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Michael BeallMichael’s Corner #146
June/July 2016


by Michael Beall

Alright folks, two more ‘Michael's Corner’ after this one!

And while I'm thinking about it, a hearty ‘Thank You!’ to my customers, without whom I would be spending much more time finding tidbits for this tiny slice of the internet.

This time we'll do a quick review on…

…Steps to hyperlink an audio file to an object in the drawing using Hyperlink (which has been around since A2002)
…The variable FILETABPREVIEW which you can toggle off if you find the layout preview is bothersome on File tabs
…Why your Dynamic Input feature may be toggling on for no ‘apparent’ reason
…A few things to consider regarding the UCS icon in the lower left corner

And for those of you who would like the last 14 years in book form (or PDF), YES, I am currently updating The AutoCAD® Workbench to include 'em all. The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition will be updated to A2017 and, “Lord-willing and the creek don't rise”, will be out in time for Christmas or sooner.

Hope you have a delightful start to your summer!

If you would like to contact me directly, you can do that also.

Blessings to one and all,

Hyperlink an Audio File

Hyperlink buttonGiven our digital surroundings, I don't know why Hyperlinks aren't used more often.

The obvious links would be to a URL (see November 2003) or another drawing, but another one you may want to consider, would be to a voice memo or audio file.

In the following exercise, you'll need an audio file such as an M4a that you can link to your object. To test this, I created a voice memo on my iPhone, then sent it to myself.

How to Add an Audio Hyperlink

  1. Create an object — such as a Donut — on a separate layer for your hyperlink.

  2. On the Insert tabData panel, click Hyperlink, then select the object.

  3. Brows for FileIn the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, under Browse for, click File, then navigate to and select the file to open/launch when you initiate the hyperlink.

  4. Change the Text to Display to something less cryptic.

    Text to display

  5. Click OK, then Ctrl + Click on the object to check out your hyperlink!

    Check the link

Note: When linking an audio file, the audio loops in its application window, so you may need to cancel it.

I did an article on adding a hyperlink to a block on a tool palette in Michael's Corner, December 2007, and in March 2003 I took a look at some Options that relate to the hyperlink.

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Power Tool

File Tab Preview

As you may have discovered, when you pause over the File tabs of an open drawings, you see a preview of the layouts of that drawing.

Without preview

One of my power users in Los Angeles (at Associates Purchasing), was wondering if you could suppress the preview.



With the variable FILETABPREVIEW set to 0, you get a list of the layout tabs when you pause on the File tab. You will see more tabs using this setting, too, just in case a preview wasn't necessary.

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The Odd Spot

F12 = Dynamic Input

Several versions ago we were introduced to Dynamic Input.

Dynamic input

Yes, that's the ornery ‘heads-up’ display positioned beside your cursor whenever you breathe.

Status barWhen the Status bar was updated in A2015, the Dynamic Input icon — a plus sign next to a brick — was not visible, and the setting was turned On. Consequently, if you wanted to turn that feature Off, you needed to turn on the visibility of the icon from the Customization ‘hamburger’ (that's what Lynn Allen called it at an AU a couple years ago) at the right end of the status bar.

Curiously, many of the other Status bar icons have their associated function key displayed… except the one for Dynamic Input.

It's F12.

The hamburger iconStatus bar menu

So now you know if the ‘heads-up’ display appears next to your cursor sometime, apparently you bumped into F12 recently.

Kinda like you ‘bump into’ F1 when you're reaching up to bang on ESC.

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The Basics


The 2D UCS iconEvery five years or so I address the UCS icon, so here's your next installment.

General Insights

  • There is a UCSICON command with these options:

    UCS options

  • Right-click on the UCS icon to display a shortcut menu with a Properties option where you can dress it up a bit.

    UCS properties

  • 2D Wireframe UCS iconWhen you are in the 2D Wireframe visual style, the UCS icon looks like a stick figure. In any other visual style, the icon is a bit more colorful and 3D looking.

  • Horses can only breath through their nose. [Just checking to see if you're paying attention.]

  • Round UCS gripsClick on the UCS icon and you see a square grip at 0,0,0 and round grips at the ends of the axes.

  • To disable the ability to select/click on the UCS icon, set the variable UCSSELECTMODE to <0>.

Note: There's an article on how to dimension 3D objects in Michael's Corner, January 2013. You will find more information on manipulating the UCS icon in that review, too.

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Left Field

BMW logoPlanes, Bikes, & Automobiles: Three manufacturing companies ultimately came together to become today's BMW (Bavarian Motor Works). Rapp Motorenwerke and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFw) in Bavaria, and Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Thuringia. Aircraft engine manufacturer Rapp Motorenwerke became Bayerische Motorenwerke in 1916. BFw's motorcycle sideline was improved upon by BMW and became an integral part of their business. BMW became an automobile manufacturer in 1929 when it purchased Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach.

The name-change to Bayerische Motoren Werke compelled management to devise a new logo for the company, therefore the famous BMW trademark is designed and patented at this time. However, they remained true to the imagery of the previous Rapp Motorenwerke emblem (which was designed by Karl's brother, Ottmar Rapp). Thus, both the old and the new logo were built up in the same way: the company name was placed in a black circle, which was once again given a pictorial form by placing a symbol within it. By analogy with this, the blue and white panels of the Bavarian national flag were placed at the center of the BMW logo. Not until the late 1920s was the logo lent a new interpretation as representing a rotating propeller.

I'm now on my fourth marque since 1984, a 2008 335i. If there's anyone else out there who also enjoys driving these wonderful machines, it'd be great to hear from you!

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