30 July 2007
Free AutoCAD add-ons          
Here is a quick list of some of the free AutoCAD add-ons to which I frequently point people. Take a look, there may be something in here you can use. Be sure to read the download page for details or changes regarding the "free" policy.

  • DOSLib - A library of AutoLISP-callable functions that provides a variety of Windows operating system capabilities to AutoCAD.
  • Deter.vlx - Makes a copy of your drawing very difficult for others to edit.
  • - Imports named views from a second drawing.
  • Layerhtm.exe - Create a printable HTML table of your layer settings.
  • New-lin.lsp - Extract all linetype definitions from a drawing.
  • To-lin.lsp - Extract a single linetype definition from a drawing.
  • Getpat.lsp - Extract hatch pattern definitions from a drawing.
  • Tlen.lsp - Returns the total length from a selection of lines, polylines, arcs, etc.
  • Autovbaload.lsp - Define AutoCAD commands that autoload and run VBA macros.
  • Dlf.lsp - Delete named layer filters.
  • CopyPlineSeg.lsp - Copies a polyline segment
  • Dwgman.exe - Drawing Tabs for MDI

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    PermaLink       Posted 7/30/2007 08:34:00 PM      Comments (1)
  • 26 July 2007
    AutoCAD Land Desktop 2008 SP1          

    Just released, SP1 for both Land Desktop 2008 versions. The standalone version and the version that comes with Civil 3D.

    SP1 for AutoCAD Land Desktop 2008

    SP1 for AutoCAD Civil 3D Land Desktop Companion 2008


    PermaLink       Posted 7/26/2007 05:52:00 PM      Comments (0)
    AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008 SP1 is out.          

    Now available, Service Pack 1 for Civil 3D 2008.

    If you want to read about it first, here is the readme file.

    PermaLink       Posted 7/26/2007 07:27:00 AM      Comments (0)
    19 July 2007
    Firefox bookmark icons          

    If you use Firefox and you save bookmarks, then you have probably noticed that some bookmarks display an icon next to them. These are known as a favicons.

    These favicons can help you visually identify a bookmark, but what happens when the wrong favicon is displayed for a particular bookmark? First off, I don't know how this happens, but I have seen it several times. Previously, the only way I knew to fix this was to delete the bookmark and add it again. This is sort of a pain since you have to take the time to put the new bookmark back in the same place. Here is another way.

    • Close all sessions of FireFox
    • Find a file called bookmarks.html in your Firefox profile. This is generally located here: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profilename>\
    • Copy this file (just in case....)
    • Open bookmarks.html using your favorite HTML editor, or Notepad.
    • Search for the bookmark that you want to edit.
    • You will see some HTML code like this:
      <A HREF="
      ...except that the data in quotes after the ICON label will be much longer. 
    • Just delete the entire ICON="" section, including the contents of this section.
    • Save the bookmarks.html file and close it.
    • Restart Firefox and pick your bookmark, the correct icon should now appear.


    PermaLink       Posted 7/19/2007 09:22:00 PM      Comments (2)
    18 July 2007
    .NET Programming for AutoCAD          

    If you are looking for some excellent .NET tips, tricks and tons of sample code, head over to Through the Interface, by Kean Walmsley from Autodesk.

    Some sample topics you will find there (with code) include:

    • Getting the type of an AutoCAD solid using .NET
    • Displaying a progress meter during long operations in AutoCAD using .NET
    • Creating a partial CUI file using .NET and loading it inside AutoCAD
    • Adding a context menu to AutoCAD objects using .NET
    • Iterating through a polyline's vertices using AutoCAD .NET
    Atom Feed for Through the Interface


    PermaLink       Posted 7/18/2007 07:56:00 AM      Comments (0)
    10 July 2007
    Tracking down why that application is slow          

    Do you have an application such as AutoCAD that is displaying any of the following symptoms?

    • Starting up slower than normal?
    • Running slower than normal?
    • Long delays when you try to run a particular function, like save, open, or plot?
    If you have already ruled out typical suspects such as a virus, spyware, malware, hardware limitations, etc., then there is a good chance that maybe the application is simply looking for something that isn't there.

    Windows and windows applications like to search for things for what seems like en eternity. How can you find out what is going on behind the scenes?

    I've been using FileMon for years to view file activity in real-time. Many times you can spot a missing file or path that your application is looking for.

    FileMon was originally developed and released by Winternals Software, available on their website, However, in July 2006, Microsoft acquired Winternals Software and now FileMon and other similar tools are available at

    FileMon (and most of the other "sysinternals" tools) are simple yet powerful, require no installation, very small in size, and best of all, free.

    After you download the program (a tiny 280k download), unzip the contents. You can unzip the contents to a flash drive if you want it to be portable or you can simply unzip it into a local directory like C:\Program Files\FileMon . You will end up with 3 files. An executable, a help file, and the EULA.

    Run the executable (filemon.exe) to get started. The first thing you will see is the "FileMon Filter" dialog. Here you can include, exclude, and highlight certain strings. For now, don't change anything, just press OK.

    Now, depending on what applications you have running, you will see a variety of file activity going on. Even if it seems like your computer is idle, there may still be quite a lot of file activity happening. Things like virus checkers, media players, email applications, etc. may be working away even though they seem idle. Now that you have seen what this tool does, how can you use it to find out what is slowing you down?

    Let's say your AutoCAD takes a long time to start up, and let's assume that the problem lies completely within AutoCAD to start with. So let's filter out all other file activity. Press Ctrl+L to open the filter dialog again. In the INCLUDE field, enter *acad*. This will instruct FileMon to ignore everything unless it contains "acad". If you have dual monitors, place FileMon on the opposite monitor from where AutoCAD opens. If you have a single monitor, position and size FileMon so that you can see the AutoCAD command line and then click the Options menu in FileMon and select "Always on Top". This will keep FileMon visible even when AutoCAD takes focus.

    Now start up AutoCAD. You will see a line after line start scrolling by, probably faster than you can read it. Pay attention though, and when AutoCAD seems to freeze up, take a look at the FileMon screen and look at the last few lines, particularly the Path and Result columns. Is AutoCAD looking for a drive letter or network path that does not exist? Maybe it's looking for an add-on file that doesn't exist any more. If you don't see anything obvious, you may have to go back to the FileMon filter and remove the *acad* filter. Press the Defaults button to allow it to monitor ALL file activity. Maybe another application is slowing down AutoCAD by running some sort of process during AutoCAD startup.

    FileMon has helped diagnose a problem where a particular DWG file just would not load in AutoCAD. It looked like AutoCAD was just locked up after loading about 20% of this drawing. FileMon revealed that the virus checker was busy scanning four, 18MB .SID files that were referenced in the DWG file. In another case, AutoCAD was taking almost a minute to open the MTEXT editor, but only the first time it was initiated. After using FileMon, it was determined that AutoCAD was finding over 300 fonts in the various search paths, and AutoCAD was reading each font once, the first time the MTEXT editor was launched.

    Hopefully, you can use this tool to help diagnose a problem that you are having.

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    PermaLink       Posted 7/10/2007 05:25:00 AM      Comments (7)