
  • Need to move/copy to a specific point? @x,y is for relative coordinates. #x,y is absolute to the current UCS. *x,y,z is absolute to WCS.
  • LT2012's DWGCONVERT command has a REPLACE PAGE SETUPS: use it to assign a new page setup to DWG layouts aiming at a missing printer/plotter.
  • Not using LT2012? DWGTRUEVIEW built-in option called TRUECONVERT has a REPLACE PAGE SETUPS option: use it to fix/assign a new page setup to DWG layouts.
  • Press/hold middle mouse button down then hold the SHIFT key: you will be in the PAN command in a horizontal or vertical constraint mode.
  • Hold down CTRL keyboard key and double-click any attribute in a block: now you edit the attribute in-place just like editing Text objects.
  • When EDGEMODE variable is set to 1, you can extend and trim lines that do not intersect: AutoCAD creates an invisible extension to use.
  • DIMROTATED command, instead of DIMALIGNED, when you need your dimension string to align with an object/angle and not two points picked.
  • COPYTOLAYER command does what it's name implies, COPY entities you select TO another or different LAYER:
  • Is the RIBBON taking up too much screen space? Minimize it to Panel Buttons (it looks like the Classic Workspace menus)
  • LAYER command's list of layer names can be daunting to sort through if you have many layers, especially as you add more content or bring in content from other files. Layer Property Filters are a great way to help sort through them, making the display list of names easier to manage. Explore this excellent list of tips HERE.
  • Switch Layer Filters directly by using +LAYER command (note the + sign to type) in AutoCAD/LT without going into the LAYER Command/Palette.
  • At the "Select Objects" prompt, type F for FENCE: it draws continuous selection "lines", anything it crosses is selected without having to use a rectangular selection window. Try it in place of a crossing window or polygon selection method.
  • FILTER or QSELECT commands are great entity selection tools, a way of pre-sorting objects with shared properties quickly. Both commands can also be used to count blocks: after the selection process is complete, type SELECT command and AutoCAD will return a count at the command line. In LT2011 and LT2012 right-click and pick SELECTSIMILAR as an alternate to those two commands for an even qicker selection sorting method.
  • FIND command can be used to Select specific blocks, with specific attribute settings: see the tip HERE.
Next week, we tap resources all over the internet to outline more tips and methods to speed up your LT usage. ◦