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By Jeff Bartels | Monday, January 21, 2013

Share and Share Alike with AutoCAD WS

Historically, exchanging Autodesk AutoCAD drawings with non-CAD-using clients was a challenge. That’s because viewing DWG files outside of AutoCAD required downloading and installing special software. For this reason, many clients preferred using PDF files to review design changes.

Nowadays, AutoCAD WS makes it easier for all stakeholders to participate in project collaboration, whether they have CAD software or not. AutoCAD WS is a free application offering virtually unlimited online storage for your project drawings.

Select File in AutoCAD WS

By George Maestri | Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sneak preview: AutoCAD for the Mac course

Autodesk just released their new version of AutoCAD specifically designed for Apple’s Macintosh platform. The new software has all the features of Autodesk’s popular CAD application, plus a new interface that takes advantage of some cool OSX features. These include Multitouch pan and zoom for navigation and an iPod-like CoverFlow interface to browse your designs. We thought these new features were so innovative, we decided to create a course that covers all of the differences between the OSX and Windows versions of AutoCAD.

In the upcoming AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac course at lynda.com, Jeff Bartels, our resident AutoCAD expert, gives you a thorough tour of the new software for those people wanting to make the leap to OSX. The course covers the new interface and tools, as well as methods to print and share data between platforms. It should be terrific guide for anyone wanting to get started with AutoCAD on the Mac.

Here’s a sneak preview of the course, which will be released very soon:

By Megan O. Read | Friday, May 07, 2010

3D training round-up at lynda.com

There have been a lot of new releases in the 3D category at lynda.com lately, with more to come.

First-time lynda.com author Rob Garrott was just in town recording a new project-based course using Cinema 4D training. Rob has worked in the industry for 17 years as an art director, animator, editor, and an instructor at Art Center College of Design teaching 3D motion graphics, compositing, and motion design.

Rob Garrett

Rob Garrett on the lynda.com live action set.

Veteran lynda.com author and channel manager for 3D and video, George Maestri, just wrapped up recording new Maya 2011 training. Maya 2011 is a really significant upgrade, and George’s new training will explore the numerous upgrades and functionality.

George Maestri

George Maestri in a lynda.com recording booth.

Jeff BartelsAutoCAD 2011 New Features course was released recently, and covers all of the new and cool features AutoCAD 2011 has to offer, from transparency, to the new 3D surfaces, to hatch creation. Look for more AutoCAD training from Jeff soon.

The highly anticipated Rhino 4 Essential Training by Dave Schultze was released this month, and is proving to be an exciting addition to the Library. In addition to building with the curve, surface, and the solid, members can learn how to create shoes for their robots and watch as their sketches come to life.

And in case you missed the New Deal Studios, Visual EffectsCreative Inspirations documentary that was published in February, you might want to check out how this visual effects house uses Rhino and other 3D applications to create models, miniatures, and other computer graphics you will probably recognize from major motion pictures like Shutter Island, and The Dark Knight.

By Megan O. Read | Monday, April 05, 2010

Jeff Bartels: Count Chocula, a lot of hard work, and a love for AutoCAD

I recently interviewed the talented AutoCAD instructor Jeff Bartels and asked him how he got involved with AutoCAD, with lynda.com, and what his recording process is like.

 How did you get started with AutoCAD? Walk us through the story.

By Megan O. Read | Friday, September 25, 2009

Four productive, demystifying AutoCAD tips from instructor Jeff Bartels

JeffBartelsThis week, I asked instructor Jeff Bartels about his most frequently asked AutoCAD questions, and whether he had any tips that would help our subscribers demystify AutoCAD. He sent me four tips that are sure to improve any AutoCAD user’s workflow.

1. Take advantage of AutoCAD’s multiple document environment

Start by opening two AutoCAD drawings. If you press Ctrl+TAB, you can jump back and forth from one drawing to another.

Now select the View Tab of your ribbon, in the Window panel, select Tile Vertically. This will give you a nice side by side comparison of your drawings. By clicking in either window, you can work on that drawing.

But wait, there’s more: AutoCAD allows us to drag and drop geometry between drawings. Click an entity to select it, and then click (and hold) on a higlighted portion of the same entity. This copies the geometry to the cursor. Drag the geometry into the other window (and release) to copy it into the other file. Never draw anything twice! With AutoCAD, you can recycle your geometry over and over again.

2. Take advantage of your Function Keys

By pressing and holding a function key, you can temporarily enable, or disable a mode setting.

Try this: Launch the Line command, and while drawing, press (and hold) the F8 key to temporarily enable Ortho. You’re linework is now constrained to 90-degree angles until you release the F8 key.  Likewise, if you hold F10, you can enable/disable Polar Tracking. My personal favorite is F3. Holding this key will disable running object snaps, which is very helpful when placing text, or tweaking dimension locations.

To see a listing of all possible function keys, “right click” over any mode setting icon in the status bar and select DISPLAY from the menu.

3. Take advantage of the Quick Calculator

Instead of doing calculations on your hand held calculator, use the calculator built into AutoCAD.

Try this: Launch the Line command and draw a line on your screen.  Now Offset this line 5.325 units.  Let’s assume we wanted to Offset the first line again, but we wanted to place the offset “half way” between the two lines. Launch Offset. When AutoCAD asks for a distance, press Ctrl+8 to open the Quick Calculator (Note: When first opened, you may need to click the downward facing arrow button to expand the calculator). Click 5.325/2 and click = to see the answer. Now click the Apply button and notice the value has been entered at the command line. Hit the Enter key to accept, and then finish offseting your line.

Any time AutoCAD needs a numeric value, you can press Ctrl+8 to let AutoCAD do the math for you.

4. Take advantage of the Property Changer Palette

This is by far the most powerful tool in AutoCAD. Press Ctrl+1 to turn it on. With this palette, you can modify the properties of anything. Select linework, images, text, reference files, and so on, and notice you have instant access to all possible modification choices.  As a beginner, this palette should be the first place you look when you need to change something.

For more from Jeff, check out his AutoCAD courses in the Online Training Library®.

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