Periscope Speaks HTML

I hit the jackpot at Radio Shack, so I’m back early from my last minute Christmas shopping today. That means I have time to tell you about the new Periscope 4.0 just released this week, in case you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer for that CAD geek friend of yours that already has everything.

Periscope shows information about the entity beneath your AutoCAD cursor in a tooltip window (“scope window”) as you hover over an entity in AutoCAD. Periscope 3 added a COM interface that made it very easy to program a custom “extender” that added to or modified the displayed entity information. Periscope 4.0 goes even farther — it uses an excellent open source class by Eugene Pustovoyt to render simple HTML in the scope window. Custom extenders for Periscope 4.0 can now use selected HTML tags to format and beautify their output.

If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Periscope and you already use a custom extender, note that you will need to make a few minor modifications to your extender code. In addition to referencing the new type library (now version 4.0), you’ll need to add a new “GSMarker” argument to your extender’s AddScopeText event handler.

I’ve added a new .NET sample extender to show how easy it is to write a Periscope extender in .NET via COM interop. AutoCAD Map 3D 2008 and Topobase 2008 users, check out the commented code in the .NET sample extender to see how you can display feature data in the scope window!

Happy Holidays!

QuikPik, Periscope, SuperPurge Updated for AutoCAD 2008

If you use of any of these ManuSoft products, preliminary AutoCAD 2008 support has been available for several weeks at the Download Center for registered users. The QuikPik and Periscope updates are now officially released, and the shareware versions of QuikPik and Periscope are now available as well. SuperPurge will be officially released in the next week or so.

My free AcadStatusBarButton library has also been updated for AutoCAD 2008, and is now available for download on the Freebies page. The only change is the addition of a blank status bar pane beneath your floating buttons so that the new annotation scale buttons in AutoCAD 2008 don’t get covered up (the blank panes force the annotation scale buttons to the left of your custom buttons). If your button position is fixed (i.e. not floating), the blank pane will not be used.

As always, if you encounter any problems, please let me know!