January 27, 2011

AutoCAD Civil 3D Tip - Check PICKFIRST system variable

Our Ideate Tech Expert Matt Miyamoto recently assisted client Mike Miller with a vexing problem in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Matt explains...
Mike gave us a list of issues he was encountering in his drawing and that's what I used to figure out what he needed to change. I provided the answer and a short overview of what the PICKFIRST system variable does (the solution was setting it back to 1). This is a general AutoCAD system variable, so it's not limited to only AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Q: The delete key would not erase lines, objects, text, etc from the drawing. I have to right click, select 'basic modify tools', select erase, then select the item to delete it. I cannot highlight text in the text windows for editing, I have to select the text box, go to the text in the properties, select it there, then I can edit it. I cannot select properties from right click, I cannot lock the viewport from right click.

A: The PICKFIRST system variable controls the ability to issue commands before or after selecting objects in the drawing. When the PICKFIRST system variable is set to 0, commands must be entered prior to selecting objects. When PICKFIRST is set to 1, users are allowed to select objects first, then activate a command.

Mike was kind enough to share his appreciative feedback:
I contacted Ideate Support with a problem in AutoCAD Civil 3D and heard back from Matt Miyamoto. His personal response time was less than 15 minutes and the solution was exactly right! Ideate has an excellent Support team and I assure you, has certainly saved me hours of searching forums, inserting discs for repair, and writing Autodesk Subscription Tech Support, all of which I had done prior to contacting Ideate (if only I had called you guys first, instead of trying to resolve it on my own!)

This is not the first time that Matt has helped me with a Support issue, and I'm sure he rectified the last problem also. I cannot praise Ideate Support enough, because even though it was a simple fix, with the multitude of variable settings available in AutoCAD Civil 3D, this was just another one I was not aware of. Thanks to Ideate I'm up and running. Rest assured that Ideate Tech Support is the first one I will contact next time. If I had, I would have had this problem fixed hours ago.

- Mike Miller, Garrison Resource Group, Longview, Washington

Matt Miyamoto, P.E. – Infrastructure Solutions Application Specialist
Matt is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Hawaii. Matt obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has 7 years of private sector design experience which he applies in his role as an application specialist with Ideate, Inc. His project experience includes residential and commercial site development, private and public sewer, water and drainage systems, harbors improvements, and roadway improvements. While in Hawaii, Matt was involved in multidisciplinary projects for City and County agencies, State Departments, the Army COE and private developers.

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