Monday, September 12, 2005

I've Enabled Word Verification

I've been getting some "Comment Spam" lately that has become, quite frankly, a major PITA to deal with. Why do these idiots think that this will actually bring business to them? At any rate, because of the increasing amount of spam, I've enabled word verification on my blog. If you post a comment, you'll be asked to verify a graphical representation of random characters in order to post.

My apologies for any inconvenience, but it beats having to wade through 10 junk comments to every single post.

Creating Custom Object Tags in ADT 2006

In addition to creating your own schedules and property set definitions, you also have the tools at your disposal to create your own object tags to go with them. The process for doing this has been greatly simplified in AutodeskArchitectural Destkop 2006 and Autodesk Building Systems 2006:

1) Create your property set definition and schedule. Make sure they are saved in a central library drawing so that the schedule can be created easily from a palette-based catalog. Because of the nature of the functionality of the new schedule tags, I recommend that you store the property set and the schedules in the same drawing. I usually have a single file that I use to store all custom schedules and property sets.

2) In the schedule/property set library drawing, create the graphics that will define your tag. Do NOT define blocks or block attributes! Simply draw the tag graphics and use MTEXT (not DTEXT) for any labels or text that you want in the tag. Make sure that you keep in mind the annotation scale factor in the drawing setup dialog box when sizing your tag objects.

3) Use the “Define Schedule Tag” tool from the “Format” pull-down menu:
a. Select “Define Schedule Tag” from the “Format” pull-down menu.
b. Select all of the objects (graphics and text) that will make up your tag.
c. In the dialog box, provide a name for your new tag. Each text object that you selected will be shown in the column on the left. For each text object, indicate in the next column to the right whether it will be a text element (not linked to a property) or a Property label. In the next column to the right, indicate which property set each property label will link to, and finally in the far right column indicate which specific properties each label will reflect.
d. After selecting “OK” in the dialog box, you will need to specify the insertion point for the tag. At this point, the command will do several things that used to have to be done manually (in other words, you don’t have to do this):
*It will create a block, turning the text that you specified into block attributes with the correct formatting that is needed to ensure that they are linked properly to the properties that you specified.
*It will create an MV Block out of the block definition.
*It will attach some kind of voo-doo that will instruct the MV Block to act as a schedule tag when used from the tool palette.

4) Drag the tag to an editable tool palette (as you would any other AutoCAD object from which you would want to make a tool).

5) Modify the properties of the new tool by right-clicking on it and selecting “Properties”. Most likely the only thing you will need to do is specify the layer key to use when the tool is created.

6) Test the tag in a brand new drawing to ensure that it is finding property sets correctly.

7) Copy the tool from the palette to your custom tool catalog.

I will be demonstrating this technique during my tutorial this year at Autodesk University "Schedule Anything in Autodesk Architectural Desktop and Autodesk Building Systems". I'm sure there's still room in the class!

Finally got around to adding a feed

I've added an RSS feed to my blog. You can find it by clicking on the "XML" link on the bottom of the sidebar to the right.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Thoughts on Katrina

(Disclaimer - I don't usually post things like this here, however I feel this is justified and warranted. I will be posting a tutorial on schedule tags in ADT/ABS 2006 within the next week for those of you looking for content related to the subject of this blog).

San Antonio, where I live, has become "home" (or at least the only thing some people can call "home") for thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina. Houston and Dallas are hosting thousands more. As are countless other communities all around the United States. I was in New England recently and saw news reports of evacuees arriving in places like Boston and Manchester.

This is a disaster that has affected the entire country to some extent or another, and one whose full impact is still to be determined.

Many of us are actively helping however we can, by donating money, supplies or time to assist the victims. What we all need to remember, however, is that the victims of Katrina will need our help for some time into the future. Please plan on giving and doing what you can, not for the near term, but for the months ahead. Not only will it take months to even begin to get New Orleans on the road to recovery, many of the people currently living in shelters throughout the country will have nothing to go back to for years. This is longer than most people can take to put their lives on hold. These people will need to start new lives elsewhere and they will need the help of their new neighbors to do it.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and remember them with your contributions of time, talent and goods.

There, but for the Grace of God...

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Rumors are Just that - Rumors

I've seen numerous posts on the Autodesk discussion forums lately from people who claim to "have heard" that the ADT development staff is being downsized, or that ADT is not going to be developed beyond the current release, or the next release.

Trust me - ADT is still being developed and in fact, the ADT development team is probably larger now than it ever was in the past. Autodesk is putting a lot of resources into both ADT and Revit Building. Neither product is going away now, or for the foreseeable future.

So if you're using ADT and are using it effectively, don't let idle gossip and false rumors keep you up at night.