One of my colleagues was asking, why can I not turn the frame off around this imported image? IMAGEFRAME was not turning the frame off. It turns out that the drag-and-dropped image was actually a PDF, and therefore the frame is controlled by PDFFRAME, so its worth noting the imported image type in order to control things like this.

However, it should be noted that all “frame” commands (IMAGEFRAME, PDFFRAME etc. can now be controlled by one single command FRAME. This appears to be valid from version 2012 onwards.


Excerpt from help, AutoCAD 2013 (c) AutoDesk.

Changing the setting for FRAME changes the IMAGEFRAME, DWFFRAME, PDFFRAME, DGNFRAME, XCLIPFRAME, POINTCLOUDCLIPFRAME, and WIPEOUTFRAME settings to the same setting as the new FRAME setting.

0 – The frame is not visible and it is not plotted. (The frame temporarily reappears during selection preview or object selection.)

1 – Displays and plots the frame.

2 – Displays but does not plot the frame.

3 – The settings vary for all objects with frames in the current drawing: images, underlays, clipped xrefs, clipped point clouds, and wipeout objects do not all have the same frame settings.

Power Command Line

I discovered today that some code can be typed straight into the command line in AutoCAD. I had not realised this, I thought all code had to be loaded as a routine.

The following changes the PSLTSCALE for all layouts!


(foreach lay (layoutlist)(command "_LAYOUT" "_Set" lay "PSLTSCALE" 0))


UCS World

I received a set of drawings today from a colleague, whilst this is not unusual, the drawings all had differing UCS settings, which was unusual, most of my colleagues do not touch the UCS.

Usually I reset the UCS to world and carry on. I like my modelspace to to be set to world so when I copy and paste the rotation stays the same to the screen. I tend to then rotate the UCS in viewports as and when required.

This time, typing UCS, W to reset to world UCS left me with this, a wonky UCS.

Wonky UCS
Wonky UCS

The UCS is wonky, or Y is not up the page. The square in the UCS indicates it is set to WORLD, so I was confused.

The problem was not that the view was set to the UCS but the UCS was (kind of) set to the view. I will explain. (See bottom of post for a quick explanation).

If you type VIEWTWIST, it should be set to 0 for the UCS to be the way I wanted it. I found it was set to 270!


Now I have run into another problem, the VIEWTWIST variable is readonly!

So lastly I found that typing PLAN and setting to WORLD reset everything to how I wanted.


Interestingly this problem seems to be similar to the one a while back with rotating the view in AutoCAD LT.


For a quick method of the above, if the UCS is not in the default position and it is set to world, then the view has been rotated. To rotate the view back, type PLAN, then WORLD. Or click on the arrows above viewcube in full AutoCAD.

Rotate from Viewcube
Rotate from Viewcube


One of colleagues today noted that today he had annoying boxes. When I looked at his screen he had something like this.

Strange Boxes
Strange Boxes

These strange annoying boxes are constraints, part of AutoCAD’s parametric system, found under the Parametric Tab on the ribbon (strangely).

In order to use constraints you need to click the INFER constraints button on the bottom left of the status bar. This allows objects drawn in this mode to have the Parametric constraints. This button looks like this

Turn on Constraints
Turn on Constraints

Or this, depending on whether you use icons or not.

constraints01Once on you can draw your objects to be constrained. Here I have drawn a rectangle and a polyline. If I move the polyline the rectangle will deform as the polyline and the rectangle are linked or constrained together.



If you do not want this constrain feature on this object anymore you can click on the object and then delete constraints on the ribbon.


Once removed the object returns to a plain old rectangle polyline.


Remember to turn off the INFER constraints button before drawing anything else as all items drawn will have this parametric capability.



Not the Point

One of my colleagues had put a point in a block to stop it from “growing in size”. Whilst this is an ingenious work-around, it is easier to control the size of points if you don’t want them to be massive when zoomed out in a drawing.

If you type DDPTYPE into the command line you will get this dialogue box.


The circle with a cross is my usual selection for style, the point size can be relative to the screen, where 5% is usually about right, or for my colleague’s requirements, absolute. This is in the base units for the drawing, e.g. MM or INCHES.

Note that you can set POINTS to be tiny dots and therefore nearly impossible to see and these do not scale at all. This is useful as sometimes a drawing can be full of points that are “invisible”.

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.

They Keep Popping Up!

If you, like me have been using AutoCAD for too long, you will find warning messages annoying as you already know from experience something is wrong. For example when plotting a drawing from another company, you will know that the plotter will be set wrong as you don’t have the same plotter! But a nice friendly pop-up says, “this plotter cannot be found”.

So you want to turn them off? Here’s how!

There are three variables in AutoCAD (that I have found) that control pop-ups. First is EXPERT, second is PEDITACCEPT and the third is PLQUIET. I will go into depth on what they do below.


When looking up these variables in the help system, the answer is quite helpful! These are listed below (copyright AutoDesk).


0 Issues all prompts normally.
1 Suppresses “About to regen, proceed?” and “Really want to turn the current layer off?” (-LAYER)
2 Suppresses the preceding prompts and “Block already defined. Redefine it?” (-BLOCK) and “A drawing with this name already exists. Overwrite it?” (SAVE or WBLOCK).
3 Suppresses the preceding prompts and those issued by the LINETYPE Command prompt (-LINETYPE) if you try to load a linetype that’s already loaded or create a new linetype in a file that already defines that linetype.
4 Suppresses the preceding prompts and those issued by UCS Save and VPORTS Save if the name you supply already exists.
5 Suppresses the prompt, “That name is already in Use, redefine it?” issued by the -DIMSTYLE Save option when you supply the name of an existing dimension style. Suppresses the same prompt issued by the -SCALELISTEDIT Add option.

When a prompt is suppressed by EXPERT, the operation in question is performed as though you entered y at the prompt. Note: Setting EXPERT can affect scripts, menu macros, AutoLISP, and the command function.


0 Displays plot dialog boxes and nonfatal errors
1 Logs nonfatal errors and doesn’t display plot-related dialog boxes


0 Displays a prompt that gives you a choice of converting selected objects into polylines
1 Automatically converts selected objects into polylines without a prompt