Friday, October 28, 2011

New Training Video on the Way - AutoCAD LT

This weekend I'm recording the last chapters of my next training video published by Infinite Skills. This one is on AutoCAD LT, one of Autodesk's best selling titles.  If you want to learn, or know somebody that wants to learn AutoCAD LT stay tuned.

AutoCAD LT 2012 has many new features that really add to its toolset in a fantastic way.  It has most of the 2D tools in it that were added to AutoCAD 2012 like associative array, array to path, nudge, and AutoCAD WS integration. This version has also added Sheet Set integration! That's right, now AutoCAD LT has sheet sets!  That's a huge deal!

If you are new to AutoCAD LT or are going to be, check back soon.  If you want to get up to date in what's new in AutoCAD LT 2012 there is a chapter covering the new features.

I will be posting more info later on and will let you know when the video is available.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

AutoCAD WS Mobile App now available on Amazon App Store - Ready for the Kindle Fire

AutoCAD WS, Autodesk’s mobile (and/or browser based) version of AutoCAD (or at least a CAD like program that can open and edit DWG files) is now available for download (for free) on Android devices from the Amazon App Store. AutoCAD WS has already been available through the Android Market for some time now as well as on iOS through the Apple App Store. So who cares? It’s the same thing just from a different place. Kindle Fire owners. I know, the Kindle Fire from Amazon will not be available until November 15th and the Amazon App Store is only available to customers in the United States. But the Kindle Fire has already pre-sold over a million units through preorders and will sell even more. The Kindle is an Android device that has been heavily customized by Amazon. Even though it is Android based it will not have access to the Android Market. It has apps but only through the Amazon App Store. That’s why this is a big deal. The Kindle Fire is going to double the amount of Android based tablets in the wild (that’s my prediction based on my own opinion). So if you have an Android App and you want Kindle Fire owners to use it, buy it, or recommend it to their friends then you really need to get your app on the Amazon App Store. It seems that Autodesk understands this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mobi Systems Office Suite Pro 5 FREE on Amazon App Store - Today

The Amazon App Store has a free Android based App every day.  Today's app is Office Suite Pro 5 from Mobi Systems.  I already have an Office Suite for my Android hardware but I downloaded it anyway.  Why you ask?  Because (according to Mrs. CAD-a-Blog) I am an "App Hoarder"  She's not wrong.  I love me some apps, especially when they are free!  Amazon's Free App a day program is typically made up of stupid little games running anywhere from $0.99 and up.  Typically not a huge savings and typically apps I would never get, even when free.  But once every two to three weeks it seems Amazon throws in a golden nugget that keeps me coming back every day to see what's available.  I have gleaned some good stuff; CAM Scanner, Cut the Rope, Swift Key, Paper Camera, Printer Share Mobile (I can print from my phone/tablet), Thumb Keyboard, Wifi File Explorer and more.

The Amazon Android App Store is significant for two reasons: the free app a day program and the Kindle Fire (Coming November 15th.)  If you already have an Android device then getting free apps is a good thing.  If you plan on getting the Amazon Kindle then the only access you have to Android Apps will be through the Amazon App Store.  So if it's not there then your Kindle can't get it.  That's why I got this app today.  I didn't need it but there is a chance that I will be getting a Kindle Fire.  If so then I will want an office suite on it.  Now I don't have to buy one because the Amazon App Store knows which apps you purchased and you can reload them on all of your android devices, up to 5 I believe.  I just saved $15, if I get a Kindle Fire that is.  Yes I am an app hoarder.  If you don't like it then cast me in a reality show.

Office Suite Pro 5 is a pretty good mobile office suite.  It can open and edit Word, Excel, and Power Point files.  It can also open (not edit) PDF files.  But then most mobile office suites these days can.  It can handle these file types:
  • Text formats - Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 text documents - DOC and DOCX, RTF, TXT, LOG
  • Spreadsheets -Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 spreadsheets -XLS, XLSX andCSV
  • Presentations - Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 presentations -PPT, PPTX, PPSand PPSX
  • Other formats -PDF, EML, ZIP
Not bad, especially the ZIP format.  The App really shines when run on Honeycomb where it has a multi-pane view ability.  Another nice feature is the dictionary integration in the word processor.  Select a word and pick the Look Up option in the menu.  You have to have one of Mobi Systems Dictionary apps loaded to use this feature of course but maybe one day Amazon will give one of those away for free too!

One thing that I don't like about Office Suite Pro 5 is that it can only open/save files on the device or to your Google Docs account.  It can not integrate with other cloud based applications like MobileMe, Dropbox, Sugar Sync, Box, etc.  If you use Google Docs and the others then it's fine.  Or you can download your file from Dropbox to your device then open it through Office Suite Pro 5.  I use Dropbox a lot so for me it's an issue.  But I got the app for free!

Overall Mobi Systems Office Suite Pro 5 is a good mobile Office viewing/editing application.  It's worth the regular price of $15 in the Amazon App store but it's a steal for free.  Get it.  Right now. Before it's too late!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When a FREE Trip to Autodesk University 2011 and a SpacePilot PRO 3D!

One of my favorite peripherals manufacturers is having a contest to give away a free trip to Autodesk University 2011 and a SpacePilot Pro 3D Mouse!  3Dconnexion is offering this trip (and mouse) that will include airfare and accommodations!  What a prize!

To enter this drawing complete the required form that can be found at  Submissions will be accepted through midnight U.S. PDT on November 7th, 2011.  Make sure to check out the terms and conditions page before you fill out the forms.  The winner will be contacted by email or phone on November 8th, 2011 and will have 3 days to claim there prize.

Good luck.

CADspeed article: Tips on Buying Wide-Format Printers for CAD, Part 3 of 3: Setting It Up

Are you or your company about to get a new printer? Before you do, check out my latest article for CADspeed. It's part three of a three part series.

In this series, I discussed ways to determine your needs and the different types of wide-format printers. Now let’s talk about setting it up.
Check it out!

Monday, October 24, 2011

AutoCAD - What not to do

Here at CAD-a-Blog a typical post will contain tips, tricks, and other techniques. This time I want to provide an example of what not to do. 

Typically a drawing set will require a set of notes.  AutoCAD has a multiline text feature. Do not create a set of notes out of single lined text, especially when there are 17 different notes, many of which require more than one line.  Also do not create a wipeout object for each line. Yes. It is a waste of time to create a wipeout object for each line of text.

If I ever hear of any of my readers doing this on purpose I may block you!  I know, idle threats.

This is how it should have been done.  One multiline text object with the background mask option turned on.  See, now it wasn't that difficult now was it?

Use the tools in AutoCAD that are there to help you.  Don't do things the hard way.

I will be Co-Authoring Wiley's next edition of Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

It is officially official.  I will be working with the legendary AutoCAD author George Omura.  That’s right “The George Omura”, author of dozens of books about AutoCAD and other Autodesk products.  I will be collaborating with Mr. Omura on the next release of Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. 

I am very excited to be working on this project.  I will be concentrating on the chapters that pertain to the 3D aspects of AutoCAD.  This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I cannot wait to get started. 

Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT is a great series from Wiley Publishing.  Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT is an Autodesk Official Training guide.  It features step-by-step instructions in conjunction with hands-on projects.  It is a recommended certification preparation study guide for AutoCAD Associate and Professional exams.

As I get more and more into the writing process and we get closer to the publication date I will post more information.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CADspeed article: Tips on Buying Wide-Format Printers for CAD, Part 2 of 3: Choosing the Right One

Are you or your company about to get a new printer? Before you do, check out my latest article for CADspeed. It's part two of a three part series. In it I look at your needs, wants, and help you to come up with a plan to make sure you get the printer that's right for you.

Check it out!

If you missed the first article of the series, click here.  It will be better to start at the beginning anyway.

A Status Bar Icon I've Never Seen Before

Today I was working along, diligently as ever when I glanced at my status bar.  I glanced because a balloon notification popped up informing me that a coworker had updated a file I had referenced. While glancing I saw an icon in the status bar that I didn't recognize.

Here it is circled in red:

Turns out it's a notification that there are viewport layer overrides! I use viewport layer overrides all of the time so why haven't I seen this before? I don't know why but I bet that now that I am aware if its existance I will see it all if the time.

To test it out, activate a viewport. If the icon pops up there are overrides.  If not, then chances are you haven't messed with anything yet. 

Click the icon and the layer manager will open up set to a Viewport Overrides filter. Nice!

I love AutoCAD.

Monday, October 17, 2011

CADspeed article: Tips on Buying Wide-Format Printers for CAD, Part 1: Determine Your Needs

Are you or your company about to get a new printer?  Before you do, check out my latest article for CADspeed.  It's part One of a three part series.  In it I look at your needs, wants, and help you to come up with a plan to make sure you get the printer that's right for you.

Check it out!


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