My experience of ADT 2006 aka Rialto.
Jimmy Bergmark is an Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006 Certified Expert.
See also what's new in AutoCAD 2006 since this
will also more or less be included in ADT 2006 and I'll try to not duplicate the
No file format change between ADT 2005 and ADT 2006.
New and/or enhanced functions
Still missing. Wish list for the next time
Tips & Trix
Updates & Service Packs
Project Workflow and Standards - This is one of the greatest news in ADT
Ease of Use / Streamlined Workflow
Details Content and Customization
Database Connectivity / Interoperability / .NET APIs
Fit and Finish
PN performance has been improved.
Re-path performance has been improved.
Dropping views on sheets is quicker now.
Renderable Spline modifier is new in VIZ Render 2006. See a sample
Export to AutoCAD has been improved and can also be
scripted using -EXPORTTOAUTOCAD. AecObjExplode is not recommended to use any
more since it has not been updated.
Spaces can now hold both net, gross and usable areas.
Structural objects has been enhanced so you can layout them along an edge or
fill one or multiple bays.
Columns can be added to all nodes on a column grid in one step.
Beams can be added along a single segment, along a grid line or along all grid
Braces are now much easier to add. They can be trimmed automatically.
Structural members can be constrained or unconstrained. So if a member is moved
using the grip other members connected to its endpoints or along its length will
be stretched and stay connected.
Trim planes are easy to add to structural objects.
Mitering of two structural objects is easy as well.
Custom member shapes can be created within the Style Manager using a graphical
interface. The three different levels of details can also be overlayed so it's
easy to compare them.
Curtain walls has been enhanced. They are much more easy to edit graphically.
Adding doors, windows and assemblies directly to a curtain wall is easier.
There is a new tool that allows you to apply a curtain wall to the faces of any
object. It could be the surface of a mass object.
The ‘AEC Material Tool’ now allows you to define palettes of your favorite
materials. Like all style tools, you can have the material definition imported
from a library drawing. Use this new tool to apply materials directly to objects
in the drawing editor, with the ability to apply the specified material
definition to the selected component or additional components in one step. These
assignments can be applied to the style or as an object override. To streamline
the workflow of creating an AEC Material from a VIZ Render or VIZ 2006 material,
you can now drag/drop a material from either of these applications into
Architectural Desktop. The ‘Create AEC Material’ worksheet will appear allowing
you to immediately define a new AEC Material based off a template material, and
then create a new AEC Material Tool.
Object conversions added:
Door Tool to > Door/Window Assembly, Opening, or Window
Window Tool to > Door, Door/Window Assembly, or Opening
Opening Tool to > Door, Door/Window Assembly, or Window
Slab Tool to > Area or Space
Space Tool to > Area or Slab
Closed Polylines to Mask Blocks: Convert to > Mask Block
Mass Elements: Convert to > 3D Solid or Free Form Mass Element
Roofs: Convert to > Roof Slabs
AEC Polygon: Convert to > Polyline
More details content:
• Masonry anchors
• Control Joints
• Sealant, sealant + backer rod
• Fiber expansion joint
• Ridge shingles
• Ridge vents
• CMU shaped sills, ground/glazed face, solid, scored + round fluted
• Low slope roofing
• Roof copings, roof edges (fascias), preformed metal flashings, metal wall
flashings and conductor heads
• Metal soffit vents: strip + preformed
• CH, J + E style wall studs
• Acoustical ceiling components
Detail Component Manager has been enhanced. The detail database can now be
edited directly from within ADT 2006. New components can be created including
all the needed xml files and database entries.
Component Properties: On the 'Parameters' tab you can choose from the six common
jig types to create your own components. For example, use the 'Bookends' jig to
array a repeating block between two fixed blocks. The values can either be
explicit or they can reference a field in the database. Use the new Add Column
functionality to add any necessary fields.
New to 2006 is the ability to toggle on an Edit mode where you can Add/Remove
Groups and Keynotes to the active database from within the 'Select Keynote'
New to 2006 is the ability to create and edit keynote databases in the 'Keynote
Editor'. The 'Keynote Editor' allows you to create a new database, create the
grouping structure, and add keynotes. Use the 'Copy Series' right-click option
on an existing keynote to make a series of copies.
Creating tags is now as simple as drawing basic AutoCAD objects.
Using the new 'Define Schedule Tag' wizard, select the linework and text and
specify whether the text should be converted to a property or remain as a text
label. The wizard then creates the necessary multi-view block for the tag.
Once you have created a multi-view block tag, you can then drop it onto a tool
palette to create a Tag Tool. The Tag Tool allows you to easily create tags with
various insertion parameters, such as layer key, constrain to object, rotate to
object, leader type.
With the tag tool, you can also use it to apply property data only. This can be
used when you need to attach data to objects but do not need an actual symbol.
New to 2006, now when you select tags, you have expected context menu options
such as 'Add Selected' or the new 'Edit Attribute Orientations' option.
In Architectural Desktop 2006 the new Break Mark Tool allows you to add
necessary break marks to your documents. The Break Mark Tool comes in two
behaviors - 'mask' and 'trim', and comes in two types - single and dual.
New AEC Modify Tools like Array, Reposition From, Space Evenly and Center makes
life easier when working in ADT.
Some of the improvements in the Sheet Set Manager (SSM) in AutoCAD 2006 are
not in Project Navigator (PN).
In Project Navigator the icons for Constructs and Elements should show if
they where collapsed or expanded.
In Project Navigator it should be possible to select multiple construct,
elements or views and open them, copy, delete or move them.
In Project Navigator it should be possible to open construct, elements or
views as read only.
In many cases I have found that to have a good result when running Export to
AutoCAD "Use Insert Method when binding Xref" has to be cleared. The problem is
that it might only be for a layer or two that this is needed. Most layers are
the same so there is no need to have them prefixed with the layer name. I
suggest that there would be a third alternative to optimize this by only adding
the prefix when layers are different.
Display themes should support gradient fills.
If a display theme is active and you then changes display configuration the
display theme is not refreshed or updated.
Multiple display themes should be possible to have active at the same time.
E.g. one for walls, one for doors/windows and one for spaces/areas.
Folders in PN should have a description property that shows up in the detail
sub window. That way it's easier to describe and document what should go in each
folder. When a new user starts working on a project it's easier for them as
Please add Drawing Recover Manager to the File>Drawing Utilities menu just as
If you have a category in the Content Browser with several palettes and drag
and drop the category to the Tool Palettes it creates a group with several
palettes. That is all great but when later adding more palettes to the category
I would like them to also be added to the palette group.
An Auto-refresh option specific for CAD Managers to control. Instead of having
ADT refresh when opening it would be possible for the CAD Manager or catalog
responsible to set a version on the catalog/category/palette so that the refresh
just checked against this version number. This would increase the performance.
It should also be possible to enforce the sorting of the tools to the users.
It should be possible to better control what object is found by the Property
Data Locator. If there are multiple spaces on top of each other only the one on
top is found. One idea is to restrict what should be found by using
Spaces should support sloping floor and roof.
A room or space object that was linked to the walls surrounding the room so
that when the walls changed the room also changed.
Walls that had a property that could be linked to the height of the level
defined in PN.
Intelligent and automated placing of tags. E.g. if a new door is added and
the tags are in a specific view the new door should automatically be tagged.
When exporting to AutoCAD it would be good to have an option to convert
fields into plain text. Otherwise some text might not be correct when not in a
I wish WallEditJustification accepted multiple walls.
Add a command line switch to be able to start ADT with a specific project (apj
file). It should also work to double click on an apj file in Windows Explorer.
AutoCAD help has the ability to send comments on the help documentation but I
cannot see that ADT help has the same. I think it would be valuable if it was
there as well. "Using this form sends your comments to the Autodesk Technical
Publications group responsible for this documentation."
ADT should have a functionality like
Revit that controls of a tag comes outside the room.
AecExportPropertyData should support selection option "All".
During a repath .bak files should be created.
It should be easier to create new sheets by copying existing ones.
Have a revision history on object level so it's possible to see who and when
an object was added or changed.
When opening a construct or the like in PN that someone else has open it just
asks to open it as read only. It should say who has it open without having to
look in PN for the details on that.
It should be possible to add hyperlinks to styles.
A Property Data Format that handles hyperlinks so they are clickable.
It should be possible to copy text from a Property Set Property in Properties
even if it is read only.
Support for different elevation heights for different divisions. I want to
have support for multiple buildings or parts of the same building with
different level heights within the same project.
In Project Navigator if a folder/category is empty it should now show a +
sign. In sheets this is not an issue.
Style Manager performance is really bad navigating from one style to another.
Like 2-4 seconds.
When double clicking on the icon of a style in the right window of the Style
Manager the style is not opened, only if you double click on the text. It should
work double clicking on the icon as well.
Better support for working with different design options.
It should be easy for users to validate when working with walls so that it
doesn't matter if the line they are tracing above is at an angle of 0.0001 or
the like. Some kind of fuzz logic should be added.
Placement of doors within wall. Have the frame location within the wall
configurable per door style as well as per object. As now having it centered is
not the most used case for us.
In PN when right clicking on a sheet you can get the message "Sheet set
is being edited by another user." It would be a big help to also get the name in
Existing bugs, feature limitation or other issues.
The command line cannot be auto-hidden.
There is a problem if VBA (acvba.arx) is loaded so the location subheader is
missing in Properties on some objects. Some properties on some tools are also
missing like Property def location, Layer Key, Layer Key location and Tag
location on tag tools. (Solved with SP1)
I drag a group/category from Content Browser to the tool palette that the icons
are white/blank. Try for example to go into the "Sample Palette Catalog -
Metric" and drag "UK Palettes" into ADT. If the category is set to "Link items
when added to workspace" it's possible to refresh the palette as a workaround
but otherwise it's not.
Export to AutoCAD can result in unexpected
behavior if any of the xrefs need to be audited. Some things might be missing
and frozen layers might show up.
The Project Navigator has some problems
with performance, especially if the speed on the network is low (10 Mbps or
lower). There is a lot of network traffic created and it is multiplied with the
number of files in the project.
Hotfix - Project Navigator Performance on a Remote Server
If you try to access project properties
from the Project Browser without having read and write access to a project ADT
might crash with this error: AutoCAD Error Aborting - FATAL ERROR: Unhandled
Access Violation Reading 0x000c Exception at 7542ad5ch
If you make certain changes to a property
set that has automatic numbering the numbering changes. If you have a lot of
existing objects numbered it's better to create another property set.
Automatic rotation of tags based on the
objects rotation when added using a tool doesn't work as expected. (Fixed in
On the Sheet tab in PN the Detail part of
the window doesn't have any scroll bar and makes it hard to scroll in the text. In AutoCAD it has
the scroll bar.
If the Sheet Set storage is saved in a non
default location it can result in problems if the project is moved or archived.
Tool Palette File Location doesn't change
when starting a project based on another project used as a template. The Sheet
Storage Location for Sheet Creation is not updated or repathed.
Known Issues in ADT 2006
Working with Previous Versions
- Using the new Display Themes object will create proxy
objects when opened in previous versions of Architectural Desktop.
- The new Gross and Usable profiles for spaces are
not supported in previous releases. Enabling and using this feature in
Architectural Desktop 2006 will result in spaces only displaying the Net
boundary in previous versions, as this was all that was available in previous
- The new mask option for Break Mark Tool is not supported
in previous releases. Using this feature in Architectural Desktop 2006
will result in Break marks only displaying the cut line and not the masked
area in previous versions of Architectural Desktop.
- An additional display representation
was added in ADT 2006: "Anchor Extended Tag to Entity" for schedule
tags using the constrain option. Since this display representation
is not present in prior versions of ADT, the representation
will show up as proxy in these versions.
- Uninstall of ADT 2004 after ADT 2006 has been installed
will break Tool Palettes in this version. Running a Repair Registry will
restore proper operation.
Field Codes values are cached but will not update in previous versions
of ADT or AutoCAD.
Users should be careful
when deleting records from size tables. This operation is harmless if
there are no drawings that reference the deleted rows. Otherwise users
may have some problems since the IDs can be reused. For
example, a "size" record with record ID = 100005 and some drawing
object "A" references this "size". There
are two (2) potential problems after the user deletes this "size"
the "Size" record is deleted, we cannot get the properties of
object "A", thus no data will be displayed on the Extended data
tab of the property palette for that detail component; If
the user creates a new "size" record it may get the same ID
= 100005. Drawing object "A" will reference a newly created
record after that. The actual geometry of object "A" is based
on parameters of the deleted record. But if we check its properties we
will get the data from the new "size" record.
When initially specifying a drawing in the Component
Properties dialog; the “Block Drawing” field may be completely blank or
may contain “Browse…”. However,
the drawing has been correctly selected. Exiting and re-entering the Component
Properties dialog or changing a selection in another field's drop list
will refresh the field and display the drawing path correctly. This affects
the Stamp, Bookends and Linear Array jigs.
- New Project features in ADT 2006, for new projects
and updated projects, will be lost if the Project Properties or Project
Sheet Set are modified in previous versions of ADT. For example, this
includes but is not limited to, the use of Relative Paths in ADT 2006.
- You may encounter missing buttons on the Configure
Project Standards dialog. The only line of NVIDIA cards that successfully
handle cad graphics are the Quadro line. Problems such as missing buttons
in dialogs are known to occur with the NVIDIA GeForce4 4200 Go, for example.
- If you add a callout or other annotation to a manually
created Named View in a view drawing & drop into a sheet file, those
objects will be frozen in the current viewport. Thawing the layers in
the sheet’s viewport will display your missing layers. You will not see
this issue if you create the model space view from Project Navigator.
- After a layer is deleted, you must OK from the Layer
Manager before you can create a new layer of the same name.
- Creating New Layer From Standard in Layer Manager
switches to "All Used" layer filter.
- Restoring a Layer Snapshot will not change the Lineweight,
Plot Style or Plot (Yes/No) settings.
- Some double-byte characters will not display correctly
in 3D DWF files.
Link to VIZ Render.
It is possible for Architectural Desktop to Link to VIZ Render while VIZ
Render is otherwise occupied, such as rendering. This
can result in an Application Error and loss of data from Architectural
Desktop and/or VIZ Render. It is recommended that data not be pushed from
Architectural Desktop to VIZ Render while VIZ Render is otherwise occupied.
If a VIZ Render file
and its source drawing file are relocated, Relinking or Reload of data
may overwrite changes made with in the VIZ Render scene.
User content paths
are dependant on first user run. If
the Administrator is the first user to run Architectural Desktop, then
some VIZ Render data paths will be set to look to different directories
than if a user has first run. Path
locations can be verified in the Configure paths dialog.
In the Tool Palettes
page of the Customize User Interface dialog, deleting a palette in the
same dialog instance of the Customize User Interface dialog will delete
any new Groups created.
When using Adaptive
Sub-Division radiosity on older files, the default settings may be incorrect.
The default Mesh Settings
Maximum Mesh Size: 1.0 (3'
Minimum Mesh Size: 0.1
(0' 3 29/32")
Contrast Threshold: 75.0 (75.0)
Initial Mesh Size: 0.3
Substituting an item from an external reference of a drawing linked into
VIZ Render will replace the whole external reference.
3rd Party Plugins.
created for previous versions of VIZ Render may not function properly
in VIZ Render 2006.
The Properties of the last material i-dropped
from the Render Material Catalog of the Content Browser are unavailable.
is to drop one additional material and delete it. This
refreshes the Scene - Unused palette to recognize the one you want. This
does not affect materials directly i-dropped from the Render Material
Catalog onto an object in the scene.
If you have Windows
XP SP2 installed, Audit reports may appear not to function properly. In
order to view the Audit reports associated with Project Standards as they
are intended to be used, you must change the settings via the Information
Bar at the top of the Internet Explorer page. Right click on the Information
Bar and choose Allow Blocked Content. By doing this, you will have access
to the additional functionality via the radio buttons. For additional
information about this setting for Internet Explorer, please consult Microsoft's
When Project Standards
is enabled for a project, some actions in Style Manager and Display Manager
may not update the tree icons properly. Closing and reopening Style Manager
or Display Manager will display the proper icons.
The new 'Find within Explorer' feature
of AutoCAD 2006 does not support Architectural Desktop objects.
Layer Keys: The DISPTHEME layer key has been added to support
the new Display Themes feature.
Schedule External Drawing: Please notice that if you take
advantage of the new relative path option in ADT 2006, prior releases
will fail to recognize this. It is recommended not to use relative paths
if drawings are to be used in prior versions of ADT.
Drape Command: Regular extrapolations may produce unexpected
results, such as 'wavy' topo lines where they should be level. If this
condition is encountered, try creating a non-regular topo.
Object Hatching: Solid hatch patterns used for Surface and
Section hatching will not be displayed in 2d Section and Elevation objects.
Instead, you may use another hatch pattern, such as Line, set at a dense
hatch scale to simulate the solid hatch. This could cause slow performance
depending on the amount of hatching required.
- Merge Common Materials:
Merge Common Materials may fail to work in Sections and Elevations where
a Slab Material is merged with other Object Materials. To workaround this
issue, disable Merge Common Materials for the Slabs and use Edit Linework
to remove lines between Slabs and other Objects.
Smart Blocks: It is not recommended to use ADT objects in
Smart Blocks, nor to edit blocks containing ADT objects with the Smart
Block Editor (BEDIT). Doing so can cause unexpected results.
field codes and Relative path option in a project standards environment:
If you are using Database field codes in a Property Set Definition in
a project standards drawing, it is not recommended to use Relative path
option when creating the database link. You will observe problems resolving
the correct path to the database.
If you use Add Selected from Spaces that were created using the Rectangle
or Polygon option you will see unpredictable results.
Details Databases in MS Access: Due to limitations in Microsoft® Access 2000,
we recommend that you edit Details Databases in Microsoft Access 2002
or newer. Opening the database in MS Access 2000 may cause the default
value for "Allow Zero Length" attribute for the description
field in the Components table to be errantly set to “false”. This can
be reset to “true” using Access 2002 or newer.
Manager: Note that if new Structural Member styles or Opening Endcap
styles are created in a drawing that is only opened in Style Manager,
you will not be notified to save the drawing if the styles have not been
Files: Avoid tagging objects in a drawing that is attached as an
Xref Overlay. While
there will be no problem in the original drawing, if that drawing is subsequently
Xref attached to a new host drawing, you will encounter "Enhanced
reference audit problem" error messages. This
is due to the fact that Overlay attached Xrefs are dropped when their
host is subsequently attached to another drawing. Since
the lowest level drawing is no longer present, any tag or AEC dimension
that is based on an object in that drawing will have a broken reference.
Grips: Setting UCSFOLLOW to 1 will interfere
with the automatic UCS changes that occur when some grips are selected.
A detailed explanation follows.
A drawing with UCSFOLLOW
= 1 for one or more viewports will NOT allow dragging any Z-direction
oriented grip (example -wall height grip ). The dynamic dimensions will
still work, and osnaping along Z direction will work. In other words,
temporary change in UCS is not allowed by any grip if there exists one
or more viewports with UCSFOLLOW = 1.
SAVE is recommended immediately after any change in UCSFOLLOW system variable.
to AutoCAD: From
Top View all objects drawn at an elevation other than 0 will be flattened
to 0. Hatches
on these objects are an exception to this.
Styles that contain a center stringer may show a change in appearance
from previous versions. This
is due to the Cleanup setting on the Stringer tab of the Stair Style.
releases, centered stringers under flights and landings would cleanup
with each other even if this setting was "Truncate." If
you see that the stringer has changed, it is probably due to this setting.
it to "Cleanup" and the previous appearance will be restored.
in the case of U-shaped, 1/2 Landing stairs, the stringer will always
have the Truncated appearance. Use
a Multi-landing stair with 1/2 landing to correct this problem.
Dynamic Input Settings. Due to instability
in certain situations, the initial Dynamic Input behavior is limited to
"Enable Dimension Input where possible." In
order to investigate other new features, right-click on the DYN button,
pick "Settings..." and check "Enable Pointer Input"
and "Show command prompting and command input near the crosshairs."
if Pointer Input is enabled, the Visibility setting "As soon as I
type coordinate data" may cause Architectural Desktop to hang when
using the Tab key to switch fields
Update Space Tips
AutoCAD 2006 and the included ADT OE
ADT: Restrict access to PSDs
Property Data Location on Spaces in ADT
Autodesk adds RSS feeds for product knowledge base
SSMPropEditor (edit multiple sheet properties
at the same time)
Architectural Desktop 2006 New Features Workshop
System requirements for ADT 2006
On performance improvements in 2006 -
Display themes examples -
Detailed feature summary -
Triple D Design