Monday, March 24, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 - Design Drafting Enahncements

I see AutoCAD 2009 as a good reason for anyone to upgrade. Typically, in the past, Autodesk has had a must have release every other time. That opinion can be debated of course, but that is the way it seems to me since I started using release 10. I have felt that the even numbered releases were best. Eleven, ok I guess if you liked that new paper space concept, twelve was a standard for so long, thirteen, nah, fourteen, a classic and so on. Maybe my theory is flawed when Autodesk switched to calling the releases by year, but 2004 was pretty solid , 2005 was nice, but did we need it? 2006 was a must have and changed the way we customize, 2007 was ok if you did 3D, then in 2008 we had annotated scaling!! Best thing since sliced bread. Now, in 2009, we get the best new feature yet. In fact, I feel that it is so good, that I recommend everyone upgrade to 2009 just for this one item, the ACTION RECORDER!! TA DA!!! I’ll keep this short, the action recorder will record what you do in AutoCAD so that those steps can be “played” back for future use. If you ever do the same thing twice, the action recorder is for you. Using it can get kind of hairy, just see me other posts about it. Besides, we have a lot more to talk about. Let’s go!!

Layer Management

Do you work with layers? Most of us do I’m sure. Have you ever wanted to work with your layers while you were drawing? Now you can. The layer manager is now a pallet. It works just like the properties pallet. Now you can alter a layer's setting and the changes are immediate. I guess it is real time layering. Bye bye apply button! Try this out. Open the layer manager, freeze a layer. Did you see what was frozen? How many times have you frozen a layer and have to guess which layer it was? Yes I know the command line tells you which layer you froze, but sometimes you don’t always see it.

DGN Support

AutoCAD 2009 adds further support to Microstaion DGN files. AutoCAD DWG files can be exported to Microstation V7 DGN format. Use the EXPORT or the DGNEXPORT commands to do so. And, when a DGN file is xrefed, select it, right click, and turn on the DWG layers function. If this isn’t enough, use the DGN Mapping tool to map DGN levels, linestyles, lineweights, and colors to regular AutoCAD layers! Use DGNMAPPING for this.

DWFx Support

DWFx files are not that popular, yet. With Windows VISTA becoming more accepted these days, the day of the DWFx file type are coming. The DWFx file type is another form of DWF file. They are in compliance with Window’s XML Paper Specifications (XPS) format. That means that if a DWFx file is sent to somebody with Windows Vista, they can view it with no special software! Also, anyone with the XPS viewer can read them (comes with Vista). You will find that the DWFx file type next to anything DWF related. Autodesk 2009 programs can handle DWFx as well as DWF.

Xref Clipping

I hate having to re-clip an xref. It’s a pain. Not anymore!! Make sure that the XCLIPFRAME setting is on 1. This will display the xclip boundary. Then to reclip the file, grab a grip and drag! The xref is reclipped. Isn’t that so much easier? If you select the clip boundary again, notice there is a new grip. It looks like an arrow. Grip it and drag. The area that is clipped will invert! So nice.


These are just a few of the drafting enhancements. I'll go over more of these as the days go by.

Happy CADDING : )

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