AutoCAD 2008

the customizing e-book by ralph grabowski


General CADD Pro
Generic CADD 6
Architectural Desktop

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Table of Contents
-Tailoring AutoCAD 2007

About the Author
Ralph Grabowski

Sample Pages

Click thumbnail for full-size view.

Chapter 1
Welcome to Tailoring AutoCAD


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 Chapter 2
 Changing AutoCAD's Environment


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Chapter 3
Working with CUI


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Chapter 4
Authoring Dynamic Blocks


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Chapter 5
Customizing Linetypes


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Chapter 6
Making Hatch Patterns


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Chapter 7
Creating Shapes & Fonts


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Chapter 8
Writing Command Aliases


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Chapter 9
Coding Field Text


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Chapter 10
Calculations with Cal & QuickCalc


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Chapter 11
Managing CAD


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Chapter 12
Introduction to DXF


about the author

Ralph Grabowski has authored and co-authored 100+ books on CAD management, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Generic CADD, IntelliCAD, MicroStation, TurboCAD, VDraft, Visio, HTML, and VRML. He is the editor of two e-newsletters, upFront.eZine and iCommunique .

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 our most popular e-book updated for AutoCAD 2008. Learn to customize AutoCAD --from user interfaces to dynamic blocks.

The 346-page PDF book has this additional material:

  • Features added to AutoCAD 2008.
  • Dashboard customization in CUI.
  • New /nohardware startup switch.
  • Introduction to DXF added back in.
  • More.

The book features

  • Updated for AutoCAD 2008 with 2008 icon marking new items.
  • All illustrations in full color.
  • Formatted for printing on standard 8.5x11 paper.
  • Margins designed for three-hole punching. 
  • Complimentary subscription to upFront.eZine.

Important note: If you purchased any of the following 2008 ebooks from us, you may not want to buy this ebook, because the information is duplicated: Tailoring AutoCAD CUI 2008, Tailoring Dynamic Blocks, and/or Tailoring QuickCalc.

Also available:

ordering the book

To order the 346-page Tailoring AutoCAD 2008 PDF book:

  • Web Download Price: Sent to you by email in Acrobat PDF format: US$34.60 (5.1MB download).
  • On CD in Acrobat PDF format: add US$5.00 for shipping. 
  • Add US$25 for CD delivery by FedEx.
  • Bulk pricing available; contact the editor.

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By Mail
You may mail payment to:

      "Tailoring AutoCAD 2008"
      upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
      34486 Donlyn Avenue
      Abbotsford BC
      V2S 4W7     Canada


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

table of contents

 chapter 1: welcome to tailoring autocad

The Many Ways of Customization. Which Customization?. Shortcut Tips. Tip #1: Placing Arcs . Tip #2: Placing Text . Tip #3: Replacing Text . Tip #4: Using PostScript Fonts. Tip #5: Template Drawings . Tip #6: Fast Custom Drawing Sheets. Tip #7: Collapsing Multilines. Tip #8: Changing Layers . Tip #9: Quick Trim . Tip #10: Get the Big Picture   . Tip #11: Install Express Tools   . Tip #12: Disable View Transitions   . Tip #13: Alternating Line Colors.

chapter 2: changing autocad’s environment

Starting AutoCAD.
Startup Switches.
Tutorial: Using Command-line Switches. /b Switch . /c Switch . /layout Switch . /ld Switch . /nohardeware switch.  /nologo Switch . /nossm Switch. /p Switch . /r Switch . /s Switch . /set Switch  . /t Switch . /v Switch . /w switch.
Support File Paths. 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 . Text Editor, Dictionary, and Font File Names . Default Support File Paths for AutoCAD. Print File, Spooler, and Prolog Section Names . Printer Support File Path. Automatic Save File Location . Color Book Locations. Data Sources Location . Drawing Template Settings . Tool Palettes File Location. Authoring Palettes File Location   . Log File Location . Plot and Publish Log File Location  . Temporary Drawing File Location . Temporary External Reference File Location . Texture Maps Search Path . i-drop Associated File Location.
Where Are My Support Files? Finding Support Files. Method 1: Move the Folders. Method 2: Shortcut to the Folders.
Setting Templates for New Drawings. Tutorial: Specifying the Template File. Customizing Template Files. Importing Layers .
Drafting and Selection Preferences. AutoSnap Settings. Grips Settings.
Changing Window and Layout Elements. Changing Screen Colors. Command Line Font . Command Line Transparency. UCS Icon.
Rearranging Toolbars and Windows. Moving Toolbars Around. Toggling Toolbars. Moving Windows Around. Setting and Restoring Profiles.
Workspaces . Saving Workspaces. Restoring Workspaces. Controlling Workspaces. Customize the User Interface.

chapter 3: working with cui

About CUI. About Cui Files. Collection of Cui Commands. Related System Variables.
Touring the Customize User Interface Dialog Box. Customizations Pane. Reducing the Infoglut. Command List Pane. Properties Pane. Customizing With Cui.
Toolbars. Stage 1: Create New Toolbar. Toolbar Properties. General Properties. Appearance Properties. Advanced Properties. Stage 2: Add Buttons to Toolbars. Toolbar Button Properties. General Properties. Macros. Images. Creating Flyouts. Stage 3: Writing Toolbar Macros. Basic Macros. Including Options. Adding New Commands. Using System Variables. Including Hidden Options. Additional Metacharacters. Advanced Macros. Adding Separator Lines. Stage 4: Edit Icons. Leave Icon As-is. Borrow Icons from Other Commands. Import Images as Icons. Create Custom Icons . Stage 5: Testing and Debugging. Testing Toolbar Buttons. Testing Toolbar Flyouts.
Menus. Stage 1: Create Menus. Menu Properties. General Properties. Advanced Properties. Stage 2: Add Commands to Menus. Menu Item Properties. General Properties. Macro Properties. Images Properties. Stage 3: Write Macros. Basic Menu Macros. Including Options. Metacharacters - ^ and $. Including Coordinates and User Input - \. Providing Input to Users: ^H. Submenus. Separator Lines: --. Shortcuts - &. Shortcut Keystrokes - \t. Grayed-out Text - ~. Check Mark Toggles - !.. Stage 4: Edit Icons. Stage 5: Test and Debug.
Shortcut Menus.
Keyboard Shortcuts. Shortcut Keystrokes. Stage 1: Drag Commands. Stage 2: Edit Properties. Stage 3: Test and Debug.. Temporary Override Keys  . Mouse Buttons. Stage 1: Add Buttons. Stage 2: Modify Properties. Stage 3: Test and Debug.
Double-click Action.
Customizing Dashboard PanelsStage 1: Create Shell of New Panel, Summary of Dashboard Elements. Stage 2: Identify the Panel. Stage 3: Add Buttons and Controls. Stage 4: Edit Properties and Write Macros. Stage 5: Edit Icons. Stage 6: Test and Debug. Further Dashboard Customization. Assign a Tool Palette Group. Other Shortcut Options.
LISP Files. Stage 1: Select.lsp Files.
Workspaces . Stage 1: Create New Workspaces. Workspace Properties. General Properties. Display Properties. Stage 2: Make Changes. Stage 3: Save and Test.
Legacy Customization.

chapter 4: authoring dynamic blocks

History of Dynamic Blocks. Trying Out Dynamic Blocks. Actions of Dynamic Blocks.
Introduction to Block Editor. Guided Tour of Block Editor. Block Editor Toolbar.
Commands Specific to Block Editor. Utility Commands. Parameter and Action Commands. Grips Commands. Visibility Commands. Attribute Commands. Relationship Between Parameters and Actions. Block Editor Authoring Palette. Summary of Actions. Disabled Commands.
Comprehensive Parameter Reference. Common Parameter Options. Further Options. The BParameter and BAction Commands. Point Parameter. Point-Move Action. Point-Stretch Action. Linear Parameter. Unique Options. Linear-Array Action. Linear-Move Action. Linear-Scale Action. Linear Stretch Action. Polar Parameter. Unique Prompts. Polar-Array Action. Polar-Move Action. Polar-Polar Stretch Action. Polar-Scale Action. Polar-Stretch Action. XY Parameter. Unique Prompts. XY-Array Action. XY-Move Action. XY-Scale Action. XY-Stretch Action. Rotation Parameter. Unique Prompts. Rotation-Rotate Action. Alignment Parameter. Unique Prompts. Flip Parameter. Unique Prompts. Flip-Flip Action. Visibility Parameter. Lookup Parameter. Base Parameter.
Comprehensive System Variable Reference.
BEditor Tutorials
. Tips on Creating Dynamic Blocks. Block Authoring Palette. Placing Parameters. Placing Actions. Viewing Relationships. How Parameter Sets Work. Debugging Dynamic Blocks. Move-Point Tutorial.
Starting AutoCAD and Entering Block Editor. Assigning the Point Parameter. Assigning the Move Action. Testing the Dynamic Block. Stretch-Linear Tutorial. Changing the Parameter Label. Using Ortho Mode. Double-click to Apply the Stretch Action. Testing the Dynamic Block. Rotate-Rotation Tutorial. Using Parameter Sets. Double-clicking to Activate Rotation. Editing Parameters with Properties & Restricting Movement. Alignment Tutorial. Add the Alignment Action. Aligning Blocks to Objects. Flip-Flip Tutorial. Entering Commands at the Keyboard. Adding the Flip Action. Visibility Tutorial. Opening Drawings in Block Editor. Placing the Visibility States Parameter. The Visibility States Dialog Box.
Catalog of Dynamic Blocks.

chapter 5: customizing linetypes

Commands that Affect Linetypes. System Variables Affecting Linetypes. The Special Case of Polylines.
Customizing Linetypes. Tutorial: Making Linetypes with -Linetype Command. Tutorial: Testing New Linetypes. Tutorial: Making Linetypes with MkLType . Tutorial: Making Linetypes with a Text Editor.
Simple (1D) Linetype Format. Line1 – Header. Line 2: Data. Complex (2D) Linetype Format. Text. Text Style. Text Scale Factor. Text Rotation Angle. Text Orientation. Text Offset Distance. Embedding Shapes. 3D Linetypes. Tutorial: Attempting a Parallel Linetype.

 chapter 6: making hatch patterns

About Hatch Patterns. Commands and System Variables. Non-associative and Associative and Patterns.
Creating Custom Hatch Patterns. Tutorial: Creating Patterns with Hatch. Tutorial: Creating Patterns with Hatch. Tutorial: Creating Patterns with SuperHatch . Circle Hatch Patterns with SuperHatch.
Understanding the acad.pat File. Comment and Header Lines. The Hatch Data. Tips on Creating Pattern Codes. Adding Custom Patterns to the Dialog Box. Hatch Patterns and Gradient Fills.

chapter 7: creating shapes & fonts

About Shape Files. Tutorial: Creating Shapes .
The Shape File Format. Header Fields. Definition Lines. Vector Codes. Instruction Codes. 0/000: End of Shape. 1/001: Draw Mode. 2/002: Move Mode. 3/003: Reduced Scale. 4/004: Enlarged Scale. 5/005: Save (Push). 6/006: Recall (Pop). 7/007: Subshape. 8/008: X,y Distance. 9/009: X,y Distances. 10/00A: Octant Arc. 11/ 00B: Fractional Arc. 12/00C: Bulge Arc. 13/00D: Polyarc. 14/00E: Flag Vertical Text Flag.

chapter 8: writing command aliases

About Customizing Aliases. The Alias Format. Alias Suggestions. Creating New Aliases. Tutorial: Alias Creation by Dialog Box  . Tutorial: Alias Creation by Hand. Aliases Defined by Autodesk.

chapter 9: coding field text

Creating Field Text. Field. Text and MText. AttDef. Dimensions and Leaders. Available Fields. Date and Time Codes. Changing Field Text. Double-clicking. Properties Window.
Customizing Field Text Updates. UpdateField. FieldEval. FieldDisplay. The Meaning of ---- and ####.
Creating Custom Field Text. Copying and Pasting Code. Tutorial: Modifying Field Codes. Modifying Field Codes: Dialog Box. Modifying Field Codes: By Hand.
Understanding Field Codes. Groups. Metawords. Formatting. 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.

 chapter 10: calculations with cal & quickcalc

Introduction to Cal. Cal Functions. Using Cal. Performing Calculations Transparently. Calculations in Dialog Boxes. Architectural Calculations. Converting to Inches. Converting Between Units. Format of acad.unt File.
Cvunit - Acad.unt. System International Prefixes.
Geometric Calculations. Working with Angles. Vector Calculations. Using AutoLISP and System Variables. Remembering Results. Reading System Variables.
Additional Functions. Conversion Functions. Vector Functions. Coordinate Functions. Geometry Functions. Shortcut Functions.
QuickCalc. Opening and Closing QuickCalc. Related System Variables. Number Pad. Scientific. Using QuickCalc for Basic Calculations. Entering Calculations in the Input Box. Interacting with Drawings and Commands. Toolbar. Shortcut Menu.
Unit Conversions. Working with Constants and Fomulas.
Using Variables. Controlling Variables. Creating Variables. Constants. Formula.

chapter 11: managing cad

CAD Standards. How CAD Standards Work. What CAD Standards Cannot Do. Step 1: Create the Standards Drawing. Linetype Standards. Layer Standards. Text Style Standards. Dimension Style Standards. Step 2: Save the Drawing as a Standard. Step 3: Apply the Standards. Step 4: Checking Standards. Setting Options for Standards Checking.
Employing DesignCenter and Tool Palettes. DesignCenter. 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. Adding Programs and Macros. Changing Icons. Organize Tools. XTP File Format. XML Metacharacters. XTP Section 3: Palette Data.

chapter 12: introduction to dxf

DWG and DXF File Formats, Miscellaneous Comments, DXF Format, Object Properties, Header Section of DXF Files, Group Codes, HEADER Section, Version Numbers, CLASSES Section, TABLES Section, BLOCKS Section, ENTITIES Section, OBJECTS Section, THUMBNAILIMAGE Section, EOF

 No appendices.

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