April 10, 2009

Deleting Property Sets Using the Properties Palette

Here is something that I suppose I should have known, but "discovered" today. If you are trying to remove a Property Set from multiple objects and your current selection includes at least one object that does not have that Property Set attached, you will not be offered that Property Set as a choice for removal when you choose the Remove property sets button on the Extended Data tab of the Properties Palette.

This does not apply to the reverse of this situation. If you are trying to add a Property Set to multiple objects (to which the Property Set applies) and happen to include an object that already has that Property Set attached, you will still be offered the option to attach the set.

This came to my attention because there was a drawing file (done by others) that had duplicates of two of our standard Property Set Definitions (one for Spaces and one for Doors) and the duplicates were not purgeable. The duplicates were not referenced in a Schedule Table Style, and when selecting all of the Doors or all of the Spaces in the drawing, the duplicates were not on the list that could be removed when using the Remove property sets button on the Extended Data tab of the Properties Palette, giving the impression that they were not attached.

I created two Schedule Table Styles (one for Spaces and one for Doors) to identify whether any objects had these sets attached, each using at least one property from the associated duplicate Property Set Definition. I placed an instance of each Schedule Table in the drawing, selecting all objects for the selection set for each table. Objects with ?? in the columns from the duplicate Property Set did not have it attached; objects with real data did. It turned out that there was only one Space with the duplicate Space set, which would have been tedious to find manually. A large number of Doors had the duplicate Door set, so I used the Add All Property Sets choice from the Schedule Table context menu to add the duplicate Property Set to all Doors, and was then able to use the Properties palette to remove that set from all Doors. After deleting the Schedule Tables and purging their definitions, I was able to purge the duplicate sets from the drawing.

As to how those duplicate sets got in the file and attached to objects in the first place, that will have to remain a mystery.

April 01, 2009

AutoCAD® Architecture 2010 – UI Changes, Part 2 – Resizing the Ribbon

While not new to the 2010 release, I am assuming this will be of interest to most AutoCAD Architecture users, since the 2009 release only used the Ribbon in the Visualization Workspace. Those of you who are eternally seeking ways to maximize the amount of screen area devoted to the actual drawing will be especially interested. The Autodesk implementation of the Ribbon allows for three different levels of display, controlled by the downward pointing arrow icon located adjacent to the Ribbon tab names.

When you start AutoCAD Architecture 2010 for the first time, the Ribbon will be maximized, with the full current tab in view, as shown below. In addition to the visible commands, panel titles that have a downward pointing arrow have additional commands on a flyout that displays if you select the panel title. As you become accustomed to the Ribbon interface and learn where the various commands are located, you may want to click on the arrow icon next to the tab titles to "Minimize to Panel Titles".(Select any minimized image to see it full-size; use the Back arrow in your browser to return here.)

This will hide the command button area of the Ribbon panels, but leave the panel titles of the current tab displayed for easy reference.Simply hover the cursor over one of the panel titles to have the commands available on that panel pop into view. This gives you quick access to the commands (including those "hidden" in the panel title when the full Ribbon is displayed) while giving you back nearly an inch of screen space.

Selecting the arrow icon while in Minimize to Panel Titles modechanges to the most compact display of the Ribbon, showing only the tab names. In this mode, you need to click on the tab name to get the entire tab to temporarily display, allowing you to select a command or, where available, activate a panel title flyout.

Selecting the arrow icon while in Minimize to Tabs mode returns you to the full display of the active tab.