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AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: Managing Tool Palettes

By Alireza Parsai, May 21, 2003

Tool Palettes window is one of the new features in AutoCAD 2004. With the help of Tool Palettes you have easily access to some of your favorite blocks and/or hatch patterns. The following tutorial helps you to use and manage the window effectively.

1. Download managetpw.dwg.

2. Open the drawing file in AutoCAD 2004.

3. If Tool Palettes window is not visible press Ctrl+3 to enable it [Figure 1].

Figure 1 - Click on image to enlarge

4. Right-click on the Tool Palettes window title bar. Make sure that Allow docking is selected.

5. Drag the window to the right side of the screen to dock it [Figure 2].

Figure 2

6. Right-click on the Tool Palettes scroll bar. Deselect Allow docking.

7. Click Auto-hide icon [Figure 3].

Figure 3

8. Move the mouse outside the Tool Palette area. The window collapses to its title bar.

9. Click the Auto-hide icon again to disable this feature.

10. Invoke Zoom-extents. Part of the drawing will hide beneath the Tool Palettes window.

11. Click the Properties icon [Figure 4].

Figure 4

12. In the shortcut menu select Transparency. The Transparency dialog box appears [Figure 5].

Figure 5

13. Deselect Turn off window transparency. Then drag the slider to the right most point of slider bar.

14. Click OK. The objects beneath the Tool Palettes window are now visible.

15. Click Properties. Select Transparency. Select Turn off window transparency. Click OK to disable transparency.

16. Invoke LAYER command.

17. Freeze centerlines and dimensioning layers [Figure 6]. Click OK.

Figure 6

18. Select Imperial Hatches palette. Right-click the palette title. A shortcut menu appears [Figure 7].

Figure 7

19. Select View Options. The View Options dialog box appears.

20. Increase the image size.

21. Select List View [Figure 8].

Figure 8

22. Click OK.

23. Click one of the solid hatch icons.

24. Click in the proper location to cover the drawing with a solid hatch pattern [Figure 9].

Figure 9 - Click on image to enlarge

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and newsletters. You can reach him at alireza.parsai@cadpanel.com or visit his website www.cadpanel.com

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