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Tools for Working in Other Users' Files
Tip# 3820 By Danny Korem On 06-Feb-2012
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Categories : Drawing Properties
Software type : AutoCAD 2012
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Don't be intimidated by fixing drawings you didn't create.

Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares some tips for using AutoCAD tools to find and fix file inaccuracies.

"Sometimes I hear an experienced CAD user say, 'Since I did not create this drawing from the beginning, I'd rather draw it from square one.' I'd like to discuss this statement from two points of view: accuracy and precision, and the discomfort that comes with working in an unfamiliar drawing.

"First, my dimensions are trailing zero–suppressed, while the precision is set to three or four digits to the right of the decimal point. This lets me know if the linework is precise from a relatively distanced zoom. Whenever a lack of accuracy is revealed, I will opt for one of the following techniques:

  • Stretch both linework and dimensions using the From option in the POP0 menu (Shift + right-click). This helps stretch geometry by starting the count from an opposite endpoint than the one selected in the crossing window.
  • Use the parametric toolset if the first method is rather tedious. The benefits are great: One can make use of parametric constraints and parametric dimensions to fix the linework altogether.

"The second aspect is, how comfortable do you feel with a drawing created by another user? New features in recent releases of AutoCAD made me feel more comfortable than ever in assisting other users. These are mostly GUI changes; for instance, when dealing with xrefs, when you touch one you get direct access to it through your right-click (open xref). Even better, when selected on screen it will appear as selected at the Xref Manager UI, and vice-versa. Among other things that make life easier, the Block Editor (which was not adopted by the majority of experienced users I know) and many other features help me assist others."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton:
Working with files that were created by other people or other companies can make you feel uneasy, especially if you need the data to be accurate. It is a good decision to take a few moments to check the file you received. If the file author didn’t send you the file via eTransmit, you may find some things missing (SHP files, xrefs, images, CTB files, etc.). Check the units settings, dimension settings, and viewport scales, and take a few distance measurements. Look at the dimensions and see if they have overridden the dimtext. If you have a hard copy, put a scale on it.

 

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