Tagged: layout

A Heap of Random Tricks

Here are just a few items with no real category. These assume some AutoCAD know how. FYI.

Rotate / Scale Using “Reference”

This is something I’ve taught to countless colleagues. I’ve worked in many different facets of the design industry and one thing never fails. Things get knocked out of scale and who wants to figure out a scale factor to get it back to the correct scale? No one… use a reference! For example, if you have an object that should be 1” tall (or part of the object should be 1 inch tall or wide).

  1. Type “SCALE” into the command line, and select a base point.
  2. Next it will ask for a scale factor or reference. At this point, type “R” (For “Reference”).
  3. Click one end of the object that you know to be 1”, and then click the other end of the object.
  4. Now it asks you to specify a new length, or use the distance between two specified points.
  5. For this example, type 1. The reason you would need to click two points would be that the object needs to be a strange dimension that is not an even number or you have another object on screen at that same size to reference.
  6. You’re done! With no scale factors in sight.

Rotate works in a similar fashion. If you understand the example above, rotate will be a piece of cake.

DVIEW – Rotating Views Inside of Viewports

This is a great trick when you need to turn a part sideways after you have already drawn it and you’re working out how your layout is going to look. DVIEW is the command for you.

  1. Double click inside of your viewport and type DVIEW.
  2. It will ask you to Select objects or use DVIEWBLOCK; This is what we’re going to use, so just hit enter again.
  3. Next type TW and enter to opt to use the twist method.
  4. Now it will ask you to specify a twist angle. I usually use 90°, so simply type 90 and enter.
  5. We’re now back at the top menu, so just enter again to leave the command.
  6. The viewport will regenerate and you’ll notice that everything inside your viewport is now rotated at 90°.

Quick Block Creation

A real easy way to create a block on the fly is copying the items you want to be contained inside of your block and pasting by usingCTRL+SHIFT+V, or by going to “Edit” then clicking “Paste as Block”. The downside of this method is that it’s name will be randomly generated and, unless you copied with a base point, it will most likely not be where you need it as well. But, for quick grouping of objects and a method for creating “throw away” blocks that will be only temporarily used, it’s quick and easy.


Anger clouds the mind.

…. and your AutoCAD drawings.

Enjoy the day.


Get a Head Start… Make a Template!

Do you insert the same items into every drawing you make? Feels like a waste of time, right? Well it is! creating a template containing all of the standard tools that you will need to dig into your newest project. If you’re a production drafter, you probably deal with a lot of the same over and over again. Most of the time each drawing will have its own twists, but things like title block, stamps, dimension styles and custom blocks can all be housed inside of a template file. So, let’s create a basic .dwt file.

  1. Start a new drawing using the acad.dwt template file.
  2. Immediately click “File” then “Save As…”. From here, browse to your safe space and then change the file type at the bottom of the window to “.dwt” instead of “.dwg”.
  3. Now add the following: Borders to Layout tabs, Commonly used blocks, Dimensions (copy from a previous drawing with styles that you currently use), and text copied similarly to how you imported dimension styles.
  4. Once you add these dimensions and pieces of text, you can delete them. The styles will stay inside the .dwt file.
  5. Copy and rename as many Layout tabs as you need.
  6. Save this file when you have everything you typically need.

Now, each time your click File… New to start your new drawing, you can use what you just created and stop slamming your head into your desk to numb the pain of your redundant practices. Everything that you need is already there!

These are just suggestions about what you may need. I use most of these, and more. Feel free to send me questions or comments about anything you find particularly useful in your creations. Here is a link one template I use for freelance work. It contains blocks using attributes, and dynamic blocks as well. These are topics that will be covered in future posts.

Anger clouds the mind.

…. and your AutoCAD drawings.

Enjoy the day.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/55276129/Template%201.0.dwt <—- Address for sample template if link will not work for you.