BAD CAD - finding the flaws in Files
the time to make a progressive investigation. Take
notes. Be methodical.
start talking with the users to see what is wrong. What
are the complaints? I talk with several users to get as
much info as I can. I categorize the results...
Plotting, Opening, Saving, Referencing files, Layers, Functions
not working right. After I have my categories I know what
to start looking for.
ask where the files came from. Did we create them from
scratch? Did we get them from someone else? Where
they translated from another program? This lets me know if
there will be a concern based on work that we were not involved
in creating (a big red flag).
don't really ask anyone to show me any of the flaws. I
just have them describe the problems. I want to find
things on my own, so I just talk with them at this point.
Many times the manifestation of the problem is not the root of
Two: High Level View
take a general high level view of the project. I don't ask
anyone to explain how the project was set up, I just look at the
folders and see if I can figure it out. I look to see if
it follows the Standards as it relates to folder names and file
names. If it differs from the Standard I think that that
is my first indication that the procedures used to create the
files may be haphazard.
Three: Do the Obvious
what each of these steps produces. Is the file better
off? Check it after every step.
start checking the files for bad data.
Four: Look at the Master Files
open up one of the files and start looking for the
it call for any fonts of shape files that are not found
Referencing from incorrectly located files
that are not in the project folders
naming conventions for layers, blocks, hatches, etc.
files (like CTB files) located on local hard drives
that make plotting difficult
of text fonts that are not standard SHX or TTF files
incorrect, exploded and faked dimensions
Layout use and setup
Five: Look at the objects
a close look at the objects. I grab them with grips and
look for anything that looks out of place. Are the grips
where you expect them? If not - keep investigating to see
what is going on. I open the properties dialog box to look
for strange things. I look for bad elevations and
"Z" values. A lot of files fail because of
confused elevations and data at incorrect "Z" values.
creative, innovative, advanced functionality
to use OSnaps
linestyle, multiline definitions
objects to get good plots
the file as another name and start cutting it up.
Reference files one by one to see if the problem goes
away. Take your time and be systematic. Take notes
of what you are doing if needed. Look for nested XREFs or
I have a file that opens slowly or takes too long to Regen, then
I start eliminating things until it speeds up. I start
erasing objects in sectors with a window crossing method.
I am not worried about getting the data back since I am working
on a copy of the file.
could also erase objects by using filters to select and delete
them. Erase all of the dimensions, then the multi-lines or
blocks. Keep saving and opening the file to see how it is
affected. Purge as you go.
usually narrow it down to one object, reference file or block
and can eliminate the data from the original file and keep