CADnotes CAD Tutorials and Best Practices for professionals and students Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:18:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Grids are not showing on certain level in Revit Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:20:38 +0000 Do you ever have problem that some of your grids are missing on floor plans? In this example, I can see all of my grids on floor plans for level 1 to 5. But for level 6 or above, the grids are missing.

grid level appearance

If you see all of your grids are missing, it could be you turn off the grid visibility in Visibility/Graphics Overrides. The other possibility is you hide the grids in certain views.

But if you find none of those are true, then you need to check the grid lines on elevation view.

Check if your grid lines extend beyond the level you want it to show. In the example below, the grid lines are only slightly above level 5. That’s why I can see it on level 6 and above.




To fix it, all you need to do is select the grid. Then drag the grip at grid’s end until it extents the top most level.


Now you should be able to see it on every level.

Why this happens?

This could happen if you add more levels after you created the grids. The grid lines will not automatically extend their length to the new level.

That is why is most Revit books, it is recommended to set levels before you draw the grids.

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No, AutoCAD LIMITS is not obsolete Fri, 02 Jan 2015 04:03:57 +0000 Do you ever heard about LIMITS command? Many AutoCAD users think this tool is obsolete and not relevant anymore. It seems pretty useless.


Why do we have to set the drawing limits? We can arrange the drawing later in layout anyway. We try to set the limits, but we don’t really see the difference. We can still draw outside of the limits anyway.

So let’s see what we can do with limits in AutoCAD. You probably will find it useful in your job.

When do we use LIMITS in AutoCAD?

We use LIMITS command to set drawing invisible drawing boundary in our model space. This is very useful if you have to draw within a defined area.

But I don’t see the difference on my screen. And I can still draw outside of the boundary.

That’s not true. We will see about that later.

A good example in using LIMITS is when you need to draw schematic drawing in A4 paper size (or any other paper size). Schematic drawing is not to scale. So setting the boundary and having guides would be very useful.


You can set the drawing limits by typing LIMITS in AutoCAD command line then press enter. There are 3 options that you can use. The default is to specify the drawing limits.

Defining LIMITS

To define the drawing limits, you can pick points or type the coordinate. In below example, I set the drawing limits from 0,0 to 420,297. It is the size of A4 paper size.

Command: LIMITS
Reset Model space limits:
Specify lower left corner or [ON/OFF] <0.0000,0.0000>: 0,0
Specify upper right corner <420.0000,297.0000>: 420,297

Using LIMITS checking

By default, the limits checking is off. That is why you can still draw outside of the boundary. Now, let’s try to turn it on and see how it works.

Type limits then press enter again. This time, choose ON.

Command: LIMITS
Reset Model space limits:
Specify lower left corner or [ON/OFF] <0.0000,0.0000>: ON

Now try to draw any object outside of the boundary. Now you only can draw within the drawing limits!

Working with grid Snap

Let’s explore further. We can use grid snap to work together with limits. Open the snap settings by clicking the grid snap icon, then choose snap settings…


In this dialog we will explore some settings.

First, you can check “Grid on” to make it visible. You can also set the grid spacing in this category.

Second, you can force the cursor to snap to grid. The snap spacing isn’t necessarily to match the grid spacing, but it would be more logical if you set the same value.

And third, you may want to uncheck “Display grid beyond limits”. This will make the drawing limits more obvious.


Click OK to accept the new settings.


Now it begins to make sense, doesn’t it? The grids will help to complete the drawing within the boundary.

By setting the limits and grid snap, you can easily draw schematic drawing now. Not only you can see the drawing area easily, you can draw with specific unit distance easily. Without having to type the distance.

The grid spacing in this example was set to 5. So when you move your cursor, you will only can click distance 5, 10, 15, 20 and so on.


That is nice, isn’t it?


Probably not everyone needs to use LIMITS. But it definitely not obsolete, we can still get the advantage of using it. In this example, in creating schematic drawing.

I believe there are some other types of drawings can use it. And if you think it can help with your work, please share it in the comment section here. We would love to hear your experience!

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CADnotes most popular articles in 2014 Tue, 23 Dec 2014 07:54:07 +0000 It’s already December! Only a few days to 2015. Time goes by so fast, isn’t it?

In 2014, we have published many articles to share with you, and we hope they do help you to be more productive in using your CAD software.

most popular

Here, we list popular articles we have in 2014. You probably missed some of them. In this list, here are popular AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor articles we published in 2014.

AutoCAD Articles

Work Better with AutoCAD Challenges

We also publish this in our email newsletter, so if you are subscribed to our newsletter you should have received this series. This series consist of articles to help you to improve your AutoCAD workflow. We identify the process that requires a lot of time and repetitive tasks. Each challenge will guide you to improve your workflow.

It’s easy to find resources to learn AutoCAD features. But it requires years of experience until you can use it properly and have optimal workflow. Unless your company has strict policy for standard drawings.

So we share some challenges to help you work better with AutoCAD. Here, we also ask you to share your experiences with each challenge. It will definitely help the others too!

If you missed the challenges, you can read them here: Work better with AutoCAD challenges.

AutoCAD activates wrong command when using command line

Since AutoCAD 2014, Autodesk introduced AutoCorrect, AutoComplete and Synonym suggestions. They are very useful features and I like them. However, veteran AutoCAD users often use command line very fast. This often cause AutoCAD to activate wrong command.

In this article we cover how you can adjust the setting so it can work properly. Unfortunately, if this still can’t fix it you will need to turn the setting off.

You can read about this here: AutoCAD activates wrong command!

How to create Classic Workspace in AutoCAD 2015

Since AutoCAD 2015, it doesn’t have classic workspace out of the box. I would suggest you to try to get familiar with ribbon interface, as it looks like it is what Autodesk want. However, if you still need to use classic interface, we have a workaround how you can create it for your AutoCAD 2015.

You can read these articles to create AutoCAD classic workspace: Creating classic workspace using command line and UI and Creating classic workspace using CUI.

AutoCAD 2015 doesn’t show linetype on hatches

This is another new system variable in AutoCAD 2015 that you probably need to know. AutoCAD 2015 has new system variable that by default, doesn’t allow you to change linetype for hatches. You still can change linetype for hatches, but you need to change a system variable to make it work like previous version.

Read about this new linetype hatch system variable here: AutoCAD 2015 doesn’t show linetype on hatches.

AutoCAD text labels overlapped on palettes

I’m not quite sure when this has become an issue. But if you use recent version, you might find some text labels are overlapped like shown below.

Read what cause the issue and how to fix it here: AutoCAD text overlapped in palettes.

AutoCAD Graphic Acceleration Issue

I found this issue has become common in AutoCAD 2015. Autodesk does improve graphic performance in AutoCAD 2015, such as anti-aliasing option. As you see below, you see random lines like spider web across your drawing area. This is actually a graphic acceleration issue and you can fix it by disabling the hardware acceleration.

Read about this further and how you can turn off graphic acceleration here: AutoCAD graphic card hardware acceleration issue.

Create your own AutoCAD Pattern Easily

We always need custom settings. That includes hatch patterns. In this article, we share how you can create the hatch pattern easily by using AutoLISP program. This AutoLISP program allows you to create it graphically, by clicking points, not by typing the hatch pattern on notepad!

Read how you can create your own hatch pattern easily here.

Inventor Articles

Using constraints & work features in Inventor Tube & Pipe

Chris Benner shares how you can use constraints and work features in Inventor Auto Routes. Auto Routes is an awesome time saving feature. However, it doesn’t handle changes nicely.

So here Chris shows you how you can use constraints and work features to handle design changes properly.

Read more about it here: Using constraints & work features in Inventor Tube & Pipe.

Automate standard additional notes in the drawing

Adriana shares how you can automate creating specification notes in Inventor drawing.

By automating this process, it will reduce repetitive tasks and reduce human error.

Read how to automate standard additional notes in the drawing here.

Easy Design with Master Skeleton Concept in Inventor

Adriana talked about top-down design in Inventor. He shares how you can use master skeleton concept in tank design. To make it even more interesting, he uses iLogic feature for this design.

Read about master skeleton concept here.

Part Catalogue with Inventor iPart Feature

Another great post by Adriana. He shows how you can create part catalogue using iPart feature.

If you want to learn about iPart feature and want to create similar part catalogue like above, read here: Part catalogue with Inventor iPart feature.

Revit Articles

Different Revit view range in a floor plan

In some design, you need to have more than one view range. Sometimes because some components are outside of the view range. Or you have split floor with different height.

You can have more than one Revit view range for a particular floor plan.

If you need to know more about this, read about it here: Different Revit view range in a floor plan.

3 Things Orient to View in Revit can do for you

When working in 3d models, you need all help that navigation tools can give you. There is a tool that many Revit users have overlooked: Orient to View.

Here, we listed 3 things that Orient to View can help you with.

Let’s check what are they here: 3 Things Orient to View in Revit can do for you.

How to change object line pattern in Revit

Revit comes with predefined line pattern, line weight and color. But you can always change them. Here, we show you how to change the line pattern in Revit to match your drawing standard.

Check how you can do it here: How to change object line pattern in Revit.

How to copy project settings to other projects

Most Revit families can be saved as RFA files. However, there are also many settings and families stored in projects, such as walls. So how can you copy these settings and families to other projects? Probably to create a project template?

Here we show you how to use Transfer Project Standards tool. Read more about it here: How to copy project settings to other projects.

What’s your favorite?

So what’s your favorite articles from CADnotes in 2014? You can share article in this list, or other that you might find interesting. Write in the comment section in this article.

See you soon in 2015!

I see that many of you has already taken your annual leave until the end of the year. Enjoy your holiday, and hopefully we can help you to boost your productivity next year.

Merry Christmas for you who are celebrating, and happy new year to you all!

Just a few things for you to notice:

  1. You can also write for CADnotes. Read our quality guidelines here. And check CADnotes contributors here. You can get listed too!
  2. You might want to subscribe to our email newsletter, so you won’t missed our new articles. You can subscribe by filling this form here. However, if you prefer to follow our social media account, you can follow CADnotes Facebook page here and twitter account here. We also share our older articles and other resource on our social media.
  3. Because our focus is to help you to be more productive with your CAD software, we don’t focus on basic learning materials. If you want to learn the basics, we recommend Autodesk Official Press (formerly known as Autodesk Official Training Guides) or Infinite Skills training video. You can find them listed here on our e-store. There are also “Mastering” series if you want to learn advanced materials.
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Modifying techniques using multifunctional grips Thu, 18 Dec 2014 02:10:22 +0000 Every AutoCAD user is aware of tiny blue dots associated with most of the drawing components  yes I am talking about multifunctional grips, most of the time you must have used them to make minor adjustments or manipulations in the drawing like stretching and changing lengths but little are aware that a multifunctional grip can be used to perform more than that and it can be used  in a variety of ways that can enhance your productivity and also reduce time in making a drawing so here I will tell you how a multifunctional grip can be used to perform tasks without using their command equivalent.

multifunctional tool

Modifying Drawings:

Make a rectangle and select it so that its multifunctional grips are highlighted now go to any of its multifunctional grips and click on it the color of multifunctional grip changes to red and on your command line you will see **STRETCH** as shown in image.

stretch autocad multifunctional grips

Now go ahead and press enter or space bar and the command line will now show MOVE press enter again and it changes to SCALE and then MIRROR so you can basically perform all these commands using multifunctional grips without even going to any of these commands, let’s now explore each of these commands I will use rectangle to explain these tools in the examples below.


Click on any of the midpoint multifunctional grip the command line now reads **STRETCH** specify direction in which you want to stretch your rectangle and enter length that you want rectangle to stretch and press enter the rectangle will acquire new stretched length you can use similar method for other geometries as well.


Simply specify the direction in which you want to move your rectangle and specify distance the object will move to new location you can also move rectangle dynamically by moving cursor and placing on desired location using multifunctional grips, to make a copy of object instead of moving it select COPY from sub command which appears in command bar, You can also change base point of rectangle using subcommand.

move autocad multifunctional grips


Here also you can use multifunctional grip to specify direction dynamically or enter angle in command bar angle will be measured in anticlockwise direction from positive side of X axis, you can make copy of this rectangle while rotating or change the base point using options available in subcommand.


Just like previous options you can use scale too select the multifunctional grip which you want to make as base point and drag your cursor to dynamically scale rectangle you can also specify numeric value of scale in command line. COPY and BASE point options can also be found in this situation as well.


Here you need to specify second point of mirror line as the first point is multifunctional grip itself, and to make a mirrored copy of rectangle select COPY from subcommand otherwise the after mirroring original rectangle will get erased.

Modifying Hatches:

When you select an associative hatch you will find one single multifunctional grip at the center of hatch go ahead and hover your cursor over that multifunctional grip you will find a menu which is similar to the image below let’s explore options of this multifunctional grip menu.

hatch autocad multifunctional grips

Origin point:

When you hatch over an area the hatch pattern is applied to it without prompting you for a specific start point of hatch but if you want to indicate a start point for hatch so that patterns are placed uniformly you can use origin point to indicate where the origin should be taken in order to make the hatch, the following image will make this point more clear.

hatch origin point

Hatch angle

To change the angle of hatch pattern you can select this option from multifunctional grip menu note that the default angle of hatch pattern is considered zero no matter what its inclination is for example in this case of ANSI 31 Hatch pattern the hatches are incline at 45 degrees but AutoCAD will assume this to be zero degrees similarly if a pattern has vertical hatch lines then that will be considered zero for hatch angle consideration as it is the default pattern, In this case the default hatch angle can be changed dynamically by selecting hatch angle option and the hatch angle will change with your cursor click on screen to keep the new angle where you want or enter new angle in command bar and press enter.

Hatch scale

It is the separation between hatch lines or patterns you can increase or decrease hatch scale using this option dynamically, select this option now move your cursor away from multifunctional grip to increase scale and also you can move your cursor towards multifunctional grip to decrease hatch scale click on screen when you are satisfied with the hatch scale or enter numeric value of scale in command bar and press enter.

Modifying Dimensions:

You can use multifunctional grips to modify dimensions as well let’s explore some of the options associated with dimension multifunctional grips. In the image shown below you will find four sub options in the menu which appears when you hover cursor over one of the multifunctional grips near dimension arrows.

multifunctional grips on dimension


You can use this option to stretch placement of dimension on drawing area, select stretch then move your cursor in drawing space and click on new point where you want to place your dimension.

Continue dimension

To make dimensioning clutter free a method of chained dimension is used where each subsequent dimension starts from end point of last dimension if you want to apply this method of dimensioning select ‘continue dimension’ and keep clicking on next points to make chained dimensions.

Baseline dimension

In this case the dimensioning starts from one point and all the subsequent dimensions are measured from that point only to make these type of dimensions select ‘baseline dimension’ the first point of primary dimension will become base point and keep clicking on subsequent points dimensions will be added measuring from initial base point the following image will clarify difference between baseline and continue dimension.

continue and baseline dimension

Flip arrow

Here in this image you can see that both the arrows are pointing towards dimension value to change direction of any of the arrow hover the multifunctional grip over that arrow and select flip arrow the direction of arrow will get reversed.

Other multifunctional grip options associated with dimensions

When you hover your cursor over multifunctional grip near dimension text you will find multiple options which are self-explanatory I suggest you to explore these options yourself they might come in handy for minor adjustments and giving final touch to your dimensions.

Multifunctional grip associated with spline:

You can convert a spline (FIT) into spline with control vertices and vice versa by picking this arrow multifunctional grip and selecting “Fit” or “control vertices” from sub-options menu, this image will make things more clear.

spline multifunctional grips

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My new block attributes are not showing after block edit/replace Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:03:42 +0000 Homme sénior

If you modify or replace an AutoCAD block, you may find the attribute definitions are not updated.

In this example below, I need to add an attribute to the room tag block. I opened the block in block editor, add another attribute then save the block.


However, after you save the block you see the block is not updated. You don’t see your new attribute.

If you modify block attributes, you need to synchronize the attribute. You will not see the updated attributes until you sync it.

The block attribute modification includes:

  1. Adding new attributes.
  2. Deleting existing attributes.
  3. Moving the attribute and other attribute modification.

Synchronizing the attributes

To sync the attributes, you can use ATTSYNC command. You can type the command or access it from ribbon> Home tab> Block panel. Expand the block panel to see the command.


ATTSYNC allow you to select individual block to sync, or you can type block name to update all block with defined name.


After you sync the block attributes, you will see the updated attributes in your blocks.

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How to combine layers to simplify your AutoCAD drawing Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:07:27 +0000 When you receive an AutoCAD drawing from other company, you might see the layers are too many.

computer user surprised

For example, the AutoCAD drawing below has 9 layers for wall. You can simplify the list using layer filter. However, if you still want to reduce the layers and simplify the layer names you can do that easily in AutoCAD.


Let’s say you don’t use that much wall layers and want to merge them all to single layer: A-WALL.

We will see how you can do this in AutoCAD.

Using Layer Merge

You can use LAYMRG command to merge layers. You can type the command LAYMRG or activate it from AutoCAD ribbon> home tab> layers panel> extended panel> merge.


If you want to merge a layer, make sure it’s not current layer. Current layer can’t be merged to other layer.

AutoCAD will ask you to select objects on layers you want to merge (destination). You can select objects, or type N then enter to select layer names.

In this example, I use name. I type N then enter.


AutoCAD will open dialog box where you can select the layers. If you want to select multiple layer names, hold SHIFT or CTRL when clicking. Below, selected layers are highlighted in blue.


Click OK to select the layers. Press ENTER to end layers selection.

Now AutoCAD will ask for target layer. Again, you can click an object or type N then ENTER to select by name.

After target layer selected, you will see this confirmation screen.


Click Yes to proceed.

You can see the process in command line below.

Command: LAYMRG
Select object on layer to merge or [Name]: n
Select object on layer to merge or [Name/Undo]:
Select object on target layer or [Name]: N
Deleting layer “A-WALL-ELEV”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-FIRE”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-FULL”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-HEAD”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-JAMB”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-MOVE”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-PATT”.
Deleting layer “A-WALL-PRHT”.
8 layers deleted.

Using Layer Translator

LAYMRG is very useful. However, the process can be tedious. Especially when you need to do this for multiple drawings. Let’s see other options: LAYTRANS.

You can type the command or click on ribbon> manage tab> CAD standards panel.


Layer translator has 3 panels: translate from, translate to and layer translation mapping.

The first time you activate this tool, the right (2) and bottom (2) panel will be empty. You can create a new layer or load layer list from other DWG file.

Select all layers you want to translate from the left panel (1). You can select multiple layers by holding CTRL or SHIFT key.

Then select target layer on the right panel then click Map button.

Repeat the procedure until you map all layers.

You will see the translation mapping list in the bottom panel.


LAYTRANS has option to force overridden properties to ByLayer. Click Settings button to change it.


If you want to use this layer mapping repeatedly, click save button. This will save the file as DWG (or DWS).

How to load the layer translation mapping? By clicking the load button below right panel (2). Loading a DWG (or DWS) not only load layer list. If it has layer translation maps, it will load them too!

Now click translate to proceed.

Which is your favorite tool?

Both LAYMRG and LAYTRANS can do the task easily in AutoCAD. LAYMRG can be quick and simple for one time task. But if you receive tons of drawings with same layer names, LAYTRANS is a better tool.

What do you think will suit you most? And why?

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How to export and import AutoCAD Tool Palettes Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:35:08 +0000 If you are an AutoCAD tool palettes fan, you probably have many custom palettes and command inside it. It is a quick way to access your block library, custom macro, action recorder macro and more. If you already spent some time to customize it, you will want to have it when you use other computer.

The question is, how can we transfer them to AutoCAD on other computer?

The quick way, you can use Migrate Custom Settings tools or Online Sync as explained in our older article here. It will transfer and sync all AutoCAD customization so you will see the same settings on both computers.

However, that tool will copy every AutoCAD customization. When you only need to copy one or more palettes without other customizations, this is not the right way to go.

You can export and import only tool palettes by using Customize Palette.

Click the tool palette properties icon as show below. Choose Customize Palette from the menu.


AutoCAD will open Customize Palette dialog box. Now from the list, right click above the Palette you want to copy. Choose export from context menu.


AutoCAD will ask you to save the file as .xtp format. Choose the folder where you want to save this file.

As you probably have guessed, now you can copy this file to other computer. Repeat the procedure, but on the target computer choose import in Customize Palette dialog.

About block palettes

If you want to export palettes to access AutoCAD blocks, you need to copy all the block as well. Remember, tool palettes only provide shortcut to insert your block. But it doesn’t save the block definition. The block definition is still in the AutoCAD drawing, where you created it.

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Working with different Revit view range in a floor plan Mon, 17 Nov 2014 07:58:28 +0000 Do you ever need to have a floor plan with different view range? Sometimes you need to show different height in specific area than the rest of the floor plan.

Let’s take a look at this example below. There are two windows in the elevation view.



But when you open the floor plan, you can’t see the windows.


The reason why we can’t see it is because they are placed above the cut plane of the plan’s view range. The floor plan cut the model at elevation 1200 mm, but the windows sill height are at 1700 mm. So I need the cut plane at elevation more than 1700.


About the view range

If you are not familiar with view range, this image can help. This image was snipped from Revit help about view range. Read it if you need more information.


  1. Top
  2. Cut plane
  3. Bottom
  4. Offset
  5. Primary Range
  6. View Depth.

Working with Plan Region

Changing the view range is not always applicable. Sometimes when we change the view range, we see other components disappear from our floor plan. So you need to define different view range for that particular area.

You can do this by using plan region. You can find this tool in View tab> Create panel> Plan Views dropdown> Plan Region.


You will need to define the plan region using sketch tool. Draw the sketch as necessary, then click finish. In this example I only need to create a rectangular boundary.


Now when you click the boundary, you will see View Range in Properties Palette. It’s the only property you can change for this object.

Click it and change it as necessary. After you set the view range correctly, you will see the windows now appear.


Working with view range can be frustrating when you start using Revit. Many times it doesn’t work as we expected. Plan region can really help, doesn’t need?

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