Its seemed like forever waiting for AutoCAD 2008 to be released. Its finally here and awaiting to start shipping. So hopefully by now everyone has been reading all over the blogs sphere the major enhancements in AutoCAD 2008. Annotation Scaling, MLEADERS, Table enhancements, and all that jazz. I'll be providing some real world examples on how I use Annotation Scaling in production to help people be aware of the PROS and CONS of annotation scaling. Its not a new feature that you can immediately jump into without properly planning ahead. I'll get to that in another post later, but for now, its about the little enhancements.
So here are some of the extremely helpful little enhancements inside AutoCAD 2008 known as F3 items.
First off my favorite new feature inside AutoCAD 2008. Its called Layer Lock & layer ISO Fade. This new feature allows users to fade back locked &/or isolated layers. The fade intensity can be controlled by LAYLOCKFADECTL system variable. The initial value is 50, but I would recommend 65 or 70 for the fade intensity, but the initial value of 50 isn't too bad either. The reason why this new feature is my favorite is I use it to fade back all xrefs inside the drawing. I can then easily identify all the objects in my drawing that are not an XREF and make my changes as necessary. Before I was crossing select items trying to see what was part of an xref and what was not. Trust me this is a great new enhancement. Again this works with LAYISO (Isolates current layer) as well, because once you initiate the LAYISO command and select your objects, all remaining layers turn to a locked layer. Don't worry you can still get the OFF effect like before from the SETTINGS option inside LAYISO.
Some of the other nice F3 items are in the Sheet Set Manager Category. I believe there is two new enhancements related to the SSM. The first of them is the new Drag & Drop functionality to add sheets to the Sheet Set Manager. Simply hold CTRL to pick you desired layouts, then drag and drop them into the SSM desired subset. The only problem with this new functionality is it asks you each time what layouts you want to import, even though you actually selected them. But does have them pre selected for you, so all you need to do is hit Import. The second enhancement is the ability to reverse order when publishing using page setup overrides. Previous releases you were stuck with the default plotting based on the order they were in the SSM.
The final F3 item I'll discuss about in this post is the new layout enhancements. They added two new enhancements related to layouts that have been major pains in the past. The most significant change is the ability to drag and drop layouts into different orders in the layout list. Before you would have to use the dialog box where you had to try and place each layout at the end of the list and organize from there. What a pain that was!! Now its a simple drag and drop and done. The last layout enhancement is the ability to rename layouts directly on the layout tab.
Hope this gave you a little taste of some of the smaller enhancements inside AutoCAD 2008. This just scratches the surface on the laundry list of new features inside AutoCAD 2008.