For the past couple of years Autodesk has teamed with Dell to produce a Precision Guide to help our customers with their AutoCAD software and hardware decisions. Contained therein are my Top Ten Tips for AutoCAD 2016 if you'd like to take a look!
If there is one thing in AutoCAD we can't live without - it's object snaps! We choose our object snap settings based on what we're doing at any given time (ideally not needing to change the settings very often). While hanging with the fabulous Autodesk Product Support folks in Lake Oswego - Volker Cocco brought up his speedy means of switching to his favorite osnap settings without the tedium of going through the status bar.
Are you wondering about the top new features in AutoCAD 2016? Have you been asking yourself about the new system variables - or pondering the time savers? My AutoCAD 2016 Tips and Tricks booklet is hot off the press - all you have to do is download it! (does it sound like a CAD drug?)
Check it out for yourself:
They make a great Father's Day present! (Dad already has so many ties...)
Do you find yourself helping others learn Autodesk software around the office? Is there a feature or technology you feel you know better than the average user? Or perhaps some techniques and tips you've learned the hard way and you'd love to share with others...if so - submit to become a presenter at Autodesk University!
There's no harm in submitting one (or more) proposals...and I can guarantee that you won't be presenting at this year's AU if you don't submit! After all - the content committee isn't psychic.
Submit a proposal today and I might just be sitting in your class in December!
For those of you who work in 3D (which is probably less than half of you) - you know how the PLAN command loves to do a ZOOM Extents when switching to the PLAN view. Super annoying. Often I just want the PLAN view of my current display without the extraneous extra step of zooming back in - that's where EXPLAN comes into play.
Check out my Cadalyst video and learn how easy it is to use EXPLAN!
Why do I always look less than glamorous when it is still? Geez... (but enjoy!)
Well, I don't want to keep you in suspense any longer than necessary. As Lynn is returning from her vacation, rested and rejuvenated, I'd like to finish up my guest posts on AutoCAD security. Again, my appreciation and thanks go to Lynn for the opportunity. - Dieter Schlaepfer
The war for your privacy, identity, intellectual property, and online security is definitely escalating! The most common and easiest method that cyber-criminals use is to fool people into clicking a link or opening an attachment in email. Some of these can be very convincing that they're legitimate.
However, certain cyber-criminals and organizations focus on your AutoCAD environment. Your first line of defense is to be aware of their methods and know what features and best practices can help you defeat these attacks.
Here’s what our software and test engineers did for AutoCAD 2016:
Analyzed the code and reduced or eliminated vulnerabilities to malformed data.
Updated the CAD Manager Control utility so that several system variables can be locked (LEGACYCODESEARCH, SECURELOAD, and TRUSTEDPATHS).
Provided a way to prevent the common vulnerability that allowed AutoLISP and other executable code from being automatically loaded from the Start In folder. (LEGACYCODESEARCH)
Improved the accessibility to trusted paths and other security settings through an upgraded Security Options dialog box. When you restrict the folders from which executable code can run, it’s less likely that malicious code can execute secretly.
Added support for attaching digital signatures to AutoLISP and related files. Adding a digital signature to an application provides you with a way of verifying whether the application has been replaced or modified. Any changes will invalidate the digital signature, and will alert you when you try to use it.
Updated a variety of other vulnerabilities. With genuine, non-cracked products, you remain current with Autodesk’s countermeasures against cyber-crime.
Removed the ability to add passwords to drawing files. Instead, we recommend that you purchase an encryption product that meets current industry standards and is updated as needed. As of April 2015, many security experts recommend a 2048-bit RSA asymmetric key length as a minimum (a 4096-bit key length for internet transactions) along with a 128-bit AES symmetric key length as a minimum (a 256-bit key length for classified information).
Even if you don’t have AutoCAD 2016 yet, you can still be aware of the growing security threats and take precautionary measures. Don't put it off!
Like you, I truly wish that these threats would go away, but we need to accept the fact that they will continue to escalate as will our efforts to combat them.
While Lynn’s away on a well-deserved vacation, I’m going to sneak in with a couple of guest posts. This is an important subject and I’m delighted that Lynn’s given me the opportunity to share this information with you! - Dieter Schlaepfer
It seems like every week there's another business devastated by an online intrusion, theft, or fraud. New and more sophisticated exploits are being reported with increasing frequency. We all try to protect ourselves against identity theft and make sure not to click on any suspicious emails, but what about your drawing files?
Sometimes the bear doesn't chase the slowest person!
As a member of the AutoCAD Security feature team, I’d like to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned over this past year. My goal is not to scare you, although there are scary things happening, but to raise your awareness and preparedness.
Autodesk and independent security experts have become aware of increased security threats to your privacy and intellectual property. For example
An architectural firm discovered that an unauthorized program was automatically emailing their AutoCAD drawing files to a foreign account overseas.
A book published a few months ago describes how a sophisticated virus was used for espionage at a secure facility. AutoCAD drawing files were accessed in the attack.
Private individuals, competitors, government agencies, and well-funded mercenary organizations (yes, they exist) have various motivations including the following:
To disrupt your business
To steal and sell your designs
To acquire your in-process patent drawings
To monitor your progress on your projects for competitive or stock price advantages
To acquire information for purposes of extortion, espionage, or terrorism
Okay, so how do they break in?
In addition to the usual risks of clicking links within emails and network security attacks, attacks that are related to AutoCAD can use one of these methods:
AutoLISP and a variety of other executable files can be altered to contain malware. Typically, these files are included in a ZIP file along with drawing files and can start automatically.
An application, utility, or customization file downloaded from an untrusted website can contain malware. Even a trusted application can be quietly replaced with a modified version.
Many users download illegal "cracked" software, not realizing that anyone capable of cracking licenses is also capable of inserting code that can quietly do anything, including logging their keystrokes.
Drawing files can be altered to try to overflow memory with executable code. Drawing files can also contain VBA macros that can execute if you have VBA installed.
Next time, we’ll take a look at what you can do to protect yourself. See you then!
Have you ever tried rendering in AutoCAD just to find yourself intimidated by all the gzillion different settings and variables? I certainly have. Those of us who don't have an advanced degree in photography will love the new low-stress and friendly Rendering in AutoCAD 2016!
The new render engine knows how to talk to us "average Joes" who just want to create an awesome rendering. It's simpler and yields better results - who wouldn't vote for that? The tooltips are super user friendly and check out the new Render Presets list that explains ever-so-clearly how much time it's going to take to render! Do you want a quick render that lasts about as long as a Coffee-Break? Or are you ready for the commitment of an Overnight render?
New Image Based Lighting (IBL) options make it easy for you to put your model in a cool environment like a plaza, a village or a Snow Field!
And check out the results!
There are many more Render improvements in AutoCAD 2016 - just realize that the bottom line is rendering is easier to do and yields better results!
It's always so exciting when a new release of AutoCAD comes out! Let me continue on my merry way of introducing more features to you!
A New Object Snap!
Have you ever needed to find the geometric center of an object such as a polygon or a closed polyline? There can also be quite a difference from the "geometric center" and the "center" of an object. The new GCE osnap in AutoCAD 2016 will definitely come in handy and cut down on a few construction lines.
(and check out the new glyph that goes with it!)
More Command Previews
Do you have a fear of commitment? If so - I'm guessing you love the command previews that have been added over the years! They allow you to see the result before actually committing to the final action. The new commands that have previews are BLEND, ERASE, STRETCH, ROTATE and SCALE!
PDFs in AutoCAD have come such a long way...except when it comes to fonts. Have you ever tried to search for SHX text in a PDF? You'll find that all Truetype fonts, polygonized text, SHX fonts AND Unicode characters are all searchable in PDFs exported from AutoCAD 2016 (now if we could just snap our fingers and vectorize PDFs!)
Stay tuned for more AutoCAD 2016 features soon! (and have a great weekend!)
AutoCAD 2016 is locked and loaded - coming soon to a reseller near you! Here is an early look at some of the key features in the next (Awesome) release of AutoCAD!
Updated (and far better) Revision Clouds
Gone are the wonky (yes wonky) Revision Clouds of the past. Have you ever tried editing one of them? Now it's easier than ever to create rectangular, polygonal, freehand or object revision clouds. The grips make more sense and are based on the shape of the revcloud. Those grips make it just that much easier to make changes to your revision clouds after the fact.
There's even a cool Modify option that lets you draw another revision cloud and erase selected portions of existing ones!
Ahhhhh - how I've longed for a better way to get those pesky dimensions in a drawing. Imagine a new DIM command that actually knows what you're hovering over - and recognizes the various dimensioning possibilities based on where your cursor is! That's right - a psychic dimensioning tool.
How I'll miss the tedium that comes with dimensioning!
Added bonus - now you can assign a default layer for dimensions! Woo hoo!
One of the top AUGI Wishlist items was the ability to easily put a frame around text...Wish granted!
You'll find a new Text Frame option in Properties. Did you like the Match text option that was added to the MTEXT dialog in AutoCAD 2015? Well now it is "Sticky"! (another wish granted).
That's a taste for today's posting...look for more tasty AutoCAD 2016 info soon!