Friday, August 15, 2008

Tech Talk - Autodesk TrueView 2009

I really hate to talk about IT business monopolies - unless to criticise.

As Microsoft is to Operating Systems and Office applications, Autodesk is to the world of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) through its very expensive software product, Autocad.

However, it does provide a free viewer so that you can view its CAD file format (.dwg) in Internet Explorer (note IE only and that there are no versions of Autocad for Mac or Linux). The viewer has run through various names and forms over the years - from Voloview to the current DWG TrueView 2009.

DWG TrueView 2008 and 2009 can be run as independent applications, or are meant to run integrated into the IE web browser (as the original Voloview did). As an independent application it runs fine. As an IE Add-On I (and many others it seems) get a "white screen of death" when we try to load a dwg file in IE.

My boss has charged me with putting all our technical drawings on our Intranet site as html links so, as many are in dwg format, I need a browser dwg viewer. A "white screen of death" is not going to encourage my clients to use digitised drawings.

DWG TrueView claims it will install an ActiveX control to IE to allow dwg drawings to be viewed. It doesn't. Even when I reduced all of IE's security settings to the minimum.

Installing/uninstalling TrueView, changing IE security settings, research on the web took me all day ...

Eventually, I found a partial solution which doesn't actually allow you to view the files in IE but allows a download and automatic opening of the dwg file in DWG TrueView,

Write the following script into a file that you name as a *.inf. Right click on the file and select Install. De- and then reinstall DWG TrueView 2009 if necessary.

Signature = “$Windows NT$”

AddReg = addreg
;DelReg = delreg
;DelReg = nuke

HKLM,”SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{6C7DC044-FB1E-4140-9223-052E5ABE7D24}”,”Compatibility Flags”,0×00010001,00,04,00,00
HKCR,”CLSID\{6C7DC044-FB1E-4140-9223-052E5ABE7D24}\InProcServer32″,”~~Disabled~~”,,”C:\Program Files\DWG TrueView 2009\acctrl.dll”

HKCR,”CLSID\{6C7DC044-FB1E-4140-9223-052E5ABE7D24}\Implemented Categories\{40FC6ED4-2438-11CF-A3DB-080036F12502}”
HKCR,”CLSID\{6C7DC044-FB1E-4140-9223-052E5ABE7D24}\Implemented Categories\{7DD95802-9882-11CF-9FA9-00AA006C42C4}” ; remove “safe for scripting” marker



Then select the hyperlink to your dwg file and IE will ask you whether to open or save it. Select Open. TrueView will then ask you for a Template file - click Cancel and TrueView will open with your drawing perfect!

Thanks to Slinger and Swami.

Link to OpenCad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about the prevalence of technology in our day to day lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory drops, the possibility of downloading our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could experience in my lifetime.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4[/url] DS SPPost)