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Thread: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

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    Default Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Hi all, I've been using MicroStation for nearly 16 years and have recently decided (through my own choice) to learn AutoCAD 2013. So far its been pretty straightforward (just taking baby-steps atm) though I'm just working on a vanilla installation and following online tutorials and targeting commands I consider to be invaluable in MS and trying find the appropriate equivalent command(s)/steps in AutoCAD. One thing that I cannot find how achieve in AutoCAD is replicate the behaviour of MicroStation's SMARTMATCH command. What it does is you double click on any element and it sets the current active Colour, Level, Linestyle and Lineweight to that of the source element. Once matched, I can make use of these settings to change the appearance of existing geometry using the CHANGE ELEMENT ATTRIBUTES command or create new geometry. These settings now persist for remainder of the drawing session until the user choose to change any/all of these settings. In AutoCAD I have found the Match properties (MA) command but only appears to change existing geometry and not set the active Colour, Level, Linestyle and Lineweight within the properties panel on the Ribbon.

    So can achieve this in AutoCAD or do you have to manually set each setting?

    Many thanks

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Never used MicroStation, with AutoCAD you're talking about is frowned on. In AutoCAD it's best to use bylayer for objects and byblock for block entities. Colour, Linetype, Lineweight, Transparency, Plot Style and Plot can then be controled by Layer States or Viewport Overrides. Instead of 256 numbered Levels with AutoCAD use as many descriptive Layer names as you need. As an example on one layout you can have multiple viewports of the same area with different groups of Layers displayed with different Colour, Linetype, Lineweight, Transparency, Plot Style and Plot settings in each one. Setting properties other than Layer to an object limits what you can do. To fix drawings that have had that done to them AutoCAD has a SetByLayer command that removes Colour, Linetype, Lineweight, Transparency, Plot Style and Plot settings. Layouts and Viewports are probably new to you, but once you see how useful Layer States and Viewport Overrides are you'll understand.

    HTH & Good Luck,

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    AutoCAD has a Match Property command (Matchprop) that allow you to match color,layer, etc of entities after you created them. There is also a Make Layer Current command (Laymcur) that sets the layer of a select object current.

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Hi tom and Jmurphy. I was hoping to avoid any ByLayer/ByLevel CAD standards as I had suspected that most people would simply change the layer and the linestyle/lineweight would change automatically. I'm looking at this from an unbiased viewpoint as both applications allow users to work in a bylayer method but not every office works that way. MS does give you a tool to set the current level, line style/weight from that properties of an existing piece of geometry but judging by both responses it seems AutoCAD does not unless you do work in a ByLayer method.

    In response to Tom, MS can do all of your suggestions including Layouts and Viewports, the only major difference is that the terminology used between applications.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by blothian View Post
    Hi tom and Jmurphy. I was hoping to avoid any ByLayer/ByLevel CAD standards as I had suspected that most people would simply change the layer and the linestyle/lineweight would change automatically. I'm looking at this from an unbiased viewpoint as both applications allow users to work in a bylayer method but not every office works that way. MS does give you a tool to set the current level, line style/weight from that properties of an existing piece of geometry but judging by both responses it seems AutoCAD does not unless you do work in a ByLayer method.

    In response to Tom, MS can do all of your suggestions including Layouts and Viewports, the only major difference is that the terminology used between applications.

    Thanks
    If you've assigned the linestyle and lineweight, it will not change automatically when you put the object on a different layer, those exceptions will remain with the object until manually changed.

    Bylayer is the 'proper' way to do it in AutoCAD, though we all make exceptions to that from time to time, but, as a rule...

    I don't accept drawings (big medical center client) with objects that aren't bylayer. Whether because it's misleading when my users try to show or hide a layer based on visible attributes or because we're x-ref'ing (can't control the visual appearance of your referenced file if it's not bylayer). I about cried tears of joy when AutoCAD started including the SETBYLAYER command, and it actually worked on blocks as well.

    For what it's worth, Murph's advice is the way I'd approach your situation as well.

    Good on ya for trying to know both well. I only spent one semester on Microstation and was completely out of my element, having been an AutoCAD user for so long. I did install Bentley Viewer here for the guys for a couple of years, and some of them liked it well enough to keep it, even when I switched us to TrueView. I was glad when Autodesk adopted Bentley's rollover highlighting idea, makes things easier, imho.
    Melanie Stone
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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Hi Wanderer,

    I work mostly on jobs for Network Rail (They own almost all of the Railway's here in the UK so you don't get many bigger clients) and their CAD standards have levels for each consultant discipline however they use a colour convention of only 4 colours on their drawings (using a WYSIWYG methodology i.e. no plot styles/pen tables etc... to discern the status of works (Existing or unchanged, Modified/to be moved, Redundant/To be removed, New/Proposed/Additional). This convention doesn't reasonably allow for a bylayer approach as the status of geometry on a particular layer can change at any point. I say reasonably as you could do it but you would need the normal layers duplicated and set to use each of the colour's (where applicable) which as you can imagine creates a stupidly long layer list.

    Learning AutoCAD is not for part of my day job, its more a personal thing to enhance my skill-set and employabilty. I've not found anything yet in AutoCAD that is better than MicroStation save for the GUI. Not only is the visual look easier on the eye but the Ribbon is also superior to Bentley's Task vertical interface.

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by blothian View Post
    Hi Wanderer,

    I work mostly on jobs for Network Rail (They own almost all of the Railway's here in the UK so you don't get many bigger clients) and their CAD standards have levels for each consultant discipline however they use a colour convention of only 4 colours on their drawings (using a WYSIWYG methodology i.e. no plot styles/pen tables etc... to discern the status of works (Existing or unchanged, Modified/to be moved, Redundant/To be removed, New/Proposed/Additional). This convention doesn't reasonably allow for a bylayer approach as the status of geometry on a particular layer can change at any point. I say reasonably as you could do it but you would need the normal layers duplicated and set to use each of the colour's (where applicable) which as you can imagine creates a stupidly long layer list.

    Learning AutoCAD is not for part of my day job, its more a personal thing to enhance my skill-set and employabilty. I've not found anything yet in AutoCAD that is better than MicroStation save for the GUI. Not only is the visual look easier on the eye but the Ribbon is also superior to Bentley's Task vertical interface.
    ~whistles~ That is a big client. In that case... the customer is always right! It's just different from how most of us are used to working.

    Can't go wrong there.
    Melanie Stone
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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    The by-layer vs by-entity schism is one of the fundamental differences between uStn and Acad. With Bentley's product - derived as is were from the old Intergraph line, the by-entity properties came first, and setting symbology by level is an over-ride to the initial bias for per entity control.

    Acad is the complete opposite - the by-entity poperties are a over-ride to the properties inherited from the layer assignment. For practical puposes, this is a huge difference when referencing in drawing files to an active drawing - Acad has no way to assign properties to anything in the xref, other than changing the layer properties. So if your line is color RED on Layer Green - it will _always_ be red in appearance - regardless of how one wants it to show up when referencing the file into a current drawing.

    Once could wish for a 'force xref objects to display bylayer' over ride - essentially over-riding the over-ride, but it's not happened yet. (and that _was_ a wish list item at one poiit)
    Last edited by cadtag; 2013-02-27 at 07:10 PM. Reason: added em

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    ...and setting symbology by level is an over-ride to the initial bias for per entity control.
    This is no longer true and hasn't been so for nearly 10 years since ByLevel attributes were implemented.

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    ..Acad has no way to assign properties to anything in the xref, other than changing the layer properties. So if your line is color RED on Layer Green - it will _always_ be red in appearance - regardless of how one wants it to show up when referencing the file into a current drawing.
    Are you saying that AutoCAD cannot replicate MicroStation's Level Symbology overrides for Reference files?

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    Default Re: Long Term MicroStation user learning AutoCAD 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by blothian View Post
    This is no longer true and hasn't been so for nearly 10 years since ByLevel attributes were implemented.


    Are you saying that AutoCAD cannot replicate MicroStation's Level Symbology overrides for Reference files?
    Well, it's more an issue of priority, on the uStn side over-ride may not be the best term. - acad initially depended on controlling everything bylayer and later added by-entity over rides. The Bentley bros went the other way, starting with by-entity propeties and then adding by-level symbology. so the defaults are opposite to each other.

    And that's why Acad can't overide by-entity symbology in a reference file and force by-layer display, and why uStn can. So the answer to your question is 'that is correct, it can't.'

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