We’ve seen people struggling with the confusing Set Location tool in AutoCAD (2015+) that also requires you to log into 360 using an internet connection. We’ve also seen peoples disappointment when they discovered that (and panning Bing images) was pretty much all they could do with it. Then there were the users on BricsCAD and IntelliCAD with even less GeoLocation tools. Since we love all things mapping we decided to do something about it.
We have been receiving support issues ranging from program files being invisible (as in saying it can’t find a file you know is there) to outright alerts of our code being a virus. These have of course turned out to be false positives, a failure on the part of the antivirus software. A company that’s been in business for nearly 30 years does not produce viruses.
We regularly are asked by potential customers for a single tool sold separately. Not having an understanding of what’s involved, it seems like a reasonable request to them. Here we attempt to explain why that’s not possible.
DotSoft offers some products in two flavors, 2CAD & 2DWG. Sometimes we get questions on what the differences are, so we’ll attempt to explain in this post.
Please keep your download information! You have just paid money for something intangible, why throw away the ability to re-obtain it? If you fear it might be purged from your email, copy the information and paste it into a text file, stored in a special folder.
Second, assume that what you have downloaded is only good for the present. If you keep the installable MSI/EXE, the file you are keeping is likely to be revised at any time, even the next day. While you certainly can keep the executable, do not assume it’s still good a year or two later. Unless the install was downloaded very recently, always go back to your purchase information and download the latest build of it.
In summary, keep your download and always download the latest build of the add-on you purchased before you install it.
Lower Your Expectations
When the CAD user looks at a PDF file in a viewer, (especially if the PDF is crisp) they see objects, intelligent objects. They see dimensions, block inserts, text and more. What they do not realize is that PDF files cannot contain these objects.
A PDF is not a DWG, it is a popular plot file format. The only content in a PDF is images, paths and text. There is not even a circle object in a PDF file, it must be represented as four bezier curves.
MapWorks & ToolPac contain a Check for Updates tool that not only applies patches to your installation, it also brings in additional tools that we add on a regular basis. To keep track of what’s been added check back here from time to time.
To run the Check for Updates tool (requires an internet connection):
- Make sure your CAD engine is shut down (because it would have the files locked and we couldn’t update them).
- Run Check for Updates under Windows Start > Programs > DotSoft > MapWorks (or ToolPac).
- Check off any CAD engines you don’t use to save hard drive space and bandwidth (MapWorks Only).
- Click the [Start] button and allow the updater to run.
If you have Windows 8.x (which did away with the Start menu for some reason), run the MapWorks Updater from the desktop.
The US Army Corps or Engineers produces a nice collection of CAD Standards, which includes numerous symbols, linetypes and hatch patterns. Use the link below for more information.
To check the status of certain system variables, you can use the SETVAR command. After issuing the command, enter ? to begin the list, then apply an optional filter. For example entering DIM* will show all the dimension variables.
This is not CAD specific but is still worth mentioning. Sometimes when you try to refer to a long link URL in an email or news post, the link can become broken because the mail/news tool wraps the link into two (or more) lines. Unknowing users are frustrated because the link doesn’t appear to work when they click it, and even experienced users have to paste it into a notepad and remove the line breaks.
In this situation, head to http://www.tinyurl.com and paste in your long link. A tinyurl ‘mapped’ link will be returned thats usually 20-30 characters and will never break.