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Michael’s Corner

Michael BeallMichael's Corner is a monthly publication written by Michael E. Beall, Autodesk Authorized Author and peripatetic AutoCAD trainer. Michael travels all over the USA, bringing his fantastic experience and great understanding of AutoCAD to his clients. Michael's Corner brings together many of the tips, tricks and methods developed during these training sessions for the benefit of all users.

Michael's Corner provides something for every AutoCAD user. Every month, a number of articles cover a wide range of topics, suitable for users at all levels, including "The Basics" for those just starting out. Essentially, the aim of Michael's Corner is to help all AutoCAD users work smarter and faster.


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This month…

October - One-derful!!!

It's a God-thing.

I had no idea that 14 years ago I would be given the opportunity to make an impact on the professional lives of so many. Only God knew what was ahead, and hopefully, the contributions I have made through Michael's Corner have equipped many of you to be more productive and a bit more savvy using AutoCAD. And apart from all the AutoCAD bashing that is going on, I'm sure it has a long life ahead.

So, in an effort to keep the AutoCAD fires burning, here's what I have for my final installment…

…A reminder on how to customize your hot keys
…Three Power Tools — one for Zoom, one for editing, and one for Layers
…Two Odd Spots — one for Layers and one for Hatching
…Buried text treasure
…And how to Search 14 years of the Archives

As for what's ahead for me, I will continue to present a variety of AutoCAD sessions — Fundamentals, Intermediate, Customizing, Updates, and 2D & 3D. I will also keep training CAP Designer, 20-20 Worksheet, Visual Impression (those three from 20-20 Technologies, Inc.), and some Revit Fundamentals. Next year I'm looking forward to being very involved in training CET (from Configura, Inc.) when Herman Miller joins the growing number of manufacturers embracing this software that is being touted as the ‘Future of Space Planning’. Personally, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Donna, my lovely bride of 30 years. When this posts, we'll probably be within days of going on our 30th Anniversary vacation to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson; Ee-Hah! We had such a good time when we went for our 20th, we figured we'd do it again!

Ah, and I'm hoping to have The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition out before snow flies.

And with that, Mike drop! …so to speak.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

This month's articles

Change F1 to ESC
Smoother Zoom
Stretch with Extension
Lock Layers with a Crossing Window
Layer Columns & Hatch Background Color
Text Frame on Mtext

From the Vault

Originally published April 2012

Add an Arc to a Polyline

AutoCAD 2011 introduced the 'multi-function' grip; a concept that was applied to the standard square grip, as well as the dot-grip for hatches, and the rectangular multi-function grip located at the mid-point of polylines. Now when you hover in any type of grip, you get a shortcut menu.


Let's say you have drawn a polyline around a room so you can calculate the area, but the polyline went straight through a circular column… and now you want to make the polyline follow the arc of the column.

How to Add an Arc to a Polyline

  1. Add VertexSelect the polyline to display the grips.

  2. Hover in the multi-function grip at the midpoint, then click Add Vertex.

  3. IntersectionUse Intersection snap and add a vertex at one of the polyline/circle intersections. Repeat the process for the other side of the circle so you now have a vertex on both sides of the circle.

    Quick selection of object snapsNote: To quickly access the Intersection snap, use Shift + Right-click to open the object snap shortcut menu, then click Intersection. I typically set my Osnap to Endpoint and Node, then use this method if I need any other object snap for a single shot.

  4. Click the polyline again, hover in the grip in the middle of the circle, then click Convert to Arc.

  5. NearestUse Shift + Right-click, then the Nearest option and click on the circle to complete the process!

The result is an arc segment within your polyline.


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