How to Measure the Distance and Angle Between 2 Points in AutoCAD

In the past we have looked at the easiest way How to find Closest Distance Between 2 Objects? today, we will improve our knowledge with finding the different ways to measure the distance and angle between 2 points in AutoCAD. Of course we will pick the quickest and easiest way to do the job.

For better illustration we will use the image above.
The distance we need is the distance between point A and point B. While the angle needed is the one between the imaginary line AB and the X-axis (horizontal line).

Measure Distance and Angle by adding Dimensions

The first way to find the needed data is to add standard AutoCAD Dimensions.

To measure the distance we will use either Aligned dimension

or the DIM commad (Which Creates multiple dimensions and types of dimensions with a single command.)
To measure the angle between the AB line and the X-axis, we need to draw a horizontal helper line and use DIM angular .

This method is quite easy, however it consists of several steps and can be time consuming.

Find Distance and Angle between two points with Single command!

The Second method we are looking at is quicker and doesn’t require drawing additional objects in the drawing. We can find the desired information by using the DIST command. See how in the steps below:

  1. Type on the command line DIST or select the icon in the Home ribbon tab under utilities tab.
  2. Specify first point.
  3. Specify the second point

Then AutoCAD will automatically return the results in the command line. (To Expand the command line Click F2 key on the keyboard)

As you can see the information given is absolutely the same as the one using the first method. The only difference is being the precision of the linear dimension. In addition to the Distance and angle between the two points. When using the DIST command AutoCAD gives us the the difference between two point’s X coordinates and Y coordinates – Delta X and Delta Y.

DIST command can be also used in 3D, then the difference in Z coordinates could be more than 0.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks like this one!

AutoCAD is running out of Memory (5 Quick Solutions!)

If you are presented with the message AutoCAD is running out of system memory, don’t worry, there are some steps you can take and try to make it work smoothly again.

The issue could pop up while opening or saving a file or working on one or more opened drawings. The problem can be present on one specific file or on any opened drawing. When system memory (RAM Memory) is getting fuller, the whole PC system could get sluggish and this can cause a loss of data (FATAL ERROR in AutoCAD!? How to Restore Drawing Data?).

Here we will go through some of the steps you can take to go on top of the AutoCAD is running out of memory problem.

Clean up temporary files

The first thing you can try is to clean up the Temp files folder. This could save some memory as AutoCAD won’t be keeping track of all the old temporary files.
Usually, the temp files are located under C:\Users\YOUR PC\appdata\local\temp\ when there, erase all .bak, .sv$ and .ac$ AutoCAD files.

Note: If you can’t find the AppData folder, check if you can see hidden files and folders as it is hidden by default.

Field update frequency

Make fields update less frequently. This can be done by typing on the command line FIELDEVAL and then changing the value to 4. That way fields will update only when plotting.

Cache model tab and last layout

Cacheing the model and last layout tabs will significantly reduce the switching time between those. And in addition, AutoCAD will consume less RAM memory. This can be done by right-clicking on the screen and opening the Options Tab.
There, go to the System tab and under Layout Regen Options, check the Cache model tab and last layout.

Adjusting windows for best performance

This tip works only for windows users. The latest Windows versions, such as 10 and 11 include lots of visual effects. These look great, but do you really need them in your work? These effects use additional system resources. This can cause the issue with AutoCAD running out of system memory.

To set the visual effects for the best performance follow the steps below:

  • Enter the Start Menu and in the search bar type in performance
  • In the list of results, select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows
  • On the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance
  • Then hit apply and Restart your PC.

Close all unneeded programs

Windows operating system usually runs multiple programs at once, often times we don’t even know about those. One of the easiest ways to free up some System Memory is to close all unneeded programs.

To check what is the currently running programs and close the unnecessary ones open the Windows Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL. There find the unwanted applications and click End Task to close them.

Free up some Space on the Hard Drive

Another way to deal with the AutoCAD is running out of memory error is to free up some space on the Hard Drive. This will work only if there is not sufficient enough space for the system to work. Especially when there is no space for the Swap file to grow if it is dynamic. Also, if the swap file is static you can change the swap file size.

A swap file or virtual memory is a file stored on a hard disk (or SSD) where RAM data is written when the System Memory is full.

To speed up a specific drawing that is been the problem and slim it down, check How to Reduce Size and Increase Performance of AutoCAD Drawings and OVERKILL! Or how to erase duplicate objects Easy and Fast!

Hope you find the information useful in dealing with the low memory problem. In addition, you can also check How to Choose the best PC/Laptop for CAD Software 2022 Updated!

AutoCAD Flickers and Flashes? Learn How to stop that!

Are you having problems with flashing AutoCAD? Or is the screen flickering when working on a specific drawing? Maybe the drawing window is jumping when scrolling/panning across? The model/layout tabs and the status bar jump from one to two rows and back to one.
This can be very frustrating behavior of the software and it can be caused by several things. In this article, first, we will look at when flickering is most commonly present. Secondly, we will discuss what are the causes, and lastly, we will try to “repair” the program by exploring different fixes.

When did AutoCAD start Flickering and Flashing?

You can take several actions to trigger the flashing of the AutoCAD window. If you find your trigger action below, don’t worry, it is a common thing and can be cured!

  • Flashing screen when Panning or Zooming in the drawing window.
  • Flickering when activating a viewport in a layout view.
  • Bouncing screen when switching between layout tabs.
  • Flickering when selecting particular objects/commands.
  • When creating a new drawing.
  • Jumping of the status bar occurs when selecting object snaps
  • Flashing can occur even while doing nothing in the drawing

Certainly, this behavior can dramatically decrease your productivity and worsen your mood.

What are the causes of AutoCAD bouncing the Status Bar?

The cause for the strange AutoCAD window behavior is a new feature introduced in AutoCAD Version 2016. This feature gives model/layout tabs the opportunity to move to a second row if they are interfering with the Status bar. Usually, the display flicker occurs when the program redraws its interface to change the status bar from one to two rows. That is why the constant flickering occurs when the status bar is right at the edge between the single and double-row display.

Stop AutoCAD Flickering!

Shrink the Status Bar

The first and probably most unproductive fix is to shrink the status bar. That way Model/Layout tab won’t get in the way of the status bar. You can do that by disabling some of the status bar features, like coordinates, as they are quite wide.

Dock Model/Layout tab above the status bar

The second way to deal with the flickering is to Dock the model/layout tabs above the status bar. That way the software won’t be redrawing its interface to change the status bar as the Model and Layout tabs won’t interfere with the status bar.

To do that, right-click on the Model tab and select Dock above Status bar

The biggest drawback of this solution is that the status bar is constantly set at two-row mode.

Stop Status bar Wrapping

You can also stop AutoCAD from flickering at once, by stopping the new AutoWrap function. To do that type on the command line STATUSBARAUTOWRAP and set it to Off or 0.

Hope you find this information useful. Don’t forget to share with friends and colleagues.
For more great AutoCAD Related posts check our Page AutoCAD Tips.

3 Ways to Convert Spline to Polyline (How to Choose the Best!)

In the last article, we discussed How to Make the Best use of Splines in AutoCAD. We learned that a spline is a smooth curve that passes through or near points chosen on the screen.

Today our task will be to Convert Spline to Polyline, this is an important skill as not all programs or commands can work with Spline objects.
There are at least 3 different ways of converting splines into polylines and the results could be different too.
In addition to converting a single Spline, we will go through a way to convert multiple Splines to Polylines with ease!
Lastly, we are going to look at How to Convert a Spline-Fit Polyline to a Spline!

Convert Spline to Arc Polyline

The first method we are going to look at converts Splines to Polylines composed of arcs. This method is only available for users of the full AutoCAD version as it is part of the Express Tools and is not available for AutoCAD LT users.
The resulting arced polyline looks very similar to the starting spline and is quite easy to modify later on. Follow the steps below to do the trick:

  1. Draw in the Spline you want to Convert.
  2. Type on the command line FLATTEN.
  3. Select the Spline object.
  4. A prompt will appear: Remove hidden lines? type N for No and hit Enter.

The Spline is now Polyline arcs that look very similar to the original Spline object.

Note: If you choose to remove hidden lines, AutoCAD will convert the Spline to a polyline consisting of lots of lines and in addition to this will erase any parts of the spline that are not currently displayed.

Convert Spline to Polyline adjusting the Precision

The second method we are looking at will convert the spline to a polyline consisting of lots of straight lines. Using this method we are able to adjust the Accuracy of the polyline, the more accurate we are, the more vertexes there will be on the Polyline, which would make adjustments very hard later on. You can check our post on How to Remove Polyline Vertexes (Remove Multiple Vertexes at Once!!) for simplifying existing polylines.

In fact, we can achieve absolutely the same results in two separate ways, we are exploring the methods below:

Using SPLINEDIT

  1. Draw in the Spline you want to Convert.
  2. Type on the command line SPLINEDIT.
  3. Select the Spline.
  4. Type P to choose convert to Polyline option.
  5. AutoCAD will prompt to Specify a precision: type in a number between 0 and 99. Hit Enter!

Note: Remember the bigger the number you specify the closer to the original spline you are, but more vertexes will be added to the polyline.

Using PEDIT

  1. Draw in the Spline you want to Convert.
  2. Type on the command line PEDIT.
  3. Select the Spline.
  4. AutoCAD will ask Do you want to turn it into one? type in Y for yes.
  5. Then will prompt to Specify a precision: type in a number between 0 and 99. Hit Enter!

Convert Multiple Splines to Polylines

Often times we need to convert multiple Splines, this could take a considerable amount of time if the Spline objects are tens or even hundreds.
To convert multiple splines to polylines with one command follow the steps below:

  1. Have your Splines drawn and type on command line PEDIT.
  2. Then, before selecting anything type in M for Multiple.
  3. Now, select all the Splines and hit Enter.
  4. AutoCAD will prompt Convert Lines, Arcs and Splines to polylines [Yes/No]? type in Y for yes.
  5. Then will prompt to Specify a precision: type in a number between 0 and 99. Hit Enter twice.

That is how all Splines got converted to Polylines at once with just one command.

Convert a Polyline to Spline

Lastly, we will show you How to convert a Polyline to Spline in AutoCAD. To do that follow the steps below:

  1. Draw the Polyline the usual way.
  2. Type on command line PEDIT and select the Polyline.
  3. Then type S for Spline. And hit Enter.
    This will convert the polyline to a spline-fit Polyline that still exhibits Polyline properties.
  4. Now, to convert this 2D Splined Polyline to true Spline type in SPL on the command line.
  5. When AutoCAD prompts to Specify first point or [Method/Knots/Object]: type O to trigger the Object option.
  6. Lastly, select the Polyline and hit Enter.

Note: The method works for a single Polyline as well as for multiple Polylines, the only difference is that you have to type M for multiple after PEDIT command is triggered, before selecting the polylines.

Hope you find this post a value, you can check our other AutoCAD Articles to find even more interesting tips and tricks.

And don’t forget to share this page with your friends and colleagues.

Drawing SPLINE in AutoCAD (Best Practices!)

In this article, we are going to look at one very mysterious AutoCAD Object – AutoCAD Splines and try to make working with them easier for us all!
For better understanding, we will be looking at different examples of How to draw Spline and their best uses.

First, what is a Spline in AutoCAD?

When triggered SPLINE, the software creates a smooth curve that passes through or near points we choose on the screen. By default, splines are a series of blended cubic curve segments. They are called non-uniform rational B-splines (NURBS), but we are calling them Splines in short. According to Autodesk’s site, cubic splines most closely represent the line created by using flexible strips that are shaped by weights at data points (About Splines).

Draw SPLINE in AUTOCAD

To draw a Spline type on the command line SPL, by default AutoCAD will display Current settings: Method=Fit Knots=Uniform and ask us to Specify first point or [Method/Knots/Object]: Here we can either start drawing, using the current settings or choose a different setting. Let’s see what are the different options we have:

Method

When we select the Method setting, AutoCAD gives us two options Enter spline creation method [Fit/CV] : in other words create spline using Fit Points or using Control Vertices.

Fit

The Fit points method creates blended Cubic curves (degree 3) by specifying fit points that curvature must pass through or if the tolerance value is greater than 0, the spline within the specified tolerance from each specified point.

There are several specific settings for using the Fit method:

  1. Knots use different computational methods to draw different ways to blend the curves between the fit points. (SPLKNOTS system variable)
    • Chord – draws the connecting knots with proportional distances between each pair of fit points.
    • Square root – draws the connecting knots with spaces proportional to the square root of the distance between each pair of fit points.
    • Uniform – draws the connecting knots with spaces equal regardless the spacing of the fit points.
  2. Start Tangency specifies the tangency of the spline at the start point of the object.
  3. End Tangency specifies the tangency of the spline at the end point of the object.
  4. Tolerance specifies the maximum distance by which the blended curves can deviate from the specified fit points.

    Note: The tolerance for starting and ending points is always 0

Control Vertices (CV)

The Control Vertices method creates linear (degree 1), quadratic (degree 2), cubic (degree 3), and up to degree 10 splines. (SPLMETHOD system variable)

  1. Linear Spline (degree 1)

  2. Quadratic Spline (degree 2)

  3. Cubic Spline (degree 3)

  4. Degree 6

Object

When we choose the Object setting, AutoCAD will ask us to select 2D or 3D quadratic or cubic spline-fit Polyline to convert to SPLINE.



Note: By default, the original polyline will be erased, to save the polyline change the DELOBJ system variable to 0.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

How to convert Solid to Hatch in AutoCAD

In this article, we will check the quickest and easiest way to Convert a Solid to Hatch in AutoCAD. To do the trick, we will use an AutoLISP. You can find out what a LISP is and how to use it in Accelerate Your Work with AutoLISP! (Only 3 Easy Steps!)

2D Solids are created with SOLID command. The software creates solid-filled triangles and quadrilaterals. 2D solids can be seen (filled) only when the FILLMODE system variable is on (1).

Sometimes, Solids are created by extracting objects from other programs like Civil 3D. For example, when you try to pull Slopes out from a Civil 3D TIN Surface, you end up with lots of Solid objects.

I personally prefer to work with hatches instead of Solids as they are way more customizable and work better for me. So how to convert those objects into Hatches?

Convert Solid to Hatch in AutoCAD

As previously said, to convert a solid object to Hatch we will use a lisp. The steps for conversion are below:

  1. Download the lisp from Here.
  2. Load the Lisp into AutoCAD and type on the command line CD to trigger the routine.
  3. Next, the software will ask you to select the objects to convert.
  4. After selecting the solids hit Enter and you are Done!

You will find that in addition to hatches, AutoCAD will export polylines for the solid objects boundaries.

Hope you find this post a value, you can check our other AutoCAD Articles to find even more interesting tips and tricks.

And don’t forget to share this page with your friends and colleagues.

How to Calculate the Moment of Inertia in AutoCAD

AutoCAD is primarily a drawing software, however, there are more, much more uses of the program than just the simple drawing.
One very useful feature is that with the help of AutoCAD we can calculate the second area moment of inertia of a complex section with ease!
Manual calculation of the moment of inertia of any section could be time-consuming. Can you imagine, being on a tight schedule and calculating multiple complex moments of inertia?

Moment of Inertia in a Simple Section

We will start with a simple section and then move on to a more complex one. I hope it would be easier to follow this way.
Now, to make the calculation, we will go through the following steps:

  1. First, draw the section, in the example, we will use a simple rectangle with sides of 5 and 2 units.
  2. Secondly, we type on the command line REGION to define a Region object.
  3. Then, we select all the lines/arcs/polylines that define the section and hit Enter (or Right-Click the mouse)
  4. After the creation of a Region object from our section, we type on the command line MASSPROP and select the Region object.
  5. AutoCAD will automatically provide us some properties of the Section, like Area, Perimeter, coordinates of the Center of the Mass, etc. Now, we move the UCS to the Center of the mass (Centroid)
  6. Lastly, after moving the Coordinate system to the Center of the mass of the section, we trigger MASSPROP again to Find the Moment of Inertia.

Note: The REGION command deletes the original objects after converting them to regions. To prevent it from deleting those set the DELOBJ system variable to 0.

Moment of Inertia in a Hollow Section

Next, we will take a look at how to find the Moment of Inertia in a Complex Section (Hollow asymmetrical section). The steps are pretty much the same with one small exception, excluding the hollow part.

  1. First, we again draw the Section.
  2. Then, we start REGION Command.
  3. Next, we select all objects that define the section, both inner and outer limits. This time we will end up with 2 separate Region objects.
  4. Now, to combine those objects we will type on the command line SUBTRACT.
  5. AutoCAD will ask us to Select solids, surfaces, and regions to subtract from, here we select the outer limits of the section and hit Enter
  6. Then, AutoCAD will ask us to Select objects: Select solids, surfaces, and regions to subtract, here we select the inner object to subtract and hit Enter.
  7. We’ve ended up with one complex Region Object that represents our section. Now we have to repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 from the previous example.
    We type on the command line MASSPROP and select the Region object.
  8. Now, we move the UCS to the Center of the mass (Centroid coordinates)
  9. Lastly, we trigger MASSPROP again to Find the Moment of Inertia in AutoCAD

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

How to perform AutoCAD Spell Check the Easy Way!

As a non-native English speaker, I tend to make quite many spelling mistakes. This, in an everyday speech or writing, could not be a problem, however, the Drawings we create are a significant part of our portfolio and they should be flawless in every way.

It would be very unproductive for us to spend lots of time, making sure all the text objects are visible (How to Bring all Text to Front in AutoCAD! (With 1 Command!)) and properly aligned (Rotate multiple Text objects in AutoCAD), looking good, and then having spelling mistakes all across the drawings.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy and free way to spellcheck all your text in AutoCAD?

AutoCAD Check Spelling

Fortunately for us, AutoCAD has a free built-in Spell Checking function. And even better is that there are several different English dictionaries (American English, British English, and Canadian English) depending on where your drawings would be reviewed.
For a better understanding of how to use Spell Check in AutoCAD follow the steps below:

  1. First, to launch the checking function type on the command line SPELL
  2. A window will popup, there on the very top is a drop-down menu called Where to check: and the options are as follows
    • Entire Drawing
    • Current Space/layout – Checking all the objects in the layout/model space
    • Selected Objects – Spell checking only selected objects
  3. To change the language, click on the Main Dictionary: drop-down menu and the one you need.
  4. Hit Start
  5. Complete the task by doing one of the following options:
    • Correct the misspelled word by selecting one of the Suggestions list or type in a new word in the Suggestions box.
    • Leave a word unchanged by clicking Ignore.
    • Or Leave a word unchanged and add it to the dictionary by clicking Add to Dictionary.
  6. Repeat the previous step for all misspelled words, or click Change all/ Ignore all.

How to additionally set up the Spell Check function.

To include block attributes, dimension text, and/or external references, when you trigger the SPELL Command, Click on Settings.

There, under Include, you can mark the additional objects you want to be Spell Checked by AutoCAD. The options are Dimension Text, Block Attributes, and External References.

Under Options, you can choose if the spell-checker should ignore one of the following:

  • Ignore capitalized words (Autodesk)
  • Ignore Words with mixed Cases (TrueType)
  • Ignore words in uppercase (DWG)
  • Ignore words with numbers (ISO9000)
  • Ignore words containing punctuation (A/3)

How to add new Words or Custom Dictionaries

To add a custom dictionary or additional words to the existing one, trigger the SPELL Command and then click on Dictionaries.

A new window will pop up, there under Current Main Dictionary, you can choose the main Language to use.
From the Current Custom dictionary drop-down menu, choose Manage Custom Dictionaries to add a new dictionary.
To add additional words to the existing Custom Dictionary, either type in the new words under Content:, or click on Import to import a new list of words (custom dictionary).

Turn On/Off the AutoCAD Spell Check while typing

To make AutoCAD Check words directly while you are typing when you start editing/adding text in an MText object, on the Text Editor ribbon tab, click on the Spell Check icon. That way AutoCAD will continuously underline the misspelled words while typing.

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How to Link Tables in AutoCAD

AutoCAD Tables are very powerful and useful objects that can save us lots of time. There are so many uses of AutoCAD Tables, as we already saw in previous posts like How to Copy Excel Table in AutoCAD or How to copy AutoCAD Text to Microsoft Excel.

The Table objects in AutoCAD could be almost as useful as the tables of Microsoft Excel. Most likely you already know how to link Cell data between cells of a single AutoCAD table, just type in a formula and the Cell ID as in Microsoft Excel “=B1+B2”.
However, in Excel we know how to combine data between different tables, but do you know How to link cell data from different tables in AutoCAD? Don’t worry, with our 3 simple steps you will be able to link data from different AutoCAD Tables with ease!

Link cells from different AutoCAD Tables

To create a data link between different tables in AutoCAD, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Cell in the receiving AutoCAD Table.
  2. Right-click and from the menu select Insert > Formula > Cell
  3. Select the cell to link to and hit Enter.

That was it! The two tables are now Linked and the data will be automatically updated when the master table changes.

The formula in the receiving Cell will look something like this “=Table(2208892340912).D9”, where (2208892340912) is the identification of the master table object and D9 is the ID of the Cell in the master table.

When you save and close the drawing, when opened again you could notice that the value of the Table value (Table(2208892340912)) is changed, this is because the Object ID is just a file session valid value.

The Linked cell formula can be changed to your needs for example to =Table(2208892340912).D9+B6. Where we have added to the value of the link cell, the value of cell “B6”.

Note: Only numeric values can be cross-linked this way. If you select a cell with text in it, you will only see #### in the receiving table cell.

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How to Create Hatch From Block in AutoCAD?

In this article, you will learn how to create your own Hatch pattern from a Block object. Instead of using the standard hatches preset in AutoCAD or importing custom hatch .PAT files from the internet.

Keep in mind, that we are going to use the AutoCAD Express Tools that are only available in the full AutoCAD software and not in the AutoCAD LT version.

How to create Hatch from Block in AutoCAD

For better understanding, we are going to separate the process of creating a hatch from a block into several easy-to-follow steps you can find below.

  1. The first and most obvious step is to either create or choose a block for the new Hatch pattern. It is important to have well defined insertion point of the block.
  2. Go to Express Tools ribbon tab and click on the Super Hatch Icon.
  3. A new window will pop-up, there, click on the second option Block…
  4. On the next screen, select the Block you would like to use for the hatch by name. Then you can choose to either Specify parameters on Screen, or directly fill them in here.

    For the example we will choose to Specify on screen.
    • After clicking on OK, AutoCAD will prompt for Insertion point on the screen for the Block. You can also select one of the following options: Basepoint/Scale/X/Y/Z/Rotate.
    • When Inserction point is specified, AutoCAD will then prompt to enter the X scale factor.
    • Next, enter the Y scale factor.
    • Lastly, specify the rotation of the block on the screen.
    • When finished, the software will show you the block as you have specified it and ask you to confirm the placement.
  5. When the block is placed on the screen, AutoCAD will ask you to specify the block boundary. This is important if you would like to have a gaps around the block see the example below.
  6. The final step is to pick inside of an enclosed area to add the Hatch. Or click on Advanced options to select the Boundary set/Island detection.

This was the fastest and easiest way to create a custom Hatch from Block in AutoCAD!

Note: The Super Hatch is now a “group” of objects and not a true hatch. This is why if you decide to modify the boundary, it will not be “associative”.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

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