30 April 2009

RST Keyboard Shortcut Philosophy

So I'm working on the RST 2010 keyboard shortcuts - it is work believe me. Every ribbon has its own chunk in the file, and many commands repeat over and over. To begin to develop a plan I had to first beg an Excel expert to lend a hand. He customized a xls to do automatic placement of shortcuts based on the ribbon verbage. In a nutshell, when Refence Plane is defined as RP in one row, all other Reference Plane entries on other ribbons get an RP as well.

So I went through the file in whole, assigning shortcuts. What is my philosophy on it?

Commands that I use a lot (like beam) get 2 letter shortcut and will be moved to the top. So BM will start Beam but also B will as well.

Commands that I use a little less but when used, are used repeatedly, get double letter shortcut if available. For example, Align is AA. It could have been AL and then put at the top so that A fires it - I personally think that isn't needed for double letter commands.

Commands that are used daily but not frequently, two letters based on the wording hopefully. So like Reference Plane being RP. Not the best placement on the keyboard but not a killer. Depending on more frequent commands, it may be moved to the top so that R fires.

Then infrequent commands that by the nature of the lack of use will be hard to remember - first letter shortcuts. For example, Dimension Radial is DRA.

After this it gets sketchy - some commands won't get assigned a shortcut since remembering them will be next to impossible. While others will get assigned and hopefully be intelligently named so as to remember them.

27 April 2009

RST2010 Missing Commands

Just noting a few commands are no longer in RST. Big deal? I don’t know but that isn’t typically what software is supposed to do…least not CAD software.

Edit-Select Previous

Tools-Split Walls with Gap (formally turned on with an INI switch)

A whole group of commands related to views…gone. Now the word is you can use the view cube. But that doesn’t make it a great replacement for a shortcut.

View-Orient-To Other View
View-Orient-By Plane
View-Orient-Save View

Know of more? I have not finished my own look so there may be more, send me comment so I can update this list.

Something very cool in Revit 2010

I don’t think it has been well promoted but a really cool feature in Revit platform 2010 is the ability to Open a central file and in that sequence make a local copy instead. Whenever you use the Open dialog to browse to a Revit central file, the Open dialog will sense the status and give you the option of creating a new local file. The newly created local file will be store according to a setting in your options. I believe the default is under My Documents but it looks like it could be anywhere. Not only do you get a new local file but it also appends your username to it.

For example,

This is the project name - central.rvt

will become

This is the project name - central_username.rvt

Anyway, cool new feature. Good job guys...

16 April 2009

RST2010 is available for download

Even if you don’t have an Autodesk Subscription account you can still download and use RST2010 for 30 days. Here is the link to the product web site.


Ribbon or Bust!

I mentioned before that I now have ACAD2010 and just downloaded RST2010. Regarding RST, I hope you like the ribbon interface in AutoCAD or MS Word for that is your only choice in RST. Now is that a bad thing? I personally don't think so but it will take time to get used to it for sure.

But what about AutoCAD? You do have the option of menu bar/toolbars as in the past. But should you? I don't think so. If you have MS Word and other applications along with RST all with a ribbon, why would you use AutoCAD with one?

Personally I feel strongly enough that even for the corporate AutoCAD menu WPM uses for the Structural Services group (my area) that I have removed the menu bar and toolbar elements so that the menu is only a ribbon format. The logic is that it will aid in people getting used to the ribbon for RST if that is all they ever see and they can't fall back to the menu bar format. Now I just have to wait to see if the logic pans out.

15 April 2009

Revit Structure 2010 shipping!

Those on Autodesk Subscription can go to the web site and download the new version directly. Others will have to wait for delivery of the DVD.

WOOHOO! Another beta cycle bites the dust.

13 April 2009

Time flies when your CADDing

The premier blogger on all that is Autodesk, Shaan Hurley, is also a photo enthusiast. Similarly he has a penchant for old versions of AutoCAD. Well he just posted an image capturing AutoCAD Release 14. What I found interesting is that he used a drawing I submitted to Autodesk on behalf of Steve Hegyesi in the Houston office of WPM. This drawing was in the installation package as part of the sample drawings.

This project has some very cool geometry. Basically a chopped off cone, then tilted at an angle. And being that it houses butterflies, special care had to be taken regarding the internal structure of the building.

09 April 2009

Bye, Bye Migration

If you work in an office and have networked AutoCAD licenses you probably do software distribution via a software deployment. A deployment is a great and easy way to get a new version rolled out to the staff.

Now the next concern is your customization (I hope you have something at least). In my case WPM has a fairly large set of tools and accompaning menu that serves it all up for the user. But here is the rub. When you roll to a new version, AutoCAD be default wants to migrate the users settings.

What then happens is annoying if not problematic. If they previously used, say 2009, and then install the new 2010 deployement, when they go to launch 2010 the software will offer the user a chance to migrate their settings. This then copies, not points to, the various files such as PAT, LIN, etc. files to their location system. Whereas you did a great job sharing all your standards and customization on a network drive - instantly all that stuff is copied to the individual system.

Oh sure, you can tell people to hit CANCEL but you know some will blow that simple instruction. Well, all is better now.

With 2010, during the deployement creation the admin guy can turn off that 'feature'. In fact they can turn off a number of annoying things done previously for your 'benefit'.

I don't know about you, but so far 2010 is a great update just for that ability. I'm sure I will have more later...

07 April 2009

Want to write?

AUGIWorld has gone digital! And as such now has more space in which to publish work from more users. As the technical editor for the magazine, one of my tasks is to find good authors and help so-so ones get better! So if you are interested in writing, getting your name in lights if you will, email me at david.harrington(at)augiworld.com. When you do email me, please tell me what application you most want to cover. Being a jack-of-all-trades may be good for your work, but for this stuff you need to specialize.

02 April 2009

Larry Griffis award

Walter P. Moore's own Larry Griffis was presented with the American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) highest individual honor, the J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award. This award is named after AISC’s first president and is not given annually – only when a deserving individual, such as Larry, is selected. This award is reserved for those engineers who are “…pre-eminent steel designers of their era,” and is on top of Larry’s T. R. Higgins and Lifetime Achievement awards from AISC.

I have been fortunate in my 22 years at Walter P. Moore to work with Larry directly a number of times. A consummate professional, his graciousness is only surpassed by his engineering prowess and his desire to help others do great work. Congrats Larry!

This news is so fresh it hasn't made it to the AISC web site yet, but here is the list of winners anyway. http://www.aisc.org/content.aspx?id=544

01 April 2009

ADT no more?

A friend forwarded this to me. After reading the first line I was in shock. I know Autodesk would like to sell fewer software titles (while selling more of other ones), but killing anything is a very difficult process and hard to get users to buy into.


After getting to the bottom of the post, alas, an April fool's joke. I then verified that Autodesk had released nothing of the sort. Funny guys, really funny...

AutoCAD 2010 is here!

Just got my hands on the next release DVD! Forst step is upgrading the LMTOOLS installed on the server to v11.5.0. Then I can load the new LIC file from Autodesk. Then I can build the install package. And then it will actually work... ;)