Match Properties

I have found that match properties has a settings box! This allows for selective matching rather than total matching. I never knew of this before! Have a look at this:

Cursor Trouble

So you got a nice shiny new machine, an AutoDesk certified graphics card and you’ve just installed the latest version of AutoCAD. All is great, you have lots of new features to help you productivity and you are steaming along. Then you insert an image and this image has a white background. Then your world falls apart. You can no longer see your cross hairs.

You have white cross hairs on a white background.

Don’t worry this problem can be sorted by turning off 3D acceleration. For some unknown reason AutoCAD does not have dynamic cursor colour when 3D acceleration is on!

Type 3DCONFIG in the command line, click “Manual Tune” and uncheck “Enable Hardware Acceleration”. The dynamic cursor colour now works.

Once you have undertaken the task needing the dynamic cursor colour feature you will probably want turn the acceleration back on.

3dconfig box

Paperspace Dimensions

One of my colleagues asked today, how do I get those paper-space dimensions to work?  As I tend to dimension in Model space (I need to research associative dimensions) on differing layers per style I never see the need to use paperspace dimensions.

So after a quick perusal of the Dimension style box, there is a check box to make the style to scale to paperspace. Cunningly called “Scale dimensions to layout”!

Dimension check box for paper space.
Dimension check box for paper space.

However strangely this did not work. After further searching I found that if the paperspace dimension is different when snapped to differing scale viewports then the DIMASSOC variable is most likely to be set to 1. Set it to 2. Then all will be good.


There has always been a way of adding areas of polylines up in AutoCAD as far back as I can remember but it was always hard to remember with lots of areas which were included.

Not any more. AutoCAD has subtly added a new feature (I like these sort of improvements) where it now highlights the areas added.

Area –> A (for add) –> O (for Object), gets you to the add mode for areas and this is what you get, a nice green highlight when the object is selected. Ah, that was satisfying!

Area Add Mode
Area Add Mode

Rotating LT

One of my colleagues asked this morning how to easily rotate the view (and UCS) to help with drawing, now in full version of AutoCAD this is simplicity itself.

Rotate from Viewcube
Rotate from Viewcube

Just click on the arrows above the Viewcube to rotate the view and UCS simultaneously.

In AutoCAD LT this is more difficult, you can either use one of several command line methods, either using PLAN or UCS by object etc.

OR, this method seems to be easier (though it needs a little setting up). And here is how to do this.

Firstly, AutoCAD (LT) 2013 seems to come “out-of-the-box” with certain Panels turned off in the Ribbon. One of which is the UCS coordinate panel (why would they do this?) on View Tab.

Turn on coordinates panel.
Turn on coordinates panel.

Click on the View Tab and then right click anywhere on the panels below, then go to Show Panels, Coordinates. Now you have the coordinates panel which should have been there in the first place.

Secondly you need to make sure the view rotates with the UCS when you change the UCS. To do this click on the little arrow to bottom right of the Coordinates Panel, this brings up the UCS options box, Click “Update view to Plan when UCS is changed.” Click OK!

Enable Plan to Rotate with UCS
Enable Plan to Rotate with UCS

Now we are ready to go! (Phew!)

Rotate about the Z axis
Rotate about the Z axis

Click on the drop down menu which has Axes and a rotate arrow. Click on the Z icon and voila you can now rotate around the Z axis and the drawing will follow. The default selection is 90 degrees so hitting enter after clicking will rotate by 90 degrees.

So now its “one click and enter” to rotate the view and UCS in AutoCAD LT versus the “one click” in full version, hopefully a simpler method than all the command line options!

Flat World

One of my colleagues today could not work out why he could not draw vertically on the screen. All that would happen is the lines would draw horizontally. First I though it was a glitch and restarted AutoCAD but the problem persisted. It was not ORTHO or POLAR problems but actually a UCS problem.

The UCS had been set so that the drawing was being viewed from the side. All lines were being drawn on another plane! A quick, UCS (enter), W (enter) corrected the problem!

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!