Arrayed or Dismayed

AutoCAD 2012 and 2013 use an associative array system which is overtly complex. The old array dialogue was hard enough to understand but the new one needs some serious study.

If like me and several of my colleagues when clicking or typing array are confronted with this new confusing array system and just want to get the old array dialogue back then type ARRAYCLASSIC, this will give the old dialogue box back and all is good.

I have heard good things about the new array system, plus its editable so maybe give some time to learning it!

Plotting in Style

Lineweights and plotting has always been a bit tricky with AutoCAD. Then they added named plot styles and confused it a little further. A while back they added lineweight by layer which really negated the need for plot styles altogether. I have never really understood the use for named plot styles (STB) as they just name a line thickness as “thick” or “road”. But this would be apparent from a decent layer naming system as you have a layer called “road” with the line thickness set in the layers dialogue.

But sometimes someone sends you a drawing using a named plot style without the plotstyle and as its vastly quicker to set up a CTB than a STB (for me anyway) I like to convert them. To do this type CONVERTPSTLYES and then accept the the changes. This is not really an undo-able thing so save before changing!

Lost the Plot

A colleague of mine today had a problem with plotting, all plots came out with a singlular line thickness. First I thought, that will be no plot style being used? Not the answer. Then I thought, all layers set to a really thin line? Also not the answer.

Then it occurred to me! Is it actually plotting the line weights. The answer was no, that box was unchecked! Though you couldn’t check it again as it was greyed out. Huh?

The answer is as follows:

Type PLOT (or CTRL-P, etc), uncheck Plot with Plotstyles, check Plot with line weights, check Plot with plot styles again! Now you will be able to plot with line weights again!

Autocad Plot Dialog
Autocad Plot Dialog with various settings not set

This behaviour does however seem to be fixed in AutoCAD 2013 and line weights and plot styles can be individually checked! Thank you Autodesk!

Poly on the Line

Polylines are very useful and can help drawings immensely. Unless someone decides to fiddle with the settings!

Today I found that someone had changed the default polyline width (i didn’t even know you could do that0# onĀ  drawing I was working on and also turned on show lineweights which made drawing details really difficult!

So if you want to turn the default polyline thickness back to “normal” or make it thin, change the PLINEWID variable to 0.

Really Sketchy Design

AutoCAD apparently does not support visual styles in 2D. Whether this is intentional or not is debatable but you cannot apply the sketchy style to a 2D drawing to get a “sketch”. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t plot. Not particularly helpful.Though I should have realised this as the icon cue for the style is in 3D. Oops.

Visual Styles Pallete (Acad2013)

But apparently you can use Impression to create sketchy drawings.

Thank you to Alexander for the answer to this.

Large Exclamation!

AutoCAD have added another new feature to their software in 2013. One of the guys in the office came to me and asked,

“Why do I have a load of exclamation marks all over my drawing?”

This was because for some reason the associativity of his dimensions had been lost. (Bulk re-associating seems to be impossible but I will look into that).

The new feature highlights the problem so you can fix it. If you don’t want to see this you can set ANNOMONITOR to 0. Then the feature will be off. This works in AutoCAD LT too.