There's now a "Subscribe Now" link on the main page (below the "Blog Archive"), in case anyone was having trouble finding the feed. If I ever have to change any of this, I'm sunk, but in the meantime it all seems to be working. :-)
Strange things can happen to your dynamic blocks if layer 0 (zero, in case the font makes it look like an "O") is off or frozen. Many people (me included) create blocks with entities on layer 0, so they inherit the properties of the layer on which they’re inserted. (It’s why the same steel shape can display the proper color for new or existing, depending on whether it’s on a “new” layer or an “existing” layer.) So if you’re having trouble getting a hatch to follow its outline, or are unable to edit attributes, check layer 0.
It’s possible to give individual cells in your AutoCAD tables a shaded background! Simply left-click on the cell to select it, open the Properties window, and look for “Background Fill”. Select the color you want, and you’re done. Keep in mind that any color that prints black will obscure any text in the cell. Most company's pen tables have a "screened" color or two (ours is color 8) that will print lighter, so it can be used for emphasis without hiding the text. If you're printing in color, though, you're only limited by your creativity.
A hatch that has lost its boundary (and has therefore become non-associative) is not necessarily a lost cause. The new “Recreate Boundary” option in the Hatch Edit dialog saves you from having to delete the hatch and start over. Simply double-click on the troublesome hatch and select “Recreate Boundary”.
You’ll be asked if you want the new boundary to be a region or a polyline. Polylines are more flexible than regions, but the resulting boundary will be lots of separate polylines. Which works, but unfortunately, joining the polylines together into a single object disassociates the hatch again. (Oh well, you can’t have it all.)
Then you’ll be asked if you want to associate the hatch with the new boundary. Considering that the most obvious reason you would want the boundary back is to edit it, you’ll probably want to say yes. Click OK to exit Hatch Edit.
So I just took 5 minutes to read the LT 2009 Preview Guide (available at Between the Lines), and here's my initial take. It looks like a lot of stuff will be appearing in both releases, so I just tried to find the LT-specific stuff:
The interface changes are huge! I think they'll be good, but it'll take a while to get used to it. (Okay, not LT-specific, but big enough to be worth mentioning.)
The Steering Wheels have been around in Design Review for a long time, but I haven't found them much more useful than the mouse wheel so far...we will see.
The guide says that LT 2009 can grip-edit xclip boundaries, but it doesn't say if they can be created. (I hope they can!)
LT can now create non-rectangular viewports. (Finally!)
It can also attach & detach images. (No more copy-paste!)
True Color & color book support is now included. (That doesn't mean much to me, but I bet there are a bunch of people out there for whom it does.)
And it now has full field support! (Woohoo!)
All in all, it looks like it'll be a good release -- plenty of new features, even if they're geared more towards usability than "drawing" tools.
Yes, it's that time of year again -- time to start previewing the new features that will be available in AutoCAD 2009, which will be released in March. I didn't get my own preview copy, but here's what several other people have had to say about it so far:
I have a new blog to add to my list of favorites: Indexed. I saw it a few days ago over on RobiNZ CAD Blog, and it's wonderful. The author, Jessica Hagy, describes the site as "... a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math." If you've never found humor in a Venn diagram, you should check it out. :-)
Let's say you've hatched an area of your drawing, but now you need to add a note, symbol, or some other thing in the middle of it -- and you don't want the hatch to obscure your new object.
Rather than erasing the hatch and starting over, simply double-click on it to launch the HATCHEDIT command (also under Modify-->Object-->Hatch). From the options on the right, select "Add Objects" and pick to select your objects. Click OK, and your hatch now follows around the outside of your text/block/whatever.