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Issue 15 for Architectural Tips & Tricks

Welcome to this month's Graitec Architectural ‘Tips and Tricks’ newsletter. We have produced this with you our Clients, in mind. Our aim is to regularly pass on helpful Tips and Tricks on Autodesk Architectural Software products. We will try and keep this document full of useful and relevant information for you but if you want to make some suggestions on the content, drop us a line and we will do our best to include your requests. 

Please take the time to look at the contents of this Newsletter, you never know, the answer to something that is puzzling you today may be right here.

This Months Tips & Tricks Focus Is On:

Controlling Commands

1.) I sometimes find that I'd like my text to be more prominent within a drawing. Is there an easy way to make some, or all of the text stand out?

Solution: "Enclose the Text"

"TCIRCLE" is an Express Tool command that can come in handy to encompass text.

·Type the command "TCIRCLE"

·Select the text

·Specify the offset factor, this is the multiplication factor to the text size to the

To define the surrounding object.

·Decide what type of object you would want to enclose the text with (the objects to choose from are circles, slots & rectangles!)

·Then specify whether the shape is to be of a constant size or variable, I would recommend variable to account for varying text heights & lengths but you can fix either or both if you wish


The command can also be located from the EXPRESS dropdown under TEXT (Shown here).

2.) Is there a way to control the way my trim command works?

Solution: "Take the Edge out of Trim and Extend"

Using the system variable EDGEMODE can simplify your trim and extend functionality. Did you know that you can TRIM and EXTEND to non-existent edges?

· - 0 Uses the selected edge without an extension

· - 1 Extends or trims the selected object to an imaginary extension of the cutting or boundary edge

Take the Edge out of Trim and Extend1Take the Edge out of Trim and Extend

3.) Is there someway I can draw over a hatch pattern & snap to the intersections using my OSNAP settings without having to explode the hatch first?

Solution: "OSNAPHATCH"

The system variable OSNAPHATCH allows you to snap to line work within hatches!

· - 0 Function is turned OFF

· - 1 Function is turned ON

4.) Is there someway I can have more visible workspace on my desktop?

Solution: "Ctrl+0" (zero)

Press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+0 (zero) and AutoCAD temporarily switches off all toolbars, panels and windows - so you will get all of the screen area for your drawing only. The next Ctrl-0 will get you back again to the previously displayed toolbars and menus. The screen icon that achieves the same result is indicated below.

Please note that 0 (zero) on the number pad will not work!zero

5.) Is there someway I can select line work more efficiently?

Solution: "Fast Select"

Here's a quick selection tip. Actually it's a fast selection tip. If you have AutoCAD Express Tools installed, you have access to the Fast Select command.
Fast Select allows you to select an object, and then it will select all the objects that are touching it. The shortcut for this command is FS.

To run it in conjunction with another command, type 'FS

(Ensure you use the apostrophe which allows it to work inside a command)

6.) Is there someway I can return to the more familiar XREF manager interface from previous releases rather that the later palette dialogue box?


If you ever wanted to go back in time to the good old days, when the dialogue box was quick and simple, you are in luck.
Simply type CLASSICXREF on the command line to see an "old friend"

7.) I sometimes find that I can't quite remember certain commands when attempting to enter them on the command line?

Solution: "AutoComplete"

Key in the first couple of characters, and hit the Tab key. You will see that AutoCAD cycles through all of the command and system variable names that start with those characters each time you press the Tab key. When it gets to the one you want, simply hit the Enter key and you are on your way!


You can also use the arrow keys to recall previous commands. Hitting the Up arrow key will go backward through the commands you have already executed. The Down arrow will go forward. Sometimes I spell a system variable incorrectly (and AutoCAD reminds me with that "unknown command" comment we all dislike seeing). Hit the Up arrow key once to recall the misspelled command and correct the spelling rather than re-entering the entire command. What else can you do at the Command line? A right-click on it will produce the shortcut menu (shown below). Here you'll find a listing of your recently used commands and a shortcut to the Options command.


8.) Am I able to create a sweep profile & attach it to a wall component?

Solution: "Yes"

Create your bespoke wall style & include a component that will be replaced by the sweep profile. Assign the appropriate material to this element of the wall.

Now in side elevation draw a closed polyline to represent the required sweep profile & convert it to a profile (RIGHT CLICK – CONVERT TO – SWEEP PROFILE)

The next step is to select the wall & RIGHT CLICK - SWEEPS - ADD

Specify the wall component to replace & select your newly created profile from the dropdown list.

All that remains to do is edit the Y or Z offset within the sweep section of the properties box to reposition this element if necessary within the width of the wall.

This can also be achieved by "editing the profile in place" & moving it by the centre grip the required amount.

Mitres to individual/all walls can also be added within the properties box or by selecting the walls & right clicking to access the mitre wall option.

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