Navisworks Freedom ~ Adjusting Clipping Plane

Have you ever been working in Navisworks Freedom and wanted to adjust your clipping plane but didn’t know how? I know I sure did!

I finally found out how to do just that!

In NWD press SHIFT+F11 and you will see a “File Options” Dialog box.


Changing the “Constraint Distance” will adjust your near clipping plane. I found that 12 worked best for me, but play around with that number until it meets your liking.

Setting it to “Automatic” didn’t work well and make the clipping plane too far.



Adding Lisp Files to a Tool Palette

AutoCAD Tips

If you have some lisp routines that you would like to have available when you are working in various drawings here is a way to have them available in all your drawings. This method of adding the .lsp files to a tool palette makes them available and will load them only when they are needed. Other methods like using an acad.lsp or acaddoc.lsp will load all the lisp files upon each drawing that you open and depending on how many lisp files you have may be a little slow.

First place your  lisp files and button images into a folder that will be a stable environment where it will not accidentally get moved or erased. Button images can be of various file types and sizes. In this example I have used 32×32 pixel bitmaps (.bmp).

Right click in the Tool Palette and select “New Palette” to place the new tools…

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Control Location of .bak Files

I’m sure at one point or another you have debated turning off the .bak file. I’m sure some of you have actually done it, but sooner or later realized that was a bad idea.

Usually the reason for wanting to disable it, is because it clutters up your folder(s). At least that was my reason.

But did you know you can actually control the location of the .bak files?

By default, BAK files are created in the same folder as the drawing file.

You can use the MOVEBAK Express Tool to change the location where BAK files are stored. Follow these steps:

1. On the Express menu, click File Tools > Move Backup Files.
2. On the command line, enter the path location where you want the backup files to be stored.
Note: You must have Express Tools installed to access this command. Refer to the product installation documentation for details about installing Express Tools.


Lock All Viewports ~ Lisp

It never fails! Every time I have to work on somebody else’s drawings, their viewports are never locked! I got tired of click every viewport and locking them manually, so I created this lisp!

(defun c:vpl (/ kw kval doc adoc lao cnt inc cvprt blk pw)
   (initget 1 "LOCK UNLOCK")
   (setq kw (getkword "\nLOCK or UNLOCK ALL VPORTS [LOCK/UNLOCK]: "))
   (setq kw (strcase kw))
      (if (= kw "LOCK")
      (setq kval :vlax-true)
      (if (= kw "UNLOCK")
      (setq kval :vlax-false)
(setq doc (vlax-get-object "AutoCad.Application")
adoc (vla-get-ActiveDocument doc)
lao (vla-get-Layouts adoc)
cnt (vla-get-Count lao)
inc 0
(repeat cnt
(setq cvprt (vla-Item lao inc)
inc (+ inc 1)
blk (vla-get-Block cvprt)
(vlax-for itm blk
(vlax-property-available-p itm 'DisplayLocked)
(vla-put-DisplayLocked itm kval)
(vla-update itm)

AutoLISP: Create a Roof Pitch Symbol

AutoCAD Tips

If you need to create a roof pitch symbol this routine will surely help.

Here’s how:

  • PS <enter> to start “Pitch Symbol”
  • Select a line that has the slope that you need to calculate
  • Specify the base length of the symbol. (This is the horizontal line of the triangle). this can be done by entering a value in the command line or by picking 2 points
  • Specify what side of the line you want the symbol to be placed on.
  • Move the symbol into place

Note that the symbol created is not a block, it is a group

 c:pitch_symbol  a b c f g h i j k l m n p oldosmode oldosmode  a  c  a b  c c 'or  '=  pi  pi  pi  pi  b b b b b PITCH_BASE PITCH_BASE  c  PITCH_BASE c PITCH_BASE PITCH_BASE c h  d
             e  b  a f  b a  e f  a

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AutoLISP: Polyline Direction preview

AutoCAD Tips

The simplicity of this routine is why I like it so much. You simply run the command and then select a polyline and it displays temporary arrows that show the direction of the polyline. Once you either zoom in or out, or even use RE [enter] for a REGEN, the temporary arrows will stop displaying.

All credit goes to Luis Esquival and RonJon from for sharing and editing this routine.

Below – Various polylines have their directions shown

PolyLine Direction

As an extra bonus, this routine works on 3DPOLYLINEs. Even though the arrows aren’t exactly aligned, it is still nice to have a way to show the direction…

PolyLine Direction 3DPOLY


 getarcsegment cen r fromvertex p2  a1 a2 d fromvertex p2 a1  cen fromvertex
		 a2  cen p2 a1 a2 a1 a2  d  r  a2 a1 d  r  a2 a1 d  r  getbulgedata bulge fromvertex p2  dir theta beta radio dat bulge

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Space Dimensions With DimSpace

With the DimSpace command, you simply select your baseline dimensions, then use this command to evenly space them so they look great!

(In case you didn’t know, the dimensions should be spaced 3/8″ apart)

Here’s the sequence:

  • Command: DimSpace
  • Select base dimension:
  • Select dimensions to space: (Select the rest of the dimensions.)
  • Enter value or [Auto] < Auto >: (AutoCAD selects a value to space them, or you can input your own specific value.)

Spacing Value Tip:
You can use a spacing value of 0 (zero) to align the dimension lines of selected linear and angular dimensions end to end.

AutoLisp Tip:
If your like me, you want to automate the process as much as possible. This syntax will automatically input the distance for you. The only negative to this, is you can only select one dimension at a time instead of windowing multiple.

(Command "dimspace" pause pause "" ".375")

Startup Variable

Did you know you can control how AutoCAD starts up?

For most people when you open AutoCAD, it automatically starts a blank drawing with a template that has been set in the OPTIONS menu.

But did you know you can control whether AutoCAD opens a blank drawing or prompts you to open a drawing or template?

The system variable is STARTUP

0:    Displays the Select Template dialog box, or uses a default drawing template file set in the OPTIONS dialog box, on the files tab.

1:    Starts without opening a drawing template file, and displays the Startup or the Create New Drawing dialog box

2:    Starts without opening a drawing template file. If available in the application a custom dialog box is displayed


Tip: When Tracking Doesn’t Seem to Work

AutoCAD Tips

Here is one of the quirky things that AutoCAD does that might throw you for a loop. It involves “Tracking” whether it is “Object Snap Tracking” or “Polar Tracking” they seem to behave differently when Dynamic Input is turned onn or off. This is especially true for Object Snap Tracking. I have heard it said and taught, that these functions DO NOT work when Dynamic Input (DYN) is turned off. I am here to show you that they do.
When Dynamic Input is toggled on (as shown below) when you establish the reference point which has the green “glyph”, you pull away and see the dashed line and enter your tracking distance and you are just fine.

DYN Mode turned on OSNAP Tracking DYN Mode turned on OSNAP Tracking

The trouble seems to be when Dynamic Input is turned off and you establish the same reference point. You see the green “glyph” and dashed line as…

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