Understanding the Autodesk Content Browser – Part 1

The Content Browser  included with AutoCAD Architecture has a tremendous amount of organization capability for a company when used for more than just the default installation.  It is a repository of tool catalogs, tool palettes,and tools that can be shared among AutoCAD Architecture users within a company.  To assist users who desire to understand and get more capability from the Content Browser, this is the first of a multi-part series of articles on the Content Browser.

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Batch Process Drawings with ScriptPro

Many times when you are working with one of the AutoCAD-based products you will need to make the same change to a large quantity of drawing files.  It takes forever to do this one drawing at a time, so you want something available to you to batch process the drawings.  Autodesk has a free utility software available to do this, which is named ScriptPro.

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AutoCAD Architecture External Reference Tips

External References (xrefs) are an important part of working with AutoCAD and its vertical packages.  I consider xrefs a critical and key feature of AutoCAD in the AEC industry and encourage you to look into them if you are not currently utilizing them on your projects.  There are many aspects of good utilization of xrefs, but I thought I would list a few tips in this article.

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Sharing Autodesk Materials Throughout An Organization

Autodesk 2013 products allow you to create a library that contains the most commonly used and standard materials within an organization.  It can be daunting and confusing to users when they go to specify a material for something and there are many materials from which to choose.  Autodesk provides many materials Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB), companies will develop materials in-house, and materials may be downloaded, all of which creates a large collection of materials.  This article will describe how you can create a central library on the company server in 3 easy steps, from which users can select the preferred material.

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Overlay versus Attachment When Linking Files

Whether linking files in Autodesk Revit or xreferencing files in AutoCAD, choosing to Attach or Overlay is an important decision.  As I perform software training at companies, I routinely encounter many users who do not understand the difference between using the Attachment or the Overlay options.  There is not a global right or wrong answer to this decision, but understanding the difference helps you to determine which option to use to achieve the results that you require.  When you link or xref a file into your current file, you are doing that to see information that is in another file.  The Attachment/Overlay option determines how that file will be seen downstream in other files.

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Corner Windows in AutoCAD Architecture 2013

Windows have been being placed at corner intersections of building walls for a long time, but they have not necessarily been an easy thing to show with design software.  AutoCAD Architecture users have found workaround solutions for them since the inception of the software, but that no longer needs to be the case with the 2013 release.  AutoCAD Architecture  2013 now has a new command tool specifically for placing Corner Windows.

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Variable Length Grab Bars in AutoCAD

Dynamic blocks have been a part of AutoCAD since release 2006 and have some really nice usages for all disciplines.  Unfortunately, it seems that the architectural community that uses AutoCAD has not incorporated dynamic blocks to a very large degree for whatever reasons.  An item category that architects specify all the time that are conducive to being a dynamic block are grab bars of varying lengths.  I remember having different blocks for each of the different grab bar lengths that I would need on projects.  All of those different sizes can be incorporated into one dynamic block.

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Utilizing Command Tools on Palettes in AutoCAD Architecture

Since Autodesk added tool palettes to AutoCAD-based products in the 2004 release, they have been an important feature to the products.  Tool Palettes provide an easily customizable and readily accessible means of utilizing important tools to increase speed and “encourage” company standards.  While Autodesk provides a few tool palettes to get a user started, there are endless possibilities for usages of tool palettes.

In this article, we will look at some methods of adding a Command Tool to an existing palette in AutoCAD Architecture, and modifying the properties of the Command Tool.  A Command Tool allows any command string to be executed, whether that is AutoCAD Architecture related or AutoCAD related.

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MText Without Line Wrapping in AutoCAD Architecture

Mtext within the AutoCAD-based products typically has a bounding box that forces text to wrap to another line when the text line length reaches the edge of the bounding box. While this is very commonly the desired effect, there are times when you desire a line of text to remain on a single line and you do not want to keep resizing the Mtext bounding box to accommodate the length of the text line.

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Autodesk Products Are Now “Citrix Ready”

Autodesk is in the process of releasing the 2012 versions of various software packages and one of the new features for eight of the products is that they are “Citrix Ready”.  This is a major feature that will benefit many organizations that are currently utilizing Citrix Systems solutions in other portions of their organization.  By utilizing Citrix solutions, Autodesk users can reduce hardware costs and central management of the software.  Many I.T. managers will be excited about this capability.  Smaller organizations may not realize any benefit to this feature, but many mid-size and larger firms will really benefit from it.

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Creating a Default 3D View with Autodesk’s ViewCube

It seems that navigating the 3D world of a design software file can sometimes become a pain and it is easy to end up in a strange viewing angle causing you to just want to get back to a default view that you like.  Most of the Autodesk products now utilize a tool that allows you to create a default viewing angle and save that view so that you can get back to it with one click of the mouse.  That tool is part of the ViewCube.

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Understanding Roof Thickness in AutoCAD Architecture

The AutoCAD® Architecture Roof object has a setting called Thickness that is not as straight forward as it might seem.  The Thickness setting distance actually means different things depending on whether you are utilizing Plumb or Straight edge cuts.

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