AutoCAD 2011/12

the customizing e-book by ralph grabowski


General CADD Pro
Generic CADD 6

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Table of Contents
-Tailoring AutoCAD 2011/12

About the Author
Ralph Grabowski


about the author

Ralph Grabowski has authored and co-authored 140+ books on CAD management, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Generic CADD, IntelliCAD, MicroStation, TurboCAD, VDraft, Visio, HTML, and VRML. He is the editor of upFront.eZine and WorldCAD Access.

Mr Grabowski received his B.A.Sc ('80) degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia. He currently works and lives in the beautiful Central Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada.

You can visit his Web site at upfrontezine.com






















































Tailoring AutoCAD is one of our most popular e-books. It is part one of a three-part series that describes how to customize every aspect of AutoCAD --from user interfaces to dynamic blocks:

1. Tailoring AutoCAD 2011/12
2. Tailoring CUI for AutoCAD 2011/12
3. Tailoring AutoLISP - DCL - Diesel and scripts.

The 266-page PDF book is now updated for AutoCAD 2011 and 2012. And when the next release of AutoCAD for Mac ships, we'll release a dual-OS version of this ebook, for Windows and OS X.

The ebook provides detailed descriptions -- more detailed than the documentation provided by Autodesk -- and step-by-step tutorials in the following chapters:

1. Starting AutoCAD
2. Changing AutoCAD's Environment
3. Tweaking Options
4. Customizing Linetypes
5. Making Hatch Patterns
6. Creating Shapes and Fonts
7. Writing Command Aliases
8. Coding Field Text
9. Managing CAD

The ebook features:

  • All illustrations in full color.
  • Formatted for printing on standard 8.5x11 paper.
  • Margins designed for three-hole punching. 
  • Complimentary subscription to upFront.eZine.

ordering the book

To order the 266-page Tailoring AutoCAD 2011/12 PDF book:

  • Web Download Price: Sent to you by email or thru DropBox in Acrobat PDF format: US$39.90 (8MB download).
  • Bulk pricing available; contact the editor.

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By Mail
You may mail payment to:

      "Tailoring AutoCAD 2011/12"
      upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
      34486 Donlyn Avenue
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      V2S 4W7     Canada


I welcome your feedback for correcting and improving the text. Send your email to grabowski @ telus.net  

table of contents

1 starting autocad
Starting AutoCAD
Starting AutoCAD Faster
Windows ReadyBoost
Start Up Accelerator
Disabling the Communications Center
Startup Switches
Windows Command-line Commands
Tutorial: Using Command-line Switches
Details of Command-line Switches
/b Switch
/c Switch
/layout Switch 
/ld Switch 
/nohardware Switch
/nologo Switch
/nossm Switch
/p Switch
/pl Switch
/r Switch
/s Switch
/set Switch 
/t Switch
/v Switch
/w Switch
Changing AutoCAD's Installation
Migrating Custom Settings
Export AutoCAD 2012 Settings
Import AutoCAD 2012 Settings
Migrate Custom Settings
Transferring Licenses
Public and Private
Making the Transfer

2 changing autocad's environment
Changing Support Files and Their Paths
Where Are My Support Files?
Local and Roaming Support Files
Accessing Hidden Folders
Catalog of Search Path Options
Support File Search Path & Working Support File Search
Device Driver File Search Path
Project Files Search Path
Customization Files
Help and Miscellaneous File Names
Windows: Files and Paths in Options Dialog Box
Text Editor, Dictionary, and Font File Names
Print File, Spooler, and Prolog Section Names
Printer Support File Path
Automatic Save File Location
Color Book Locations
Data Sources Location
Template Settings
Tool Palettes File Location
Authoring Palettes File Location
Log File Location
Action Recorder Settings
Plot and Publish Log File Location 
Temporary Drawing File Location
Temporary External Reference File Location
Texture Maps Search Path
Web FIle Search Path
i-drop Associated File Location
DGN Mapping Setups Location
Setting Default Templates for New Drawings
Windows Tutorial: Specifying Default Template Files
Customizing Template Files
Modifying Window, Layout, and User Interface Elements
User Interface Changes Inside AutoCAD
Windows Tutorial: Changing the Skin
Changing the Screen Colors
Default Colors for Each Context
XYZ Cursor's Color Coding
Command Line Font
Command Line Transparency
UI Changes Through Windows
Modding the UCS Icon
Toggling the Menu Bar
Rearranging Ribbons, Toolbars, and Palettes
Moving Around the Ribbon
Controlling Undocked ribbon Panels
Moving Around Toolbars
Toggling Toolbars
Moving Around Palettes
Setting and Restoring Profiles
Summary of Commands for Palettes
Workspaces Controlling User Interfaces
Saving Workspaces
Controlling Workspaces
Customizing the User Interface

3 tweaking options
+Options Command
Files Tab
Display Tab
Window Elements Section
Color Scheme
Display Scroll Bars in Drawing Window
Display Drawing Status Bar
Display Screen Menu
Use Large Buttons for Toolbars
Show Tooltips
Layout Elements Section
Display Layout and Model Tabs
Display Printable Area
Display Paper Background
Show Page Setup Manager for New Layouts
Create Viewport in New Layouts
Display Resolution Section
Arc and Circle Smoothness
Segments in a Polyline Curve
Rendered Object Smoothness
Contour Lines per Surface
Display Performance Section
Pan and Zoom with Raster and OLE
Highlight Raster Image Frame Only
Apply Solid Fill
Show Text Boundary Frame Only
Draw True Silhouettes for Solids and Surfaces
Crosshair Size Section
Fade Control Section
Xref Display
In-place Edit and Annotative Representations
Open and Save Tab
File Save Section
Save As
Maintain Visual Fidelity for Annotative Objects
Thumbnail Preview Settings
Maintain Drawing Size Compatibility
Thumbnail Preview Settings
Incremental Save Percentage
File Safety Precautions Section
Automatic Save
Minutes Between Saves
Create Backup Copy with Each Save
Full-time CRC Validation
Maintain a Log File
File Extension for Temporary Files
Security Options
Display Digital Signature Information
File Open Section
Number of Recently-used Files to List
Display Full Path in Title
Application Menu Section
Number of Recently-used Files
External References (Xrefs) Section
Demand Load Xrefs
Retain Changes to Xref Layers
Allow Other Users to Refedit Current Drawing
ObjectARX Applications Section
Demand Load ObjectARX Apps
Proxy Images for Custom Objects
Show Proxy Information Dialog Box
Plot and Publish Tab
Default Plot Settings for New Drawings Section
Use As Default Output Device
Use Last Successful Plot Settings
Add or Configure Plotters
Plot to File Section
Default Location for Plot to File Operations
Background Processing Options Section
Auto Publish Options
Plot and Publish Log File Section
Automatically Save Plot and Publish Log File
AutoPublish Section
AutoPublish options
Automatic Publish Settings
General Plot Options Section
When Changing the Plot Device
System Printer Spool Alert
OLE Plot Quality
Use OLE Application When Plotting OLE Objects
Hide System Printers
Plot Style Table Settings
Specify Plot Offset Relative To Section
Plot Stamp Settings
Plot Style Table Settings
System Tab
3D Performance Section
Performance Settings
Current Pointing Device Section
Layout Regen Options Section
dbConnect Options Section
Store Links Index in Drawing File
Open Tables in Read-only Mode
General Options Section
Hidden Messages Settings
Display OLE Text Size Dialog
Beep on Error in User Input
Load acad.lsp With Every Drawing
Hidden Message Settings
Allow long symbol names
Live Enabler Options Section
Check Web for Live Enablers
Maximum Number of Unsuccessful Checks
Autodesk Exchange Section
Access online Content (including Help) when available
offline help browser
InfoCenter Section
Balloon Notifications
Check Web for Live Enablers
InfoCenter Balloon Notifications
User Preferences Tab
Windows Standard Behavior Section
þ Double Click Editing
þ Shortcut Menus in Drawing Area
Right-click Customization
Insertion Scale Section
Source Content Units
Right-click Customization
Field Update Settings
Target Drawing Units
Hyperlink Section
Fields Section
Display Background of Fields
Field Update Settings
Priority for Coordinate Data Entry Section
Associative Dimensioning Section
Undo/Redo Section
Combine Zoom and Pan Commands
Combine Layer Property Change
Block Editor Settings
Lineweight Settings
Edit Scale List
Drafting Tab
AutoSnap Settings Section
Display AutoSnap Tooltip
Display AutoSnap Aperture Box
AutoSnap Marker Size Section
Object Snap Options Section
Ignore Hatch Objects
Replace Z Value with Current Elevation
Ignore Negative Z Object Snaps for Dynamic UCS
AutoTrack Settings Section
Display Polar Tracking Vector
Drafting Tooltip Appearance
Display Full-screen Tracking Vector
Display AutoTrack Tooltip
Alignment Point Acquisition Section
Aperture Size Section
Aperture Size
Drafting Tooltip Settings
Light Glyphs Settings
Light Glyph Appearance
Camera Glyph Appearance
Camera Glyphs Settings
3D Modeling Tab
3D Crosshairs Section
Show Z Axis in Crosshairs
Label Axes in Standard Crosshairs
Show Labels for Dynamic UCS
Crosshair Labels
Display Tools in Viewport Section
Display the ViewCube
Display the UCS Icon
Display the Viewport Controls
3D Objects Section
Visual Style While Creating 3D Objects
Deletion Control While Creating 3D Objects
Isolines on Surfaces
Mesh Options
Surface Analysis Options
Animation Settings
3D Navigation Section
Reverse Mouse Wheel Zoom
Walk and Fly
Dynamic Input Section
Show Z Field for Pointer Input
Selection Tab
Pickbox Size
Selection Modes Section
Noun/Verb Selection
Use Shift to Add to Selection
Object Grouping
Associative Hatch
Implied Windowing
Window Selection Method
Object Limit for Properties Palette
Selection Preview Section
When a Command is Active
When No Command is Active
Visual Effect Settings
Grip Size
Grips Section
Grip Colors
Show Grips
Visual Effect Settings
Advanced Options
Ribbon Contextual Tab State Options
Object Selection Limit for Display of Grips
Ribbon Options Settings
Contextual Tab States
Grips Colors
Profiles Tab

4 customizing linetypes
Commands that Affect Linetypes
Scaling Linetypes
System Variables Affecting Linetypes
The Special Case of Annotative Scaling
The Special Case of Polylines
The Special Case of text orientation
Customizing Linetypes
Tutorial: Defining Linetypes with -Linetype Command
Tutorial: Testing New Linetypes
Tutorial: Making Linetypes with MkLType in Windows
Tutorial: Making Linetypes with a Text Editor
Simple (1D) Linetype Format
Line1 – Header
Line 2: Data
Complex (2D) Linetype Format
Text Style
Text Scale Factor (S)
Text Rotation Angle (R)
Text Orientation (A)
Text Upright Flag (U)
Text Offset Distances (X and Y)
Embedding Shapes
3D Linetypes
Tutorial: Attempting a Parallel Linetype
Default Collection of Linetypes

5 making hatch patterns
About Hatch Patterns
Brief History of Hatch Enhancements
Commands and System Variables
Non-associative and Associative and Patterns
Creating Custom Hatch Patterns
Creating Patterns with Hatch Command Line
Creating Patterns with the Hatch Dialog Box
System Variables for Hatch and Gradient Patterns
Creating Patterns with SuperHatch in Windows
Working With Custom Hatches in the Ribbon Tab of Windows
Hatch patterns from Images in Widows
Hatch Patterns from Blocks in Windows
Hatch Patterns from Xrefs in Windows
Creating Rounded Hatch Patterns in Windows
Understanding the acad.pat File
Comment and Header Lines
The Hatch Data
Tips on Creating Pattern Codes
Adding Custom Patterns to the Dialog Box
AutoCAD Hatch Patterns and Gradient Fills

6 creating shapes and fonts
Shape Files are Useful
Complex Linetypes
GD&T Symbols
About Shape Files
Tutorial: Making Shapes with MkShape in Windows
The Shape File Format
Header Fields
Definition Lines
Vector Codes
Instruction Codes

7 writing command aliases
About Customizing Aliases
The Alias Format
Alias Suggestions
Creating New Aliases
Tutorial: Alias Creation by Dialog Box in Windows 
Tutorial: Alias Creation by Hand
Aliases Defined by Autodesk

8 coding field text
Field Command
Text and MText
Text Command
MText Command
Changing Field Text
Double-clicking Text and MText
Editing Fields in Text
Editing Fields in MText
Double-clicking Attribute Definitions
Double-clicking Dimensions
Customizing Field Text Updates
The Meaning of ---- and ####
Creating Custom Field Text
Copying and Pasting Code
Tutorial: Modifying Field Codes
Updating the Field Text
Modifying Field Codes: Dialog Box
Modifying Field Codes: By Hand
Formating Field Text
Understanding Field Codes
Concise Field Code Reference
Format Codes
%tcn — Text Case
%lun — Linear Units
%dsn — Decimal Separator
%aun — Angular Units
%lwn — Line Weight units
%qfn — scale Factor
%ctn — ConverT
%ptn — PointTs (xyz coordinates)
%.n — decimal places
%prn — display PRecision
%fnn — File Names
%byn — BYtes (file size)
href - Hyperlinks
Date & Time Format Codes
Objects and Property Names
Fields: Date and Time Codes
Fields: Categories and Names

9 managing cad
CAD Standards
How CAD Standards Work
What CheckStandards Cannot Do
Step 1: Create the Standards Drawing
Linetype Standards
Layer Standards
Text Style Standards
Dimension Style Standards
Determining the Difference Between Dimension Styles
Step 2: Save the Drawing as a Standard
Step 3: Apply the CAD Standards to Drawings
Step 4: Checking Standards
Setting Options for Standards Checking
Employing DesignCenter and Tool Palettes
Autodesk Online Resource for Drawings
Tool Palettes
Tab Customization
Icon Customization
Palette Customization
Titlebar Customization
Commands and Programs on Palettes
Tools by Example
New Tool Properties
Tool Flyouts
Other Content
Command Tools
Adding Commands to the Tools Palette
Adding Programs and Macros
Organize Tools
XTP File Format
XML Metacharacters
XTP Section 3: Palette Data


 No appendices.

opyright 2005 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide.