Category Archives: Autocad

AutoCAD – MAXACTVP command

This command is useful when you need to create many Viewports in a Layout and see all of them. Why? By default you can see only about 20 Viewports.

Type MAXACTVP and you will be able to maximize it to 64.

Below you can see the compression of the viewport with this command set to 10 and to 64.MAXACTVP

AutoCAD – Attributes visibility in external referances

One thing to remember about attributes – attributes which are not inside the block are not visible when attached in an external reference.

There is ATTDISP command which allows to change visibility of attributes which are also in blocks but it still doesn’t work when attributes are xrefed.ATTDISPIf there is a way to show them in xrefs please let me know. Thanks.

CHSPACE – change object space command – AutoCAD

After years of using AutoCAD  one can still discover something new and useful in this program. This happens to me every now and then.

CHSPACE command allows on a layout to transfer selected objects between model space and paper space and vice versa. It is in AutoCAD since version 2007.

Here’s a simple step-by step guide how to use this command:

  1. From Paper Space, select the objects that you want to move through a viewport.
  2. Type the CHSPACE command, or select it from the Modify menu.CHSPACE TRANSFER OBJECTS
  3. Next, the command needs to know which viewport you want to “push” the  objects through. This will determine how the objects are scaled and their final positions in Model Space. Bear in mind that if there is only one viewport in the active Paper Space layout, this will be a automatically selected, and this step will be skipped.

Here is an example when this was useful for me to move dimensions and annotations from Model Space do Paper Space. The scale of the objects was automatically adjusted to the Paper Space. CHSPACE Models Space

This is the view in the Model Space.

CHSPACE Paper Space

This is the view in the Paper Space. I have moved the dimension and the leader annotation to position them outside the viewports. Additionally I have override the dimension text to represent the real Model Space dimension.

This command could be a real tie saver. I’m sure you will find you own ways how to use this command. You can find some more examples e.g. here or here. Good luck.




Most of us in Europe work in metric units. We usually start a new file and it’s already preconfigured but sometimes we need to amend something in the file received from someone else and we encounter Imperial units like on the image below:Measurement 3a

Of course changing the UNITS doesn’t help.

Measurement 4 On the list of available scales which we can add still there is no metric scales:

Measurement 1
Only one thing can be done in this situation – command MEASUREMENT need to be entered and its value changed between 1 and 0 (or from 0 to 1 for opposite problem) Command MEASUREMENT is responsible for the file internal units settings where values mean: 0 – Imperial file system 1 – Metric file system

Recently we had this situation in my office so I hope this tip may be helpful to you in the future.

AutoCAD – Area Room Tags

This is quick “how to” create a block with an area field which value adjust automatically when the polyline attached to that field is amended.

  1. Create a polyline.
  2. Open Attribute Definition window and set up typical attribute parameters.
    (command: ATTDEF)
  3. Click Insert Field button.
  4. From a list with field names choose Object.
  5. Click the button on the left of the Object type field and choose your polyline.
  6. Choose property Area (if it’s not chosen automatically) and choose desired precision.
  7. Click on the button called Additional Format… A new window will pop up.
  8. Enter desired conversion factor. E.g. If your drawing is in mm and you want area to be expressed in meters enter 0.0001
  9. Enter desired suffix if you wish. E.g. For square meters you can enter m\U+00B2. \U+00B2 will be replaced with ². You can also copy that symbol from Windows Character Map.
  10. Confirm hitting OK to close all windows.
  11. Choose a position for your new field.
  12. Create a block with any additional elements you wish for.

Attribute definition

Now a field in your block is connected with a polyline.
After you amended a polyline you need to regenerate to see the changes in the area field.

To create another block connected to another polyline you need to:

  1. Copy the block.
  2. Create or copy a polyline.
  3. Double clicking on the block. Enhanced Attribute Editor window will pop up.
  4. Choose area field.
  5. Double click the value (it should have gray background) A Field window will open.
  6. Click the button on the left of the Object type field and choose your NEW polyline.
  7. Set up fields in the Additional Format again (it’s a little irritating)
  8. Accept the changes by pressing OK.


  1.  Select a block and a connected to it polyline.
  2. Amend the shape of the copied polyline.
  3. Regenerate to see the change in the area field.

select polyline

Tell me if you know the faster way.


Data from attributes in blocks can be extracted and use in Excel.

A Table inside AutoCAD (2013) can be created with data extracted from attributes from blocks. Data in the Table can be updated after any amendments to polylines.

AutoCAD – Separate Existing Hatches

Still in AutoCAD subject. Did you ever had many areas hatched with the same hatch any you want to get rid off some of them?

Another useful button is present in AutoCAD since version 2011. It’s accessible only from Options Panel on the Hatch Editor contextual ribbon tab. When you expand it you will find a Separate Hatch button. It’s active only when a hatch composed from more the one hatched areas is selected. (I couldn’t find any information about if there is a keyboard command triggering that function.)Hatches

Attached image illustrates also functions accessible at the origin point of the hatch and on its boundary points.

When you select a point press Ctrl to cycle between those functions. It works similar as for polylines.

AutoCAD – system variables and PaperSpace

During one of the lectures on the Technical University the Professor said “Someone who use only Model Space in AutoCAD isn’t worth to be an engineer” 🙂
So I decide to share some useful tricks about PS (Paper Space) in AutoCAD:

When you insert a viewport in PS and you see, that all linetype scales are dramatically changed…. don’t panic….
Just use a variable PSLTSCALE and set the value to <0>. After REGENALL you will see, that all the lines have the scale from the Model Space.

In Paper Space each layer can have a special configuration (visibility, color, line type, opacity and thickness). When you double-click on the viewport area you can set in the Layer Manager special  parameters for that viewport.
DVNT_21 May. 18 11.15When you need to transfer setting from one viewport to another… you can simply use the MATCHPROP command (the small brush icon).

Contours on all polygonal viewports can be edited with the same procedure as Polylines – with the Ctrl key you can modify all the vertices (add, remove, convert to arc).

If you prefer to read this post in polish, click here.

AutoCAD – Wipeout command

WIPEOUT – This by many forgotten command can save you a lot of time and effort.

A Wipeout is an image type object. Most commonly it is used to “mask” part of a drawing for clarity.

I’ve rediscovered it recently and found it useful when creating louvers. With hundreds of them I didn’t need to cut and trim additional few hundreds lines of windows behind them. And reposition of them was so easy. I also used it for window tags and handles in elevation view.

The Wipeout command can be used for 3 different operations.

It can be used to draw a Wipeout object, as you might expect (only without arcs), but it can also be used to convert an existing closed Polyline (only without arcs) into a Wipeout. Additionaly it can be used to control the visibility of Wipeout frames.


You can also change Wipeout frames directly from WIPEOUTFRAME system variable. The result of available value is below.

Value Result
0 Frames are not displayed or plotted. Frames are temporarily displayed for object selection and selection preview.
1 Frames are displayed and plotted
2 Frames are displayed, but not plotted

Value no.2 exist since AutoCAD 2013.


Personally I use value.1 to not duplicate the lines and when I need to make a particular frame unvisitable I change it line type to thin doted line with a big scale (like 1000). Only corners then are visible as dots. I use this method to create hollow objects like window frame.

AutoCAD – Isolate Selection

Another post in the series of Isolate Selection. A friend asked me is it also possible to isolate any object in AutoCAD?

It is since AutoCAD 2011 and it was even in earlier versions of Architectural Desktop.

The ISOLATEOBJECTS and the HIDEOBJECTS commands hide specific objects.
The UNISOLATEOBJECTS command restores hidden objects .

These commands are found in the right-click menu…isolate-menu

…or near the right end of the status bar.

It is also possible to add toolbar icons allowing to isolate and end object isolation  to any toolbar with Customize User Interface window.

Information acquired from CCAD.


AutoCAD – add custom pattern

Hello everyone,

After yesterday post you are probably wondering how to add a new pattern to AutoCAD.
You need to copy pattern files to your AutoCAD support directory. Usually it is e.g.:
C:\Program Files\AutoCAD 2010\Support
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2Hatches Autocad013\Support

New patterns will appear on the bottom of your pattern list in AutoCAD 2013Hatch_Custom_Menu

or in older AutoCADs choose Custom from Type and pattern list.