Monday, September 29, 2008

RegApp Cleanup Utitility

Hi again,
Have you ever gotten drawings from another company and they were enormous files for no discernible reason? Last week we had a client who was having strange problems with a whole lot of drawings. I enlisted the help of our Civil 3D instructor, Ken Martinez, and he showed me the difference between the typing in "purge" or "-purge" at the command line, as the only way to get rid of RegApps. You have a lot more control with "-purge".
Then just today, as a "Oh, by the way" comment today, Ken showed me this new Cleanup Utility on the Autodesk website, and I thought I ought to pass this along to you. I'm always looking for ways to eliminate headaches.

With this new Cleanup Utility, you can do a batch of drawings at once. Here's the link to the Autodesk page:
Excess Unreferenced RegApp IDs
RegApp Cleanup Utility

I did a little tiny bit of research, and found a good entry in the AUGI archives from 2006 that spells out better than I would how to use the purge command to get rid of invisible attached data from a drawing. It explains how it gets there and how to get rid of it. I copied the entry, (it's from 2006) and also credited the author. For cleaning up one or a few drawings, it's really easy.
From the AUGI website, in the Archives from 2006, is this tip on how to get rid of Xdata in a drawing. Written by Andy Manninen: (and I quote)

I would recommend to all AutoCAD users to run a -PURGE command, then select RegApps, * for all, and no to verify names. You may be surprised at what you will find... Regapps are added when you use certain software, and by implementing certain commands. If you purge these out you will find that your drawings will open much faster. I have not experienced any problems with purging the RegApps out because AutoCAD will generate these back as it needs them. With a clean drawing I have about 8 RegApps in my drawing. But I Have cleaned some that have around 157,000 RegApps. Cleaning that file, the size went from 3 MB to 400KB. The Main thing with RegApps in a drawing is that they act almost like a virus, if you xref in or insert an "infected" drawing, the RegApps propagate into the current drawing. That is why you need to make sure when you get files from an outside source you really should clean out the RegApps. The only way to clean these out without third party software is by using the "-PURGE" command on the command line, (not through PURGE) and you need to specify RegApps. (RegApps are NOT purged under the ALL).

Friday, September 26, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 Update #2

When I opened up my AutoCAD this morning, I had a little message pop up telling me that I had update information. I was pretty surprised, it seems like I just updated my software! But when I clicked on it, there it was, Update #2. I guess you could call these the Updates formerly known as Service Packs.
If you do not see a pop-up, the picture on the right shows you how to get new updates.

Here is the link to the "Read Me" file
In this link you will find important information about who should install this update and what it fixes, as well as instructions for its installation in network situations. All good info!
Here is the link to the Update for AutoCAD 2009.
Here is the link to the Update for AutoCAD LT 2009.
I copied a list of the things this service pack, oh I mean Update, will improve. I'm quoting from the Readme page.
Updates have been made in the following commands and features:
3DORBIT - Annotation Scaling - Blocks - HATCH - LAYER - MATERIALS - Menu Browser - OPEN/SAVE - PLOT - Properties Palette - PUBLISH - RENDER

I'm quite glad to read this, because I've had quite a few calls about some problems in these areas. Now I hope that just by installing this Update, those problems will just go away and leave us alone!
Below is a list I copied from the Read Me file of defects that have been fixed- I'm only including the ones specific to Update 2.
If you don't have time to read all this, just scrolling down to scan through the number of things this Update will fix should be enough to make you realize that it fixes an awful lot of problems!

And let's keep this in perspective - even though we all complain about software problems, Autodesk does always work hard to keep improving their software. Moreover, this update is free, and it fixes many problems. Don't you wish the banking system could just issue a patch and all these scary economic problems could be fixed too? Or that the 'patch' they're working on wasn't quite so expensive?

The following defects have also been fixed:
3D Navigation Tools:
When you use the ViewCube in some drawings, AutoCAD freezes.

If you create a wipeout object through .NET API, a fatal error may occur.
* Annotation Scaling:
The scale of annotative text changes when you use LISP entmod() to change the properties of the annotative text.
When a drawing contains xrefs, the -ATTEDIT command fails.
* Autodesk Buzzsaw:
In the File Navigation dialog box, when you use the Add a Buzzsaw location shortcut option, AutoCAD crashes.
* Blocks:
When you copy and paste a dynamic block, associative hatches do not work.
After you redefine a block definition, associative hatches in dynamic blocks display incorrectly.
When you open a drawing, a polyline in a block may have a very large width.
After you open a drawing, some dynamic blocks lose their dynamic properties.
* Data Extraction :
Data Extraction cannot finish operations in some cases.
The Data Extraction Combine Record Mode > Sum values option does not work correctly.
* DGN Support:
When you import some DGN files, AutoCAD crashes.
* DIM:
If alternate units is on and you edit dimension text, the alternate units text is duplicated.
* Export a Layout to Model Space:
If .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1 is installed and you use the EXPORTLAYOUT command on some layouts, AutoCAD may stop responding.
* Find:
The FIND command performs slowly when you search for text.
* Groups:
Rollover highlighting does not go away.
* Hatch:
When you bind a drawing with an xref that contains annotative hatches, AutoCAD crashes.
* Hide/Shade:
When you use the HIDE command with a drawing that contains text, some objects may not be hidden.
* Image:

When you attach a corrupted raster image to a drawing, AutoCAD crashes.
* Layer:
When you zoom to a locked viewport, the Layer palette updates
* Layouts:
When you attempt to switch layouts in drawings, an Out of Memory crash may occur.
* Materials:
When you import a 3DS file with texture, AutoCAD may crash.
* Menu/Toolbar:
Some menu macros do not work.
* Multileader (mleader):
Mleader custom arrowheads are not brought over to the drawing from the Tool palette.
* Multiline Text (mtext):
When you edit mtext in a viewport, it may be duplicated in other viewports.
* Object Snaps:
Osnaps on polylines and mesh objects do not work correctly.
* Plot:

When you plot upside-down, an OLE object does not plot correctly.
A drawing that contains hatches and gradients may plot slowly.
When plot area is set to View, AutoCAD LT may crash.
* Publish:
When you attempt to publish multiple sheets with PUBLISHCOLLATE=1, only the first sheet of the set is plotted.
* Quick Properties:
When you edit multiple mtext objects through the Quick Properties palette, AutoCAD crashes.
* Render:
When you render some drawings, AutoCAD runs out of memory.
* Ribbon:
If the ribbon is displayed and you select portions of a mtext object that contains multiple formats, the mtext object becomes distorted.
* Selection:
When you select objects in groups, AutoCAD may crash.
* Tables:
When you edit text with space before or after the text within a table cell, AutoCAD crashes.
* Text:
When you move text to a new position within a drawing, it disappears.
* Tool Palettes:
When you attempt to edit the properties of multiple Tool Palette tools, an Out of Memory crash may occur.

If you actually read through all these, you can understand why I only included the fixes for this second update. This is plenty long without including everything from service pack 1! There's a lot more important information on that readme page, so go take a look.

I sincerely hope that this update will really make your drawing time go better. And it didn't even cost 700 billion dollars!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 View Cube

Have you ever felt like you were lost in space?
Autodesk really came up with a winner when they decided to add the View Cube in AutoCAD 2009! Any of you who've ever worked in three dimensional drawings know just what I mean. You're drawing and moving around and somehow you think you're looking from the top when actually you're underneath your drawing! (This has the potential to mess things up in spectacular ways)

With the new view cube, that won't happen anymore.
When you're in the 3D workspace, the button to turn on the Viewcube is on your home tab, in the View panel.

As you can see from the next few images, clicking on the various parts of the cube will change your view of the drawing to correspond with whatever part you picked.

Notice here I picked a corner of the cube

Here I picked one of the edges, on the side of the cube

Here I picked a face of the cube

Now watch what happens when I hit that arrow that only shows while I'm viewing the model from the side view, as you saw in the last picture. You can see from this picture how those arrows rotate your model.

And if you use 3D Orbit, the cube rotates with your model so you always know where you are. You just gotta love it.
This was so easy to explain, yet it saves sooooo much hassle when you're drawing in 3D. What an elegantly simple solution!