In a recent post on the GovDesignHub, Caron Beesley wrote a nice overview of the features inside of AutoCAD 2020 – I’m going to dive deeper into the features as seen through the eyes of an AutoCAD power user. While there aren’t too many new features inside of AutoCAD 2020 (which some of you will be grateful for), the features they did add are quite useful indeed and should help boost your everyday productivity. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
How many times have you tried to purge a layer, only to have your wish denied for some unknown reason? It can be very frustrating not knowing what is lurking on unpurgeable layers! Thanks to AutoCAD 2020 – the updated PURGE dialog doesn’t just tell you that you can’t purge an item – it tells you WHY you can’t purge an item! In the case of our stubborn layer that is not purgeable, AutoCAD 2020 will go one step further and actually show you the items on that layer that are keeping you from deleting the layer. Hallelujah! Think of all the money you will save on therapy!
You might notice a couple of other valuable additions to the AutoCAD 2020 PURGE command. Now you can choose to purge zero-length geometry without also having to purge empty text objects (although I’m not quite sure why you wouldn’t ever want to purge both!) You will find checkboxes by the items you can purge so you can preview them before purging them. A handy resizable preview area has also been added to both the purgeable and non-purgeable items tabs. A check-box for “Orphaned data” remains so you can still remove obsolete DGN linestyle data (since so many of you Govies also work with MicroStation files)
To be fair, previous releases of AutoCAD did give you some obscure clue as to why you couldn’t purge an item. AutoCAD 2020 goes beyond generalizations and allows you to actually see the offending objects that might be keeping you from purging. Simply select the “Select Objects” button and the offenders will be zoomed in on and highlighted! In the case of a unpurgeable layer, you could the easily delete the objects and reenter the PURGE command to finish off that layer.
Tip: You can also use the awesome LAYDEL command to purge a layer regardless of what items the layer references!
AutoCAD 2020 even goes so far as to add a handy Cleanup panel on the Manage tab on the ribbon (as opposed to going through the Application Menu to Purge). Here you will find a (great big) tool for Finding Non-Purgeable Items as well as standard Purge (although I’m not sure we need both since they both go to the same command). You will also find the powerful OVERKILL command that deletes duplicate objects and removes unwanted vertices from polylines and the AUDIT command (helpful when your drawing is misbehaving). I personally think that LAYDEL should also be included on this panel.
Note: Sadly, the powerful RegApp option in PURGE is still only available in the command line version of the command (-Purge).
We all inevitably end up measuring parts of our drawing files (especially when checking other people’s drawings!) I consider the Quick Measure a CAD Manager’s dream come true as it eliminates much of the tedium that one must endure to thoroughly check a drawing. Quick Measure is a new option in the MEASUREGEOM command found in the Utilities panel on the Home tab of the ribbon as seen in figure 4.
Quick Measure allows you to quickly review dimensions, distances and angles within a 2D drawing. All you have to do is hover over and between objects to display the associated measurements. Any orange squares you see indicate a 90 degree angle (good to know you aren’t off by a degree here or there.) The distance between two objects is measured when the objects are parallel.
You’ll probably want to zoom into complicated or crowded areas to avoid clutter (and improve the performance). And it is doubtful you will want to leave Quick Measure on continuously as you are drawing because you will be inundated with TMI (Too Much Information!).
As you work with AutoCAD 2020, you should come to see that there is more to the release than first meets the eye! Next month I’ll dive into more of the powerful AutoCAD 2020 features that will lead to increased productivity. Until then…Happy AutoCADding!