Monday, February 15, 2016

New ways of using Autocad

My new job has offered up some different ways of doing things.

1. You work "in the viewport", from paperspace.  You can do this because the viewport's property is "locked".  Very disconcerting for an aged draftee used to doing most things in model space.

2. Using "layer filters". I have not totally mastered the use of these yet but am making some progress.
The idea is you set up a filter, say "GF*" and it will ignore all else and show only layers that begin with GF, eg GF interior wall.

3. They use lots of layers. This takes a bit of getting used to.  No rigid "color by layer" rules.  Same with linetypes- some by layer, some not.  Only the first 8 colours are used, so it is hard to know which layer you are on unless you keep an eye on the layer box display.

4. My worst trick is to be on say the foundation layer, nip into the ground floor viewport and start drawing, only to find nothing appears.  Because it is frozen in the viewport, dumbo!

5, Using a Sheet Set to control the title block.  The title is not a block actually, just some lines and a few text fields.  These are controlled by the Sheet Set.  Each new job has to have a dst file copied across to the directory.

6. Everything is drawn on top of each other.  Seems a good idea for sections with elevations, but plan views get very messy looking in model space.

I set up buttons to show for example, only the ground floor stuff.  This worked fine, until I opened up a different drawing only to find the layer names were not consistent.  So the button approach was a waste of time, until I realised a "negative" system would work: just get a button to do the following:
-layer;f;GF*;;  This means freeze all the layers that start with GF.  The ; is autocad macro language for the enter key.

The catch with this is you have to just keep pruning away until you have what you want, without coming across the famous "cannot freeze the current layer" dialog.  Got around by setting the layer you want before pressing the button.