Recently, I was out with a friend and we were discussing the new Verizon iPhone announcement and the difference between an iPhone on AT&T and one on the current Verizon network. I explained that a CDMA iPhone would not be able to do both a phone call and data access at the same time. To demonstrate how this worked on AT&T I had him call me from his iPhone, switch over the home screen, look up a location in Maps, and then switch back to the phone call. He could even talk to me while he was in the Maps app because the call was still active. He looked at me and said, "I've had this phone for over a year and never knew I could do that."
I started thinking about how this is often the case with AutoCAD. AutoCAD is coming up on 30 years old and as of the 2011 release, has 1100+ commands and 850+ system variables. For most AutoCAD users (myself included) there is untapped productivity hidden in commands we never knew or have long since forgotten.
In his class on how to become an AutoCAD power user, my friend, dave espinosa-aguilar, says, "Learn the program; all of it.", and he makes the following point:
"Most users today do not even know, understand or exploit over 25% of the technologies they’ve already paid for."
It's a reality and it doesn't just apply to AutoCAD. I've used robust software such as Final Cut Studio and Pro Tools for years and I've still just scratched the surface of what these packages can really do … and they are much younger than AutoCAD. Even if you've been using AutoCAD for ten years, there was already close to 20 years of functionality in place when you started. With each new release, you get to hear all about the new features and functionality in AutoCAD but what about the other really useful stuff that has been there for years that you still don't know about?
With this in mind, I've decided to start an intermittently recurring series of blog posts (Is that non-committal enough?), highlighting one potentially lesser-known feature, command, option, or system variable at a time. The idea is introduce you, in bite-size chunks, to functionality that you already own but may have never used. This won't be a daily series–there will often be important support-related stuff to talk about–but I hope to do it often enough that you regularly discover something useful to add to your AutoCAD toolbox. I'll call this series of posts, "In The Box".
I'm also going to make this a chance for you to share with other Without a Net readers from your own wealth of AutoCAD knowledge. Send an email to email@example.com and tell me about some underdog feature or little-known option that you use all the time and how it helps you and I'll share your input in a future blog post.
Purging Regapp IDs
You cannot purge unreferenced regapp IDs from a drawing using the Purge dialog (even when clicking the "Purge All" button) but you can using the command-line version of PURGE. In the –PURGE command, you'll see a Regapp option that does not appear in the dialog version. Choose this to purge unreferenced regapp IDs from the drawing you're working in. Why would you want to do this? Check out this post from last year for more information: Managing Regapp IDs.
There. A quick and simple tip, yet an option that many people still don't know about (but should).