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…

View original post 162 more words

CHANGE command

Do you find yourself having to clean up drawings that were poorly drawn? Maybe ends don’t meet or the lines are not orthogonal.  Did you know that the CHANGE command is a handy tool that can help you fix them?

The CHANGE command changes the endpoint of a line and the radius of a circle. The CHANGE command works differently, depending on whether you select lines or circles, so it’s best not to choose lines and circles at the same time.

Note: You can use the CHANGE command to change the rotation of blocks. The Properties option of this command can change many object properties, but it’s generally easier to use the Properties palette.



Dimension Overrides

Have you ever overrode a dimension outside the Dimension Style Manager and wished you could add the changes to your dimension style?

I’m going to show you how to do just that!

After you have finished tweaking the dimension simply select the dimension > right click > Dimension Style > Save as New Style > Select existing Dimstyle (or create a new one if needed).



How to simplify AutoCAD plotter list

This tip comes from

When you plot your drawing from AutoCAD, you may find too many plotters in plotter list. You’ll see Windows printers and AutoCAD default printers in the list.


If your computer is connected to several printers, this list can be long. You can simplify this list and display only printers you need in AutoCAD. Let’s find out how to do this.

Hide Windows system printers

You can hide Windows printers in AutoCAD. Go to AutoCAD options, Plot and Publish tab. Check Hide system printers in general plot option.


Now only AutoCAD plotters are displayed. How can we plot to a plotter registered as Windows printer? You will need to create PC3 file for that plotter. Let’s see how to do that.

To use Autodesk Plotter Manager

AutoCAD plotters are defined in Autodesk Plotter Manager. You can find it by opening Windows control panel and click Autodesk Plotter Manager.


Windows will open a folder. These are PC3 files for AutoCAD plotters.


To remove AutoCAD plotters

To remove plotters is easy. Create backups first. Copy all files as backup.

Now you can remove plotters you never use. If you ever need them again, copy them back to this location.

To add AutoCAD plotters

By hiding system printers, now the printer/plotter is may not in the list. You need to create it with Autodesk Plotter Manager.

Double click Add-A-Plotter Wizard.

Follow the steps in this wizard and choose System Printer for this plotter.


Change the configuration if necessary. After you finish, the wizard created a PC3 file for that plotter.

To plot with the new plotter

If you try to plot now, you can see shorter list of the plotters. Now you can choose the plotter you created before from the list.



Have you ever had an object in a xref that you wanted to copy to your drawing? Instead of opening the xref and copying an pasting the entities you want to move from the reference file to the drawing, you can use NCOPY and directly copy the objects without opening the file. The same applies for Blocks!

It works just like the Copy command, except it places the object on your current layer. It’s a great way to get linework from a referenced file or block into your current drawing.


Perfect Revision Clouds

Everyone should know how to draw a rev cloud in AutoCAD, but did you know that you don’t have to freehand it?

If your like me and don’t like to free hand it, then I’m going to show you how to convert an object into a rev cloud.

To start, draw an ELLIPSE, CIRCLE, RECTANGLE, or a POLYLINE around an object you wish to rev cloud.

Next start the Revision Cloud command then press O for OBJECT then select the object you drew.

Quick Tip:
If your not satisfied with the arc length simply double click the rev cloud and select DECURVE, then change the arc length and select the object again.


Create PDF’s or DWF’s Automatically

Did you know that AutoCAD can create PDF’s or DWF’s automatically upon saving or closing?
This is a nice option to have, because it can be tedious to update the PDF/DWF every time we make changes. And we often forget to do it.

To setup this feature, go to OPTIONS > Plot and Publish > Enable “Automatic Publish” > then click on “Automatic Publish Settings

plot and publish

In the Auto Publish Settings you can change the options to suit your needs.

Auto Publish Settings

You can auto-publish on Save and Close as well as get a prompt before the publishing.

The location for the PDF files can either be the drawing folder, a sub-folder relative to the drawing folder or any other specified folder.

Other settings are if you want to include Model, Layouts or both, creation of single-sheet or multi-sheet files, inclusion of layers, lines merge control and so on.

The AUTOPUBLISH command can also be used to specify some of the settings on the command line.


Trim / Extend

Did you know that TRIM and EXTEND are two parts of one command, even though you can activate them separately?


When using Trim, hold down the Shift key and you’re in Extend mode; the current Cutting edges temporarily become Boundary edges. The converse is also true: in Extend, hold down Shift to Trim.

Nearest Edge

When in the TRIM or EXTEND command If you simply hit Enter when prompted to select Cutting or Boundary edges, ALL entities become edges, even entities within Blocks and Xrefs.

Implied Edge

Edge mode allows you to Trim/Extend to implied edges. Implied edges are boundaries that would intersect your entities if the boundaries were long enough.

There are several ways to activate this feature:

1. Set system variable EDGEMODE = 1

2. When either command is active, press ENTER to activate nearest edge
When prompted with the following press E :
**(This will also set the system variable EDGEMODE to 1)**

Projection Mode

Projection mode controls how trimming and extending behaves with 3D entities that don’t actually intersect, but appear to intersect, in various projections.

The setting projection mode is stored in the system variable PROJMODE and has the following values:

0 – True 3D mode (no projection)
1 – Project to the XY plane of the current UCS
2 – Project to the current view plane

This is activated by pressing ENTER when the TRIM or EXTEND command is already activated, and pressing P