Monday, 29 June 2015

eTRANSMIT on All Frequencies, All Languages

Sending AutoCAD data is more complicated these days, since a dwg file can be connected to other drawings, images, PDF files, spreadsheets, and can contain custom fonts, linetypes, and hatches. Sending a dwg file on its own can leave the end user missing important information that may be contained in external locations.  When someone requests a "CAD file", users need to be diligent that the recipient gets the drawing and all dependencies related to it.  AutoCAD has a command that does this: ETRANSMIT.

Why should I use this?
ETRANSMIT is a powerful command; it gathers a list of all external elements (files, images, spreadsheets, PDFs, materials, CTBs, STBs, etc) and allows users to compile them into a folder or zip file.  It allows users to ensure a drawing file has all of its dependencies included when sending an AutoCAD drawing. ETRANSMIT also creates a text file listing the documents in the transmittal.

How does it work?
The command opens a dialog box displaying a list and table tab of every drawing dependency. Next to every item is a check box for selection of included elements; only checked items are included when the transmittal is created.  Users can fine tune each and every component included. You must save first, since ETRANSMIT can only be invoked immediately after a save is performed. 

OK, what happens after that?
Once the contents are determined, users select the transmittal setup, which can be saved with a custom name.  The transmittal setup determines several settings:

  •  Package type (Zip, exe, or set of files)
  •  File format (2000, 2004, 2007, 2010)
  •  Transmittal save location
  •  Pathing options (organized, single folder, or as-is)
  • Other options, such as password protection, XREF binding, and fonts/materials inclusion

On the bottom of the Modify Transmittal Setup dialog is a description area, where you can name your setup.  This is the name that appears in the transmittal setup description.

So many choices!
With so many options, here are a few tips:
  • Use Zip as the package type: just one file to deal with, and the *.exe file may get stopped by firewalls or email filters. 
  • Keep the file format as current as you and your destination's versions allow.
  • Uncheck Materials, unless you definitely use them in the drawing files.
  • Include fonts, since different versions of AutoCAD use different .SHX libraries.
  • Give your setup an intuitive name (Zip - No folder structure preserved, etc.)
There's plenty more features available, too, such as password protecting your transmittal, or binding XREFs.  

Comment and share your settings/tips!