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!