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Archive for the ‘AutoCAD Architecture’ Category

Rent. That. Revit!

In AutoCAD Architecture, CAD / BIM Manager, Revit on September 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I’ve been waiting and hoping for this to happen for awhile now. For the past few months it’s been possible to do a monthly, quarterly, or annual rental of the AutoCAD Revit LT suite. I was looking at their site this morning, and see that now they offer a rental of the Building Design Suite as well! While this is not the ideal path long term (the break-even point compared to standard purchase plus subscription is about 19 months), this is a great solution for a small business trying to build capital or a company needing to do some temporary hiring to meet a staffing need for a large project.

I’ll post links below, but here are my takeaway points after reading through the FAQ:

  • Standalone Named User license only – no Network license.
  • Program is a local install, not the cloud version.
  • Cloud credits are provided, and more may be purchased.
  • There are no previous version rights, because no previous versions have been available on rental. The wording in the FAQ makes that sound like 2014 will be available as a previous version using rental plans once 2015 is released.

The main rental page:

Building Design Suite (Standard, Premium, and Ultimate available):

And of course, the FAQ:


Missing Dialog Box

In AutoCAD Architecture, Revit, User Interface on April 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

I’m actually posting this as a simple timesaver for myself. This is a question that comes up all the time, so don’t feel bad that it’s happening to you.   .-)  Instead of typing it out each time, now I’ll be able to just link back to here.

A regular occurrence is that often times a dialog box, window, or palette will apparently fail to launch. Most often, this is because it actually opened, but is off the screen. This can happen a lot when alternating between single- and multi-monitor setups, though I’ve seen it happen in otherwise stable environments also. The most common victim of this, in my experience, is the AutoCAD Design Center. Without any further ado, here is the magic code to get it back on screen:

Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-B-A-[SELECT]-[START]    (Just kidding. But if you don’t know that one, you should.)

Here it is for real:

Hold the ALT keyboard button and tap the Spacebar. Then tap the ‘M’ key (for Move). Then tap a directional arrow key (doesn’t matter which one). Then move the mouse and the dialog box should snap to the mouse.

Outta My Way! (Interference)

In AutoCAD Architecture on July 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

Some would call this a workaround. Well, it is.

AutoCAD Architecture wall objects allow Interference Conditions.  I use this feature to show my wall boundary being cut by recessed fire extinguisher cabinets.  The block I use for the cabinets includes a mass element, which is what cuts the wall.  A problem arises when attempting to use more than one fire extinguisher on a single wall.  Apparently there is a rule with Interference Conditions that a single item cannot be attached to a wall more than once.  Even though each instance of the block has a unique handle, the mass elements within each block all are technically the same object.

This leaves two options:

1.) Break the wall into two separate walls.

2.) Create a duplicate block definition, and make sure to copy the mass element so its handle is different from the original.

Either choice should work fine, but I chose to create a new block because I didn’t want to break the wall.  Plus, I now have an extra block ready to use next time I encounter the same problem.


In AutoCAD Architecture, User Interface on March 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Two AutoCAD tips for today:

First, the easy one.  Ever find yourself wanting to explore a design option, yet make it easy to get back to the original if you change your mind?  The UNDO command is your friend, but it can be tedious to backpedal through the undo history one step at a time.  Before you begin your design change, Read the rest of this entry »

The MText Question

In AutoCAD Architecture on January 16, 2010 at 10:44 am

Just a quick AutoCAD tip for the weekend.  A lot of companies that have used AutoCAD for more than a decade have customized their standard SHX font, especially to show symbols such as Diameter, Angle, Centerline, etc.  The common method for displaying these special characters is to use the ‘percent percent’ code (e.g. %%169).  This has worked fine for years, but in newer versions of AutoCAD, when using MText, for some reason some of the symbols display as question marks.

You could explode the MText object to single-line text to get the symbol to display, but I’m not too fond of that solution as I am a die hard fan of MText.  The solution I have used is to use the ‘ALT key code’, which works for most of the problematic symbols I’ve encountered.  The way to to this is to hold the ALT key while keying a 4-digit number on your keyboard’s number pad (make sure NumLock is on).  It can be a little tricky on a laptop, but it still works.  For example, %%169 would be ALT+0169, and %%43 would be ALT+0043 (the zero padding is applied to the front of the code).

If you have any other solutions feel free to comment.

At a Crossroads

In AutoCAD Architecture, CAD / BIM Manager on January 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

Choose Wisely

One of my users’ AutoCAD installations went horribly south yesterday, and we encountered this error that was just too good not to share.  The more I think about it now, however, the more I realize this question is actually being asked at an increasing rate in our industry.  It will be interesting to see what’s in store for AutoCAD over the next couple years.

Doctor, it hurts when I do this

In AutoCAD Architecture on January 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

“Don’t do that.”

Here is a recent glitch we encountered with ACA 2008.  We use Project Navigator, with our details set up as individual View drawings.  We then drag the defined Model Space Views in these drawings onto the Sheet to place the details.  Sometimes the wrong MSV is accidentally dragged into the Sheet, and the natural reaction to correct the error is to hit the ESC key.  For some users, if the ESC key is pressed before picking the insertion point for the viewport ACA crashes.   Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Be Afraid – Prologue

In AutoCAD Architecture, CAD / BIM Manager on December 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Due in large part to a recent thread on the Autodesk forums, I am going to be reevaluating my content storage and delivery systems in AutoCAD Architecture.  That is, the style templates and tool palettes.

Style Templates

Currently all our AEC content exists in a single ‘style template’ drawing file.  The biggest reason for this setup is the complexity of the Display System, Read the rest of this entry »