October 09, 2010

ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 1

One item that has changed in the 2011 release* of AutoCAD® Architecture is the way that openings (Doors, Windows, Door/Window Assemblies and Openings) are placed in Walls. Instead of a choice between Unconstrained and Offset/Center, you now have three choices: Unconstrained, Offset and Center. While you may initially miss having Offset and Center available at the same time, I am told that these needed to be split into separate options, in order to enable the new "Space Evenly" options that allow you to place multiple, evenly spaced, Doors or Windows in one operation. Also new is the choice to have the offset or centering boundaries be Walls (as before) or Grid Lines. Any type of grid (Layout, Column, Ceiling) will work, although Column and Layout will most likely be the ones most often used. I will take a look at these new options in the next few posts.

You will want to have your Properties palette open when placing openings in order to have control over the placement. (You can also make use of Command-line prompts or Dynamic Input, although the latter is failing to display a list of Position options for me.) Look on the Design tab, under the Location category, which is at the bottom of the tab. Notice that the first three properties have an eight-pointed asterisk icon at the left side. That indicates that these properties are only available at the time of object creation.Note that until you select a Wall (the first prompt of the DoorAdd command), the Multiple insert property will be grayed out and inactive. This post will focus on placing a single opening relative to Walls. With Relative to grid set to no, the Position setting will be relative to Walls. As in previous versions, setting Postion to unconstrained allows you to move your cursor to the place where you want the Door and click to place it - or, for more precision, you can type a value into the Dynamic Dimension Input, if enabled. You may also want to turn off any running Object Snaps when placing openings.
Changing the Position property to Offset in the Properties palettewill add a new property, Automatic offset,in which you specify the distance from which the Door is to be offset from the Wall end or intersecting Wall. This should be be familiar, as it worked the same way before, only now you can only place an offset Door, rather than being able to offset or center the Door, depending upon your cursor position. With the Position property set to Offset, the Door can only be placed offset from the Wall End or from an intersecting Wall.

Setting the Position property to Center will remove the Automatic offset property, if it was previously present.With this Postion setting, the Door will be constrained to the middle of the Wall or Wall segment.
So far, the only new thing has been the splitting of Offset and Center into separate options. The next post will look at the new Relative to grid option.

Next Post in Series: ACA 2011 - Opening Location Changes - Part 2

* - Subscribers who installed the 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack have already seen these changes. The ribbon tools associated with them have been integrated into the ACA 2011 ribbon, rather than being on a separate ribbon tab, as was the case with the Subscription Advantage Pack.

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