November 21, 2015

ACA: Unexpected Thawing and Turning On of Layers

If you are using AutoCAD® Architecture 2015 and 2016, you place AEC Objects on layers other than the layer associated with the default Layer Key for that object type and you have occasion to turn off and/or freeze the layer associated with that default Layer Key, you may have found that simply selecting one of the objects on one of the other layers will result in the layer associated with the default Layer Key being turned on and thawed. This makes it difficult to work with just the items on the "other" layers. One situation where this would be desirable is on a renovation project, where you have the existing-to-remain, existing-to-be-demolished and new construction objects all in the same file, and you want to view and edit the demolition plan. To do so, you would turn off and/or freeze the new construction layers, and would not expect these to turn back on and thaw just because you select an item on the existing-to-remain or existing-to-be-demolished layers.

For example, you may have a file where the WALL layer key is associated with a layer named A-Wall-N, on which new construction Walls are placed. A layer named A-Wall-E is used for existing-to-remain Walls, and existing-to-be-demolished Walls are placed on a layer named A-Wall-D. As seen in the Screencast below, if the A-Wall-N layer is frozen and turned off, selecting a Wall on the A-Wall-D layer will result in the A-Wall-N layer being turned on and thawed. A REGEN is needed to see this immediately, since the layer had been frozen, but you can also check the Layer Properties Manager to see that the layer has, in fact, been turned on and thawed.

The 2014 release did not exhibit this behavior, as shown in the second half of the Screencast. Note also that if you select multiple object types at one time, only the layer associated with the default Layer Key of the first object type selected will be turned on/thawed.

November 07, 2015

Exception in mc3.dll / mc3d.dll ARX Command

If you are running AutoCAD® Architecture 2016 or AutoCAD® MEP 2016, and get this error message after working in the program for a few minutes
then you have a damaged WHITELIST.XML file, which is used in connection with the Desktop Analytics and Customer Involvement Program features.

This Autodesk Knowledge Network [AKN] article describes the issue and provides a procedure to fix the problem. In brief, with the program closed, you delete the damaged WHITELIST.XML file, reboot your computer, and then restart AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP. Turn Desktop Analytics and the Customer Involvement Program features back on, if you turned them off, by selecting the right side (down arrow icon) of the Help split button, and choosing the Desktop Analytics and Customer Involvement Program items (one at a time). After several minutes, the WHITELIST.XML file should be downloaded from the Autodesk website (if you have an active internet connection). This file should not be damaged, and you should not experience the Exception in mc3.dll / mc3d.dll ARX Command error message.

An alternative solution to stop the crashing is to use those menu items to turn off both Desktop Analytics and the Customer Involvement Program. The AKN article describes how to do so via editing the registry if you are unable to open the program and get to the Help Menu.

  1. In order to get the full Help drop-down menu, you need to have at least one drawing file open. Just having the Start tab open will result in a truncated menu that does not include the Desktop Analytics and Customer Involvement Program items.
  2. As of November 7, 2015, the AKN article lists this folder as the location of the WHITEPAPER.XML file for AutoCAD Architecture 2016:
    C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\ARCHDESK\2016\{5783F2D7-F004-0409-2102- 0060B0CE6BBA}\\MC3
    I had that folder, but there was not a WHITEPAPER.XML file in it. I found it in this folder, instead:
    The difference between the two is the product version number folder. I had SP1 for AutoCAD Architecture 2016 installed, and is the version number after SP1 is installed. You may want to check the About AutoCAD Architecture 2016 dialog (last item on the Help drop-down menu) to see what your version number is, and look for the WHITEPAPER.XML file in the folder with that number.
  3. After not finding the WHITEPAPER.XML file in the ...\\MC3 folder, I tried searching my entire C: drive for WHITEPAPER.XML. Windows will apparently not search inside all (any?) of the User folders when the search is started at the root of C: drive, as I got no hits when doing so. After I saw the file in the ...\\MC3 folder, I tried searching from the C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk folder and then it found the file.

October 07, 2015

Dynamo Primer - Update

First Edition V1.2 of the Dynamo Primer is now available. There are now nine chapters in the primer. Geometry for Computational Design, Designing with Lists, Code Blocks and Dynamo Language, Dynamo for Revit and an Appendix have been added to the four chapters that were in First Edition V1.0. (I suppose there was a V1.1; if so, I missed it.)

Autodesk Answer Days - Revit - TODAY!

In a little over an hour from the time I write this, Revit® and Revit LTᵀᴹ users can ask questions about their software directly to the Autodesk developers and support team. Head over to the Revit Answer Day site and ask your question, or check out what other people are asking and the answers they are getting.

UPDATE: Here is a direct link to the Revit Answer Day forum. It is now open.

September 28, 2015

ACA: Assigning Display Configurations to Drawing Scales (or Not)

If you have experienced having the way your Walls and Doors (and other AEC objects) display change when selecting a different drawing scale, the most likely reason is that you have Display Configurations assigned to one or more drawing scales. When you select a drawing scale with an assigned Display Configuration, the assigned Display Configuration is set current. Depending on what Display Configuration was previously current, the change may be subtle (out-of-the-box Medium Detail to out-of-the-box High Detail, for example) or dramatic (out-of-the-box Reflected Screened to out-of-the-box Low Detail - where did my ceiling grids go?).

If you are using the out-of-the-box template files (or template files that are based on those), then you will have the following Display Configurations assigned:
  • Low Detail: 1:200 (metric) or 3/32" = 1'-0" (imperial) or smaller scales.
  • Medium Detail: 1:150 (metric) or 1/8" = 1'-0" (imperial) through 1:25 (metric) or 3/8" = 1'-0" (imperial), inclusive.
  • High Detail: 1:20 (metric) or 1/2" = 1'-0" (imperial) or larger scales.
(The above is based on content distributed in the United States. Localized content in other areas may have different settings in the out-of-the-box templates.)

After choosing the scale, you can then change the Display Configuration (back to what it was, or to some other Display Configuration), but you probably do not want to have to do that on a regular basis. So, how can you edit the Display Configuration assigned to a specific scale, or disable this feature? Use the AECDWGSETUP command to open the Drawing Setup dialog and select the Scale tab, if it is not current. (Or, go straight to the Scale tab of that dialog with the AECDWGSCALESETUP command.)

Select a scale in the Scale list box at the upper left of the Scale tab. The Display Configuration drop-down list just below the Scale list box will show the Display Configuration assigned to that scale. Select the Display Configurations drop-down list to see a list of available Display Configurations in the current drawing and, if desired, choose a different Display Configuration or select *None* to not have the Display Configuration change when selecting that scale.

Do that for each scale where you desire to make a change. Note that this will only affect that particular drawing. If you want to make changes that affect all future drawings, then make these changes in your template file(s).

We set them all to *None*, to avoid confusing casual users. If you find the feature useful, you could set up multiple templates, one for each drawing type (floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, etc.) to avoid having to reset the Display Configuration when changing the scale in a non-floor plan file. We have customized the Display System and use one Display Configuration for most contract document floor plans, so there was insufficient benefit to us to make using this feature desirable.

September 26, 2015

Autodesk Answer Days - Revit

Revit® users, it is your turn now. Got a question about Revit® or Revit LTᵀᴹ that you wish you could ask directly of the Autodesk team behind Revit? Mark Wednesday, October 7, 2015 on your calendar; from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm U.S. Pacific Time, you can ask your question as part of the second event in the Autodesk® Answer Days series.
Find out more about this event here.

September 23, 2015

ACA: Double-click on MText Does Not Start MText Editor

If you find that double-clicking on MText is not initiating the MTEDIT command, check the following things:
  1. Is the PICKFIRST system variable set to 1? If it is set to 0, set it to 1. This is the most likely reason why the double click failed. You can also access this setting in the Options dialog, on the Selection tab, in the Selection modes area at the middle left of the tab, by checking the Noun/verb selection toggle.
  2. Is the DBLCLKEDIT system variable set to ON? If it is set to OFF, set it to ON. This setting can also be accessed in the Options dialog, on the User Preferences tab, in the Windows Standard Behavior area at the upper left of the tab, by checking the Double click editing toggle.
  3. If both of the above system variables are set correctly, the final step is to verify that your customization file has the appropriate double click action assigned for MTEXT. Type CUI at the Command: prompt and press the ENTER key. In the Cusomize User Interface dialog, on the Customize tab, in the upper left pane (Customizations in...), expand the node for the ACA customization (or whatever your main customization file is called), if it is not already expanded. Scroll down if necessary to find the Double Click Actions node and expand that. Look for a node under that called Mtext and, if you find it, expand it. The out-of-the-box ACA.cuix assigns the Mtext Edit command to the Mtext double-click action.
    • If the Mtext node exists, but does not have a command assigned or has a different command assigned, find the Mtext Edit... command on the Command List in the lower left. (TIP: Type mtext in the search bar at the top to narrow the items on the list and quickly find the Mtext Edit... item.) Left-click, hold and drag the Mtext Edit... item from the lower left pane to the upper right pane and drop it on the Mtext node under Double Click Actions. Select OK to save the change and return to the drawing editor, where you should now be able to double click on an MText object and enter editing mode.
    • If there is no Mtext node, you will need to add one. In the upper left pane, right click on the Double Click Actions node and select New Double Click Action from the context menu, and then immediately type Mtext to replace the default name assigned to the new node. Select the new Mtext node and, in the upper right pane, type MTEXT as the value for the Object Name property of the node (see image below). With the new node created, follow the instructions in the bullet point above to add the Mtext Edit... command as the double-click action, save your changes and return to the drawing editor.
  4. If you have done all of the above and still are unable to double-click edit MTEXT objects, you may want to go back into the Customize User Interface dialog and see if any of the other customization files (enterprise, if you have one, or any partial customization files) have a double-click action assigned to MText; if so, try deleting all but one and see if that fixes the problem.

August 27, 2015

Revit 2016: Worksharing Monitor

The Worksharing Monitor extension for Revit® 2016 can now be downloaded by Subscribers from the Autodesk® Exchange.

Previously released extensions are listed here and here.

August 25, 2015

Autodesk Answer Days - Revit

Got a question about Revit® or Revit LT™ that you wish you could ask directly of the Autodesk team behind Revit? Mark Wednesday, October 7, 2015 on your calendar; from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm U.S. Pacific Time, you can ask your question as part of the second event in the Autodesk® Answer Days series.
Find out more about this event here.

August 14, 2015

Revit 2016: More Extensions Released

In addition to the four extensions noted here, Revit® subscribers can now access three additional extensions for the 2016 release, from the Autodesk Exchange:
  • Roombook Areabook Buildingbook 2016
  • Space Naming Utility
  • Autodesk Site Designer Extension for Revit