The SAVEIMG Command

Taking a screenshot of your work is sometimes required, and while it’s not particularly difficult to just press the PrntScr (print screen) key and save it using whatever picture editor you use, there is another way. The SAVEIMG command essentially does a screenshot of the document area of the AutoCAD® window. It gives the following dialogue box, which allows you to save the image in a few varieties of bitmap:

Naturally, this is particularly useful when you’re doing more than one save. If for example you had to save 20 screenshots of various parts of your work, this will most certainly save you time.

That’s all for today,

Will

P.S. As usual I’d like to encourage you to subscribe below, and forward on any questions/tips you have.

The DBLIST Command

Hi Everyone,

I have been meaning to do a post on the DBLIST command for a while now, and I just happened to find the perfect post on Ellen Finkelstein’s blog. Therefore this is a guest post from her:

Have you ever done a ZOOM Extents and found objects way out there like stars in outer space? Or tried to delete a layer but found you couldn’t because there was an object on it — but you couldn’t find it?

autocad-tips-dblist-1

When troubleshooting objects, you might find it useful to have a list of them all. You can get that with DBLIST. Just type the command on the command line and press Enter whenever it pauses. Of course, in a busy drawing, that could take a while. And the list gets long even in a small drawing, because AutoCAD® tells you everything about each object, like the LIST command does for selected objects. Below is the list for a drawing with only 5 objects!

Perhaps a better way to use it is to erase everything you can find and then run DBLIST.  That way, you can see what is still left. You can then undo the ERASE command. (Luckily, undoing the DBLIST command, which came after, won’t delete your list!)

How do you troubleshoot wayward objects?

Command: dblist

CIRCLE    Layer: “0″
Space: Model space
Handle = 1c4
center point, X=   8.8432  Y=   9.7202  Z=   0.0000
radius    5.2470
circumference   32.9678
area   86.4907

LWPOLYLINE  Layer: “Layer1″
Space: Model space
Handle = 1c8
Closed
Constant width    0.0000
area   20.3371
perimeter   18.2710

at point  X=  21.1067  Y=  10.7852  Z=   0.0000
at point  X=  26.4006  Y=  10.7852  Z=   0.0000
at point  X=  26.4006  Y=   6.9436  Z=   0.0000
at point  X=  21.1067  Y=   6.9436  Z=   0.0000

Press ENTER to continue:
CIRCLE    Layer: “Layer1″
Space: Model space
Handle = 1c9
center point, X=  15.0511  Y=  14.9691  Z=   0.0000
radius    2.2651
circumference   14.2322
area   16.1188

LINE      Layer: “0″
Space: Model space
Handle = 1ca
from point, X=  17.5267  Y=   7.1338  Z=   0.0000
to point, X=  30.2472  Y=  12.8391  Z=   0.0000
Length =  13.9414,  Angle in XY Plane =     24
Delta X =  12.7205, Delta Y =    5.7054, Delta Z =   0.0000

LINE      Layer: “0″
Space: Model space
Handle = 1cb
from point, X=  30.2472  Y=  12.8391  Z=   0.0000
to point, X=  33.5226  Y=   7.9706  Z=   0.0000
Length =   5.8678,  Angle in XY Plane =    304
Press ENTER to continue:
Delta X =   3.2753, Delta Y =   -4.8686, Delta Z =   0.0000

That’s all for today. Finally I’d like to urge you to go take a look at Ellen’s blog – it certainly has some great AutoCAD® tips!

Will

P.S. Subscribe below, and let me know any tips you want me to write about 🙂

 

The XOPEN Command

A quick tip for today – the XOPEN command.

This command simply allows you to open an XREF, without needing to open the XREF menu, and without even needing to know the name of the reference you wish to open. Type XOPEN, and simply select on screen the external reference that you wish to open.

Not much more to elaborate on, so I’ll leave it at that!

Soon I’ll do a nice meaty post on VB.NET, so keep tuned in 🙂

Will

The UNDEFINE Command

There are many commands in AutoCAD®, and it is possible to create your own custom command shortcuts through either LISP or using acad.pgp (see my article on how to use acad.pgp).

But what if you wanted to remap an existing built in AutoCAD® command to another command? I for example wanted to map “SS” to the COPY command, but the normal methods such as defining a LISP command or using acad.pgp do not work, because “SS” is a built in command for manipulating selection sets.

The solution is this – you must firstly undefine the built in command using the UNDEFINE command. This removes it from the AutoCAD® built in command list, but for that session only. You are then free to use any mechanism to map the command to something else as you would normally. But this does mean that because it’s for the current session only, you’ll have to do it each time you start up AutoCAD®, which isn’t ideal.

But, as usual, there is a way to achieve what we want. We can simply add the following command to the acad.lsp file, and it will run the UNDEFINE command for the specified command when you first open AutoCAD:

(command “undefine” “ss”)

The command is then free to be mapped as you see fit, and it is often useful to do this immediately following the UNDEFINE command in LISP.

I hope this helps some of you – it took me quite a while to get to the bottom of the problem when trying to remap “SS”, so hopefully I’ll have saved some of you some time.

As always if you found this post useful please do subscribe below, and if you have any tips to share, no matter how small you think they are, get in touch.

Will

The TSPACEINVADERS Command

Hi everyone,

Today I’m going to talk to you about a command that arguably has the coolest name ever to be given to an AutoCAD® command. The command is so cool in fact, that it didn’t want to go through the usual fuss of being a documented command. Therefore it’s actually one of those secret (undocumented) commands that Autodesk lets us find for ourselves.

The command is: TSPACEINVADERS

But what could such a bizarrely named command be for?

It is essentially a command for checking your drawing for TEXT and MTEXT entities that have other entities that “invade” the space of the TEXT or MTEXT. This makes it obvious where you might want to apply background masks and the like for your TEXT and MTEXT, so that they become more readable.

It becomes extra useful when we’re dealing with a large number of TEXT or MTEXT entities, because this command makes it very easy to make a selection of the relevant entities that need a background mask, which can then all be amended at once.

That’s all for today – but as a little side question, what are the commands you use that have the most interesting names?

Will

P.S. As always, please do subscribe below if you found this blog useful. And do get in touch if you want to share a tip with us all! 🙂

The REVERSE Command

Hi all, just a quick tip for today.

Probably my favourite entity in AutoCAD® is the polyline. However, there have been a few things in the past that I’ve found somewhat annoying, one of which is controlling the direction of polylines.

Normally the direction of polylines makes little difference, but for some purposes it can be important. For example, line-type text is oriented in line with the direction of the line segment, so if the polyline flows from right to left, as opposed to from left to right, the text will appear upside-down.

Reversing the vertices in a polyline has historically been quite cumbersome to achieve, but as of AutoCAD® 2010, there is now a REVERSE command. Simply enter the REVERSE command by either typing it, or selecting it from the Home ribbon, and select the polyline you want to reverse. This command can also be used on a few other entities, namely LINE, SPLINE and HELIX entities.

I hope you found this tip helpful, and I’ll have some more tips for you soon. 🙂

Will

P.S, please make sure you subscribe to my blog, and forward on any useful tips you may want to share.

The SSX Command

As this is my first post on HowToAutoCAD.com of 2013, I’d firstly like to wish you all a (somewhat belated…) Happy New Year!

Here’s a tip that was forwarded to me recently, by a chap named Santiago. I’ve used variations of this tool, which I have found to be very useful, and this one is equally so – the SSX command.

It’s essentially one of those really useful selection tools. Selecting things one by one is pretty cumbersome, and rarely are the changes we want to make only applicable to one entity. So if only there were a way to select a certain type of entity… You guessed it – that’s what SSX does. It allows you to select similar entities to the one entity you specify. So lets say you want to select all LINE entities on the very standards-compliant layer named “BOB”. All you’d have to do is type SSX followed by ENTER. Then, select a LINE entity that is on the layer you want (in this case, the “BOB” layer…), and AutoCAD® will add all relevant entities to the active selection set. Then, just manipulate the entities the way you want (such as forming the word “UNCLE”), and well, Bob’s your uncle.

See what I did there… ?

🙂

Depending on your AutoCAD® setup your selection may be cancelled after running this command. In which case, you can just invoke the command you want to use like MOVE for example, and then just use “p” for PREVIOUS.

Hopefully you will all find this useful – it’s just one of those commands that when used in the right place at the right time work wonders.

That’s all for now, and many thanks to Santiago for sharing this with us. If you have a tip that you think is useful, please please do get in touch. I very much appreciate all your contributions.

Equally, if there is any subject in particular that you want covered in a post, I’m always open to suggestions.

Will

P.S. For those that haven’t already subscribed, please do so below. I can’t believe I’m up to over 500!