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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
One unfortunate fact of life is that on occasion you'll have a drawing go corrupt. When this happens it's not always the end of the world, because there are a few things we can do to restore data from a damaged file. In this lesson we'll learn some strategies for dealing with corrupt drawings. On my screen I have a damaged drawing. This is supposed to be a proposed land plan for a public park. I'm going to double-click my scroll weel to do a zoom extents and I can't see anything. Watch this. I'm going to launch the Line command and then I'll start drawing on screen. It's like I'm drafting in a black hole. Let's try this. I'll launch the Erase command and then I'll try and select the geometry I just drew.
Notice AutoCAD can't seem to find it. However, if I launch the Erase command and I type L to select the last object I drew, AutoCAD found that one, but it's still not showing up on screen. Let's try this. I'll launch the Erase command again and this time I'll type All and press Enter. Take a look at the command line. Obviously there is some geometry in this file, but for some reason AutoCAD having trouble displaying it. So this file obviously has some problems. One way we can try and fix this drawing is by running an audit. Audit will scan the drawing for errors and then attempt to fix anything that appears to be broken. I can run the Audit command by opening the Application menu. I'll come down to Drawing Utilities and then I'll select Audit, and then AutoCAD asks, Fix any errors detected? I'm going to press Y for Yes and then I'll press Enter, and if we look at the command line we can see that AutoCAD found nothing wrong.
Well I guess I should at least be happy that I was able to open this drawing. In the event you have a corrupt drawing that won't even open, you can use to Recover command. We can find Recover inside the Application menu. I'll come down to the Drawing Utilities and Recover is right here. Recover works just like Open, except that as AutoCAD opens the drawing it immediately runs an Audit, and we just saw that Audit didn't find any errors so Recover isn't going to help us in this case. Another way to extract data from a damaged drawing is to insert the damaged file into a good one. This method will work about 90% of the time. Let's try that.
I'm going to close this drawing. I'm not going to save my changes. I'll then create a new drawing using the generic AutoCAD template. I'll then click Insert, I'll click Browse, and then I'll navigate into the Exercise Files folder. We will jump into the chapter_ 08 directory and then I'll select the corrupt drawing and I'll click Open. When I insert this I'm going to uncheck all of these boxes, because I'd like the geometry to go in with the same coordinates, scale, and rotation as the original file.
I will also select the Explode box so the geometry comes in as individual entities. Let's click OK and then I'll do a zoom extents and there's my geometry. Now in the event this didn't work, there are a couple other things you can try. If you have access to Microstation or Inventor or IntelliCAD or any other application that opens a DWG file, try and open the damaged drawing using that program. Sometimes the object that's causing AutoCAD to hang will get ignored by another application. If you're successful opening the file, you can then resave it as a DWG or a DXF or any other file format that can be reopened in AutoCAD.
Worst-case scenario, press Ctrl+2 to bring up Design Center and see if you can extract any of the layouts or blocks from the damaged drawing. You never know what you might find and at least having something is better than nothing. Having a major project drawing go corrupt can be costly, not to mention devastating to your project deadline, and let's be honest, some files may be beyond repair. But if you try some of the strategies we just talked about, you should be able to extract data from nearly any file before it reaches the point of no return.
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