The CAD Times
An AutoCAD Newsletter for CAD Users
The CAD Times brings you the latest AutoCAD tips, tricks and
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This month's tips
Recovering a Damaged Drawing
Most of you know how
frustrating it can be when dealing with damaged drawing files. Especially
when you’re crunched for time and you feel like you're spinning your wheels
trying to get the drawing open; or at least to stay open beyond 30 seconds.
But before we get into the ways to repair a damaged drawing, let’s look at why
the drawings become damaged in the first place.
How Did the
Drawing Become Corrupted?
Autodesk lists some of the reasons for
drawing corruption including copying to a
damaged hard disk or floppy, bad computer RAM, power surges, data lost in
translation from other CAD programs and “crashing” (AutoCAD has unexpectedly
My personal take on the matter you ask?
The little green
devil guy from “Just for Laughs” has somehow infiltrated my hard drive, KNOWS I
have a fast approaching deadline, and is kicking the hard drive sector where my
precious drawing file is located.
But all the guesses in the world as to why “this is happening to me” really
don’t matter; especially when you’re in a time crunch.
There is something you can do to help prevent disasters from happening though.
Make frequent backups of
your drawings on another drive. This way if the
file you are working on becomes damaged, you can pull-up a recent backup of the
drawing. It’s a also a good idea to have your AUTOSAVE set to save
to another hard drive at frequent increments (mine is every minute).
If your file does become corrupted there are a few things you can do to try to
salvage your drawing; but note that there is no guarantee you will recover all
or any of your drawing (so be sure to have good backups).
Recover a Drawing in AutoCAD
The first step in attempting to recover a “bad” drawing is to make a copy of the
damaged file and it’s back-up file (.bak) on another drive. This way you
will always have the original damaged file to work with after attempting the
following recovery methods.
The RECOVER Command
When you attempt to open a drawing that AutoCAD recognizes as a damaged, you
will receive a message indicating the file is corrupted.
AutoCAD then asks
you if you wish to attempt to RECOVER the drawing. Click on YES and
AutoCAD will commence its recovery process.
successfully makes it through the recovery process (without crashing), you’re in
recovered file and move on. If not, try these other recovery practices:
INSERT the Drawing into a
Start a new drawing.
At the command
prompt enter DDINSERT and browse to the location of the damaged drawing.
Choose the corrupted file, then click OPEN.
menu will appear.
Make sure all the
check boxes are unchecked EXCEPT for the explode option.
successfully inserts and explodes your drawing, use the AUDIT command to
attempt to clean up the damage.
The EXPORT Command
Another way of trying to get rid of potential corruption problems is to export
the damaged file. If your file contains hidden problems that cause your drawing
to crash, you may be able to get rid of these troubles by exporting the good
portion of the drawing.
At the command prompt enter EXPORT. In the “Files of type:”
selection box, be sure to select “Block (*.dwg)” and change the file name in
order to preserve the original file. Click “Save” then enter a * to export
the entire drawing.
Open the file you just exported to see if the corruption is gone.
Finding an AREA
There are times when finding the area of a floor plan, a property plan or even
an irregular shape, such as the outline of a lake on a map, is required. AutoCAD
has a couple of ways to help you determine the area.
Using the AREA Command
Specify first corner point or [Object/Add/Subtract]:
By using the AREA command’s default option, you can pick points around
the object to determine its area. This is useful for simple objects that
don’t have a lot of points to choose.
Simply pick the desired points and hit . AutoCAD returns the area and
Tip: AutoCAD also indicates the area in square inches and square feet, when your
drawing units are set to either Architectural or Engineering (imperial units).
Choose the Object
By choosing the AREA command’s next option, “Object”, you can select
entities such as polylines, circles and rectangles, and AutoCAD returns the area
of the selection.
Using a polyline to define the area is one of the best methods for irregular
shaped objects. Simply trace your object using a polyline.
Tip: Turn your OSNAP setting on to trace the object as accurately as
Add or Subtract Areas
If you have more than one area that you need to incorporate into a total area,
use the Add and Subtract options to have AutoCAD automatically calculate a
Type A (Add) or S (Subtract) first, then pick your points or specify the
“Object” option. You can then continue adding or subtracting areas within
the same Area command until all desired areas have been incorporated.
Using the LIST Command
You can also use the LIST command to identify the area of a polyline,
rectangle and circle with a single click.
Until next month :)
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