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AutoCAD® 2008

Preview Guide



Installing AutoCAD3
Participating in the Customer Involvement Program6
Specifying Hardware Acceleration7
User Interface8
Managing Workspaces8
Using the Dashboard8
Working with Palettes9
Customizing the User Interface10
Drawing Management12
Working with DGN files12
Working with DWF Files14
Working with Xref files15
Working with Blocks15
Recovering drawing files15
Managing Layers16
Managing Layouts and Sheets21
Drawing Annotation23
Controlling Annotation Scale23
Using Multiple Leaders29
Working with Text31
Creating Dimensions35
Working with Table Data38
Managing Materials45
Applying Photometric Data47
Previewing Autodesk Impression48

Contents 2



Make efficiency a daily part of the job with AutoCAD® 2008 software. The drafting, detailing, and conceptual design leader is showing the way once again. Meticulously refined with the drafter in mind, AutoCAD 2008 propels day-to-day drafting forward with features that increase speed and accuracy while saving time. Annotation scaling and layer properties per viewport minimize workarounds, while text and table enhancements and multiple leaders help deliver an unmatched level of aesthetic precision and professionalism. Always innovative, the existing AutoCAD tools for conceptual design and visualization work with a new toolset to deliver virtually instant productivity, making efficiency a daily part of the job.


Installing AutoCAD

A new AutoCAD Installation Wizard replaces the previous interface for installing AutoCAD. It has been streamlined to simplify the installation process enabling you to Install Products, Create Deployments, or Install Tools and Utilities from a single, consistent user interface.

Figure 1. Installation Wizard.

When you choose to Install Products, the Wizard leads you through the default install options, requiring a minimal amount of knowledge of the various install components and options. Installable applications are displayed and selected in the application list. Required applications, such as the Autodesk® DWF™ Viewer, cannot be deselected. A simplified personalization page requires information that is common to all applications which might be installed from this Wizard. After entering the personalization information, you can choose to install without specifying further options. Accepting the default installation options will install a typical set of tools that is optimized for most users. However, you can choose to customize the installation by selecting the Configure button before continuing with the install. For example, you can specify the default text editor (Notepad or Wordpad), the type of license (Stand-alone or Network), installation type (Typical or Custom), and optional tools (Express Tools or Material Library). When the install begins, AutoCAD displays a list of the install components including icons indicating the status of each component. Each of components will be checked off as it successfully completes its install.


Figure 2. Product Installation.

The Create Deployments option enables you to create pre-configured deployments for installing products on client workstations. The process for creating deployments is similar to that of installing products.


Figure 3. Deployment Wizard.

The Install Tools and Utilities option enables you to install network license utilities as well as administrative and reporting tools.


Figure 4. Tools and Utilities.

Participating in the Customer Involvement Program

As a beginner, expert, or someone in between, you can play a key role in helping Autodesk design software to meet your needs and exacting standards. AutoCAD 2008 includes new automated functionality that enables you to contribute to the future development of AutoCAD without doing a thing! When you participate in the Customer Involvement Program, Autodesk automatically collects anonymous information about your system configuration and how you use the software. Periodically, this information will be sent to Autodesk. However, no personal information will be collected and no one will contact you.


Figure 5. Customer Involvement Program.

Specifying Hardware Acceleration

AutoCAD 2008 includes support for Microsoft® Direct3D® hardware acceleration providing more flexibility for video cards. You can specify Direct3D or OpenGL® hardware acceleration in the Manual Performance Tuning dialog box which is accessible using the 3DCONFIG command. Regardless of which option you select for hardware acceleration, new texture compression enhancements will require less video memory and improve performance when display images and textures.

Figure 6. Hardware acceleration.


User Interface

AutoCAD 2008 offers many enhancements that enable you to create a user interface that maximizes the drawing area while still providing easy access to the tools you need most!

Managing Workspaces

A new 2D Drafting and Annotation workspace has been added to the list of predefined workspaces. Selecting one of the predefined workspaces automatically displays the appropriate menus, toolbars, tool palettes, and dashboard panels for performing 3D modeling or 2D drafting and annotation.

Figure 7. Workspaces.

Using the Dashboard

The Dashboard, which was first introduced in AutoCAD 2007, has been significantly enhanced in AutoCAD 2008. It includes nine new panels that offer easy access to a variety of controls for Layers, Annotation Scaling, Text, Dimensions, multiple leaders, Tables, 2D Navigate, Object Properties, and Block Attributes.

Figure 8. New Dashboard Panels.

In addition to the new Dashboard panels, improvements have been made to existing panels and you can now use the Customize User Interface (CUI) tool to customize Dashboard panels. To further automate the user interface, when you select a tool from the Dashboard the corresponding tool palettes automatically display. For

AUTOCAD 2008 PREVIEW GUIDE example, if you adjust a visual style property on the Dashboard, the Visual Styles palette group will automatically display.

Working with Palettes

In AutoCAD 2008, you can easily create new tool palette tools based on existing drawing geometry even if the tool palette to which you wish to add the tool is not initially active. When you drag an object from the drawing to an inactive tool palette, AutoCAD automatically activates it enabling you to drop the object to the proper location.

You can customize the icons associated with tools on the tool palette using the new Specify Image menu option available when you right-click on a tool. If you no longer wish to use the selected image, an additional right-click menu option enables you to remove it, automatically restoring the default image.

Figure 9. Specify Image menu option

You can quickly update a block definition in the current drawing to match a block on the tool palette by selecting the new Redefine option from the right-click menu of a block tool.


Figure 10. Redefine drawing block with tool palette block definition

When you modify the location of tools on a tool palette, their order is maintained in the tool catalog (unless the catalog file is read-only) as well as in the profile. This enables you to share your tool palettes without having to manually reorganize the tools.

The new TPNAVIGATE command enables you to set a tool palette or tool palette group current using the command line interface.

Customizing the User Interface

The Customize User Interface (CUI) dialog box has been updated, making it more powerful and easier to use. Enhancements to pane headers, borders, splitter bars, buttons, and tool tips make it easier for you to understand and manipulate the controls and data in the CUI dialog box. With the CUI dialog box open, you can drag and drop buttons directly on a toolbar to rearrange or remove them. In addition, you can Copy and Paste or Duplicate CUI elements such as commands, menus, toolbars from within the CUI dialog box.

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