Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Do I "EXPLODE" a Group?

I was asked this question twice this week already so I thought it would be good to post the answer for others.

To "explode" a group, use the  AutoCAD command: UNGROUP

Of course "exploding" a group may not be the best choice for every situation. In groups, if you just want to grip edit something within the group, set the system variable GROUPDISPLAYMODE to 0. This setting will display grips on all objects in the selected group. It will preserve the group while allowing you access to grips to make changes to individual objects within the group.

Here are a few images to show the difference between the three settings available in the GROUPDISPLAYMODE system variable. Each image shows a group consisting of an mtext object and a rectangular wipeout that has been selected within a drawing.

With GROUPDISPLAYMODE set to 0, the grips on all objects in the selected group will be displayed. Notice that I can adjust the limits of the wipeout or the width of the mtext object.

With GROUPDISPLAYMODE set to 1, a single grip at the center of the grouped object will be displayed. Notice the single grip at the center? With this setting I can't adjust the limits of the wipeout or the width of the mtext object.

With GROUPDISPLAYMODE set to 2, a group bounding box and a single grip at the center of the grouped object will be displayed. The only difference between this setting and the previous setting is that with the bounding box visible I can see the limits of the objects in the group.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Autodesk University 2012 Classes Posted

The materials and recordings for the 2012 Autodesk University classes have been posted. You can access the class list here:

You must have an AU account to access the classes. If you don't have an AU account, you can sign up for one here.

Since the announcement about this just went public, you may notice the website being a bit slow to respond. Just be patient because there are so many good classes available. In case you feel overwhelmed when you see the class listing, just refine your search such as Software: Civil 3D. There's even a filter for Language: Portuguese.


OSNAPZ to the Rescue

Do you remember the Almond Joy/Mounds commercials?

(Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.)

The OSNAPZ command in AutoCAD reminds me of those commercials.

(Sometimes I want elevation, sometimes I don't.)

The OSNAPZ command is an easy way to switch between snapping to an elevation and forcing an elevation when creating or editing AutoCAD objects. When drafting in both the Civil Engineering and Land Surveying fields, both options are useful.

From the AutoCAD help documentation:

With OSNAPZ set to 0, OSNAP uses the Z-value of the specified point. For a polyline, the elevation selected for the first vertex will be assigned as the elevation of the polyline.

With OSNAPZ set to 1, OSNAP substitutes the Z-value of the specified point with the elevation (ELEV) set for the current UCS. With the system variable ELEV set to 0, the elevation will default to 0 for all selected points.

Now hopefully I can finally get that song out of my head.