The icons representing palette-based wall tools have left much to be desired in ADT. Sure the perspective view is helpful to show the outermost material but you need binoculars to see the other layers. The names of the wall tools also can often be tool long to wade through to find the one you need.

Default Wall tools - YUCK!

Some CAD Managers I talked to have created shorter, cryptic style names that require a decoder ring to figure out. After much experimenting, I’ve found a technique that users have responded very well to: Create icon graphics using Detail Components or any other linework to actually represent the makeup of the wall. It’s what an architect could quickly recognize as that wall style, or at least help narrow down the search. Having a good organization of palettes and groups based on the function of wall styles helps also.

How do we do that?

    1. Simply right-click on the tool icon on the palette and choose “Set image from selection…
    2. Choose the linework in the drawing.
    3. “Hey, that’s not right?” Yes, well like the existing icons, the default view for new tools of the wall styles are set to 3D perspective. To change this behavior: Right-click on any wall tool, choose “Properties
    4. Now scroll down until you see the object viewer with the previw of your wall. Right-click over this image, choose Projection > Parallel and Preset Views > Top
    5. Click OK to exit the properties.
    6. To be sure that your icons are most readable with good contrast – change your background color (in the AutoCAD Options) to white, and change any linework to pen 7 (black).
    7. Repeat step 2 and you’ve got it!
  • By changing the display of the toolbar icon size and text, you and your staff can easily become more productive by finding the right tool for the right job. Rinse and repeat the first two steps for all your other wall tools. Below are my examples:
    Wall tools small  Wall tools large  Wall tools medium

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