Are You Using the Autodesk Exchange Apps Tab?
For almost a year now, Autodesk Exchange has been offering AutoCAD 2012 users a variety of free and paid mobile apps and plug-ins, designed to enhance performance in general design, manufacturing, and architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC).
Many of the downloads are free for the taking, while others require a fee. Paid apps (from less than $5 to over $1,000) can only be purchased via PayPal, and all of the money goes to the app publishers—not even a commission goes to Autodesk.
Whatever you download—script files, Lisp routines, blocks, linetypes, hatch pattern, PDFs, .NET- or ObjectArx-based products, etc.—will follow you around from computer to computer. Download items once, and gain access wherever you use your Autodesk Single Sign-On username and login.
This centralized repository of apps, plug-ins and learning tools is a one-stop shop for performance enhancement, especially if you agree with Autodesk User Group International’s position that “If you’re not customizing or programming AutoCAD, then you’re really only using half the product. Even just writing a few simple utility macros to automate common tasks can greatly increase your productivity.”
“Providing direct, in-product access to AutoCAD companion apps connects innovative software developers with AutoCAD customers around the world,” says Jim Quanci, director of the Autodesk Developer Network. “In turn, AutoCAD software users now have a trusted marketplace with a wealth of solutions to help solve today’s most complex challenges.”
All submitted applications and content are reviewed for quality control, which means that users get a secure and trustworthy app store experience. What’s more, users can rate the apps on a scale of 1 to 5, making it easy to locate the best tools fast.
What will you find when you click the Apps Tab? Here’s just a small sampling of the hundreds of downloads available:
A real time saver if you need to make adjustments to hundreds or thousands of drawings, this app works from the changes you make on an Excel control file.
This free app uses the Google Translate Web service to translate MText and Text in drawings into a variety of languages.
Quickly publish a batch of drawings to DWF and/or PDF format.
Offset in XREF
This plug-in makes the OFFSET command work with externally referenced drawings, instead of responding with the “Cannot offset that object” message.
This free app builds on the DRAWORDER command so you can set the relative draw order of all geometry on a selected layer faster.
Eliminate repetitive tasks and typing mistakes by instantly adding typical drawing notes with or without leaders and without typing.
Useful before backups and distribution of drawings, this batch and script utility lets you process multiple AutoCAD drawings with full control. Execute LSP or SCR files on multiple drawings, and don’t worry about crashes: processing continues to the end and leaves bad drawings to be corrected manually.
If you don’t have AutoCAD 2012 yet, you can still see a catalog of companion apps.
If you have AutoCAD 2012 but disabled Autodesk Exchange, you can click on the Exchange icon in the upper-right corner of the AutoCAD window:
Have you been using the Apps Tab? If so, let us know what apps, plug-ins and learning tools have helped your performance the most.