January 09, 2010

Unexpected Automatic Offsets?

If you have ever used the out-of-the-box Door or Window tools with the Offset/Center option current, and wondered why the offset amount always defaults to 6" (Imperial tools), read on. My office's standard offset for Doors is 6" and that is usually the default value for me, so I would not have noticed. But thanks to this post in the Autodesk AutoCAD® Architecture Discussion Group, I discovered that the Door and Window tools on the Imperial Doors and Windows palettes in the Design Tool Palette Group have a "hidden" offset setting of 6". So even if your default offset is set to something else, when using the tool the value will be set to 6".

At first glance, it does not appear that there is any such setting. As shown below, the properties of the Hinged - Single Door Tool do not appear to include a preset offset value.
The Position along wall property is set to "--", which means that the current default value for that property (check the Properties palette after executing the tool to see what that is) will be used. If it is Offset/Center, then the value of the Automatic offset property will control what the offset value will be. But that property does not show up unless Position along wall is set to Offset/Center, in either the Properties palette or the Tool properties. So set the Position along wall property to Offset/Center in the Tool's properties, and the "hidden" Automatic offset property value will appear.
If you do not want this set to 6", set it to a different value, or use the dropdown list to choose "--" to allow the current default value to be the initial value after executing the tool. If you do not want Offset/Center to be the initial value for Position along wall, then reset that to "--" and click OK.

You will need to do that for all of the tools on the Doors and Windows palettes, if you do not want to have the 6" Automatic offset value. The good news is that the tools in the Design Tool Catalog - Imperial do not appear to have a hidden preset value assigned to them. I checked all of the Door tools, and a few of the Window and Door/Window Assembly tools, and the Automatic offset property was set to "--" in each. The generic tools on the Design tab also do not have a preset value.

Users of the US Metric out-of-the-box profile should not feel left out; there is a 125 mm preset offset on the Window tools and all of the Door tools except for the Overhead Sectional tool. I spot checked a few of the Design Tool Catalog - Metric and all of those did not have a preset Automatic offset. I spot checked a few of the out-of-the-box Door tools for the AutoCAD Architecture (UK) profile and none of those had a preset value.

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