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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Zoom Extents on Next or Previous Drawing

Have you ever been using the Next or Previous drawing button to peruse through your drawing set in AutoCAD Electrical and come across a bunch of sheets that are zoomed in on a specific area?  Then you need to zoom out just to see if it is the sheet you really want to work on?  If you have the same pet peve as I do when it comes to this we can fix it.  It all comes down to one line in the environment (WD.ENV) file in your AeData Directory. 

The Path:

C:\Documents and Settings\{UserName}\Application Data\Autodesk\AutoCAD Electrical 2006\R16.2\enu\Support\AeData\WD.ENV

Note: {UserName} = your windows login name

The Steps:

  1. Open the WD.ENV file with notedpad. (right click on the file and click on Open With)
  2. Scroll down in Notepad until you find the line *WD_OPEN_DWG, etc.... (Note the * might not be there)
  3. If the * is there, remove it, if not move to step 4.
  4. type in (command "_.ZOOM" "_E") after the WD_OPEN_DWG,
  5. the entire line should read as follows.
  6. WD_OPEN_DWG,(command "_.ZOOM" "_E")

Now whenever a user uses the "Next" or "Previous" button the drawing will open, then zoom extents.

Until Next Time.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Change to the Move Command

Hello all,

Has anyone else noticed a change in the AutoCAD Move command when Dynamic Input is turned on?  I know a few people that have and I have an explanation for you.

Old Way

In AutoCAD 2005 and prior users would be able to select the objects for a move operation and then type in the "Absolute" coordinates such as 0,0,0.   The selected entities would then move from whatever the current coordinates were such as 10,10,0 to the typed in coordinates of 0,0,0.  Great, that is what we have been used too.

AutoCAD 2006 and Dynamic Input default

In AutoCAD 2006 a user would use the same methods as mentioned above except the results would be that the selected entities would not move.  If the user turns off the Dynamic Input it magically would move. How frustrating, we have been using AutoCAD for years and now we can't explain this result.  I found out how to have the best of both worlds, AutoCAD 2006 Dynamic Input and having it move to "Absolute" Coordinates.  The steps are listed below.

Step 1

First we need to ensure that we have the Dynamic Input is on.  To do this we need to click on the DYN toggle on the status bar.  In order for this to be active, the toggle must appear to be pressed in.  See image below.


Step 2

The second step is to activate the Settings Dialog box.  In order to do this we need to Right click on the DYN and choose Settings from the Right Click Context Menu.  See Image Below.


Step 3

Now for the magic, in this step we change the setting from "Relative" coordinates, back to "Absolute" coordinates.  See the image below.


Now try using the move command and relocating any object from the current coordinates to a new set of coordinates.  Notice the results are what we have been used to for a while.

Until Next Time


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Easily Change Verbage

Let's be real.  Almost every company I work with re-uses design data when it comes to controls engineering.  The things that change are typically part numbers because the end customer has their specific component brands that they carry as spare parts or that they just prefer to use.  Another thing that I have noticed that changes is verbage on symbols. For example one design for Customer X might have the main push button that starts the machine as "Master Start" Customer Y might have the same push button labeled "System Start" and Customer Z might have it labeled "Machine Start".  This is a very simple scenario because there is only one main start push button on the design.  But think about when you have 50 + pages of schematics and you have the word "Forward" and you now need it to read as "Advanced".  This text could show up 50 or 100 times.  A tedious task until AutoCAD Electrical.  Please read on below.

Step 1

Select the "Find/Edit/Replace Component Text" command from the "Retag Components" fly out toolbar located on the Main Electrical Toolbar.

Step 2


  • Select either "Project" "Drawing" or "Active Drawing (Pick)".  This selection is used for what drawings / items will be processed in the find and replace.
  • Note:  If you select project the next step would be to select the drawings from the project to include in the process. you can select one or all or any amount in between.

Step 3

Select the check marks by the items you wish to search for. Then give the "Find" string of text and the "Replace" string of text. Then click "Start Search".

Step 4


  • Cycle through the results.  A dialog box is show with the first result found.  The user will see all of the attribute information for that component in the result dialog box.  Any item can be changed here before moving on.  The user has the option to "Skip to Next" "Replace" or "Replace All".


  • In conclusion I feel that this command can save valuable time that can now be used on designing better products as opposed to doing those tedious tasks that we all despise doing.

Until next time


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Good Day


Robert Stein -

Hello, this is my first post to the blog and I just wanted to introduce myself.  I work for an Autodesk reseller, and I can honestly say that I enjoy my job.   I am a consultant for Autodesk Manufacturing products. Over the past two and a half years I have trained over a hundred people on various Autodesk products ranging from AutoCAD to AutoCAD Electrical all the way to Inventor. I am an expert in Autodesk products including AutoCAD, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Inventor, Vault and Productstream. I am also a certified expert in Autodesk Inventor 8, 9 and 10.

In addition to those credentials I have had some pretty good AutoCAD Electrical opportunities in my life.  I was privileged to speak at The Augi CAD Camp in Lansing Michigan for AutoCAD Electrical topics.  I have presented at AU in 2005 for my first time on an AutoCAD Electrical Project File Class.  I have also co-authored 3 AutoCAD Electrical exams that Autodesk Resellers are required to take to get support.   

I have been married since July of 2002, and in April of 2004 my wife and I were blessed with twin boys.  They are now almost two years old and are such little men.  I live in Novi, MI which is about half an hour outside of Detroit.  I really enjoy spending time with my wife and kids and watching my children grow and learn new things every day.  My hobbies include Visual Basic .NET programming,  keeping up to speed on CAD software and just learning anything technical, I enjoy watching and attending hockey and other sporting events.

Until Next Time