AU 2009 Report – Part 2; Sshh AutoCAD is FREE with Civil 3D

No matter how much we work in civil 3d (or in Land Desktop in previous generations), the foundation of autocad generally gets overlooked. A sort of Rodney Dangerfield stigma; AutoCAD gets no respect.  What in the world does this have to do with AU2009? Glad you asked.  🙂 One of my classes on the first day was an AutoCAD customization class.  Not customization that redifines everything, but simple tweaks to get the productivity gains we all crave.

The class was called “The AutoCAD Toolbelt: Customizing Productivity Power Tools & Techniques” (AU104-2L) taught by Michael Beall, the self titled “AutoCAD Trainer Guy”. As with all classes, the content was great.  But what you don’t usually get in the handout are the insights the speaker offers while talking about the topic. Here’s what i got in the margins;

  1. Insert settings from a tool palette button. In his class, the intention was to simply get Company layers, linetypes, blocks, etc. in a DWT and bring them into the current DWG. Why did i highlight this? With Civil 3D, one way to get c3d styles into the current DWG is to also bring in the Company DWT. Only now, i can do it with his procedure.
  2. Change double click reactions to “Edit” the object versus bring up the “Properties” of the object. I suppose for most AutoCAD users, properties may or may not be one of those palettes you leave open. For me in Civil 3D, it’s one of 4 palettes i constantly leave open (layer, properties, references, prospector) on my second monitor. So “double clicking” to get the properties is a bit redundant for me. So this one was just the reminder i needed to fix this annoyance. BTW – this is a CUI modification, so check with your CAD Mgr first. They may want to include this in the Company Enterprise CUI; bonus points for you…
  3. Keyboard shortcuts & troubleshooting.  We all know Crtl + O (letter o) will bring up the Open DWG dialog, Ctrl + tab will cycle thru open drawings.  You then get a frantic call (because you’re the GoTo person). They’ve lost all their toolbars, the command line, everything except the drawing window. Well, it’s likely that they were trying to do the Open shortcut and actually got the Clean Screen shortcut – Ctrl + 0.  By either hitting the wrong button or thinking it should be a ctrl + zero for open, they’ll get the clean screen instead. Now, Clean Screen is an awesome tool, but not if you’re expecting to Open a file.  🙂

Well, that’s my monday morning review of Au 2009.  Yes, the online stuff is great. But being able to interact with the instructor thru either AU Virtual or simply being @ AU is the way to go…

Until next time, enjoy the AutoCAD tips and relish the knowledge you now have!


About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

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