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AutoCAD 2013 & AutoCAD LT 2013 Bible

The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

AutoCAD 2012 Bible

Reduce file size and eliminate unwanted drawing settings with the WBLOCK command

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Several people have asked about inexplicably large files.

Kerry Overall of Hodges Architecture wrote me,

I’ve seen unusually large CAD .dwg files. I had the same problem when a colleague stumbled onto a solution that greatly helped me. Open the drawing….wblock, click on “Entire Drawing” and save it. I had a simple file that [...]

Batch check multiple AutoCAD drawings against a standards file

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In a previous post, “Use a Standards file to bring an AutoCAD drawing into line,” I explained how to check a drawing for certain standards, such as layers. This process is important for maintaining drawing standards where you work.

But suppose you want to check standards for many drawings at once? You can, using [...]

Fix problems with the way AutoCAD looks (the user interface)

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Recently, a reader of my book, AutoCAD 2013 Bible, was reading something I wrote about the ribbon. He undocked it. (You can do that by right-clicking at the very end, in the blank gray space and choosing Undock.) Then, he clicked the X on the ribbon, which closed it. (Of course, I never recommended [...]

Get a list of all the objects in your drawing with DBLIST

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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?

When troubleshooting objects, you might find it useful to have a list [...]

Keep track of what you’ve done with COPYHIST

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Thanks to Tommy Holden for this tip.

AutoCAD allows you to copy the command line history window to the clipboard by using the COPYHIST command. The command line history is the window just above the command line. This way you can keep track of previous commands already executed in case you want to:

Repeat [...]

Troubleshooting problem drawings

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The most obvious problem is that you can’t open a drawing. Here are some techniques to try:

Rename the drawing’s BAK (backup) file by changing its filename extension to .dwg and see if you can open that. Find any temporary files (auto.sv$ by default) and rename them with a DWG extension and try to [...]

How to stay up to date with AutoCAD

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AutoCAD is a complex program and it’s crucial for your work. Obviously, the better you know how to use the program, the quicker and more accurate your drawings will be. This is where the importance of education comes in.

Education has two parts:

Learning more about the base AutoCAD features that you use, or [...]

Select all instances of a block

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If you would like to see where all the instances of your comp2b block are, you can select them all using the Quick Select feature from the Properties palette. This is a great technique for troubleshooting your blocks.

Follow these steps:

Open the Properties palette. Click the Quick Select button to open the Quick [...]

Get lots of information about your drawing–all in one place

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How many objects are in your drawing?

What are the limits and the extents of your drawing?

What are the running object snaps?

What’s the current elevation setting?

Is FILL on or off?

How much free space does your hard drive have?

How much memory is free?

How many places do you think you’d [...]

Find all named objects in a drawing

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For troubleshooting or collaborative purposes, you may need to know the named objects in your drawings, that is:

Blocks Dimension styles Layers Linetypes Materials Table styles Text styles UCSs Viewports (really viewport configurations) Views Plot styles (which you see only if you’re using named plot styles)

You can see all your named objects by [...]