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    By Geoff Woodhead 

    Like a small child at Christmas I eagerly ripped the wrapping off of AutoCAD 2016 this morning, and I most certainly am not disappointed. The enhancements are extensive and intuitive, in particular the changes made to the Revision Cloud command make it feel entirely new.

    Remember these? I’ve merged an image of a revision cloud below in fig. 1, the left half shows it in its selected state while the right half shows the unselected state.

    Fig. 1


    Anyone that’s familiar with revision clouds in 2015 and earlier versions of AutoCAD probably share my nightmares. What if you need to expand it slightly or made one of the edges look a bit strange? You could spend hours fiddling with the blue grips but never get it to look as good as if you just deleted it and redrew it. That tends to be the action taken by most, myself included. Check out our new Revision Cloud tool from the Annotate tab of the Ribbon, shown in fig. 2 below. The first thing you’ll notice is that it is now a drop-down button providing us the option to draw a Rectangular, Polygonal or Freehand revision cloud. The top portion of the button will remember the last creation method that you accessed and allow for quick access to it again, though it doesn’t really matter which of the options you select as they are all available as options on the command line.

    Fig. 2


    Casting your eyes to the command line will reveal the options shown in fig. 3. We’ve still got access to all the options found on the old command, but we’ve gained the option to access the other creation methods as well as the ability to Modify previously created Revision Clouds.

    Fig. 3


    Check out the new set of grips too! Rectangular and Polygonal revision clouds get grips similar to those found on polylines to allow you to manipulate the geometry of the object while circular objects give you the familiar centre and quadrant grips. No more nightmares for me! Hovering over the grips gives you the same options you would expect to see from hovering over a grip on a polyline, we do however lose the option to convert line segments to arcs though I do not see this as being the end of the world.

    Fig. 4


    The Modify option on the command line when accessing the REVCLOUD command allows you to add additional line sections and cut portions of the current object away. Fig. 5 shows the 4 step process to accomplish this, which is:

    1. Start REVCLOUD command and activate Modify option
    2. Select object and activate First Point command line option
    3. Draw start and end point for new line segment
    4. Select the portion of the existing line that you would like to remove 

    Fig. 5

    If you’re not a fan of these improvements then you can revert to legacy revision clouds by setting the REVCLOUDGRIPS system variable to OFF. Another useful system variable is REVCLOUDCREATEMODE which will change the default creation method when accessing REVCLOUD by typing the command into the command line, the variables are 0 for Freehand, 1 for Rectangular and 2 for Polygonal.




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