Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Multileaders and Old Quickleaders

It's 3 in the afternoon and I just made a fresh pot of coffee, so I'm wide-awake and ready to roll through the rest of the day. This blog entry, like so many, comes from a problem one of our clients was having. Being the kind-hearted person that I am, I thought I'd be helpful to some unknown CAD operator out there and keep them from tearing their hair out in frustration. So here's my little tip about Leaders...

Last July, I wrote about the new Multileaders, one of the new features of 2008. I still think they're a huge improvement on the old Quickleaders, but there is a wrinkle I ought to have been aware of. When you use Multileaders, if the drawing is opened in an older version, the Multileaders become Proxy objects and might not be visible. ARRRGH!
If you open it in AutoCAD 2007 and earlier versions, set PROXYSHOW to 1.
Here is a link to the official Autodesk solution - Take me to your Leader

This isn't exactly great news if you are collaborating on a project with someone who has 2007 (or even older!) AutoCAD products. What if they have to be able to edit these leader objects? You'll want to be able to insert the old style Quickleaders, right? I'm going to do a little review of how we create a custom toolbar using the Customizable User Interface, so we have a button for our leaders.
By the way, the old Quickleaders can be made to attach blocks, but that's a whole new subject.
For you real old-timers, excuse me, I mean for you very experienced CAD users - you can just type in QLEADER, and it will work like it used to. Quickleaders are visible and editable in older versions. If you're used to typing everything in anyhow, you can skip the rest of this entry. The rest is written for the new people who've just been learning this program, or for anyone who just doesn't feel comfy with the CUI.
Type in CUI, and you'll see the dialog box come up as in the picture here. For an example, I'll copy the dimension toolbar and customize it with the buttons I use the most, and add the Quickleader button on it.
First of all, expand the toolbars and find the Dimensions toolbar, right click on it and choose Copy. Then right-click on the Toolbar heading, and choose Paste. The 'copy of Dimensions' toolbar will show up at the bottom of the list. Click on it to choose it, and right-click to find "Rename". If you're sharp eyed, you'll notice that I forgot to do this step. Oh well...

When you click on the plus in front of the toolbar name, it opens up so you can see everything that is on there. To remove buttons that you seldom or never use, right-click (again with the right-clicking!) and choose 'Remove' from the list of options. It only removes the command from that toolbar, not anything else at all.

To find a command that you want to add to a toolbar, type in as much of the command as you know, and the commands that contain those letters will start being filtered in the list below it. The Quickleader command shows towards the bottom when I type in "leader". When you see the command you want, just drag it up onto the toolbar and place it where you want.

Now, whenever you make a new toolbar, it will appear in every workspace. The easiest way to get rid of it in workspaces where you don't want it is to stay in the CUI, click on each Workspace title in the upper left panel of the CUI, and notice that in the upper right panel you can see what toolbars, and ribbons, and so on, show up in that workspace. If you don't want this toolbar in your workspace full of ribbons, just right-click on it as I did in this illustration and remove it. It's easier to do it this way than to open each Workspace and delete it from there.

AND, you can just as easily add this or any other button to your existing ribbons, if you've become comfortable using them. You do all the steps as above, except you drag the command onto the proper Ribbon, and onto whichever row you want it to show up. Voilà! You just customized the new Ribbon, and it was a piece of cake!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Directions for the RegApp Cleanup Utility

Hello, this is part 2 of the RegApp Cleanup Utility.

I'm sure there must be at least one person who went to the link and downloaded the exe file, and now would like a little more help with this.

If you've never done this before, you might double click on the exe file and then wonder why nothing happens. So, here's what you have to do:
Once you download and run the .exe file (the one I sent you a link to in the last blog entry), it asks you where you want the files to be extracted. What it means is that the .exe file contains several files, and you need to tell it where to put them -so you can find them again- and then you'll have a few more steps to go through. So create a folder specifically for this.

According to the documentation, you need administrative privileges on your Windows operating system to install this, or get your administrator to do it for you. They love when we interrupt their day to ask them to do things like this.

If you have privileges, navigate to the folder and copy CleanupRegapp.exe, CleanupRegappRes.dll, and CleanupRegapp.html to the installation directory of your AutoCAD-based product. In my case, it was C:\Program Files\AutoCAD 2009

NOTE: To run this utility you must launch CleanupRegapp.exe from the installation directory of your AutoCAD-based product. Not from the folder you just made and into which you extracted everything.

To clean affected files:
1. Close all affected files. (Open affected files will not be cleaned!)
2. Launch the Regapp ID Cleanup Utility from the installation folder of your AutoCAD 2008 or AutoCAD 2009-based product.
If desired, in the Regapp ID Threshold field, enter a number to change the regapp ID threshold. Files that contain fewer regapp IDs than the threshold are not cleaned. The default regapp ID threshold is 50.
3. Under Files to Clean, select affected files. You can select individual files, folders, and subfolders.
To clean the contents of subfolders within a selected folder, select Include sub-folders.
To load and remove unreferenced regapp IDs from external references (xrefs) attached to the selected files, select Include Xref files.
4. Click OK. Cleaned files are saved in the same format last saved in.

One of the files you'll find, assuming you paid attention to what you named the folder, is CleanUpRegApp.html. This file gives you all the directions on how to install and use this Utility that I've shown you here.

NOTE: This utility cleans only DWG files saved in AutoCAD Release 14 and later file formats.

This utility makes cleaning up a bunch of drawings so much faster! In the previous blog entry, I told you how you could clean up one drawing at a time. This utility didn't even take 3 minutes to run. Imagine if I had had to open all 38 of these files and clean them up one by one! Using this utility, I could do this entire project in a fraction of the time. It's worth learning how to use it.