Frequent tipster Danny Korem discusses several extra programs and tools that come with AutoCAD.
"Whenever AutoCAD is set up, it installs a nice tool set. However, users are not always aware of them. To find out what those programs are, go to All Programs on the Windows task bar (just click the Start button), find Autodesk, and click. You’ll find a number of tools, as illustrated below.
"Attach Digital Signatures. This is a procedure that enables you to attach digital signatures. To be clear, these are not merely digital representations of hand-written signatures; digital signatures are authenticated by third-party companies and stay valid as long as the signed document (file) remains intact. Once data are altered, modified, added, or removed, these digital signatures will lose their validity. Digital signatures have already become legal in many countries, and they will support the engineering workflows that demand approvals by signatures. Signed files will appear as signed in the Windows Explorer environment, and data about the signature properties can be detected from far away. There is no need for the mandatory app to detect these metadata.
"Batch Standards Checker. AutoCAD files can be attached to DWS files. The CAD standard will check for standards violations in the context of layers (names and properties), dimension styles, text styles, and linetypes. The CAD standards configuration seems open for more plugins to be added by third parties. But you can use this feature to run a batch check.
"License Transfer Utility. Software licenses are supposed to let us use just a single seat per license. But what happens if one wants to transfer a license from one computer to another? No one will prevent the user from doing so if a license is being used by only one operator at a time. This utility will let you install the software in more than one place and transfer the license wherever you need to use it.
"Reference Manager. Cross-referencing in AutoCAD is tricky; it becomes even trickier when you want to transmit files with cross-referenced attachments within them. Technically there are three ways of referencing files: with "no path" (wherever the file is found, it will show if it's found); with "full path" (file will be found in a univalent singular location with all the pros and cons. In this case nothing can be changed or it will affect multiple files); and finally, the "relative path" that makes the whole thing much more flexible. This option lets the user move files, change names of folders, and more, keeping the path relative and accessible for AutoCAD to locate the attachments as cross-referenced. I don’t recommend touching this very powerful feature unless you know exactly what you are doing.
"Reset Settings to Default. This feature will literally reset all AutoCAD settings to factory settings."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: These tools aren’t meant for everyday use, but when you need them, you really need them. Typical users probably won’t ever use these tools, except maybe the Reference Manager, which is a great one. If you need to change the reference path or a referenced base (master) file for a large number of files, this will help you do that in one sitting. I love it. If you have a DWS file, which is an AutoCAD Standards file, you can use the Standards Checker to make sure your files meet company standards before you turn them in to your boss.