Sunday, January 25, 2009

Assigning Multiple Double Click Actions to Single Entity Type in AutoCAD

In the Unleash the Double Click Power post, you saw how to customize the double click action of an entity type to implement custom double click actions. Now we are going to see how we can implement different double click actions simultaneously on single entity type. Normally, we accomplish this by using Reactors or Events in the respective languages. But, we are not going to use any of these in our method. Rather, we will follow a tricky way to achieve the same result.

As an example, I will show you how to change the double click action of an 'Attribute Block'. Normally double clicking an attribute block shows the Enhanced Attribute Editor Dialog. We are going to change this to show either Enhanced Attribute Editor(_eattedit) or Edit Attributes dialog (_attedit) depending on certain condition. Let's say, when we double click on a title block named TITLE_BLOCK, it should display the Enhanced Attribute Editor dialog and for all other blocks in the drawing, it should display Edit Attributes dialog. The step by step configuration is given below.

  1. Open CUI and create a custom command with the following code inside the macro section of the command. If you don't know how to create a custom command, then refer to the 'Unleash the Double Click Power' post mentioned above. Replace the 'TITLE_BLOCK' inside the following code with your actual title block name.
    ^C^C(if (= (cdr (assoc 2 (entget (ssname (ssget "P") 0)))) "TITLE_BLOCK") (command "_eattedit")(command "_ddatte" ))

  2. Drag and drop the custom command under the 'Attribute Block' section inside the Double Click Actions.

  3. Click on 'Apply' and close the CUI dialog.

That's it. Now if you double click on the title block, it will open the Enhanced Attribute Editor dialog and for all other attributed blocks, it will open Edit Attributes dialog. By the way, don't forget to take a backup of the default CUI files before you start experimenting with them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quick Tip - A Shortcut for Closing Active Drawing

You already know that ALT+F4 can effectively be used to quit a running application in windows operating system. For those who don't know, pressing CTRL+F4 inside AutoCAD will close the active drawing without touching the application or other drawings already open over there. Though it's a more straight forward shortcut than the ALT+F+C, I would like to stick to the latter as it looks easier to me (May be because I am used to that). CTRL+F4 shortcut is not limited to AutoCAD, but it works well with almost all windows multi document interface (MDI) applications.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My New Year Wish - An Intermediate AutoCAD Product for 2D Designing & Draughting

Why? Let's have a look at the existing product line. ie, Vanilla AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. You might be able to find an answer from there.

AutoCAD LT: The lack of strong application programming interfaces makes AutoCAD LT really handicapped in the perspective of a Power User or CAD Administrator. You can not use any of your custom commands developed using AutoLISP/VBA/Dotnet/ObjectARX inside LT. The remaining option called DIESEL is only good enough to make small macros. Not only that; the number of commands are limited as compared to the full version.

Vanilla AutoCAD: Very powerful platform for 2D as well as 3D designing and modeling. The disadvantage is that it's loaded with comprehensive 3D modeling and rendering engines which are not at all used by the 2D user. Believe me; I have never used any of the 3D modeling or rendering features for the past 4 or 5 years for official purpose. That means the 2D users are carrying a burden over their shoulders and have been quite unnecessarily paying for the unwanted features. They could work much faster, if all those unwanted features were not loaded over there. The recent versions of AutoCAD show that it is more inclined towards 3D development than the 2D ones.

The need of the moment is an intermediate AutoCAD Product, which offers the power of Vanilla AutoCAD customization and 2D features minus all the 3D/rendering features with an attractive price tag. In that case, managers don't have to think twice at the time of purchase/upgrade of the product as they normally would do. As of now, we are forced to use Vanilla AutoCAD as we have in-house discipline specific menus and associated programs.

I am sorry to have started the New Year in a rebellion mood. But we really wish to see such a product available in the industry. Please note that the above views and opinions are my personal ones and those don't reflect the views or policies of the company I am working for. I take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous new year. May the New Year make our dreams (including the CAD related ones ;-) come true...!! Many thanks to all you people for visiting my blog.