CADnotes CAD Tutorials and Best Practices for professionals and students Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:36:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Black Friday: 40% OFF for CADnotes e-book Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:22:56 +0000 Many online store offer Black Friday deals. And so do we!

You can get 40% off for CADnotes e-book by using BLACKFRIDAY2014 as discount code. This code is valid until November 28th MST time.

You can use this discount code to purchase these e-books:



AutoCAD Block Best Practices
This e-book will teach you everything about AutoCAD block. Create, manage and automate the block.
In this e-book is provided examples how you can use it to make your AutoCAD drawing smarter.


Document Management with AutoCAD Sheet Sets
This e-book will teach you how to utilize AutoCAD Sheet Sets to manage your drawings. It allows you to find your drawing easier, further use of text fields, create sheet list automatically, and publish multiple drawings with a few clicks.



You only have about 2 days before the discount code expired. So hurry up!

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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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AutoCAD 2015 Geolocation Online Map hotfix Fri, 07 Nov 2014 08:36:58 +0000 If you have problem with Bing map is not displaying when you use Geolocation map, it was because there was a change on Bing server side. It prevents AutoCAD from downloading it.

Autodesk recently released this hotfix to fix the issue. If you try to activate the Geolocation tool now, you should see a popup saying a hotfix is available.

However, you can also install the hotfix by downloading the hotfix.

You can download the hotfix in Autodesk Knowledge Network here.

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Work Better with AutoCAD challenges – training video winners Thu, 06 Nov 2014 06:57:31 +0000 student discussion

In the last few months, we have several challenges for you.The main goal is to increase your productivity with AutoCAD. This is not a contest, I expected we can help each other to improve. However, for most active participants who give value to the discussions, I promise to provide some prizes.

The prizes are intended to provide more resources for you to learn. So CADnotes and Infinite Skills provide two training video titles for the winners.

The four lucky winners

After all the challenges are completed, we pick four people who win the training videos:

AutoCAD Sheet Sets

The participant who win AutoCAD Sheet Sets training video are:

  1. Monica Fischer   (mf_ar***
  2. Rocky Sinyard    (rocky***@alpligh***.com)

AutoCAD Blocks and Dynamic Blocks

The participant who win AutoCAD Blocks and Dynamic Blocks training video are:

  1. Chris    (yal***
  2. Candida Tate    (omi***

You will receive an email with instruction to download your copy from Infinite Skills.

If you don’t win

If you don’t win but you want to purchase learning resources, we list our e-book, Autodesk Official Press and training videos in our e-store.

Connect with us for learning materials

If you haven’t, we encourage you to subscribe to our email newsletter so you won’t miss our new articles. You can choose topic that you want to follow in the registration form.

If you have social media account and prefer to connect there, you can join the community on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. In our social media account, we also share older tips that you might miss and tips from other resources.

Thank you for your participation, we really appreciate that! Don’t forget to run all the challenges more than once, to improve your workflow!

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This is why Revit 2015 content libraries takes a long time to install Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:04:48 +0000 When you try to install Revit 2015, you may find it takes a very long time when it gets to Revit content libraries. You may also find that the library folder is empty or not complete.

waiting installation

The reason is the installer downloads the Revit contents when you run the installer. Depends on your internet connection speed and the contents you selected, it can take hours to complete the installation.

I find this quite annoying, even after downloading a huge installer we still need to download the content. And sadly, there is no direct download link so we can download Revit contents separately. I found that using browser download is much more reliable.

If you need to add/reinstall the contents

If you find your library is not complete or you want to add default content, you can see how to do it in this Autodesk knowledge base page.

Make sure you have good internet connection when you do this. Probably the best time is before leaving office and just leave your computer on overnight.

Installing on multiple computers

Downloading the contents on single computer is annoying. But when you need to do this for multiple computers, then it’s frustrating. These are the workaround that I suggest you to avoid downloading the Revit content libraries.

Copy/share the content from other computer

My suggestion is you install the contents only on one computer. I have all the contents on my USB drive, and when I need to install Revit contents I just copy it from there.

When you need to install it on other computer, unplug the network cable or disable the internet connection. When the installer can’t connect to Autodesk server, it will continue to install the other items.

After the installation is completed, you can copy the contents from the first computer to other computers.

The default location for Revit 2015 contents is C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2015. Copy the whole folder to the new computer.

After you copy the files, you need to change the file location settings to the contents folder.


The alternative is to copy the contents to server and set the Revit file location to that shared folders.

Upgrade your old contents

If you have older version of Revit you can just upgrade the old default contents to Revit 2015 version. So you don’t need to download the contents at all. You will need to do this for your custom contents anyway.

Unfortunately, you can’t upgrade RFT (Revit family template).

There are two ways to do this easily.

Content Batch Utility

Revit provides content batch utility to allow you upgrade multiple files automatically. Revit will open the file and save it without you need to do the operation for each file.

You can find the utility in the installation folder below:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2015\en-US\Utilities\ContentBatchUtility

You can find how to use this utility by reading the readme file provided in that folder.

Bulk File Upgrader

You can also download Bulk File Upgrader from Boost Your BIM. This plugin do exactly the same with Content Batch Utility, but provides UI to allow you do it easily.


It works flawlessly when I try to upgrade the whole RVT 2014 folder to Revit 2015 version.

You can download it in Autodesk Exchange Apps here.

To sum up

Autodesk doesn’t include Revit 2015 contents in the installation media. You will download the files during installation. So if you find it takes a very long time to finish the installation, it’s normal. Especially if you choose many contents to install.

This however, is not fun when you need to install on multiple computers. It’s better to install Revit without internet connection, so it will skip downloading the files.

You can copy and configure the file location later, which is much more faster than downloading it on each computer.

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One AutoCAD dimension style, different appearances Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:14:23 +0000 You may need to have dimensions with slightly different appearance. Like the image below.



The linear dimension use architectural tick as arrowheads and has mm as suffix. The radius dimension use closed filled arrowheads and no suffix.

But the other properties are the same.  The text, the dimension lines and all other properties are the same.

You can create another dimension style, but there is a better way to accomplish this: by creating a child dimension style.

happy computer user

The benefits

The benefits of creating a child dimension style are:

  1. Less dimension styles to manage.
  2. You don’t need to change dimension style when you create different dimension type.
  3. When you need to modify the dimension style, all changes in master style will be reflected to the child styles.

Working with child dimension styles

Open Dimension Style Manager. You can open it by typing DIMSTYLE.


Let’s start with ISO-25 style. Click to choose it and click new button on the right side. AutoCAD will open a dialog box.

Change in “Use for:” drop-down selection to Linear Dimensions.


This will make a child dimension style that’s only used for linear dimension. Click continue.

Now make changes to the new style. Let’s change the arrowheads to architectural tick.


You can also try to add mm for suffix.


Click OK to close the modify dimension style dialog.

Now check the styles list. You have linear as child style. Check the preview.

See the arrowheads for angular and radius dimensions. They look different to the linear dimensions.


Now try to use that dimension styles for creating linear, angular and radius dimension.

That is pretty cool, isn’t it? Now you can use one dimension style but looks different on each type of dimensions!

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