# Scratch! v. 1.2 released

Scratch – the scratchpad layer utility for AutoCAD – has been updated to version 1.2!

Hard to believe its been over a year since I released an update to Scratch.  This update is kind of a sea change for the program, see the notes below.  On another note, this is the last release I am going to issue; I use it every day, and it hasn’t been an active development project for a while.  I might post a short screencast describing how to use it.  I hope you get as much use out of it as I have.  And be forewarned, I’ve got some really cool stuff I’ve been working on.

Usage:

Note: the  symbol is a backtick (next to the 1 key)

• command:  – toggle between scratchpad layer and the current layer
• command: e – erase scratchpad (menu)
• option: a – erase everything in scratchpad layer
• option: p – preview all objects in scratchpad layer
• option: s – erase only selected objects in scratchpad layer
• command: m – move selected objects to the scratchpad layer
• command: 1 – jumps to previous layer

Release notes:

• consolidated scratch into one file
• changed CST command to
• changed EST command to e
• added options to the erase constructions (e) command
• added move object(s) to scratch layer command (x)
• general bugfixes
• general performance refinements and code slimming

# Twist Lisp

Did you know you can precisely rotate the current view of modelspace?  This is a killer way to simplify drafting and dimensioning objects on an angle, especially if you have a way to align the current view to an object.  (And we do, keep reading.)

The longhand command is Dview > Dviewblock > Twist.  Enter the angle you want to twist the current view to, and you’re set.  Why type that out every time?  This lisp will do that and more – just type “TW” to invoke.

Command : TW

• Enter the twist angle explicitly (e.g. 45 or -134.25) or…
• Align: set twist angle by picking two points (Point 1 is 0,0 and Point 2 is positive x-axis vector)
• Relative: set twist angle relative to current twist angle
• After twisting the view, the list will prompt yes(default)/no to realign the UCS to the current angle.

Right now the script only does the twist in modelspace, I’m planning on expanding it to work in paperspace & viewports as well.  When I get some free time that is.

Until next time – keep it lazy.

# Layer State Switcher

This AutoCAD lisp command transparently saves the current layerstate.  Subsequent invocations switch between the saved state and the current state.  You can go back and forth until your eyes pop out.

command: LSS
– on first run, it will save a layerstate and exit the command
– option: Previous – (default option), saves the current layerstate and switches you to the original saved layerstate.
– option: Update   – saves the current layerstate for future retrieval.
– option: Clear    – delete the auto-generated layerstates that this script creates.
– option: eXit     – duh.

# Improved Layer Isolate

This Autocad lisp combines the layeriso & layeruniso commands into a single command.  Use once to invoke, use again to turn off.  You can use fade mode or off mode.

command: LI – layer isolate with Fade Mode @ 60% (default)
command: LI – (that’s a backtick, next to the 1 key) layer isolate in Off Mode

# aCAD: Text Override Tool Update

I’ve recently updated my text override tool for AutoCAD.  In case you didn’t know, you can make the text field in a dimension read anything you want.  Ask some hardcore cad users about it, and your castle might be set upon by an angry mob.  Why do some drafters revile the text override?  Reason: lies, lies, and more damned lies.  If you can’t trust the dimensions in a drawing, what can you trust?  After years of misuse by impatient and/or lazy cad users the text overrides have developed a bad rap.  Here’s the truth, with great power comes great responsibility.  Take a gander at the screen shot below, and you’ll see what I mean.

Cool huh?  Note that none of the actual measurements were harmed in the picture above.  In the text overrides, “1 1/2″ O.C.” is actually “<> O.C.”  Autocad swaps out the <> with the measurement.  That’s some sweet stuff.

Normally to access the text override you have to plow through the properties palette and change it manually.  Pain in the ass.  I wrote this utility to simplify the process, & now you too can access the text overrides through a friendlier interface.  I built in my own frequently used text overrides (shortcuts, if you will).  I also included a few new features from the last go around.  If you open the file in a text editor, you can change the shortcuts to your liking.  Its as easy as changing a list.

Go forth and have fun!  And remember, if you use this for evil the CAD gnomes will sneak into your bedroom and smother you in your sleep.

Changes:

• Code completely re-written from version 1.  Functions more like a lisp application and less like a script.  (Its also much prettier.)
• Much more efficient and bomb proof.
• Added options: literal and match.

Options:

• L: Literal – not using a shortcut?  Use the L option & type spaces.  Requires a return/enter key to finish.
• M: Match -make any dimension’s text override match (does groups too!)
• blank line: Reset = Erase the dimension override.

Existing shortcuts: (<> = autocad’s measurement)

• e.g. shortcut key = replacement text
• C  =  <> O.C.
• CT = <> O.C. TYP.
• G = <> GAP
• GT = <> GAP TYP.
• T = <> TYP.
• TH = <> THRU
• NCT = <> [newline] O.C. TYP.
• S = <> (SKIN)
• P = (<>) [Parenthesis]