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 …

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    The worst feature ever added to AutoCAD is…

    …the Ribbon, according to your selections in the What are the worst features ever added to AutoCAD? poll. As in the best ever poll, the winner (loser?) in this race had no serious competition. I’ve listed eleven top (bottom?) features here rather than ten, partly because the popular (unpopular?) choice Memory Overuse isn’t exactly a feature. But it’s mainly because I’d hate to see Action Recorder unfairly miss out on a well-deserved mention.

    • Ribbon (30%)
    • CUI (20%)
    • Help (on line / 2012) (18%)
    • Memory Overuse (17%)
    • AutoCAD Today (2000i/2002) (16%)
    • White / Cream Drawing Background (16%)
    • Unreconciled Layers (16%)
    • Nudge (10%)
    • Blipmode (9%)
    • Proxy Object Compatibility (9%)
    • Action Recorder (8%)

    Given the reception the Ribbon received when it was introduced, maybe it’s unsurprising to see it top the lists here. Cloud observers may find it interesting to note that that Autodesk’s …

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    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 …

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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 …

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    Autodesk discussion group changes – user reaction

    I will be airing my own views on the Autodesk discussion group changes in a future post. In the meantime, I have collected some reactions from other users. For the record, there has been only a little censorship in this area. Here are some of the comments that made it through unhindered:

    • I’ve given it a fair shake and it’s just as bad as I imagined
    • Goodbye, people. It was nice while it lasted
    • it sucks
    • it doesn’t look like you have any intention to meet the expectations of these people
    • not [as] much traffic as there was before the change.  I hope things improve
    • I’m sure you’ve noticed the sourness many folks are having with this interface
    • What a f’in f-up
    • This is so aggravating that I am resorting to posting questions that may have already been answered vs. trying to find them via the search tool
    • Very annoying
    • We use NNTP …

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    Command line poll replaced

    For the past couple of months, I have been running a poll about the command line. I ran it using wording copied directly from a Project Butterfly poll, to get some kind of comparison between the poll respondents on this blog and those on the Project Butterfly blog.

    It’s fair to say that I don’t like the wording of the available options, which appear designed to influence the result rather than find out what people really think. The “I can’t work with…” option has negative connotations; if I pick this choice, it implies that my abilities fall short in some way and I lack flexibility. On the other hand, the “I think it’s time for a new way…” option has a positive feel about it. If I pick this choice, I’m a thinker, I’m progressive, I’m looking to the future. It’s no accident that marketing people love …

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    Ribbon poll roundup

    Further to my last post, Here is a brief summary of this blog’s various poll results that relate in some way to Ribbon and CIP use. The most recent polls are at the top of the list. I have placed in bold those percentages that relate directly to the proportion of AutoCAD Ribbon use among the voters on this blog.

    • AutoCAD 2010 users’  Ribbon use: 44% (AutoCAD 2010 users’ CIP on: 36%)
    • Ribbon love: 28%
    • AutoCAD 2010 menu bar non-users: 23%
    • Inventor Ribbon use: 44% (Inventor 2010 users’ Ribbon use: 59%)
    • Revit Ribbon use: 42% (Revit 2010 users’ Ribbon use: 58%)
    • AutoCAD Ribbon use: 32% (AutoCAD 2009/2010 users’ Ribbon use: 38%)
    • CIP on: 27%
    • AutoCAD 2009 menu bar non-users: 21%
    • AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon one of 3 best new features: 11%
    • AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon turned on in some way: 29% (fully visible 13%)

    The polls were run at …

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    Autodesk’s CIP data – massively biased?

    You may have seen Shaan Hurley and I having a discussion (ahem) over the validity of his statement:

    I really do use the ribbon now with AutoCAD 2010 along with most users as evidenced by the CIP data we receive daily from thousands of AutoCAD users who choose to send the great data.

    So, now you know. Most of you use the Ribbon now,  Shaan said so. Shaan, as he always has done in the past, declined my invitation to back up this assertion with more details. He has vast amounts of data collected from huge numbers of users. How could that possibly be wrong?

    Here’s how. CIP data is biased.

    How can millions of data points be biased? Actually, all samples are biased. Only the degree of bias varies. The polls on this blog are no exception. I do my best to keep the questions and options neutral; …

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    How is your AutoCAD 2011 hatching?

    Hatching is the poster child for AutoCAD 2011’s 2D drafting feature changes (although there are several other significant ones), and also for demonstrating the advantages of providing a contextual interface via the Ribbon. It looks great at first glance when working with simple demo drawings, but how are things going in the real world? I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences.

    • Is the hatch Ribbon tab snapping into place and going away quickly enough, both the first time it is used in a session and subsequently?
    • Is the Ribbon interface easy to use, efficient and complete?
    • Does the hatch preview always match what’s actually hatched when you accept the preview? If not, how often is it wrong?
    • Are you happy with the new default double-click hatch action? (If not, see the Hatch double-click section of my AutoCAD 2011 …

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    What do I think of the Ribbon?

    I’m curious. What do you think I think about the Ribbon, particularly in AutoCAD? Do you think I’m a hater, a lover, indifferent, or what? Now, on what evidence do you base that view? Feel free to quote back to me anything I’ve written on this blog or any other public place to support your opinion. If you can’t find anything that gives you any clues one way or the other, feel free to mention that, too.

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    AutoCAD 2011’s new Help system – what do you think?

    With all this talk of clouds in the air, it is interesting to note that Autodesk has moved AutoCAD’s Help system to a browser-based format, with online access as the default. So, how has Autodesk done with this first dipping of its toes into the cloudy waters with its primary mainstream product? I’ve already had a couple of unsolicited comments on the subject, and I’d like to hear from you. How do you rate the following, compared with previous releases?

    • Performance (online)
    • Performance (offline)
    • Search results
    • Content completeness and accuracy
    • Ease of manual browsing
    • Efficiency of user interface
    • Concept of online Help
    • Anything else you want to mention

    Please comment to express your views and use the poll on the right to provide an overall rating of the new system.

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    AutoCAD 2011 – 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.

    Easily the most popular post on this blog, in terms of both hits and comments, is AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to “normal”. Not too far behind it is AutoCAD 2010 – Putting things back to “normal”. Apparently, lots of people find these posts useful, so here’s an updated version for the latest release. Some of this post is based on the originals, but there are significant additions and differences in this year’s Luddite post.

    Note: there is an updated version of this post for AutoCAD 2012.

    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 you …

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    Send your screen to Autodesk

    No, I don’t mean Autodesk is now so impoverished that it is running short of monitors for its staff, I mean send a capture of your screen to Autodesk. Guillermo Melantoni, one of AutoCAD’s Product Managers, would like to see how you arrange your user interface for production use. As I’ve mentioned before, Guillermo is a very smart guy who is responsible for recent 3D enhancements to AutoCAD. He is open to listening to customers and trying to accommodate their needs. Here’s what he has to say:

    I would like to ask all of you to send me screen capture of your AutoCAD in production. I’d like to understand how you organize the diverse components, how you use the Ribbon and/or the toolbars, if you display the command line or not, if you use tool palettes.

    I’m very happy Guillermo is seeking to gain a fuller understanding of …

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    These messages are brought to you by AutoCAD

    Over the past few releases, and particularly in AutoCAD 2009 and 2010, I have noticed an increase in the number of information notices (bubbles, warnings, task dialogs, Communication Center notices, etc.) being displayed. Shaan Hurley has pointed out that 2010 Update 1 introduces a balloon notification that periodically makes you aware of how much time remains before your subscription expires. Is this a good thing?

    There’s a poll on the right that asks a specific question about the default state of AutoCAD 2009 and 2010, but I’d also like to see some comments on this. What do you think of these messages? Are they useful? Do they get in the way? Do you take any notice of them? Are there too many? Do we need any others? Do you turn them off? Is it easy enough to control them?

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    AutoCAD 2010 – 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.

    Easily the most popular post on this blog, in terms of both hits and comments, is AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to “normal”. Lots of people seemed to find it useful, so I guess it’s worth doing an updated sequel for the current release. Much of this post is the same as the original, but there are differences.

    Note: there are updated versions of this post for AutoCAD 2011 and 2012.

    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 you should give any new features a fighting chance before turning them off or ignoring them. The …

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    Revolt of the Revit Ribbon Renegades

    I hesitate to cover this subject because my understanding of Revit is very close to nil. I’m going to cover it anyway, because it relates to the Does Autodesk Listen? theme that I’ve discussed here in the past.

    Revit 2010 has appeared with a Ribbon interface, and many users don’t like it. Some well-known Revit users, including bloggers, former Autodesk employees and Revit founders, have railed against the new release. Autodesk has been accused of ignoring long-standing wishlists and pre-release feedback. Autodesk has (it is said) wasted precious development resources by introducing a badly-designed and poorly-performing pretty new face at the expense of solving long-standing and much-requested improvements to the core product. The main complaint appears to be that Autodesk didn’t do much with this release, other than introducing an interface that doesn’t work as well as the one it replaced.

    All this will sound very familiar to …

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    AutoCAD 2010 – Will you miss the Menu Browser?

    I’ve closed the poll that asked AutoCAD 2009 users about their MENUBAR setting. It’s very clear that pull-down menus are still very much in use in the Ribboned world of post-2008 AutoCAD. In AutoCAD 2009, an attempt was made to provide access to pull-down menus without sacrificing that strip of screen real estate. That attempt was called the Menu Browser, it was one of the thing you could find under the Big Red A, and it really didn’t work very well. In AutoCAD 2010, the Menu Browser has gone away. The A hasn’t gone away, just the ability to access pull-down menus through it.

    There are some who have expressed a deep dislike of the Big Red A, although it never offended me greatly. I just wished the features hidden under it worked better than they did in 2009. Personally, I generally prefer what’s under the A in …

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    AutoCAD 2009 – Do you use the menu bar?

    You may have noticed that I’ve added a poll to find out if the AutoCAD 2009 users among you are using the menu bar (i.e. MENUBAR = 1). I’m also interested in hearing your comments about your usage and the reasons behind it.

    If your menu bar turned on, why? Do you use it all the time or do you just need it for those less-frequently-used commands that you don’t have handy at your fingertips, on toolbars, palettes or the Ribbon? Do you need it because your own custom routines are on menus, or third-party commands? Does the vertical AutoCAD variant you’re using need it?

    If your menu bar is turned off, why? Do you never have any need for the stuff in there? Do you use the Menu Browser instead, sacrificing an occasional extra click for the sake of a permanent strip of screen space?

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