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Michael’s Corner

Michael BeallMichael'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.


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This month…

October - One-derful!!!

It's a God-thing.

I had no idea that 14 years ago I would be given the opportunity to make an impact on the professional lives of so many. Only God knew what was ahead, and hopefully, the contributions I have made through Michael's Corner have equipped many of you to be more productive and a bit more savvy using AutoCAD. And apart from all the AutoCAD bashing that is going on, I'm sure it has a long life ahead.

So, in an effort to keep the AutoCAD fires burning, here's what I have for my final installment…

…A reminder on how to customize your hot keys
…Three Power Tools — one for Zoom, one for editing, and one for Layers
…Two Odd Spots — one for Layers and one for Hatching
…Buried text treasure
…And how to Search 14 years of the Archives

As for what's ahead for me, I will continue to present a variety of AutoCAD sessions — Fundamentals, Intermediate, Customizing, Updates, and 2D & 3D. I will also keep training CAP Designer, 20-20 Worksheet, Visual Impression (those three from 20-20 Technologies, Inc.), and some Revit Fundamentals. Next year I'm looking forward to being very involved in training CET (from Configura, Inc.) when Herman Miller joins the growing number of manufacturers embracing this software that is being touted as the ‘Future of Space Planning’. Personally, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Donna, my lovely bride of 30 years. When this posts, we'll probably be within days of going on our 30th Anniversary vacation to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson; Ee-Hah! We had such a good time when we went for our 20th, we figured we'd do it again!

Ah, and I'm hoping to have The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition out before snow flies.

And with that, Mike drop! …so to speak.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

This month's articles

Change F1 to ESC
Smoother Zoom
Stretch with Extension
Lock Layers with a Crossing Window
Layer Columns & Hatch Background Color
Text Frame on Mtext

From the Vault

Originally published January 2008

Running Scripts like a Pro

ScriptPro is a utility that has been around since about AutoCAD 2000, but in recent years has been lost in the shuffle of new releases. Back in the early 2000's around the time of AutoCAD 2000 and 2000i, AutoCAD shipped with an additional set of utilities other than Express Tools - which were very cool in their own right. ScriptPro, as its name suggests, allows you to work with script files. It does not turn you into a script writing professional though, as it does not actually help you write script files at all.


You use ScriptPro to run a script file on a drawing or set of drawings which helps you to increase productivity and enforce consistency between drawings. So if you need to batch process a set of drawings to update layers, save the drawings to a specific file version, set the Model tab current, or perform a zoom extents on each of the drawings. You can download ScriptPro from the Autodesk website.

Instructions to Run a Script on a Set of Drawings

  1. After you install ScriptPro on your workstation, click Start[All] ProgramsAutodeskScriptProScriptPro.
  2. In the ScriptPro dialog box, under the Script area, click Browse.
  3. In the Open dialog box, browse to and select the script file that you want to run on each selected drawing. Script files have a SCR file extension.
  4. Click Open.
  5. On the toolbar, click Add Drawings.
  6. In the ScriptPro - Add/Remove Files in Drawing list dialog box, browse to the folder that contains the drawings you want to process.
  7. In the Drawings list, select a drawing and click >> to add it to the Files to Apply Script list. You can also remove files from the list by selecting the drawing in the Files to Apply Script list and then click <<. I recommend creating an archive of the drawings you want to run the script file on just in case something goes wrong, which never happens until you are doing something in the final hours of a project.
  8. After you added the drawing files to be processed, click OK to return to the ScriptPro dialog box.
  9. On the toolbar, click Save a ScriptPro Project.
  10. In the SaveAs dialog box, browse to the location that you want to save the script project file to and provide a file name for the project file. You can reload the project file later and process the same drawings again with the same script file or another script file.
  11. Click Save.
  12. After saving the script project file, click Run this Project.
  13. The ScriptPro - Running dialog box is displayed and shows the progress of the drawing each drawing. A new session of AutoCAD. The first drawing is opened and the script is run.
  14. Once all the drawings have been processed, the ScriptPro - Project Completed message box is displayed. Click Yes to view the log file to view if any problems were encountered and what they might have been.

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