February 23, 2007


The muzzles have been removed, and participants in the Beta program for the 2008 release of AutoCAD Architecture (formerly known as Autodesk® Architectural Desktop) are now allowed to discuss the new features. I have been extraordinarily busy of late (was that not my excuse last year, too?), so bear with me while I try to find time to write about what you can expect in 2008.

One item that is really an AutoCAD feature but which I have not read about yet in any of the AutoCAD® 2008 blog postings (check out Lynn Allen's Blog and AutoCAD Insider by Heidi Hewett if you have not already done so) is yet another system variable to control the way linetypes display.

"Oh, dear! Not another variable to add to the existing CELTSCALE, LTSCALE and PSLTSCALE. I can not keep those straight - and now there is another?" you might be thinking. Before you don sack cloth and ashes and head out to wander aimlessly while cursing the fates aloud, relax - this is the feature you have wished for since paper space was introduced in Release 11.

The new system variable is called MSLTSCALE. A setting of 0 will result in the behavior you know and love so well in your current AutoCAD-based product. Setting it to 1 is where the magic begins. With MSLTSCALE set to 1, PSLTSCALE set to 1, LTSCALE set to whatever your office standard is for plotting at 1:1 (it may be 1, some use 0.5, my firm uses 0.375) and CELTSCALE set to 1 (not an absolute requirement, but I would recommend having the object linetype scale for newly created objects set to 1 and only change that in very rare instances when absolutely necessary on an object by object basis), you need NEVER CHANGE THESE VALUES AGAIN!

Yes, you read that correctly. Even if you are one of the elite who understand how LTSCALE and PSLTSCALE work in current releases, just think of all the time you will save trying to explain that to the unenlightened. One of the features of the new annotation scaling everyone is buzzing about is that now AutoCAD has a scale setting when the Model tab is active, and so now that you can tell AutoCAD the scale at which you are working, AutoCAD can figure out how to scale linetypes without you manually changing the value of LTSCALE. Perhaps this feature is not "worth the cost of the upgrade" - but it is a mighty fine addition and one that I hope to be using in the not too distant future.


Anonymous said...

LT 2008, set everything to 1 and still......continuous linetypes in layout!!! :(

David Koch said...

Never having used AutoCAD LT in any version, I can not say what the problem might be (or whether LT includes the annotative text feature and MSLTSCALE).

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd found the answer to my nightmares with linetypescale when I read your blog. In particular when it comes to using the line type -batting- for insulation. Unfortunalety everything looked ok in paperspace but model space was way out.
Any ideas

David Koch said...

Unfortunately, the nature of the batting linetype is that the effective linetype scale factor (including the object linetype scale) is used to control the width of the linetype. Having MSLTSCALE set to 1 does work the way it is supposed to, but in this case it makes the width of the batting line the same, no matter what the scale of the viewport is, which is not what you want, since this is representing a real-world item, not an annotation, and the plotted width of the item varies with the scale.

I only tried this with AutoCAD lines and got the same unsatisfactory results that you did (it only works for the scale for which it was initially drawn). I do not know if there would be any improvement if this were assigned to a zero-width wall component, but I doubt that it would.

Personally, I do not use the batting linetype; I find using the batt insulation routine in the Details feature to be easier to control.