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.

To add an attribute to a block that’s already defined (and used) in the drawing, simply issue the BEDIT command, select the block defined and use the ATTDEF command.  It’s likely you will want to turn on the “Align below previous attribute definition” toggle.  Then close the Block Editor and Save Changes.

The most important consideration now is that existing inserts don’t have a placeholder for your new attribute!  AutoCAD’s built in ATTSYNC command can correct this.  Issue the command, press enter to <Select> and pick any insert of your block, press enter to confirm.  All the instances of your insert now display the newly added attribute with the default value.  You can now simply double-click an insert to change the value in the enhanced attribute editor.

This controls whether AutoCAD picks the elevation of the snap point, the default being 0 (use the Z value).  If you change the variable setting to 1, AutoCAD will use the value of the ELEVATION system variable instead.  This can be very useful in an elevated drawing when you don’t want newly drawn geometry to take on the elevations of the existing geometry.

Don’t forget to set it back if you need to snap to elevations, for example when drawing 3dPolylines.

If you need to make changes to all (or most) layers in a drawing, with this dialog displayed press Ctrl+A (or right click and choose Select All), then click the operation.  For example, if you click the linetype (or other) fields you are making changes to all selected items in the list.

If there are items you wish to exclude hold Ctrl while clicking to deselect them.

An extra tip along these lines.  You can press Ctrl+C to copy the properties of the selected rows to the clipboard, ready to paste into other applications like MS Excel, etc.

Users (especially with dual monitors) can sometimes move dialogs to the secondary monitor and AutoCAD will remember that position.  If the extra monitor is removed (or left behind by a notebook on the road) the dialog can’t be seen and the command appears to lock AutoCAD up.   To confirm, if press ESC to cancel control will return to the editor.  Here are a couple of ways to correct the problem.

Read More →

When designing blocks, it’s always best to create the geometry centered around the origin of 0,0.  Sometimes users can create a block from geometry in model space and it ends up difficult to use when inserting the block.

To correct this, issue the BEDIT command, select the misbehaving block, then use the move command to move the block elements to 0,0.  You may need to use a specific base point (such as the midpoint of a feature) to 0,0.

On starting the CUI command you may receive alerts about unresolved files that can no longer be found.  To clean these up, expand the ‘Partial Customization Files’ section and look along the list for items with an (Unresolved) suffix.  If you can’t resolve the item, right click and choose ‘Unload’.