SolidWorks Express
CAD Tips for the week of June 6th, 2011
 
Customization: Disable Docking: When you are rearranging your toolbars, hold down the key as you move them around >>
Text and Dimensions: Fraction Facelift: When you are editing Mtext, multileaders, and dimensions, you can change how a fraction is stacked >>
Text and Dimensions: Annotative Scales: Annotative scaling, introduced in AutoCAD 2008, eliminates the hassle of figuring out the correct scale factors for your viewports and creating multiple layers for each set of text and dimensions >>
Text and Dimensions: In Advance of Annotation: Before you start using annotative objects in AutoCAD, make sure the following system variables are set as follows >>
Text and Dimensions: Show All Annotative Objects: This little AutoLISP snippet will set ANNOALLVISIBLE to 1 in all viewports >>
   
 
> Customization: Disable Docking
   
 

When you are rearranging your toolbars, hold down the <Ctrl> key as you move them around. This will keep them from docking.

   
 
> Text and Dimensions: Fraction Facelift
   
 

When you are editing Mtext, multileaders, and dimensions, you can change how a fraction is stacked. Just select a fraction when in the Mtext Editor, right-click, and select Stack Properties from the shortcut menu that appears. The Stack Properties dialog box will appear.
Stack Properties dialog box
Caption: Stack Properties dialog box.
Here you can change the values for the numerator and denominator. You can also select a style (horizontal fraction, diagonal fraction, tolerance, or decimal), position (top, center, bottom), and text size. In the Defaults pulldown menu, you can save your current setting as the default.
Save your current settings as the default for stacked fractions
Caption: Save your current settings as the default for stacked fractions.
The AutoStack button lets you turn on automatic stacking, which automatically stacks any text that you type in the form x/y, x#y, and x^y according to your specifications.

AutoStack options
Caption: AutoStack options.

   
 
> Text and Dimensions: Annotative Scales
   
 

Annotative scaling, introduced in AutoCAD 2008, eliminates the hassle of figuring out the correct scale factors for your viewports and creating multiple layers for each set of text and dimensions. Instead, you create one set of annotative objects (these can be text, dimensions, balloons, blocks, multileaders, attributes, or hatches). You create the object at the actual size you want it to plot and indicate the intended scale factors. You can assign any number of scales to a single object. For example, you might want a text object to appear at 1/4” = 1’ scale in one viewport and 1” = 1’ in another. Use the Properties palette to make existing objects annotative and assign scale factors.

Properties palette displays annotative status and scale factors
Caption: Properties palette displays annotative status and scale factors.

You will want to set the annotative scale factor in model space to match the most prevalent scale factor in the drawing. To add additional scale factors, use the Objectscale command or the Properties palette. Objectscale allows you to select multiple annotative objects.

Annotation Object Scale dialog box, accessible via the Objectscale command, lets you add new scales to your annotative objects
Caption: Annotation Object Scale dialog box, accessible via the Objectscale command, lets you add new scales to your annotative objects.


   
 
> Text and Dimensions: In Advance of Annotation
   
 

Before you start using annotative objects in AutoCAD, make sure the following system variables are set as follows. You may want to add them to any drawing templates you use. These settings will help minimize quirky behavior present in the initial implementation of annotative scaling.
The SAVEFIDELITY system variable determines how annotative objects are handled if you save to AutoCAD 2007 or earlier file format. When SAVEFIDELITY is set to 1, any annotative objects are saved to separate layers, one for each scale used. When it’s set to 0, the objects are saved without visual fidelity. You may be tempted to set SAVEFIDELITY to 1 just in case you need to save back to an earlier version of AutoCAD. However, doing so may slow performance, especially during saves. In addition, AutoCAD 2008 has a little bug wherein annotative objects disappear or become unselectable when you save with SAVEFIDELITY set to 1. If this happens, run the Audit command and instruct it to fix any errors it finds.

ANNOALLVISIBLE governs what annotative objects you see in your drawing. When it’s set to 0, only those objects that support the drawing’s current annotative scale are visible. When it’s set to 1, ghost images of all other annotative objects are displayed. Annotative objects that support more than one scale will display only one scale representation. Note that an ANNOALLVISIBLE setting is saved individually for model space and each layout. 

ANNOAUTOSCALE determines what happens when you change a drawing’s annotation scale. The value for AUTOSCALE is the sum of your desires options from the list below:
1 = Adds the newly set annotation scale to annotative objects that support the current scale, except for those on layers that are turned off, frozen, locked, or set to Viewport > Freeze.
2 = Adds the newly set annotation scale to annotative objects that support the current scale except for those on layers that are turned off, frozen, or that are set to Viewport > Freeze.
3 = Adds the newly set annotation scale to annotative objects that support the current scale except for those on layers that are locked.
4 = Adds the newly set annotation scale to all annotative objects that support the current scale.
Note that you can also have a negative value (e.g., -2), which turns autoscale functionality off but maintains the settings. For example, when ANNOAUTOSCALE is set to -2 and you turn ANNOAUTOSCALE back on, it will be set to 2. Use the lightning bolt icon at the lower right of the AutoCAD drawing window to toggle this variable on and off. You will most likely want to keep it off unless you want to update all annotative objects with a new scale.
The icon to the right of the annotation scale list toggles ANNOALLVISIBLE on and off. The icon next to it toggles ANNOAUTOSCALE on and off
Caption: The icon to the right of the annotation scale list toggles ANNOALLVISIBLE on and off. The icon next to it toggles ANNOAUTOSCALE on and off.

   
 
> Text and Dimensions: Show All Annotative Objects
   
 

This little AutoLISP snippet will set ANNOALLVISIBLE to 1 in all viewports. Copy to a text file with the extension LSP. Select AutoLISP > Load Application from the Tools menu and select your text file. Once it’s loaded, type Annovis at the command line to run it.

(defun c:annovis ( / lay ct)
(setq ct (getvar "ctab"))
(foreach lay (layoutlist)(command "_layout" "_Set" lay "_mspace" "ANNOALLVISIBLE" 1))
(setvar "ctab" ct)
);defun

   
 
   
 
 
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