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Autodesk University 2023 Proposals

We are back in Las Vegas this year and “live” once again. The call for proposals for Autodesk University 2023 ended on May 15, 2023. This year I submitted 5 proposals each of which are shown below. Look at each one and see if it is something you may be interested in seeing at Autodesk University 2023. The biggest change this year is I now work for Autodesk. I am a Content Designer on the Desktop Connector team and responsible for the help content and how to communicate that effectively to customers.

Unlocking the mystery behind the Desktop Connector will provide you with an inside look at what I have learned over the past year as a content writer for the product. We will cover the differences between the 15x versions and 16x versions of the connector as well as cover how to get started and find help using this tool.

The geotechnical classes (one is a lab) will focus on how to use the Geotechnical Modeler in Civil 3D to incorporate geotechnical BIM into your Civil 3D workflow.

At Autodesk, we are continuing to develop our underground capabilities using geotechnical information by incorporating the ground data directly in Infraworks, Civil 3D, and Recap. Civil 3D contains the geotechnical modeler which can import geotechnical data directly into Civil 3D. We can then take that data and display in a profile view and export it to Infraworks for a presentation.

Are you an AutoCAD user and want to start learning Civil 3D? Making your move to Civil 3D is the class for you. The advantage you have is that Civil 3D is built upon AutoCAD therefore all of the AutoCAD commands will work within Civil 3D. There is a big difference though, so keep that in mind while learning how to use the Civil tools provided within C3D.

Check out this learning pathway from Autodesk on how to get started using Civil 3D.

Have a great rest of the week wherever in the World you may be! Give me a thumbs up if you want to see any of these classes live later this year at AU2023.

Until next month, Sam


The Power of DesignCenter in AutoCAD

DesignCenter in AutoCAD can help you organize and access drawings, blocks, hatches, and other drawing content. Many people I speak with have not used or forgotten about the power behind DesignCenter in AutoCAD. DesignCenter can be used to capture objects from the template and drawing files and quickly drag them into your current drawing file.  The key is setting the home button to the location of your standards and templates.

DesignCenter can be found on the View tab of the Ribbon under the palettes panel, as shown. You can also type ADC or ADCENTER at the command prompt.




Many other capabilities are listed below and can be found in Autodesk Help.

With Designcenter, you can

  1. Browse for drawing content such as drawings or symbol libraries on your computer, networked drive, and web page.
  2. View definition tables for blocks and layers in any drawing file, then insert, attach, or copy and paste the definitions into the current drawing.
  3. Update (redefine) a block definition
  4. Create shortcuts to drawings, folders, and Internet locations that you access frequently.
  5. Add content such as xrefs, blocks, and hatches to a drawing
  6. Open drawing files in a new window
  7. Drag drawings, blocks, and hatches to a tool palette for convenient access
  8. Copy and paste content, such as layer definitions, layouts, and text styles, between open drawings

One important thing is to set your HOME status on Designcenter to where your templates are or the files you need to locate.





To do this, open designcenter (ADC), look at the toolbar on the top and notice the home button.  First, navigate to your standards folder and follow these 3 steps.

  1. Locate your template folder in Designcenter.
  2. Right-click and select Set as Home.
  3. Put all of your template files in that folder for quick access.


The next time you launch Designcenter, select the home button, and you will be taken to the default location of your template and standard files.

Just a quick tip to help you make yourself more productive.

Stay safe and healthy, Sam.





A Geotechnical Award-Winning Class at Autodesk University 2022

This year was my 10th consecutive year teaching at Autodesk University.  It was held in New Orleans which was a change. Still, many professionals attended from all over the world to attend classes, view exhibitors, network, and collaborate with people from everywhere.

But for me, the event’s highlight came about a month after the conference, and I received news that I won the speaker award for Best Lecture Autodesk Class, Investigating the Geotechnical Modeler in Civil 3D. The award is based on reviews from people that attended the class and views of the online content. I feel very honored to receive it.  This class to say the least was on the last day last time and I was concerned I would not get a good crowd. It was the best class I have ever presented and attended, it was fun. You all were incredible; the comments, interruptions, laughing, and collaboration was so much fun. You know what?  Let’s do this again in November in Las Vegas at AU2023, I will do my best to answer all of the questions you asked me during that time. I can’t thank everyone who attended enough for making that a very memorable experience.

Since the time of the class, I have started working for Autodesk and am currently Senior Content Designer working on the Desktop Connector Team. With our new platform services portfolio, the connector is vital for migrating our data to the cloud.

Look for more content provided by myself and the team at Autodesk with the Desktop Connector. We are currently developing great things to be presented in 2023

How about an AutoCAD fun tip? For those who would like to see how things were way back when I started (a long time ago) try this fun but quick way we used to access commands via the screen menu in AutoCAD

The Screen Menu

Where the magic happened was the Screen Menu. With the Screen Menu and the digitizer, we could navigate through commands in AutoCAD to get to where we needed to be. The screen menu would be docked on the side where you would select a command, and another menu would pop up.

Do you want to see how it was to work pre-ribbon and windows in more of a DOS environment with the screen menu? At the command prompt type:

(setvar “screenmenu” 1)

For example, in the image below I selected FILE then the menu came up for all the options when I selected file starting with New.












Selecting AutoCAD (as shown below) will always take you back to the default menu. If you are using the dark screen mode, it may be hard to see, but you can easily change that by changing the COLORTHEME system variable from 0 to 1











Now that I am with Autodesk look for me to post additional information about the Desktop Connector and stay connected with the team using the Geotechnical Modeler in Civil 3D.

Proposals for Autodesk University 2023 are coming up soon! I hope to see you again for Round 2 of Implementing the Geotechnical Modeler in Civil 3D.  I will collaborate with product teams to continue to help make this tool a valuable resource in Civil 3D. I also plan to explore the Collaboration for Civil 3D and all of the enhancements and changes over the past year. One of these is the Sheet Set Manager for the Web.

Have a great rest of your weekend wherever in the World you may be.




The Civil 3D Geotechnical Modeler

Summer is coming to a close and we are all busy at work, vacations, and everyone going back to school. We are back in person at a different venue this year for Autodesk University 2022. This year I will be presenting on class using Civil 3D which is named Investigating the Geotechnical Modeler in Civil 3D. Geotechnical borehole data and how it can be incorporated into AutoCAD and Civil 3D has been part of my workflow for over 10 years. From importing gINT files manually using a dxf, to using other software and the Geotechnical Module I was able to improve the process and workflows of this important data.

We will review the installation to workflow of the modeler and how it can benefit you in your design work. The Geotechnical Modeler is a relatively new add on for Civil 3D and is currently continuing to develop and change.

Check out my article in AUGIWorld Magazine for a brief write up on this tool. There have been some updates including a hatch interface dialog box which we will review during our class. The image below shows data imported via the Geotechnical Modeler then exported in 3D format to be used as a visual in Infraworks. We will cover this workflow during the session. My goal is to provide you the knowledge you need to succeed and use some new tools in Civil 3D to enhance productivity and innovation.

Some of my past classes: All images below contain links for additional information.

Exploring Advanced Topics in the Lab with the Sheet Set Manager

This is one of my many classes on Sheet Sets. There is a 100 page handout and a full dataset for you to learn from.

Staying Productive with Plan and Production in Civil 3D

The plan production tools in Civil 3D are an excellent way to become productive while working on site plans and profiles along roadways or other site features.

Investigate how to use and implement the CAD Standards Manager in the Lab

CAD Standards.  Let’s discuss how a tool that has been around for years can help you maintain and keep your company standards. This year let’s go to the lab and use the CAD Standards Manager to help us check and maintain standards within your design team.

I have been working in the industry for a long time and realize you can’t do it alone, we all need help, mentorship, and guidance along the way.  I have many friends who I see once a year which is awesome. Words can’t explain the respect and friendship we share.

My employer, CHA Consulting, Inc. recognizes the value of continued learning and development and we share what we know within our design team and throughout the company.
We currently have some openings – CHA Companies Careers

I hope to see you all in person and in New Orleans this year! I plan to be there and if you see me don’t hesitate introduce yourself to me or ask a question.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend wherever in the World you may be.

Until next month or in person at AU…….. Sam


Using the Geotechnical Module in Civil 3D 2022

AUGIWorld March 2022 will be released this week! In this issue I wrote an article on Exploring the Geotechnical Module in Civil 3D. I wanted to expand on the article and make some closing comments on the Geotechnical Modeler. At the time of completing the article Autodesk released the Geotechnical Modeler which I decided to do a follow up article next month on that topic. Keep in mind, these are two separate add-ons for Civil 3D.

I also wanted to expand upon how to get the module to work in Civil 3D 2022. With the Autodesk Desktop App or your Autodesk Account you can download the geotechnical module for Civil 3D 2020-2021. Install the module first with one of the previous versions of Civil 3D. Then follow these simple steps you can get it working with Civil 3D 2022.

If both Civil 3D 2021 and 2022 are installed, simply install Autodesk Geotechnical Module 2020-2021 by using the Autodesk app or going to your Autodesk Account.

  1. Search Geotechnical
  2. Select the Geotechnical Module (not the Geotechnical Modeler).
  3. Download and install the software.

Next with Civil 3D 2022 installed navigate to the path as shown and open up the PackageContents.xml using notepad or a word editor.

C:Program FilesAutodeskApplicationPluginsAutodeskGeotechnicalModule2020.bundlePackageContents.xml

With the PackageContents open, Change the SeriesMax=”24.0″ /> to SeriesMax=”24.1″ />

Save the xml file in the same location under the ApplicationPlugins Folder.

Launch Civil 3D 2022 and the Geotechnical Module will appear on the Ribbon as shown below. Notice the tab just to the left of the Geotechnical Module. That is the “NEW” Geotechnical Modeler from Autodesk. We will review that program and it’s features next month here and in AUGIWorld Magazine.





Stay safe everyone and get ready for the Call for Proposals for Autodesk University 2022 this week!

Tackling Tables in AutoCAD

Let’s talk about tables in AutoCAD. One of my favorite articles I wrote was “Tackling Tables in AutoCAD” published in AUGIWorld. A table in AutoCAD is a compound object that contains data in rows and columns. The table command can be launched from the ribbon under the Annotation panel as shown below or by typing Table at the command prompt.

Table Properties

Tables can be defined by a table style, which presets many of the table characteristics. AutoCAD Tables can be formatted by selecting any of the rows and cells and modifying them to meet your company standards or a client-specified request.  Let’s explore the tables and some of the different approaches we can use to become more efficient with AutoCAD. Once you start the table command, the Insert Table dialog box will appear as shown below. On the left side of the dialog box you will see a preview of how the current table style will look (i.e., Standard style).

Click on the image to be taken to a video on how to insert a table in AutoCAD

Under the Insert Options section we have three options as shown below.

  1. Start from an Empty Table: Use this option when you want to manually enter data. If you start from an empty table, you will retain the default values for rows and columns and the table will be inserted at the top right of the drawing.
  2. From a data link: This option gives you the ability to create a table from an Excel spreadsheet or a comma-delineated (.csv) file.
  3. From object data in the drawing: This option gives you the ability to create a table from objects in the drawing.

We are going to start by just entering an empty table as in Step 1 and review the properties of the table. After inserting the table and selecting a cell, the contextual ribbon Table Cell will appear as shown below. This is where you can make changes to your existing table. When you select a single cell as shown you can perform several functions including modifying the data, locking and unlocking, and insert blocks and fields. You can also access all the options by performing a right-click on the cell to bring up the shortcut menu.

Click on the image to be taken to a video on how to modify table options.

We can modify the cell size by selecting the grips as shown in the above figure and represented by the numbers.

  1. Use this grip (on the right as well) to modify the width of the cell.
  2. Use these grips to modify the height of the cell.
  3. Use this grip to increment the value of a cell automatically; right-click and the following menu will appear.

Table Linework

Under the Cell Styles panel of the Table Cell contextual ribbon you will find the edit borders section. This properties dialog box will help you define the characteristics of your lines within the table.

Upon selecting Edit Borders you will have the Cell Border Properties dialog box where you can define the linetypes and their properties of the cells within your table in six steps.

  1. This defines the lineweight of your table cell. You must have the lineweight set then select the border lines (red arrow) as to where you want the property to take place.  Note: Your change will NOT appear in the preview box; you will have to move back out to AutoCAD and turn your lineweight on to see the change.
  2. Set the Linetype.
  3. Set the Color.
  4. Yes, you can have a double line.
  5. Spacing of the cells and lines.
  6. Preview button is where you assign the properties of the individual line segments. For example, say you only want the bottom line to be a bold line—this is where you can modify that property.

Select the Cell Border Properties Image to be taken to a video demonstration on this topic.

  1. This defines the lineweight of your table cell. You must have the lineweight set then select the border lines (red arrow) as to where you want the property to take place.  Note: Your change will NOT appear in the preview box; you will have to move back out to AutoCAD and turn your lineweight on to see the change.
  2. Set the Linetype.
  3. Set the Color.
  4. Yes, you can have a double line.
  5. Spacing of the cells and lines.
  6. Preview button is where you assign the properties of the individual line segments. For example, say you only want the bottom line to be a bold line—this is where you can modify that property.

Creating a Legend Table

We are going to take what we have learned with Cell Styles and Borders and create a legend table which will contain our block symbols and a description. The power of this feature is that all your blocks and text will be aligned at the same location.  The following image shows a base map with four typical symbols that are labeled with fields.

You can perform this in paper space or model space. Move to your standard legend area and select a table with two columns (one for the symbol and one for the description) and four rows (identifying the four symbols we have in our drawing). Once your table is in your drawing select the first cell under the main header cell as shown below.

Click on the image to be taken to a video demonstration on how to create a legend with a table.

Follow the steps below to add your block to the table cell.

  1. Select and highlight the cell where you want your block to be placed. This will bring up the Table Cell contextual ribbon.
  2. Select Block from the ribbon.
  3. Select your block.
  4. Turn AutoFit off.  We want to be able to control the size of our symbol, keeping them all consistent. This is good because most legend items are not the same size.

Our table should look like what is shown in Figure 9. Note: I have added the title legend and the words recovery well location for our description. Use standard text tools and justification to get the text to appear the way you want. For the legend I used a top left justification, bold text, and underline. For the description use the middle left and a standard text.  Use the Autofill setting to copy the symbols and text to the remaining three sections. Change the symbols by selecting the cell and changing the block.

After copying all the symbols and editing the text, your final legend table should look like the left portion of Figure 10.

Let’s review the three steps to complete our legend table.

  1. Insert the blocks into the cell and create a proportional size (be consistent).
  2. Enter the descriptions of the symbol for your legend.
  3. Important!  Turn all the borders off. This way they will not print, and all of your symbols and text will be perfectly aligned in your legend.

Creating a Table with Fields

Another great function of tables is the ability to add formulas and field data. In this example we are going to use a table to display the square footage of three separate areas and then total them up all in one table. We have three areas in our drawing that are enclosed with a single object—in this case a polyline.

Insert your table into your drawing with the header, four rows, and two columns. Enter the title and the three areas as shown below. Next, we are going to follow steps 1 and 2.

  1. Select your Table Cell for the area.
  2. Select Field from the Table Cell contextual ribbon.

From the field dialog box, we are going to go through five options as shown below.

  1. Move the field category to object.
  2. Select the button and you will be taken back out to AutoCAD to select your object. Select the Area 1 polyline.
  3. Select Area from the Property window.
  4. Select your preferred units.  Note: there are additional formatting options available here for adding a prefix, suffix, or additional mathematical expressions for control of your output.
  5. Select OK and your field will be added to the table.

Continue to add the areas 2 and 3.  When complete, select the TOTAL cell and perform the sum function. Select formula, then Sum. You will now window select the three cells to total (shown in red) and hit enter. The sum of Areas 1 through 3 are now displayed in the table.

Click on the image for a demonstration on this topic

Tables are an extremely powerful way to capture and display data within a drawing. Use tables for organizing your data and becoming more efficient by displaying the properties of objects and geometry within your designs. Take what I have shown and delve into the properties of tables and how they can help you become more efficient and productive within your daily design activities.

Autodesk Certification

Did you know you can become Autodesk Certified from your home office?  Check out the requirements and just be sure to make sure you are in a room alone and with a webcam so the exam can be proctored.  Oh, and log in early! that is important you will have to go through some extensive checks to ensure you are following all the rules – including cleaning up your home office area.


Stay healthy and be safe – until next month.



Toggle your Cursor Size in AutoCAD

I hope this post finds everyone safe and healthy. Autodesk University 2021 was digital again last year and I was able to present Professional Tips and Techniques on Sheet Sets in AutoCAD. With over 700 people on the question and answer session I found it fun and exciting, and yes I went very fast. Many questions were answered by the people on the call in the chat window along with myself and my moderator David Cohn (Thanks David!). One of my goals this year will be to provide updated screencasts providing you all of the answers to the use and functionality of Sheet Sets. Yes, including using within BIM360 as there were several questions surrounding that topic. We do not know what 2022 will bring at this time but it would be great to see everyone in person and present a class consolidating all of the material and notes I have gathered while teaching sheet sets at Autodesk University.

System variables are always a topic of discussion. For this tip I want to talk about the CURSORSIZE system variable in AutoCAD. For many years I have been using an Autolisp routine to switch the cursor size from 3 to 100, flipping back and forth. I find this helpful when working on design projects especially in tight areas where there is a lot of geometry. The ability to flip back and forth to get a better view can be helpful. For this I created a simple lisp routine named cx.lsp. To use the code copy and paste into notepad and save to a name cx.lsp (or your preferred name).

;;; Lisp Routine to toggle cursor size between 100 and 3.
;;; Simple lisp routine to flip the cursor size quickly in AutoCAD
(defun c:cx ()
(if ( = 100 (getvar “CURSORSIZE”))
(setvar “CURSORSIZE” 3) ; then
) ;end if

This same concept can also be applied by creating a macro and placing it on a tool palette as shown below. The first macro will set the cursor size to 100 and the one below will change back to a 3. The images below show how this simple macro can change that system variable quickly and one additional image using diesel code to create a cursor toggle.  Copy and paste the code into your button properties on the tool palette.








Macros to change the cursor from 100 to 3

  1. ^C^C_CURSORSIZE;100

Macro to toggle cursor size using Diesel:

3. ^C^C$M=$(if,$(=,$(getvar,cursorsize),100),cursorsize;3;;,cursorsize;100;;)

At Autodesk University in the past I presented a lab and lecture on macros in AutoCAD. Many macros and exercises are provided with the handout and you can find a link to the classes here:

Mighty Macros: Powerful commands to pump up productivity.

Pumping up Productivity in the LAB with Macros, One Character at a Time

In some of my future posts I am going to start shifting over to Map 3D and Civil 3D. Although I love writing about AutoCAD, I primarily use Civil 3D in my workflow and have some fun topics to share in the future

Stay healthy and safe wherever in the World you may be – until next month – Sam


Create and Modify Profiles in AutoCAD

To begin, I hope you and your families are healthy and safe.

This post is taken from my article in AUGIWord. If you are not a member of AUGI join today it’s free.

In many software programs such as Windows, a profile is saved under each login name, saving characteristics of the user environment and system settings. Depending on the login name used, you may have different setup configurations for your program or system by changing the settings while logged in. This concept is similar for CAD designers and operators using AutoCAD®. You can restore different settings from the Options dialog box in a profile and recall them at any time by switching profiles. 


Many AutoCAD users customize their startup options using ACADDOC.lsp, ACAD.lsp, or another LISP routine automatically loaded each time you use AutoCAD. You can also create a separate LISP file to add the code and place into your startup suite. 

Create the mymacro.lsp file (use notepad or a text editor and save as a .lsp file), use appload and add to your startup suite and your current profile will be displayed on the status bar as shown in the example below. A great way for CAD Managers to check to see if the company standard profile is located.

Example: MyMacro.lsp

;; Created for AUGIWorld.
;; This macro will display the current profile on the status bar
;; Load this file using the startup suite or placed in the acaddoc.lsp.
(setvar “modemacro”(strcat “PROFILE: $(getvar,cprofile)”))
;; end code

Create a Macro to Change Profiles

I typically use a white background for training and screen shots. When designing I use the black background. I wanted to be able to switch between the two quickly. The color of your screen background (and many other colors) are stored within the current profile in AutoCAD. Back to the Options tab we are going to move to the Profiles tab to look at our profile names. 

Next, we need enter the world of Visual Basic and look at the VBASTMT command. You can type this at the command prompt and you will be prompted to enter a Visual Basic Expression.

Note: You may first receive this message. Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications software (VBA) is no longer installed. For more information, visit  Navigate to the page to download VBA for AutoCAD. A Visual Basic statement is a complete instruction that can contain keywords, operators, variables, constants, and expressions. A statement generally occupies a single line, although you can use a colon (:) to include more than one statement on that line. VBA statements are executed in the context of the current drawing and can be loaded via a macro within a new command or on a tool palette.

The VBA command we are going to use will launch a macro to switch between your profiles. Create a command using the CUI or a new button on your tool palette and paste the code into either section. Note: your profiles must exist in your current AutoCAD session; therefore, you may need to import and/or create if they are new. 

I have two separate Screencasts to better illustrate this technique—one uses the tool palette as shown below and the other adding a custom button to your setup.

Creating a tool palette macro to change your profile in AutoCAD

Creating a custom button to change your profile in AutoCAD 

For our examples, the code is shown below:

1.    AUGIWorld

_VBASTMT ThisDrawing.Application.Preferences.Profiles.ActiveProfile = “AUGIWorld”;

2.    White Background

_VBASTMT ThisDrawing.Application.Preferences.Profiles.ActiveProfile = “White_Background”;

3.    Black Background

_VBASTMT ThisDrawing.Application.Preferences.Profiles.ActiveProfile = “Black_Background”;
The image below is an example of how I added three new buttons to my tool palette and then changed the text string (i.e. White Background) to add to a custom palette to switch the macros. The images were simply created using the button editor, then saving out to a .bmp

Under each button, right-click and select Properties. Enter the VBA string to launch the profile you would like to switch. The example below shows us switching to the AUGIWorld.arg profile.

Do you want to learn how to load a file from the startup suite? See this post on the Autodesk Knowledge Network: Loading Lisp with Startup Suite in AutoCAD

A profile in AutoCAD can give you access to all your customized options in one place. Customizing profiles aligned with your current workflow and standards can prove to save time and increase productivity. Create several profiles, then export out to different names saving to a secure location. Profiles can help you retain and adjust settings to ensure that you stay competitive and up to date with the current standards and system variable changes that occur with your AutoCAD platform

Stay healthy and safe wherever in the World you may be.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!


Controlling Annotative Text Display in AutoCAD

Annotation text objects in AutoCAD are used in drawings to determine text height or the overall scale of an annotation text object. An annotative object whether it be text or a block is set to a scale in model space at a particular paper height then when the viewport scale is changed the object changes its scale based off that factor.

If the annotative property of an annotation object is enabled, the text height or scale of the annotation object adjusts based on the current drawing annotation or layout viewport scale with the result that it will remain at the same size automatically.

Annotative Objects continue to be key learning component for many AutoCAD users. For Civil 3D users all our labels and styles are annotative which means the concept becomes more of a natural workflow.

There are two commands (one system variable) that I find helpful when working with Annotative objects. The first is the system variable SELECTIONANNODISPLAY.  This variable will control the “faded visibility” or multiple scales showing up when you select the text or object as shown below.

The default value is set at 1, change the system variable to 0 and your multiple annotative scales will not appear.

Many times we want to see those different object scales giving us the visual display to help determine if the location is correct at an alternate scale. If you want the text and/or leader to be pointing at the same spot in all places then you must reset the annotative object.  This can be controlled by Synchronizing Multiple-scale options as shown below.

  1. Select your object (text shown below)
  2. From the menu select Annotative Object Scale
  3. Select Synchronize Multiple-scale Positions.

This will reset the location of all the annotative scales to align with the current scale selected.

This year at Autodesk University 2021 I taught Professional Tips and Techniques using the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD. Extremely faced paced and a very fun class. If you get a chance check out the video here and download the materials from this session and my previous two sessions on Sheet Sets.

If the community keeps up the interest I will propose to present all of the tips and tricks I have learned over the past 6 years of teaching Sheet Sets at AU. There are some changes coming and by the time we meet again next year we can dive into those and discover the most productive workflow needed to make our daily lives easier.

Have a great weekend wherever in the World you may be.

Stay healthy and safe – Sam

Autodesk University and a CAD Tip on SHX PDF Import

We are not in Vegas but we are virtual this year and it has been great!  Here is my class and a quick CAD tip on converting text imported from a pdf file.

Autodesk University 2021 for the Americas kicked off this week and I am presenting and moderating tomorrow! I am excited and honored to present again on Sheet Sets in AutoCAD.

This is the third installment of a 3 part series which includes over 50 tips on how to become more efficient using the sheet set manager. We are going to dish out as many tips as we can in the hour timeframe. Please put the questions in the chat and I will do my best to answer all of those over the next week or so. It’s going to be fun so join me tomorrow!

We will go fast but you will gain the knowledge you need to succeed and all the resources to help you along the way.  I will be throwing out tips in the chat as we go, get ready to take notes, copy, paste, and have some fun with Sheet Sets.

Professional Tips and Techniques using the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD


Now for a quick CAD Tip. This post will show you how to convert SHX font geometry to text after importing a PDF file in AutoCAD. You ensure good text recognition by specifying the SHX font name used. Unlike other fonts, SHX fonts import as lines, arcs, circles, and other geometry instead of text.

PDF files are the most common file format used when exchanging design information between designers, contractors, clients, and others. AutoCAD 2017 introduced the ability to import PDF files. The PDFIMPORT command imports PDF data into AutoCAD as 2D geometry, TrueType text, and images.

Let’s first import the data. On the insert tab of the Ribbon select the PDF Import button.

Notes: Adobe’s PDF file format doesn’t recognize AutoCAD SHX fonts. When a PDF file is created from an AutoCAD drawing, text that was defined with SHX fonts is stored in the PDF as geometry. When you import the file you get lines and arcs that define the text object. With AutoCAD 2020 you have a new text recognition tool that enables you to select imported PDF geometry representing SHX text and convert it to text objects. You can find this on the import tab of the Ribbon as shown.

After selecting the file you will see the Import PDF dialog box where you will have several options on how you want the file to be imported.

  1. PDF data to import: Options to select how your data will import.
  2. Do you want layers?
  3. Preview of the imported file.
  4. Import options – several options for blocks, hatches, and lineweights.
  5. Alternate options for importing the file
  6. Select OK.

Once you drawing is imported follow the workflow on the ribbon. Here is where you can recognize the SHX Text, Change Settings and Combine Text.

Here is a quick Video showing you how to import a PDF file into AutoCAD and then Recognize the SHX text changing those lines to editable text objects.

That’s all my friends – enjoy the rest your week, stay safe, and check out my class recordings from Autodesk University 2021.

Have a great rest of the week wherever in the World you may be!

Until next month, Sam