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AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets
Illustration by Richard Downs

Visualizing multiple design alternates


From:

AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Visualizing multiple design alternates

When you design something, you never know where your ideas may take you. You may end up pursuing three or four different variations of a design before finally deciding on the best solution. Sometimes visualizing multiple variations in the same drawing file can be confusing. In this lesson we'll learn an easy way to have as many alternate designs as we like, while still being able to keep them visually organized. On my screen I have a concept drawing of an MP3 player. Take a look at this thumb control. This configuration is considered option one.
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  1. 1m 28s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 47m 11s
    1. Adding relevant data to Quick Properties and tooltips
      5m 38s
    2. Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels
      8m 55s
    3. Creating macro-enabled tools
      10m 29s
    4. Increasing speed with command aliases
      4m 44s
    5. Finding commands and system variables using Auto Complete
      2m 35s
    6. Optimizing the size of palettes
      3m 17s
    7. Accessing drawings using Favorites
      2m 25s
    8. Controlling notification bubbles
      2m 24s
    9. Restoring hidden messages
      3m 53s
    10. Following a blog from within AutoCAD
      2m 51s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Disabling mode settings on the fly
      3m 28s
    2. Finding hatch boundaries in busy drawings
      3m 32s
    3. Generating boundaries from difficult shapes
      2m 20s
    4. Calculating the overall length of multiple entities
      6m 16s
    5. Calculating the area of multiple shapes
      4m 42s
    6. Flattening geometry to a single elevation
      4m 0s
    7. Trimming all entities to one side of an object
      2m 42s
    8. Eliminating duplicated geometry
      5m 10s
    9. Creating true offsets
      3m 44s
    10. Finding errors when joining multiple entities
      6m 48s
    11. Moving and copying entities using Windows shortcuts
      2m 24s
    12. Solving expressions using the command prompt calculator
      5m 1s
    13. Using the Calculator palette
      10m 25s
  4. 21m 17s
    1. Bringing all text objects to the front
      1m 20s
    2. Underlining single-line text
      1m 21s
    3. Managing numbered and lettered lists
      3m 36s
    4. Creating superscript and subscript text
      3m 18s
    5. Removing formatting from MTEXT
      3m 26s
    6. Using fields to identify who revised a drawing
      3m 10s
    7. Squeezing text into tight spaces
      3m 5s
    8. Hiding extra annotative scales
      2m 1s
  5. 16m 55s
    1. Creating "one-click" dimensions
      1m 52s
    2. Dimensioning angles greater than 180 degrees
      1m 40s
    3. Creating dynamic dimension breaks
      2m 20s
    4. Making linear dimensions act like aligned dimensions
      2m 44s
    5. Finding dimensions with false values
      1m 38s
    6. Creating parent/child dimension styles
      4m 45s
    7. Making dimensions easier to read
      1m 56s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Making global edits to attribute data
      4m 1s
    2. Clipping references using curved geometry
      2m 21s
    3. Exchanging one block symbol for another
      3m 3s
    4. Using drag-and-drop to insert content
      3m 17s
    5. Creating a block library in two clicks
      1m 58s
  7. 10m 42s
    1. Making global changes to layer names
      3m 19s
    2. Converting all object properties to BYLAYER
      1m 43s
    3. Navigating layer lists using the keyboard
      2m 5s
    4. Producing a hard copy of the layer settings
      1m 34s
    5. Removing stubborn layers
      2m 1s
  8. 25m 1s
    1. Accessing viewports within viewports
      3m 21s
    2. Creating viewports with islands
      6m 5s
    3. Creating legends using the Change Space tool
      3m 55s
    4. Rotating viewport content to match layout
      4m 55s
    5. Importing layouts from template files
      2m 3s
    6. Visualizing multiple design alternates
      4m 42s
  9. 30m 18s
    1. Consolidating backup files into a single folder
      2m 48s
    2. Launching applications from within AutoCAD
      3m 53s
    3. Creating custom linetypes
      5m 9s
    4. Incorporating symbols into custom linetypes
      2m 48s
    5. Salvaging data from a corrupt drawing
      3m 57s
    6. Applying hyperlinks to drawing objects
      3m 34s
    7. Converting drawings from name-based to color-based plot styles
      2m 0s
    8. Identifying the owner of a drawing
      1m 18s
    9. Incorporating drawings into PowerPoint presentations
      4m 51s
  10. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets
3h 48m Intermediate Jan 31, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating macro enabled tools
  • Using Auto Complete
  • Disabling tool mode settings on the fly
  • Moving and copying entities using Windows shortcuts
  • Using the Calculator palette
  • Formatting text
  • Creating parent/child dimension styles
  • Making dimensions easier to read
  • Making global edits to attribute data and layer names
  • Exchanging one block symbol for another
  • Inserting content using drag and drop
  • Navigating layer list using the keyboard
  • Importing layouts from template files
  • Consolidating backup files
Subjects:
CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Visualizing multiple design alternates

When you design something, you never know where your ideas may take you. You may end up pursuing three or four different variations of a design before finally deciding on the best solution. Sometimes visualizing multiple variations in the same drawing file can be confusing. In this lesson we'll learn an easy way to have as many alternate designs as we like, while still being able to keep them visually organized. On my screen I have a concept drawing of an MP3 player. Take a look at this thumb control. This configuration is considered option one.

In fact this geometry was drawn on a layer called option1-controls. I'm going to click to turn this layer off and then I'll click to turn on the option2-controls. Let's turn this layer off and I'll click to turn on the option3-controls. Now this may seem a little strange, but I'm going to click to turn on each of the options and then I'm going to visit the Layout tab. This is 11x17 inch title block. Let's start by creating a viewport. I'll select the View tab and then I'll click the New Viewport icon, this will be a single viewport, and then I'll pick two points to define my viewport size.

I will then double-click to jump into the viewport and I'll turn off the Grid. Let's set the scale of our geometry to 2:1, and then I'll click the yellow padlock to lock the Viewport scale. When I'm finished I'll double-click outside the viewport boundary to jump out. Now let's go the Home tab, I'll launch the Copy command, I'll select this viewport, and I'd like to copy this from the endpoint here to the endpoint here to the endpoint here.

Finally I'm going to type rea for re- gen all. This way my pen settings will be applied to all of the linework. All right, I've got three viewports and I've got three button configurations. I'd like to show each variation in its own viewport. So I'll start by double-clicking in this viewport in the left and I'll move up to the Layer panel and I'll click the Freeze button. If you use this Freeze tool when you working through a viewport, it will freeze the layers in that viewport only. Let's zoom in and I'm going to click to freeze all of the layers except for option1. Let's pan over. I'll click in this viewport and will freeze all of the layers except for option2. I'll pan over, we'll click in this viewport, and I'll freeze all of the layers except for option3.

When I'm finished I'll press Enter and then I'll double-click outside the viewport boundary to jump out. Now if you wanted to turn any of those layers back on, all you have to do is double-click in the viewport to set it current and then open up the Layer Properties Manager and scroll down to the VP Freeze column, because that's all we did. Essentially we said, I'd like to freeze these layers in the current viewport only. I'm going to double-click again to jump out and now that I'm finished I have three separate views of the same MP3 Player geometry, but each one is showing a different button configuration.

The nice thing about setting up a drawing this way is that if the geometry of the MP3 player changes, you'll see the changes reflected in every view, because it's all the same geometry. For instance, if I double-click in this view and launch the Stretch command, I'll select to this geometry and I'll pull it over slightly, notice the geometry changes in each view. Let's click Undo and I'll jump back out. The difficult thing about setting up a drawing this way is if you go back to model space, the line work can be a little confusing. Let's go back to the layout.

This is where the Maximize Viewport tool comes in handy. Take a look at this icon in the lower right corner of the interface. If I click this, AutoCAD will maximize the current viewport on screen and it will maintain the layer settings of that viewport. At this point I can work just like I do in model space and I don't have to worry about the other geometry getting in my way. Also notice this red zipper appearance around the outside of the view. This is a visual cube to remind me that I'm working through a viewport. In fact, now that I'm in this viewport, notice that the Maximize icon now displays arrows to either side. I can use these to jump from one layout viewport to another, each one maintaining its own unique layer settings.

When I'm finished I can click the main icon again to jump back out to my layout. Using the Maximize Viewport tool, we can add as many different variations to a design as we like and we can easily refine and edit each variation without having other geometry given away.

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