I love Autodesk Inventor Publisher 2011.  It is like a fun toy in every sense, one that you don’t want to put down. I have been writing magazine articles for it, and thought I’d post some tidbits here.

You have probably heard about Publisher by now, and may have seen a demo. However, there are so many features available, some you may not have heard about. I started writing and chose the first five that came to mind.

  • Restore Home
  • Saved Selection Groups
  • Smooth Transition between Snapshots in video
  • Configurable Assembly Explodes
  • Auto Snapshot on Auto-Explode

#1 – Restore Home


This probably seems anticlimactic, but it really saves the day when working with groups of components. This sweet feature allows us to send one or more components back to where they belong in the assembly. Here I chose a bit too much to move, and need to get the selected parts back where they belong. ‘Restore Home’ to the rescue. This works great with the following item.

#2 – Saved Selection Groups


When moving groups of components about, it is easy to lose track of a selection, and can be a drain on time and productivity. Publisher allows us to save a selection and use it whenever we need to manipulate that grouping.  Selection groups are organized at the bottom of the Canvas Browser below the components for easy access anytime.


They are also accessible through the context menu when any of the grouped components are selected.  Nice!

#3 – Smooth Transition between Snapshots in video


This isn’t a tool as much as a part of the Publisher Design.  Publisher will play the Storyboard (the collection of Snapshots) as a video, and smoothly transition between views.  There is no need to micromanage the sequences for video frames.  Simply establish the views that are important to you, and Publisher will do the rest. You can even adjust the timing.

#4 – Configurable Assembly Explodes


The more I use this the more I love it.  This toolset appears after the Auto-Explode tool is executed, and allows fine tuning to the explosion, rather than having to do it manually. Each component move is a step, and the slider at the top drives them from the beginning to end of the explosion process.  Directly below that is a field that will index the degree of movement in percentages; the higher the percentage, the greater each component movement.

#5 – Auto Snapshot on Auto-Explode


During the Auto-Explode process, the option to save Snapshots is available as a button glyph at the bottom of the toolset.  What this will do is to create a snapshot for each step in the explosion, and save them to the Storyboard automatically.  If you needed a super smooth video of the entire explosion process, and frames to detail each component separately, this button just saved you hours of work.


This was just a fast pass through of some fun features in Publisher. The cool tools and features just keep coming. I can’t think of a better tool to speed up technical document production, nor a more enjoyable one either.

I’d like to thank Sean Dotson, who provided the robot assembly for this demo.

Keep checking back for more cool tips and tricks with Autodesk Inventor Publisher 2011.