Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares a tip on using the AutoCAD Match Properties command to maintain CAD standards.
"For years I've been using template files for implementing CAD standards, using a procedure of creating a new file based on a template, dragging the data into the new file, moving objects to layers, changing objects' styles, etc., and then finally closing the source file and saving the new file with the old file's name. These days I find that method is good, but a bit old-school for me. Now I use a file that contains all the tools one needs for a much more straightforward procedure.
"Each CAD file is to be treated as an open pair of drawings, with the CAD standards file and the working file vertically tiled side by side. When an object (a linear dimension, for example) is selected in the CAD standards file and the Match Properties icon is pressed, I switch to the other file and select isolated dimensions that I want to inherit all the properties. That method offers the shortest, easiest, and quickest way to standardize your objects, since many properties are applied simultaneously. The graphics and logic behind the CAD standards file are the key for selecting objects with pre-applied properties, especially annotation scales.
"It's essential to select the right objects to match their properties to the other files' objects. I'm an enthusiast of the good ol' tool palettes environment for CAD standards implementation. Because I work with many veteran CAD users, it's not always easy or straightforward to implement new features (such as annotative features). Also, we found that objects from a tool palette will disable their annotative features; Match Properties won't.
"To make a long story short, this method has served us well for some time now. CAD users who earlier refused to adopt annotative features (or change) now feel much more in their comfort zone, and this Match Properties technique seems to deserve a large part of the credit."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: Match Properties works across files. It doesn't seem to work across multiple tabs in the same file, though. The key to using this tip is having a standard file. This file should have all of your major layers in it, as well as title block and object styles (dimension, text, etc.). That way everyone has a place to go to get the standard settings. Every file should be started with the template file, but sometimes that's not an option. Often we receive files from outside sources that do not match our standards. Getting them up to snuff can be difficult, but Match Properties will help.