A Few Items that Drive me Crazy in AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture


Problem #1 - Xref Layers

I think it safe to say that everyone who uses AutoCAD on a daily basis has pet peeves that they wish would go away with just a wave of a magic wand. 

I don't do a lot of high production work anymore, just part of moving up the food chain I guess, so I forget what people have to deal with.  I recently had to run through a lot of drawings making changes to local layers and found myself having to repeat the process of Selecting the Xref Layer icon in the Layer Properties Manager and checking the Invert Filter box to more easily see my local layers.

The stupid thing about the "Invert Filter" setting is that it never remains set; when you re-open a drawing file you'll likely find the Xref filter on but that's it.


Solution #1 - Xref Layers

I remember running into this problem years ago but I never stopped to write about my solution.

In the illustration to the right I show that I have Selected the "New Property Filter" button in the Layer Properties Manager Palette and named it, "All Local Layers".  The only field I typed anything into under the Filter Definition category is the Name Field.  Here I used an old DOS character, the tilde (~), to specify that I don't want the following.  In other words, I wrote "~*|*" to invert the list of layers that have a pipe (|) in their names (all Xref's have a pipe).

With this new Layer Property Filter, I get the same results as setting the Filter to Xrefs and Inverting it but with the added benefit that this Filter will remain active in my drawing file whenever I re-open it.


Problem and Solution #2 - Annotative Object Display

In the illustration to the right I show what happens, by default, in AutoCAD when you select an Annotatively Scaled Object that has multiple scales: you see all of the scale sizes.

Though I think it is a great and even necessary feature to see all of the scaled objects, it isn't something I want to deal with during the majority of my work.

The solution is to change the system variable, "SelectionAnnoDisplay" to zero (0) and you won't see all of those other scales.


Problem and Solution #3 - Mtext Width and Annotative Scales

In the illustration to the right I show what often happens on Plans where labels have been set to use Annotative Scaling and a Background Mask: when the scale is changed, the Width may shoot out into space.

The solution, particularly for Plan labels, is to use Mtext with zero (0) Width.  When you specify the first corner for your Mtext, notice that you can type "W" on the command line instead of specifying a second point.  Type "W" and set the Width to zero (0).  If you combine this with the Background Mask setting, your labels won't need to be adjusted for every scale.



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