The Insert and the Layer Properties Manager dialog boxes let you view the blocks and layers available in your drawing, by listing tli.emin a window. The Layer Properties Manager dialog box also includes information on the status oflayers. However, you may forget the layer on which an object resides. You’ve seen how the Properties option on the popup menu shows you the properties of an object. The List button on the Object Properties toolbar also allows you to get information about individual objects.
1. Click and hold the Distance tool so that a flyout appears.
2. Drag the pointer down to the List tool and select it.
3. At the Se1ect obj ect: prompt, click the Tub block and then press1. TheAutoCAD Text window ~ppears.
In the Text window, a listing appears that shows not only the layer that the tub is on, but its space, insertion point, name, color, line type, rotation angle, and scale.
4. The information you see in the Text window is duplicated in the Properties dialog box that you see when you right-click your mouse and choose Properties. But having the data in the Text window gives you the flexibility to record the data in a text file, in case you need to store data about parts of your drawing. You can also use the Text window to access and store other types of data regarding your drawings.
Using the Log File Feature
Eventually, you will want a permanent record of block and layer listings. This is especially true if you work on drawing files that are being used by others. Here’s a way to get a permanent record of the layers and blocks within a drawing using the Log File option under the Environment Preferences.
1. Minimize the Text window (click the Minimize button in the upper-right comer of the Text window).
2. Click Tools» Options, or type op.r, or right-click the drawing area. Then select Options in the bottom of the popup menu. The Options dialog box appears.
3. Click the Open and Save tab at the top of the dialog box
4. Click the Maintain a Log File check box in the bottom-left side of the dialog box. A checkrnark appears in the check box.
5. Click OK, then type -LAYER.J (don’t forget the minus sign) at the command prompt, and then type? .J.J. The AutoCAD Text window appears and a listing of all the layers scrolls into view.
6. Press F2 to return to the AutoCAD drawing screen. Then open the Options dialog box again. ‘
7. Make sure you have the Open and Save tab selected, then click the Maintain a Log File check box again, and then click OK.
8. Use Windows Notepad to open the AutoCAD log file, Acad. 109, located in the \AutoCAD2000\ directory. Notice that the layer listing is recorded there. With the Log File feature, you can record virtually anything that appears in the command prompt. You can even record an entire AutoCAD session. The log file call also be helpful in constructing script files to automate tasks (see Automating a Slide Presentation for more information on scripts). To have hard copy of the log file, just print it from an application such as Windows Notepad or your favorite word processor.
If you wish, you can arrange to keep the Acad . log file in a directory other than . the default AutoCAD subdirectory. This setting is also in the Options dialog box under the Files tab. Locate Log File Location in the Search Path, File Names, and File Locations list box. Click the plus sign next to this listing. The listing expands to show the location for the log file
You can double-click the file location listing to open a Select a File dialog box and specify a different location and filename for your log file. This dialog box is a typical Windows file dialog box.
Finding Files on Your Hard Disk
As your library of symbols and files grows, you may begin to have difficul y keeping track of them. Fortunately, AutoCAD offers a utility that lets you quickly locate a file anywhere in your computer. The Find File utility searches your hard disk for specific files. You can have it search one drive or several, or you can limit the search to one directory. You can limit the search to specific filenames or use DOS wildcards to search for files with similar names.
The following exercise steps you through a sample Find File task:
1. Click File >Open. In the Select File dialog box, click Find File to display the Browse/Search dialog box.
The Browse/Search dialog box has two tabs: Browse and Search. The Browse tab contains all the drawings in the current directory, displayed as thumbnail views so you can easily identify them. You can open a me by double-clicking its thumbnail view, or by entering its name in the File Name input box at the top. The Size drop-down list in the Browse tab of the Browse/Search dialog box lets you choose the size of the thumbnail views shown in the list box-small, medium, and large. You can scroll through the views using the scroll bars at the bottom of the list box.
Click the Search tab to open the page of Search functions. Use the Search Pattern input box to enter the name of the me for which you wish to search. The default is “.dwg, which causes the Find File utility to search for all AutoCAD drawing files. Several other input boxes help you set a variety of other search criteria, such as the date stamp of the drawing, the type of drawing, and the drive and path to be searched. For now, leave these settings as is.
3. Click the Seaech button. In a few seconds, a listing of files that meet the criteria specified in the input boxes appears in the Files list on the left, along with thumbnail views of each file. You can click a filename in the list, andthen click the Open button to open the file in the drawing editor.
4. When you’re ready, click Exit to exit the Browse/Search dialog.box, and then click Cancel to exit the Open File dialog box
In this exercise, you performed a search using the default settings. These settings caused AutoCAD to search for files with the .dwg filename extension, created after 12:00 midnight on January 1, 1980,in the \ACADWIN\ directory.
Here are the functions of the items in the Browse/Search dialog box:
Search Pattern Lets you give specific filename search criteria using DOS wildcard characters.
File Types Lets you select from a set of standard file types.
Date Filter Lets you specify a cutoff time and date. Files created before the specified time and date are ignored.
Drives Lets you specify the drives to search.
All Drives Lets you search all the drives on your computer.
Path Lets you specify a path to search.
Search This button begins the search process.
Open This button opens the file highlighted in the file list, after a search is performed.
Help This button provides information on the use of Browse/Search.
Edit This button, next to the Path input box, opens another dialog box, displaying a directory tree from which you can select a search path.
Using the AutaCAD DesignCenter to Manage Drawings and Slocks
If yeu need a more power fuii’ tool Ii~I!mI anage your drraawwimqs. tikler you ‘I’I \,,03’11 to get to know the AutoCAD DesignCenter. Th~DesignCenter IS new in /\l!toCN) 2000 It lets you locate and rnarraqe AutoCA? drawin~ files and blocks that It also allows you to search for and Import; line types, text, and dimension styles (you’ll leam “bout text am) ‘) 8 and 9) and Xrefs. If your work .uvolves rtstrr irnaqes, you (an JS(,Center to view and import Targa, TIFF,BMP. JPEG, and oiner image files, You’ll get a chance to learn more about the DesignCenter in Chapter”24. which discussesproject management ssues,
Inserting Symbols with Drag and Drop
If you prefer to manage your symbols library using Windows Explorer. or to use another third-party file manager for locating and managing your symbols, you’ll appreciate AutoCAD’s support for Drag and Drop. With this feature, you can dick and drag a file’from the Wmdows Explorer into the AutoCAD window. You can also drag and drop from the Windows Find File or Folder utility. AutoCAD automatically starts the Insert command to insert the file. Drag and Drop also works with a variety of other AutoCAD support files. AutoCAD supports Drag and Drop for other types of data from applications that support Microsoft’s ActiveX technology. Table 4.3 shows a list of files with which you can use Drag and Drop, and the functions associated with them.