Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Quick Tip - Start up

The best and worst thing about AutoCAD is that any user can customize the software to work almost however the want it to. There are hundreds (this might be an exaggeration by the way) of ways getting something done. How I do it and how you do it are probably two different ways, or perhaps even more. This is good and bad.

It is nice that I can do things my way, but it is annoying when I have to go and help somebody with an issue and they want to do things their way!! All kidding aside, lets look at one of these settings.

How do you start a new file? Many of use use the QNEW command. While others use it to, they just don't know about it. What? I'd know if I used that or not. Clicking on the NEW icon in the STANDARD toolbar (or in the quick access tool bar if you are using AutoCAD 2009), invokes the QNEW command.

If yo use the QNEW command, you can assign a specific template file to be used every time. A real time saver. If you use the NEW command, then you get options. How are those options displayed for you? Do you get a dialog box allowing you to browse to a DWG file or a template file? Or do you get the Create a New Drawing wizard? I like the browser type functionality, others like the Wizard. Which is better? Neither. They both get the job done, just pick the one that suits your needs best.

The Wizard gives you these options: Open a Drawing, Start From Scratch, Open a Template, and Use a Wizard. the other lets open a file, you pick between DWG, DWF or DWS (DWS is a standards file in case you weren't familiar with the extension.) I don't want to start a file from scratch (typically) because I need my files to work with the rest of the company files that I work for. I need a template or an existing drawing. Others need to start from scratch often, so they leave this option available to them.

You can chose which method to use by changing a systems variable in AutoCAD. Don't worry, it is very easy to do, and there are only two choices. You can't mess it up. If you don't like it, switch it back. Ok here's how: at the command line type in STARTUP. There are two possible settings for this command, 0 (that's a zero not an "O") and 1. Set it to 0 to turn off the wizard. Set it to 1 to turn on the wizard. That's it. See, that didn't hurt.

I know I said that this is a QUICK TIP, but it really is, it just took me a while to get there. Perhaps next time I will write a fast tip. We'll see where that takes us.

Happy CADDING.

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