Archive for the ‘The Hmmm Zone – Techniques’ Category

Moribund Overkill

13 March 2008

For quite a few years now, AutoCAD’s Express tools have included a great command called “Overkill.” It’s found in the Express pulldown menu, under Modify/Delete duplicate objects. Or you can simply type “overkill” at the command line.

However, users have complained that it often doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do when you give it a mixture of lines and polylines. If, for example, you select both a polyline and line drawn on top of each other, overkill doesn’t work. Funny that, because I’m sure it used to work properly in earlier AutoCADs!

Anyway, after a lot of stumbling around, and bearing in mind the previous comment, I’ve discovered that overkill seems to be dependent on the PEDITACCEPT system variable. We all breathed a sigh of relief when PEDITACCEPT was introduced to AutoCAD in around version 2004. Naturally, we set it to 1 so we wouldn’t get that annoying message asking if we were sure we wanted to turn it into a polyline (doh – what do they think we were using the pedit command for, then?)

Now, it seems that setting PEDITACCEPT to 1 kills that function in the overkill command. If you set PEDITACCEPT to 0 before you run overkill, then it works. Set PEDITACCEPT back to 1 after you finish and all will be tickety-boo!

Can’t Find Your Help File?

5 March 2008


One of our users had a problem in that their AutoCAD help file went missing. Instead of getting help when they pressed F1, they got a dialog box claiming that AutoCAD “cannot find help file.”

It’s an easy fix: go into AutoCAD’s Options dialog and set the Help file location under “Help and Miscellaneous File Names” in the Files Tab. It should be (for AutoCAD 2007):

C:program filesautocad 2007helpacad170.chm.

Locking Tool Palettes

23 March 2006

How do I lock Tool Palettes?

Yes, you can lock them.  You can lock them all at once by making the “AcTpCatalog.atc” file read only.  Or you can make individual ones locked by making their respective atc files read only.  You will then see a little image of a lock on the tool palette the next time you start AutoCAD.

Why are my Tool Palettes Ignoring Me?

14 March 2006

Sometimes I can create a new tool palette and put tools on it, but most of the time I can create one but I can’t add any tools and when I close AutoCAD, it disappears.

Answer: Watch where your Tool Palette Path is pointing. It has to point to where Catalog file is, NOT the actual tool palette files. It is the directory without the “s” (e.g. C:\AutoCAD Support\2006\Support\ToolPalette).The next directory down is \ToolPalettes.
Sometimes this path seems to get changed without you knowing anything about it! 



Visual Lisp Editor Toolbar Icons

22 February 2006

If you, like me, have had occasional trouble with your VL editor buttons turning black, this might help.

Q. Has anyone else experienced the Visual Lisp toolbar icons showing completely black? It requires a reboot to fix and occasionally it will do the same
thing right away again. I’m using a dual video card/monitor system.

A. This has always worked for me to refresh the icons:
In XP’s Properties – Advanced – Item:Icon, change the icon size (up or down) by one pixel, Apply, then change back and Apply again.;en-us;133733

Repair the Icon Cache by deleting it:

You could also increase the size of the icon cache:

Plotting All Colours to White

15 February 2006

How do you make a DWF that simulates the old school “blueprint” which has a blue background with white linework? Here’s how.

From: vdc01
Newsgroups: autodesk.autocad.2005
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 20:51:19 +0000

I am trying to set up my CTB plot style so that my multi-color layers all plot to white.  Obviously I am not going to print this, rather I’m going to make a DWF with a background color blue to imitate the old blue print look.

I do not want to change any of my layers colors.  Much thanks.

From: tyeelaw
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 22:35:59 +0000

Set your penstyle to monochrome first, then go to form view. Highlight the first one, and then hold the shift button down while you scroll down through all of the 254 colors. Once you have all of them highlighted, click on the color box, and go to select color. In the box under the colors, type in 255, 255, 254. Once that’s done, do a saveas, and save it to another plot style. Under your .dwf properties, go to custom settings, and in there, you can change the background color to whatever you want it to be.

From: vdc01
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 12:56:34 +0000

Thanks, that worked.  I was doing everything right except I was putting 255,255,255 in the color box in lieu of 255,255,254!  It’s amazing what one lousy digit can do! 

From: tyeelaw
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 18:26:28 +0000

For some reason, it won’t accept absolute white, which is the 255, 255, 255. It should be close enough for what you’re doing!