Michael's Corner is a monthly publication written by Michael E. Beall, Autodesk Authorized Author and peripatetic AutoCAD trainer. Michael travels all over the USA, bringing his fantastic experience and great understanding of AutoCAD to his clients. Michael's Corner brings together many of the tips, tricks and methods developed during these training sessions for the benefit of all users.
Michael's Corner provides something for every AutoCAD user. Every month, a number of articles cover a wide range of topics, suitable for users at all levels, including "The Basics" for those just starting out. Essentially, the aim of Michael's Corner is to help all AutoCAD users work smarter and faster.
We now have a new system where readers can subscribe (and unsubscribe) to the Michael's Corner mailing list. This is an automatic system which gives you complete control over your subscription. Most importantly, we promise never to share your email details with anyone else.
For those of you unable to make it to this year's main event—Autodesk University 2014—this month's offering includes a couple items from my AU Hands-On Lab, Click My Ride: Customizing Autodesk AutoCAD for How You Work. I'm really looking forward to showing the 86 registered attendees several of the features that have been presented in previous Corner articles on how to optimize AutoCAD for maximum productivity.
This edition will also usher in the new bi-monthly publication of Michael's Corner. There's a possibility I may be adding a couple other products to my "Training Menu" in the upcoming year, so I figured eleven years of four-articles-per-month would warrant a downshift in my Corner offerings. And although, I'm the one with his face on this page, Michael's Corner is ONLY possible because my tireless colleague, Professor David Watson (the chief cook & bottle-washer of CADTutor.net), takes my lowly Word document and works his HTML magic to create the pages you see here.
So with that introduction, this edition brings you these AutoCAD productivity insights…
…How—and Why—to export a Zip file containing your AutoCAD settings
…Where to find the "Hide-A-Key" ACAD.CUIX file that AutoCAD already has saved for you
…The importance of creating a Workspace early on
…Easy Tab & Panel creation from my AU2014 Lab: Click My Ride
Wishing you all a glorious and joyful Christmas season and I hope your New Year is chockfull of exciting new adventures and opportunities!
A block is, essentially, a symbol. Something you want to repeat. The Block panel on the Home tab contains the Create tool which will open the Block Definition dialog box.
The following exercise take you through the block-making basics after creating the geometry for a data and communications symbol. If you have already drawn something you want to turn into a block, go straight to Step 9, below.
Create a new layer named Electrical, give it a color, then set it to be current.
Click Polygon [Home tabexpanded Draw panel].
For the number of sides, enter 3, then pick a point to specify the center of the polygon.
Press [Enter] to accept the default option for Inscribed <I>, then, with ORTHO On, move your cursor north, and enter 6 for the radius of the circle.
Click Line [Home tabDraw panel], then use Endpoint snap and pick the top of the triangle as the Start point.
Use Shift + right-click, then click Perpendicular and click the bottom line of the triangle, then press [Enter] to end the command.
Launch the Hatch command and set the Type to Solid.
Move into one half of the triangle, and when you see the preview, click to place the hatch. Press [Enter] to end the command.
Click Make Block to open the Block Definition dialog box.
Enter a name for the block. In this exercise, I'll name it DataComm.
Click Select Objects, then select the geometry for the block and press [Enter].
For the Base Point of the block, click Pick Point and specify a point on the block that will essentially be the ‘handle’ you will use to insert the block. In this exercise I'm using Endpoint snap to specify the top of the triangle.
Note: Always ‘Allow Exploding’.
Click OK to complete the block-making procedure.
Although the Tool Palette is the optimum feature for inserting blocks, using the Insert command [Insert tabBlock panel], you can insert a block that's already defined in the drawing.
Note: When inserting a block, make sure you have the proper layer current for it to ‘land’ on.
In the following exercise, you insert a sample drawing into a blank drawing.
Click Insert [Insert tabBlock panel] to open the Insert dialog box.
If the name of the block is not displayed in the name field, click the dropdown arrow and select your block.
The default settings to specify the Insertion point and the Rotation on-screen is usually adequate for most procedures.
Click OK to close the Insert dialog box and you will be prompted for the insertion point and the rotation for the block.
Note: To insert a .DWG, click Browse, to open the Select File dialog box.