Sunday, March 25, 2018

AutoCAD 2019 New Features

post by Timothy Corey

This post will describe the new features of AutoCAD 2019. A few of these features were introduced in AutoCAD 2018.1.2 Update.

Before we get started, here's my favorite new feature in AutoCAD 2019:

1. Refreshed Icons -- AutoCAD icons have been modified to have a more pleasing look and to be easier to see.

2. Drawing Compare -- This is a fabulous tool for anyone who needs to compare drawing revisions and wants to be able to quickly view, plot and report the differences. Here are two versions of the same drawing:

You might pick out one or two differences immediately, but how long will it take you to find twenty differences?

You will find DWG Compare on the on the Collaborate ribbon tab.

or on the Drawing Utilities sub-menu of the Application menu

Select the two drawing files you want to compare. If any drawings are open when you invoke the command, the current drawing will be auto-selected as DWG 1. The other drawing, DWG2, must be selected from browse, even if it is an open drawing.

Once the two drawings are selected, press Compare and watch the magic happen. Drawing Compare  will create a new drawing that looks similar to your two existing drawings, but there will be only a few colors.

If you have not modified the default colors, Green is for objects that are unique to DWG1, Red is objects unique to DWG2, and Grey is objects that are the same in each drawing. Orange is the color of the revision clouds that automatically encompass the differences.

Use Draw Order to set which comparison drawing display on top.

Turn on or off objects belonging to only one drawing or those objects that are common, and change colors for each:

Turn on or off the comparison results for Text or Hatch objects:

Turn the Revision Clouds on or off, set the shape of the Revision Clouds, and set Margin between the cloud and the objects it encompasses. A smaller margin value will produce more and smaller revision clouds:

Small Margin setting:

Larger Margin setting:

Notice as you slide the margin that the Total Number of Change Sets updates to show the number of revision clouds.

Use the arrows to let AutoCAD zoom you around the drawing, so that you can inspect and repair as necessary.

We don't know how, or if, this function will be implemented in Civil 3D 2019. Stay tuned...

3. AutoCAD's Shared Views provide a fast and easy way for you to share design information without sharing your drawing files and without producing PDFs.

On the ribbon, go to the Collaborate tab, then Shared Views.

Press New Shared View. 

Give your share a name and decide which views to share. If you are currently working with Model tab open, selecting Share current view only, will include all model views, but not layouts. If a Layout tab is current when start the new share, and you select Share current view only, that layout will become the single sheet in your online share.

If you want your colleagues to be able to select objects and see their properties -- Layer, Color, Linetype, etc. -- be sure to turn on the option to Share object properties.

Once you press Share, and then press Proceed, the process will begin to run in the background. You can continue using AutoCAD as normally. You will be notified when your share is available for viewing.

Press the View in Browser link and you will be taken to the Autodesk Viewer website with your model views and sheets listed on the left and displayed on the right.

To share with others, simply enable the Share menu:

Expand  and set Sharing Options. When your settings are correct, press Copy to copy the link to the Clipboard. Paste the link into an email to send to those with whom you want to share.

Colleagues with whom you share will be able to comment and provide Markups.

4. We're very happy to see the new ability to Insert Named Views as Viewports. Once you've created your model views and you're ready to assemble them on sheets, use the Insert View command from the Layout ribbon tab.

While inserting, right click to view the drawing's scale list. Pick one and note the change in the size of the viewport. If you like the fit, move it into place and pick.

This new functionality lets you make rapid work of assembling sheets. Congratulations on your newly-found free time. Smiley wink.

As you can see from above, using Named Views is taking on a greater importance. Knowing that you will be creating more views, the software team have streamlined the dialog box where you create Views. A couple of clicks and you're done.

If you do want to see the full dialog, just press that little downward arrow in the bottom left corner.

You can streamline the process further, by Inserting a new view as a viewport. If you don't need to save the model view with a name, use the New View button from the Insert View gallery. This will let you pick a window for a new view, right click to set scale, and then pick a location with this single command. It's very efficient.

Here's a hidden gem of a feature, one I think many of our customers will find extremely useful. Once any viewport has been placed, select it and notice the triangular grip at its centroid.

Select the grip and you will be given a menu of scales. Pick a different scale and notice your viewport change size to accommodate the view at that scale.

Those are my favorite enhancement in AutoCAD 2019. Some others include better tools for identifying layer properties overrides in viewports and Xrefs, speed enhancements, and better support for 4k monitors.

Tim Corey

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Modify the Toolbox Reports in Civil 3D

Autodesk Authorized Reseller since 1989. Redding, CA.

Here's a solution to a problem we often encounter: The ability to modify the reports that are presented to us by the Civil 3D Toolbox.

Let's say we have a Pipe Network and we want to create a Pipe report. The standard version of this report includes both center-to-center and edge-to-edge distances.

We don't want that. We want only center-to-center in our report. How do we do that?

How to eliminate the text "edge-to-edge" from the report's column heading.

Make a copy of your existing "Pipes Only.xsl" file, typically found in C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\C3D 2018\enu\Data\Reports\xsl

Open the xsl file with Notepad.

Find (Ctrl + F) the text: 

Delete the line from the file. The effect is that the  text from the column heading will be eliminated. In the case above, the text is being removed from the report if the display unit is foot and the length type is 2D. If you want to eliminate the text from all reports, including metric and 3D, continue searching for that string and deleting until there are no more. Save the file but do not close Notepad.

How to eliminate the edge-to-edge value from the data field.

If you were to perform only the step described above, you would get rid of the text from the report heading, but the edge to edge value would still be displayed in the data fields of the report.

Go back to the top of the file, click your cursor, and now search for string(landUtils:CC2EE

Eliminate or comment out the entire line. To comment the line out, inside the < bracket, type !--. At the right end of the line inside the > bracket, type: --

Using this technique, delete, or comment-out, the two lines indicated by arrows, above. This will eliminate the edge to edge distance. Do the same step in the 3D length type section. Save the file and exit Notepad.

Go back to Civil 3D and run the report again.

 What if you want to keep the original report style, but make a new style that will also be available on the Toolbox?

Close Civil 3D for this step.

Don't use the process above on the Pipes Only.xsl file. Make a copy, name it appropriately. We will use Pipes Only cen-to-cen.xsl for our example. Make the changes above in the new file.

Now, browse to C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\C3D 2018\enu\Data\ToolBox and locate the file called ToolBoxCfg.xml. 

Edit that file using Notepad. Search for Category name="Pipes"

Copy and Paste one the line with You will have duplicate lines:

Now, change the tool name to one of your choosing. Scroll along the same line and find where it specifies the execute file. Put in the correct name of your modified xsl file.

Save and close the file.

Open Civil 3D. On the Toolbox tab, find your Pipes report area. If you don't see your new report style, right click on the Pipes heading and Refresh.