Lose your Tabs in AutoCAD
The default setting in AutoCAD will display a Model Space Tab along with a Layout1 (1) and Layout2 (2) tabs as shown in the image below. The Model tab represents model space which is where you draft and design the model of your project. The Layout tab represents the paper space environment where you create layouts typically including title blocks, general notes, and a window of items drawn in model space.
First of all, you cannot delete the Model Tab; that is default by AutoCAD and used to create your model or geometry. The Layout tabs are paper space tabs added by default to assist you as you begin your project. When adding a new drawing or a template (3) you may see the following appear with Layout1 and Layout2 still visible. We want to delete those but do it quickly. You can select the image for additional information on switching between the Model Space and Layout tabs.
To delete a layout tab manually you right click the layout and select delete. That’s a lot of picks and clicks. Notice all of the options included when you right-click. You can rename, create a new layout, insert a new layout from a template (HINT: does not have to be a .dwt file). Select the image below to be taken to a knowledge based article on importing layouts from a template. I like clean drawings and require my users to delete these tabs, rename, and cleanup while on a design project.
Let’s create a macro to remove those tabs and cleanup your drawings. If you have followed my screencasts and classes at Autodesk University creating a macro can be very easy. For more information check out my PRAXIS workflow from Autodesk University 2016. Select the image and you will be taken to a comprehensive workflow showing how to use macros in AutoCAD. I am currently updating with BONUS exercises so check back later! This post will be included as Bonus Exercise 14.
The easiest way for us to create and use a macro is on a tool palette. Open up any tool palette right click in the palette area and hit New Palette as shown. This will bring up a new blank palette in AutoCAD.
Next, we need to get a command in there. There are a few ways to do this but in my experience type CUI at the command prompt and type the word “delete” (Step 1). I want to look for a command which I can also use the icon (or edit) so it represents something similar to what I am trying to accomplish. Left click and drag the command (Step 2) onto the tool palette as shown. At this point we are just getting the command in there with the images.
After the command has been added to the palette, right click the icon and select properties. We are now going to complete 5 steps as shown below. Actually only 4 since we already have our image in there.
- Drag the command from the CUI onto the tool palette.
- Rename the name of the command for the user to understand the objective.
- Give a brief description of what the command does. PLEASE give a description, it helps for the next guy or gal that goes in there and launches your new command.
- The most important step. We need to change the MACRO. We will review in detail below.
- The image. If you did not import an image from the CUI or another button you can right-click and specify your own image. Keep in mind there is a dark and light theme in AutoCAD which means you need to check the appearance of the image for both. I know, one extra step now but I do like the dark theme.
In AutoCAD macros can be shortcuts to a series of commands to help make the process of design more efficient. In Figure 1 a macro is stated as a single instruction. Use the action recorder to record a series of commands and build a macro then run it automatically to repeat a series of steps. To write a macro, you type the commands in the macro properties section as you’d type them in at the command line. If a command displays a dialog box, you would place a dash in front of the command to suppress the dialog box. We will cover special characters as we begin to build our macro. Let’s examine our Delete Layout Macro.
^C^C Cancels the current command in AutoCAD – Do it twice!
^R Turns command versioning on or off. We need this when working with Layouts.
_Layout Issues the layout command.
; The semi-colon represents a return on the keyboard. You can also enter a space here but I recommend the semi-colon which you can clearly identity the action.
d Delete the layout.
_Layout1 Deletes Layout1
The macro then continues to delete another layout named layout2. If you only have layout1 in your drawing it will be deleted and no other action will be taken. The following ScreenCast will show you how this command works.
Find this video along with other macro videos in my ScreenCast Collection Page located the Autodesk Knowledge Network.
It’s goal setting time at work and in my opinion never too early to set a goal to attend Autodesk University 2017 in November of this year.
Set a goal that if you meet all of your targets for the year you would like to attend the premier CAD conference in the World. You may be rewarded with the ability to learn and network with your peers and create new connections along they way – like me 🙂
Until next time…..Sam