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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.

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 May 2007

A2008 Multileader Styles

Multileader StyleAutoCAD 2008 added another item to the Styles toolbar, Multileader Styles. If you've used AutoCAD's Leader command (technically "Quick Leader") from the Dimension toolbar, you have a general idea of how leaders work. The following is a quick introduction to the elements of the new Multileader Style.

Instructions to Create a Multileader Style in A2008

  1. On the Styles toolbar, click Multileader Styles to open the Multileader Styles Manager dialog box.
  2. Click New and enter a name for the style, then click Continue.
Leader break
Leader Format Tab

Generally intuitive features here that are common in the Quick Leader's Settings dialog box.

Not so obvious: Break size enables you to specify the size of the break opening when you use the Dimbreak command (new to A2008).

Leader Structure Tab

Constraints: Consider keeping the Maximum Leader Points to the default of 2.

Landing settings: Automatically Include Landing is a good thing and a Set Landing Distance of 1/2″ is good to start.

Scale: Where the arrowhead and text for a Quick Leader was fully dependent upon the Dimscale of the current Dimension Style, until you learn more about the Annotative scaling in A2008, it would be best to use Specify Scale. For small floorplans, begin with a scale between 24 and 48.

Specify scale
Content Tab

Source block itemsMultileader Type: The Block option is pretty cool and enables you to see the…

Block Options: Choose from the array of Source Block items. As you click on each of the various options, you see the result in the preview screen.

After making your settings, click OK, then confirm your Multileader Style is current and click Close.

  1. To place the Multileader, you could either choose Multileader from the Dimension pulldown menu or, of course, open the new Multileader toolbar and click Multileader.
  1. As with the Quick Leader, you specify the arrowhead location first, then the other end of the leader. If the number of leader points is 2, the block is automatically added at the end of the landing at the distance specified.
  2. Double-click the text in the Block bubble and add your text.
Grip editing a leader

Bonus Points - Click on the multileader to see the grips that enable you to finesse the leader to make it just the way you want. Pretty slick.

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