AutoCAD 2017 – Putting things back to “normal”

The most frequently accessed posts on this blog are the AutoCAD 201x – Putting things back to “normal” series. They also attract a lot of comments:

Most Commented Posts

  • AutoCAD 2013 – An Autodesk Help writer responds – 164 comments
  • AutoCAD 2012 – Putting things back to “normal” – 158 comments
  • AutoCAD 2011 – Putting things back to “normal” – 135 comments
  • AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to “normal” – 121 comments
  • AutoCAD 2010 – Putting things back to “normal” – 106 comments
  • The … Full post

    AutoCAD’s ARRAYCLASSIC command is my fault

    Ever wondered why most keep-the-old-version commands in AutoCAD are called CLASSICxxx but the old version of the ARRAY command is called ARRAYCLASSIC? Why can’t Autodesk be consistent for once? Sorry, that’s actually my fault. Here’s a little history.

    • AutoCAD Version 1.4 (1983) introduced the ARRAY command with Rectangular and Circular options.
    • AutoCAD Version 2.5 (1986) added the Polar option and hid the Circular option (but it’s still there).
    • AutoCAD 2005 introduced a dialog box version of the ARRAY command. The command-line version remained available via the -ARRAY command (with a leading hyphen).
    • AutoCAD 2012 introduced many new array features, including associative, path and 3D arrays. However, the dialog box interface was removed and the old command-line interface was back. There were also a bunch of bugs and limitations with the new regime.
    • I created and published the shareware utility ClassicArray™ to restore a familiar dialog box interface to AutoCAD’s … Full post

    ClassicArray Registration Service

    When you register ClassicArray, you are supposed to receive an automated response with the registration code. I have not been able to get this working reliably, so for some customers I have been sending out the email manually. Personal circumstances dictate that I will be unable to do this promptly for much of April, so if you purchase ClassicArray and do not receive your code immediately, please accept my apologies in advance.

    I will also not be able to be very active on this blog for much of April.

    Will Autodesk have to explain itself to the SEC?

    The observant among you may have noticed that for many years, Autodesk’s free patches, service packs and updates haven’t added any new functionality. Bugs may get fixed, severe performance issues may be addressed, but design errors generally have to wait for the next release (at the earliest), and new features definitely don’t get added.

    The last time new functionality was added to AutoCAD in a free maintenance release was Release 13’s c4 update which shipped on 12 February 1996. (There was a public beta available some months earlier; I picked up a copy at Autodesk University 1995). That free update contained not only a host of bug fixes, but also more useful new features than some later full-price upgrades (e.g. AutoCAD 2000i). In an outbreak of outstanding customer service, a c4 CD was shipped free to all registered users. Maybe Autodesk was trying to recover from disastrously shipping Release 13 prematurely, … Full post

    AutoCAD 2012 Service Pack 1

    The first update for AutoCAD 2012 is now available on the Autodesk site. As usual, read the readme first and exercise the usual paranoia. Make sure you install the right version (32 or 64 bit). The update is also available for AutoCAD LT 2012. There is no news yet on equivalent updates for vertical variants of AutoCAD, so just talk amongst yourselves for a while until Autodesk gets around to it.

    Autodesk has, thankfully, abandoned the confusing nomenclature for its service packs. So this is not 2012 Update 1 with a filename that includes SP1 and which results in the software being considered 2012 Version 2. It is 2012 Service Pack 1 with a filename that includes SP1 and which results in the software being considered 2012 SP1. Why Autodesk thought the former convention made sense is beyond me, but at least … Full post

    Old news – shipping version of ClassicArray released

    I have been somewhat neglectful of this blog lately, including a failure to mention that my ClassicArray™ plug-in for AutoCAD 2012 has been shipping since 1 May 2011. Thank you to those people from various places around the world who have been prepared to go to the effort of registering and paying for the product.

    Here are some details of the product taken from the ClassicArray page:

    ClassicArray is a simple-to use but powerful tool for creating arrays in AutoCAD.

    • Provides a dialog box interface to AutoCAD 2012’s Array command. The familiar interface method provides continuity with earlier releases.
    • Supports the creation of both associative and traditional non-associative arrays.
    • Provides an in-dialog preview panel to give you a quick idea of what your array will look like before any objects are created.
    • Allows creation of a preview array which can be accepted, rejected … Full post

    AutoCAD 2012 – How to “hatch” using any objects

    Here’s a trick you can use in AutoCAD 2012 to fill an area with any objects you like. It’s not actually hatching, but it has several advantages over the real thing:

    • You aren’t restricted to straight line segments as you are with real hatching. Circles, splines, even solid objects, you name it, you can use it.
    • To define the pattern, you don’t have to master an arcane file format or use trigonometry to work out the numbers used in it. Just draw the objects you want repeated.
    • You can easily change the spacing between the objects later, or even change the objects themselves.

    How is this done? Use the new associative array feature, then use XClip to restrict the displayed objects to within a specified boundary. For example, let’s say you have a polyline you want filled with green spheres, and a green sphere already drawn. The sequence … Full post

    AutoCAD 2012 – Autoloader mechanism for plug-ins

    One of the less obvious features introduced by AutoCAD 2012 is the Autoloader mechanism that has been provided to make installation of plug-ins (current standard Autodeskspeak for add-ons, apps, utilities, routines, etc.) easier for both developers and users. It may not be immediately obvious, but it’s a useful and important addition.

    This mechanism has nothing to do with the AppLoad command, the Startup Suite, acad*.lsp, the (autoload) function or anything else that existed in earlier releases. This is completely new, it has not replaced or broken any of the existing loading mechanisms, and is, in short, A Good Thing. Developers don’t have to use it, but those who do, and their customers, will have certain advantages. I have used it for the ClassicArray loading mechanism, and I expect to see it used by more and more plug-ins over time. It works fine with all of the usual AutoCAD add-on … Full post

    AutoCAD 2012 – Putting things back to “normal”

    Edit: If you’re running a more recent release of AutoCAD, have a look at the post AutoCAD 2017 – Putting things back to “normal” instead.

    The most popular post on this blog, in terms of both hits and comments, is AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to “normal”. This is followed by AutoCAD 2010 – Putting things back to “normal”, with AutoCAD 2011 – Putting things back to “normal” not too far behind. As it seems many people find these posts useful, here’s an updated version for the latest release. Much of this post is based on older versions, but there are many additions and differences in this year’s “keep off my lawn” post.

    One thing that’s regularly asked whenever a new AutoCAD release hits the streets is how to make it work like earlier releases. As I stated in my original post, I think … Full post

    ClassicArray Release Candidate 2

    I have now posted the second Release Candidate of ClassicArray™ (version number 0.7.0). The main changes from the first Release Candidate (0.6.0) are:

    • Help documentation, which you can also view here, now describes how to resolve an AutoCAD CUIx loading problem. (The problem is not specific to ClassicArray and can affect any CUIx file that is removed or relocated. More on that in a future blog post).
    • Timebomb mechanism now works 15 days after first use rather than a specific date. Also now allows the interface to still be used (but no arrays to be created) once the evaluation period has expired.
    • About dialog enhanced to show registration information and to provide access to a new registration dialog.

    Barring disasters, I intend to release ClassicArray in this exact form (except for updating the version number to 1.0.0) in about a week.

    Please see either www.classicarray.com or … Full post

    ClassicArray Release Candidate – massive download bloat

    I have just posted the Release Candidate of ClassicArray™ (version number 0.6.0). The main changes from Beta 2 (0.5.0) are:

    • Setup executables have been provided to provide easier installation and uninstallation.
    • Pretty comprehensive Help documentation is now in place, which you can also view here if you want to learn about the product without installing it.
    • Bug fixed with Path preview not displaying accurately when no path is selected.
    • Minor cosmetic dialog box fixes.
    • Timebomb has been moved on 7 days to 28 April.

    Regrettably, the download file size has blown out to 787 KB because of the inclusion of the Help files and setup executables. There are two setup choices; one for all users (requires admin rights) and one for the current user only (admin rights not required). When installing the Release Candidate, it is not necessary to uninstall the Beta first. I would appreciate any … Full post

    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?

    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.

    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 … Full post

    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 … Full post