November 29, 2005

Out-Of-The-Box AutoCAD Tool Palettes in ADT

If you installed the ADT as AutoCAD shortcut and use it, you may have become familiar with the out-of-the-box AutoCAD Tool palette tools, and wish you had access to them when running ADT as ADT. If so, read on.

When I first tackled this problem, I discovered that I could run ADT as AutoCAD to get the AutoCAD Tool palettes on screen. Then I opened the Content Browser, which is a separate program and can be run independently of ADT. [The executable, AecCB47.exe, is located in the same folder as the acad.exe file, C:\Program Files\Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 in the default installation location.] I created a catalog, created palettes within it, and laboriously cut and pasted the tools from each palette. Afterwards, I got smarter and came up with the following:

  1. Start ADT as AutoCAD.

  2. Open the Options dialog, and go to the Files tab.

  3. If necessary, scroll down until you see the Tool Palettes File Locations category.

  4. Expand that category, and make note of the location where the AutoCAD tool palettes are stored.

  5. Close the Options dialog, and close ADT as AutoCAD.

  6. Start ADT as ADT.

  7. Open the Options dialog, go to the Files tab and expand the Tool Palettes File Locations category.

  8. Click on the Add… button.

  9. Click on the Browse… button and navigate to the folder where the AutoCAD tool palettes are stored. Leave this at the bottom of the list.

  10. Click on the OK button to exit the Options dialog, saving your changes.

  11. If necessary, change the current Palette Group to All Palettes, and you should be able to access the AutoCAD tool palettes.

At this point, if you wish, you can open the Content Browser, create a catalog, and drag-n-drop the AutoCAD tool palettes to the catalog. That is much easier than copying the tools on each palette to the clipboard and pasting them into a tool palette in the Content Browser, one palette at a time. Once you have the palettes it an ADT Tool catalog, you may, if you wish, go back into the Options dialog and delete the path to the AutoCAD tool palettes location, then i-drop them into your current workspace. That will set up a separate copy of the tool palettes, so if you plan to edit them, you may simply want to keep using them in the out-of-the-box location.

Note also that, when I did this using either method, the graphics for the tools when brought into ADT were not as crisp as they were in AutoCAD. You could always create new images and apply them in ADT if you really wanted to do so – I am not certain what impact that would have when running ADT as AutoCAD, so you may want to do that on a copy of the palettes.

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