AutoCAD 2012 – Nudge encourages ‘bad’ drawings

If you preselect some objects in AutoCAD 2012 and hold down [Ctrl], then the objects will move a bit if you hit an arrow key. Great, cool! Exactly how far do they move? Let’s try it, shall we. First time, the move was about 4.5565 units. Zoom around a bit and try again. This time, it’s about 11.6677 units. Zoom around a bit more and it’s different again. And again. What’s actually happening is that the Nudge feature is moving the objects by 3 pixels. What? Since when has AutoCAD dealt with object location in terms of pixels? Since 2012 came out. Does object snap help? No. So you can expect to see a bunch more drawings that have been eyed in. “Looks near enough to me!” OK, so you can turn Snap on and have the objects nudged around in a more rational way, or just ignore the feature altogether. But that’s not going to help you clean up the messy drawings that are now going to come your way for editing. Of course, some people have never needed any help to make messy drawings, but those that needed a little nudge in that direction have just been given it.

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ClassicArray pricing proposal

I am considering the following pricing model for ClassicArray™ when it’s released: Individual licenses: $12 Up to 20-user license: $100 Up to 50-user license: $200 Up to 100-user license: $300 Unlimited site license: $500 Prices in US$, payment by PayPal, delivery by download only. Australian purchasers would have to pay 10% GST on top of that. Comments? Suggestions?

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ClassicArray Beta 2 (0.5.0)

I have just posted the second public Beta of ClassicArray™ (version number 0.5.0). There are some documentation updates (still no Help, though), and the main changes are: Bugs fixed with rectangular arrays where single-row and/or column arrays confused AutoCAD. The command now remembers its settings from one invocation to the next, within a single drawing session. Timebomb has been moved on 7 days to 21 April. The ReadMe.txt file in the zip explains how to uninstall the old version. Simply delete the old ClassicArray.bundle folder from the place you put it. Replace it with the new ClassicArray.bundle folder from the later zip file. Then try to break it! Please see the main ClassicArray Beta post for the download, and add any comments there.

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AutoCAD 2012 – How’s the Help now?

You may have noticed that the much-derided AutoCAD 2011 Help has had something of an update for AutoCAD 2012, integrating it with something called Autodesk Exchange. Rather than critique this myself, I’ll hand it over to you. What do you think of AutoCAD 2012’s Help? Is it all better now? Is it fast, accurate and easy to use with a useful search facility? Or do you hate it and hope someone at Autodesk is scrambling to create a CHM version of it like last year? Please comment.

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AutoCAD 2012 – ClassicArray Beta

People have already started to notice that AutoCAD 2012 has killed the dialog box interface for the Array command, and not everybody is happy about it. So I guess it’s time to launch ClassicArray™ Beta. ClassicArray is an add-on for AutoCAD 2012 for Windows that allows the creation of arrays using a dialog box interface similar to that provided in AutoCAD from 2000 to 2011, but enhanced to include new AutoCAD 2012 functionality. I will create another post later have created a Help page that describes ClassicArray more fully, but for now here are the commands ClassicArray adds to AutoCAD: ClassicArray (short form CA) ClassicArrayRect (short form CAR) ClassicArrayPolar (short form CAP) ClassicArraypAth (short form CAA) In addition, there are the same names with N appended, which default to creating non-associative arrays. For example, ClassicArraypAthN (short form CAAN) will create a non-associative path array. However, it is easy to create associative or non-associative arrays of any type, whatever command you use to start it. Toolbar and Ribbon buttons are provided. Help is currently non-functional now complete. This pre-release software is time-bombed, meaning it will no longer work after the date shown below. Here it is to download: ClassicArray.1.0.0.zip (Shipping product – 850 KB – will not create arrays after 15 day evaluation period ClassicArray.0.7.0.zip (Release Candidate 2 – 850 KB – will not create arrays after 15 day evaluation period) ClassicArray.0.6.0.zip (Release Candidate – 787 KB – will not work after 28 April 2011) ClassicArray.0.5.0.zip (49 KB – will not work after 21 April 2011) ClassicArray.0.4.2.zip (48 KB – will not work after 14 April 2011) It’s a small zip file; unzip it and read the readme to see what to do with it run the setup routine of your choice, depending on whether you want to install it for just the current user or for all users. Installation…

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AutoCAD 2012 – Missing a few things?

The Array dialog box isn’t the only thing you might notice by its absence in AutoCAD 2012. I’ll do a proper “Putting things back to normal” post later, but here’s a quick one for those of you wondering what happened to a few things that appear to be AWOL in 2012. Are you missing your aerial viewer, blips and/or screen menu? They’re still there, but the commands are undefined. To get them back, just redefine the commands: REDEFINE DSVIEWER DSVIEWER REDEFINE BLIPMODE BLIPMODE 1 REDEFINE SCREENMENU SCREENMENU 1 These features are deprecated. That means unless enough of you kick up a fuss about needing them, they are likely to vanish without trace in a release or two. Edit: Jimmy Bergmark pointed out that the same applies to the TRACE command. If you need it, redefine it.

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AutoCAD 2012 – Downloading the trial is a trial

Let’s say you’re trying to download some software and it insists on first installing some intermediary download manager. Do you think, “Great, this will make my life easier, things are bound to go quickly and smoothly now”? No, didn’t think so. How about when it’s by Akamai? Does that make you feel more confident? No, nor me. If I download stuff without a manager, it just works. Sometimes it’s slow, but it works. If I use a general-purpose download manager that’s part of my browser, or one I chose to install and use (e.g. Free Download Manager), things generally go very well. If there’s a direct download link to use, success and a very quick download are almost guaranteed. But it seems that every time some company wants to force a download manager on me, something bad happens. Now maybe I’m only remembering the failures and forgetting the successes, but I’m absolutely sure that download reliability is way, way poorer when companies insist on inflicting their download managers on me. I’ve had issues with them at home with a straightforward ADSL connection, and I’ve had no end of problems with them at work in a proxy server environment. Even when they work, the download speed is generally significantly poorer than when I use something like Free Download Manager. The latest in a long line of download manager difficulties is this morning’s attempted download of the AutoCAD 2012 trial. Why, as a Subscription customer, am I downloading the trial? Why don’t I just get it from the Subscription Center? Because Autodesk hasn’t got around to putting 2012 on there yet. Paying customers come some way down the priority list, apparently. I hope it’s just a temporary delay, because last year here in Australia the delivery of AutoCAD 2011 software to customers was a…

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AutoCAD 2012 – Array has good and bad points

For many users, the most useful new feature in AutoCAD 2012 is going to be the updated Array command. It adds a great deal of very welcome new functionality that will provide a potential productivity boost for 2D and 3D users. But it’s from an Autodesk wedded to its infernal 12-month product cycle, so of course it’s half-baked. The Good So what’s good about the Array command in AutoCAD 2012? Associativity. By default, arrays are now associative objects. This means that if you want to, say, modify the distance between columns a couple of days after you drew them, you can now do so. If you’re a Ribbon user, it’s easy to change array parameters because when you select an array, you get a Ribbon tab dedicated to just that task. If you’re not, then the Properties palette allows you to do the same thing. Dynamic preview. Once you have set your various options appropriately, you can just move your cursor around and click to choose things like the number of rows and columns. Path option. In addition to rectangular and polar arrays, you can now array along a path such as a polyline, similar to the Measure and Divide commands. But because it’s associative, if you edit the path, the array changes too. 3D functionality. It is now easy to create 2D or 3D arrays with the Array command. You can add levels (Z) to the rows (Y) and columns (X) of arrays, and this applies to all three types of array. You can also provide a elevation increment, which means the items get progressively higher the further they are from the base row. Think of the seating in a stadium as an example, although real seating arrangements are usually more complex than you will see in the Autodesk…

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Autodesk survey for 3D users

Autodesk is conducting a survey about 3D work in AutoCAD. Here is the announcement: Do you use 3D in your AutoCAD work? We want to learn from you! If you are familiar with 3D modeling, lighting, rendering, or visual styles, either in AutoCAD or in other software, we’re interested in finding out more about how you work. We are conducting a survey to learn about your 3D work process. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and your feedback will help us improve future versions of AutoCAD. Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/72HDGVG We are also conducting a series of paid research sessions over the next few weeks. At the end of the survey, you will have a chance to sign up for sessions if you are interested. Who we’re looking for: People who are familiar with lighting, rendering, or visual styles What it involves: If you are selected to participate, we will get in touch with you to set up a study time. During the 1-hour session: * You will work 1-1 with a facilitator using meeting software and the phone * We will observe part of your work process and ask questions * You will be given a $30 Amazon gift card as a thank-you for your time Dates: We are conducting studies during the week of March 7th and the week of March 14th.

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