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.





Hatch ribbon slow to load

So the hatch ribbon is slow to load? I found that the addition of custom hatches on a network path was the cause of the issue. Remove the network related path from the support files and the hatch command speeds up considerably. This seems to be a similar problem to that of the MTEXT problem I have encountered previously.

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:
  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.


  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.


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


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!

Polyline doesn’t plot its lineweight

Today a colleague of mine could not plot a polyline at the desired lineweight. We tried different layer with the colour changed to see if was the plot style interferring. Tried turning off scale lineweights. Tried overriding the lineweight on the object itself.  Tried a new plot style.

After all these attempts it occured to me that the polyline thickness might have a impact on the lineweights and it does.

Altering the polyline global width to 0 meant the lineweight now plotted correctly.

Nested XREFs and layer states

If you use a system of drawing sheet and drawing model in your practice where both are seperate files and the sheets are like a piece of paper with the drawing information pulled into it then this is something you might have come across already, if not then this might help you in the future if you encounter it.

So generally you will attach one or two external drawings to a sheet file and then adjust layers to suit in the sheet file. However occaisonally you will set up a drawing with an XREF, usually an overlay type of drawing (not to be confused with overlay type of XREF) where you have a base drawing and the layers are adjusted to be simplistic and then further information is drawn over the top, e.g. a fire drawing or drainage drawing.


This is where it gets complicated. There is now a chain of drawings. Drawing A (the base drawing) –> Drawing B (the overlay type of drawing) –> Drawing C (the plot drawing). [Note: the arrows indicate XREF attachements]. This chain of XREFs is called nesting.

The problem comes when you want Drawing C to look the same as drawing B does. When you attach Drawing B to C all the layers on drawing A change to when they were first attached to drawing B, all the changes in drawing B seem to be lost. But when you go back to drawing B it still looks as it should. Confused?

The problem is AutoCAD pulls in XREFs (external references) from their source files and not through the nesting. So any information for drawing A setup in drawing B will not be imported into C as drawing C as the information is directly pulled from drawing A.


In order to circumvent this annoying behaviour layer states export and load should be used. Or you just reset them up if its only a few changes, but if lots of colour changes and layer adjustments have been made then this is the method for you.

This is taken from this page: (Copyright AutoDesk).

To export layer settings

  1. At the command prompt, enter LAYER.
  2. In the Layer Properties Manager, click Layer States Manager.
  3. In the Layer States Manager, create a new layer state or select an existing one. Click Export.
  4. In the Export Layer State dialog box, enter a file name and specify a location for the file.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Click OK to close each dialog box.

To restore layer settings

  1. At the command prompt, enter Layer on the command line.
  2. In the Layer Properties Manager, click Layer States Manager.
  3. In the Layer States Manager, select a named layer state.
  4. Select the settings that you want to restore.
  5. Click Restore.
  6. Click OK

Now you should have the correct layer information in drawing C!

Grip edits not working

Introduced quite a while back for polylines and a while back for hatch, these allow you to add, edit and stretch existing lines by editing the blue square grips.


However sometimes on polylines the edit menu for removing does not appear. This is usually due to two overlapping grips being present in the same space.


To solve this problem, move the grip between the two points that don’t work to reveal the hidden overlapping grips. Now you should be able edit the grips again.


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!