Monday, March 29, 2010

2011 Events Galore

Marketing gal here...

If you have not already seen an email, I wanted to be sure you knew that Avatech is hosting a series of webcasts (starting this week) on what's new in the Autodesk 2011 products. We'll cover AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Inventor, Revit and more. Check our website for more information and to register.

Additionally, we're doing a whole in-person set of events starting April 21. For the list of locations and products covered, check the events page on our website.

Last (but definitely not least) Autodesk is hosting a Virtual Event on April 19. When you sign up be sure to let them know that Avatech sent you there. If you haven't done a Virtual Event with Autodesk yet, you're in for a treat. It's highly interactive with great presentations from Lynn Allen, Shaan Hurley and more. Find out more and register on the Autodesk website.

OK, that's all the marketing blah blah. I now return you to your previously scheduled informative blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

“HOW TO” install your 2011 software

Many of you will ask ... "Where is my software? We did not get the box in the mail!"

That is true. Autodesk is offering their 2011 software as a download from your subscription web site by default. You must go there to download your software or request a shipment of the software discs to you. If you do not know how to use your subscription web page, then you should attend one of the free webinars available from Avatech. Sign up at

You originally received a "welcome" email from Autodesk when you bought your subscription. The "contract manager" received this email containing your login and password information. If you need Autodesk to send you this welcome email again, just contact them at Be sure to include your subscription contract number or serial number in the email.

If you are NOT on subscription, then you are most likely on an older version of software that you would first have to upgrade to the current version. A new box of software is shipped to those that upgrade... and be smart... get on subscription we can show you it is better and more economical by far.

Here are some great links to information that will help you install your software. Please check these out BEFORE you start.

Good links for licensing:
Installing and Configuring the Autodesk Network License Manager
Understanding and Managing Your Autodesk Licenses

System requirements for installing Autodesk 2011 products
Stand-Alone Install of AutoCAD-Based 2011 Products
Network Install of AutoCAD-Based 2011 Products
Post-Install Tasks of AutoCAD-Based 2011 Products
Creating Deployments of AutoCAD-Based 2011 Products
AutoCAD 2010 Install and Licensing Training Videos
Troubleshooting Common Install Problems
Troubleshooting Common Licensing Problems

System requirements for installing Autodesk 2011 products
Stand-Alone Install of Autodesk Inventor 2011 products
Network Install of Autodesk Inventor 2011 products
Creating Deployments of Autodesk Inventor 2011 Products
Solving Windows 7 specific issues in Inventor

Standalone Installation of Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
Network Installation of Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
Creating Deployments of Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
Post Installation Tasks for Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011
Clean Uninstall of Revit 2011 Products
Troubleshooting Common Revit Install and Licensing Issues
Troubleshooting Product Stability Issues in Revit
Troubleshooting Revit Families
Troubleshooting Revit Memory Usage and Performance
Troubleshooting Revit Upgrades and Migration
Troubleshooting Revit Worksharing
Troubleshooting Whats New in 2011 for Revit Products

For those that have a support agreement with Avatech - you can contact our National Support Center directly to avoid the delays associated with doing hours of research on your own. We are happy to help you through any questions.

Avatech National Support Center:
1-800-808-7645 - or

New Autodesk Software!

You may have noticed that new software is available from Autodesk. The latest release of AutoCAD is out and it is 2011.

This year we can download the software from the Subscription site, this makes receiving the software much quicker!

Just login to your subscription site ( ) and select the Downloads button/link.

You may have already received an email about it, the email should contain your serial number and new product key. You need this to actually do the install. If you have not received an email from Autodesk yet, you can call the Autodesk Business Center (ABC) at 800-538-6401

Use this link to view the AutoCAD 2011 system requirements:

With AutoCAD 2010 I have started recommending 64-bit system. It may be time to upgrade if you have a 6+ yr old computer like mine. It runs the Network License Manager just fine though so I can't get rid of it yet.

Let the downloads begin!

Monday, March 22, 2010

We're Getting Our Learn On

The Technical Team is taking some time in the next two weeks to get an Autodesk knowledge infusion.

This is part of required training that we, and all Autodesk partners, must complete each year. We will continue to handle urgent requests during this time, but responses may take a bit longer than normal. If you've got a login to the Autdoesk Subscription site, it's probably best to submit your request there during training.

Times are:
March 30 - April 1 for the Building and Civil folk
April 6 - April 8 for the Mechanical and Manufacturing folk

We'll get back to our regularly scheduled program (with spiffy new knowledge) as soon as training is complete.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mouse stutters.

Have you ever moved your mouse over a part of your drawing and it just stops? You try to move it left, right, up, circle then all of the sudden it moves again?

This can happen when you have certain OSnaps turned On and there are many possible snap points for AutoCAD to consider.

Try turning off the following OSnaps:
  • Extension
  • Nearest
  • Apparent Intersection
To turn off your OSnaps, right-click the OSNAP button on the status bar and select Settings. Then uncheck the selections you don't need and click Ok.

Then see if it happens again. If it does, then lets go into Options and go to the Selection tab to turn Off the Highlight options.

Now if it still happens, then it may be something more sinister and you may need to call us. The National Support Center can be reached at 800-808-7645.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Migration. You've upgraded your Autodesk program, now what?

Ok, you have the new and old AutoCAD installed, how do you go about migrating your settings to the new program? Should you use that wizard that pops up the first time you run the program?

No! Until you're sure the AutoCAD (or other vertical, Architecture, Inventor, Revit, Max, etc) works consistently you don't want to migrate anything. Let it run for a few days without any changes first. If you migrate settings and receive errors, how do you know what caused it if you have not run AutoCAD without the changes to ensure it works? At this point I typically recommend a very clean uninstall, reboot and reinstall, then run it without migrating. I've seen migrated menus cause errors in AutoCAD.

Note: This post focuses on AutoCAD-based programs, you may not be able to do some of these migrations with other programs like Revit, Inventor, 3ds Max, etc.

Migrating Menus/Profile using the wizard:
Alright, you've run AutoCAD for a few days and now you want to migrate your settings. Ahh, that's easy, just run that wizard that popped up the first time you ran AutoCAD. For example: Start->All Programs->Autodesk-> AutoCAD Architectural 2010->Migrate Custom Settings and pick "Migrate from a Previous Release".

I prefer to manually migrate (actually Import) my custom menu. I created a custom menu back around AutoCAD 2002 and I just use the CUI dialog to load my partial menu. This way I can have my menu in several AutoCAD versions all referencing the same menus (no duplication) and I can quickly remove my customization if I need to troubleshoot an issue.

You can also manually migrate pieces of your menu (toolbars, menus, etc) by using the CUI (that's Custom User Interface for those keeping an Autodesk acronym dictionary). In the CUI dialog select the Transfer tab. On the left display your Main menu and on the right Open your old or custom menu. Then just drag-n-drop from the list on the right to the left. Using this method ensures you don't have all those extra Workspaces showing up in the list.

Migrating Profiles is typically fine, but if your migrated Profile does not work and the normal one does, then you need to spend a lot of time figuring it out. I do not migrate my Profile. I go into Options and set the settings I want, it takes MUCH LESS TIME to manually change the new Profile than to troubleshoot a broken profile. Change your settings on the "Files" tab last. Only modify a few at a time then exit and go back into AutoCAD. If/When it breaks we don't want a list of 30 changes to go through.

Migrating Plot information:
Should you re-use old PC3 files? what about the CTBs and STBs? I typically recommend different folders for sharing PC3s and CTBs. You can have something like the following folders for your PC3 files.

S:\ACAD\Plot Styles\2009
S:\ACAD\Plot Styles\2010

Then copy your old 2009 PC3s and CTBs to the new folder. NOTE: Do not copy any shortcuts from those folders. If you do then you will have very bad performance issues sooner or later. I've seen some systems that would take 20 minutes to bring up the Plot dialog box.

Custom LISP/Script/VBA:
Setup a test environment and test these all out before you spend a couple hours getting AutoCAD installed, manually migrate all your settings only to Crash AutoCAD and have to spend another few hours only to find out your old VBA application won't work in the new environment. Only after thorough testing would I migrate these and then I'd only do it manually testing after each major piece is put into place. Your test environment may work and the users environment may not due to permissions, access to drives/shares, more restrictions in Anti-Virus/Spyware, Group Policies, etc...

Third Party Add-on programs:
Check with the 3rd party add-on manufacturer. Their version of the Lisp/Scrip/VBA or ARX may not be compatible with this version of AutoCAD/Revit/Inventor/MAX/etc...

Monday, March 8, 2010

TEXT! Front and center, MARCH!

Ok, sometimes you can have problems selecting your text because something else is on-top of it, like a hatch pattern or a solid object. Draworder can be very time consuming when you have a lot of text/objects, plus you still have to be able to select the Text.

There is a quick way to bring your text to the front and it is the TEXTTOFRONT command. You get to choose between Text, Dimensions or Both.

This brings all your text to the "front" or "above" all the other objects. It's a lot faster than using draworder!

If you're having problems with your Autodesk program, we can help. Call the National Support Center at 800-808-7645.