Xerox Printers AutoCAD Transparency Update

Recently we had Xerox printers installed and we could not get the transparancy to play nice with the printer, printing a small strip up the side of the page. We have now found a solution to the problem and after installing PS drivers and changing the settings on the driver page under the PC3 we use to the settings noted below all works fine. Thank you to placidrefining for their solution, which can be found on the following page. Whilst they note that this works with a 7970 printer, we have found that it works with our model as well.

 

I have posted the images below from that post here for reference.

xerox_transparency_working_pcl_settings

xerox_transparency_working_ps_settings-png

 

 

AutoCAD Broken File Associations

We upgraded AutoCAD LT 2015 to AutoCAD 2017 in the office by installing 2017, then carrying across settings and uninstalling the old one. On the first few PCs this worked OK but then it broke the Explorer file assciations horribly.

It produced an error along the lines of Cannot find AutoCAD LT 2015. Which was of course obvious because it was no longer on the machine.

After searching for the answer, this thread suggested wiping the machines, which currently was not an option.

The next option was to re-associate the files with AutoCAD rather than DWG launcher. This is really annoying solution as everytime you double click in explorer it launches a completely new process of AutoCAD which is very resource heavy when launched lots of times. This however was our temporary fix.

After some research, here is the solution if file associations in Explorer for AutoCAD are broken. This a tweaked version of what is shown on this page.

Fire up regedit (note you can break things with regedit, you have been warned!)

  1. Press WINDOWS-R on the keyboard to bring up the Run window, enter REGEDIT and click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following folder:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\DwgCommon\shellex\apps
  3. Select the sub-key folder under “apps,” including the long string of numbers and letters that identify your version of AutoCAD.
  4. On the right pane, verify that the “OpenLaunch” key contains the path to the correct acad.exe file. Double-click and edit if necessary – this bit you need to change 2015 to 2017.

    aclt-fileassoc03

  5. On the left pane, right-click the folder with the long string of numbers and choose “Copy Key Name.”
  6. Select the “apps” folder, and in the right pane, double-click (Default).
  7. Delete the current data value and paste the key name that you copied. Be sure to remove the folder path that precedes the key name.
  8. Click OK and close the Registry Editor window.

I found at this stage nothing seemed to have changed. So ensure that you right click and go to choose another app.

aclt-fileassoc01

Once on the choose another app bit click on AutoCAD DWG Launcher and click Always use the app.

aclt-fileassoc02

This should mean that now when you double click DWG files AutoCAD LT 2017 will launch and all will work properly. You might find as we did that AutoCAD LT 2017 went through the initial start-up and migration settings again. Click always associate DWG files with AutoCAD LT if this box comes up.

You might find at this stage that your icons are still blank. No worries. Reboot.

Once rebooted we found when we double clicked that the “How do you want to open this file” box came up again. We clicked AutoCAD DWG Launcher and all the icons suddenly appeared.

Hope this fix works for you!

Plot transparency and Xerox printers

We had new printers in today, they were Xerox machines. They are quiet neat but not particularly useful when printing from AutoCAD. The reason why? Because for some reason AutoCAD and the Xerox drivers do not play nice with each other when printing with transparency.

When printing with transparency checked in the plot dialog the Xerox printers just print a small section of the page, about a 5th. Without that checked all is good.

The reason seems that AutoCAD prints vectors normally but when transparency is checked is prints rastors. For some reason this does not play well with the Xerox.

On this post on the second page are some settings but they are not on my driver version. I will investigate some options and update if I find a solution with the newer drivers.

Imperial dimension – metric drawing

One of my colleagues noted that she wanted all her measurements to be in imperial when dimensioning for her client. The drawing had been drawn in metric mm.

Whilst there are ways to convert the drawing in its entirety into imperial and visa versa, there is very little information on temporarily change the units or dimension style.

So here is how to place an imperial dimension on a metric drawing.

First go to the dimension style manager (_DIMSTYLE) and then select your dimension that you will be starting with. In our office we have a dimension style for each scale the drawing will be printed at (we have not got to annotative objects yet…). So I started with 1:100.

Metric Dimstyle, Primary Units tab
Metric Dimstyle, Primary Units tab

Click on new and it will create a new style based on the 1:100 dimension style selected. I renamed the new style to 1:100 feet so its clear that it is a different style but has the scale of 1:100 and is in feet!

Then leave every other setting alone and go to the Primary Units section. Change the unit format to Architectural and the Precision to 0′-0″.

Then change the scale factor to 0.0393700787. This scales the mm in inches. It is the basically the conversion of 1mm to 1inch.

Imperial Dimension (for metric drawing), Primary Units tab
Imperial Dimension (for metric drawing), Primary Units tab

Save style and that’s it. You now have a dimension style that outputs feet and inches from a metric drawing. Even better you can have both metric dimensions and imperial on the same drawing with this method.

Hollow Dimensions

My colleague asks me today, “why are my dimensions hollow and not filled?” I thought, maybe FILLMODE is not set. But that was OK.

It turns out that this can be caused by non-flat or “elevated” drawings. I.e. 2D drawings that extend into 3D space. Usually caused by UCS not being rotated properly and it being skewed into 3D space.

The solution is to change the UCS in the modelspace or paperspace viewport so it is flat and things should be back to normal!

MTEXT Slow to Start

If you have decided to place all AutoCAD items in a central location and link each machine across the network to those locations by adding them to the “Support File Search Path” then this is for you!

I was experiencing really slow mtext editing, slow loading of options dialog and slow loading of the hatch editor. I did some digging and found very few solutions. Only one that caught my eye where the response was “Maybe that’s part of the problem. ” I thought, lets test that. I removed the network paths from the support path and voila! Everything is blisteringly fast again.

Next step, work out why the network bit is slow!

Flickering LT 2014 solved

There seems to be two working solutions to AutoCAD LT 2014 flickering. One is to use a file from a previous version and the other which is far simpler to install is to use a registry patch.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD LT\R20\ACADLT-D001\Variables\AECPSDAUTOATTACH] @=”0″ “StorageType”=dword:00000003 “SecondaryType”=dword:00000001 “LowerBound”=dword:00000000 “UpperBound”=dword:00000001 “PrimaryType”=dword:0000138b

Copy and paste the above into a text file. Rename it to autocadlt2014regpatch.reg (named only for ease of finding, the .reg is the important bit) and double click to install on affected machines. I have found that whilst this file can be stored in a server folder for ease of access, installing from the server is not possible and Windows 7 throws out an error. Just copy to desktop and install each time.

 

No layers information

One of my colleagues noted that they no longer could see the layers information in the Layers Drop down box when selecting objects.

autocad_pickfirstoff

The image above shows this issue, the object is on a differing layer to that shown, the Layers Drop down only shows the current layer.

In order to fix this the system variable PICKFIRST needs to be set to 1, which should be the default for this variable. Sometimes if AutoCAD crashes this seems to be reset to 0. Now when the object is selected it should display the layer information in the Layers Drop down.

autocad_pickfirston

No Thumbnails

One of my colleagues was struggling with files that did not have thumbnails. According to this (very helpful) post this is due to the THUMBSAVE setting not being set to 1.

This is a setting that is saved globally per machine but affects drawings. This can be confusing as there are global settings and drawing specific settings. Drawings saved on a machine with this off won’t create a thumbnail in the file.