Drawing Area – The Crosshairs And Your Mouse

there are many tools to use in AutoCAD but before we can use them we must know where they are or how to get to them at first you will need to hunt around for the tools that you want to use but in no time you’re going to learn where everything is in fact your muscles will remember exactly where they need to move the mas tune to get to your commands the main form of input in AutoCAD is the mouse.

A typical Mouse has three buttons though many users will take advantage of something like a 5 button mouse or a trackball it’s up to you but all you need is a standard 2 button Mouse with a scroll wheel the scroll wheel acts as the third button each button has a specific function button number one which is the left-click button is your main form of input and selection you click this button to select an object like the circle or this square are these two lines the right-click button can be set to one of several different functions out of the box the right-click will bring up a shortcut in window this is very handy many users prefer though to have the right-click function as the enter key that’s a big time-saver and this is my personal preference I’ll show you how to make this change to customize the right-click functions of your mouse you will need to open the options window to do this open the options window by moving the crosshairs to the application menu that’s the big red a at the top left hand of the screen click it with the left click on your mouse and move your cursor down to the options button select it by clicking
and this will open up your options windows there are many different tabs that are on here that get you two different types or different areas of settings to customize the right-click function of your mouse you want to go to the user preferences tab just move your mouse over the tab and left-click to customize the right-click action of your mouse click here
these are your different options but what you can do is set how it functions typically you have about two choices one will either make it open up a shortcut window or it will press the Enter key right clicking then we’ll be like pressing the enter key
you can also press the spacebar in AutoCAD and while you’re editing something or while you’re in the middle of a command the space bar and the Enter key act in the same way in AutoCAD unless you’re typing in text of course but you can make your Mouse’s right click button act like the Enter key or spacebar key what that does it keeps your hand on the mouse so you can start a command and finish it without having to take the time to move your hand to the keyboard that’s why I prefer it but it’s up to you to turn off the shortcut menu just click here this will repeat the last command that acts like the Enter key this is when you’re in the default mode that means you don’t have any objects selected you’re not in the middle of a command it’s just the regular functioning state of AutoCAD now when you’re in edit mode that means you have something selected that’s when the right-click functionality can be altered here as well one thing you’re going to find out about AutoCAD is that there are a tremendous amount of ways to customize its functionality some people never change a thing some people only tweak it just a little bit but other people go crazy and completely customize it so that many users can’t even recognize it as AutoCAD I don’t recommend that somewhere in the middle I think is the best option but it’s up to you click here for an edit mode to repeat the last command but this is one you may want to keep the shortcut menu on because while you’re working with something you might want that shortcut and in command mode this means when you’ve started a command so you have three basic options of functionality you have your default mode we have your edit mode which means when you have something selected and you have your command mode that’s when you’re starting something like your drawing a line and you’re right in the middle of it now one thing you can do to get the best of both worlds and I really like doing this is I click here and I turn on the time sensitive right click
this means that when I right-click it acts like I’m pressing the enter key but if I right-click and hold for 250 milliseconds and by the way I’ve never timed this so I don’t know how accurate it really is but if you right-click and hold it will bring up the shortcut menu and you still have your Enter key functionality I really like doing this this is how I typically work with my right-click customization on this is a pretty important customization because working with the mouse is your main form of working with AutoCAD this is how the majority of your input will be done find the setting that works best for you this is the way I will have this on for the remainder of the video training here but you can do it however you want that’s the beauty of AutoCAD I’ve said it before I’m going to say it again throughout this series that you can customize AutoCAD however you want it to run when finished click apply and close and then okay
so now when I right-click it’s going to act like the enter key which will repeat my last command and my last command was to open up the options window but if I right click and hold my shortcut window comes up this shortcut window is very useful so don’t turn it off completely I really suggest you use the time sensitive clicking but this gives you access to your last command or your last few commands so if I wanted to draw a line I can I click the button and I start drawing my lines very useful as you see moving the mouse moves your crosshairs in the drawing
you’re not changing the drawing you’re just putting your pick box which is that square right in the middle of the crosshairs somewhere and wherever that pick box is that’s what you’re going to pick as you hover over these objects they become dashed or highlighted that means AutoCAD is telling you hey when you click here this is what you’re going to select
to unselect something press the escape key now you also have your scroll wheel which is right in the middle
if you roll it back and forth
that’s zooming in and out that doesn’t change your drawing any it just sort of changes our perspective you get a little closer or a little farther away there was a time in AutoCAD when you couldn’t do this and it made things very difficult but here’s another little trick that you can use with the scroll wheel if you click and hold the scroll wheel it operates as the pan command so that you can move around so you can zoom in pan across zoom in some more zoom out it’s very handy one other trick that you can use with your scroll wheel is to double click it
that does assume extense we’ll talk more about what zoom extents is and a lot of different ways and how you can use the zoom command in another section but the zoom extents will zoom all the way out to display the extents of your drawing line work in your workspace area which is very nice that’s a great way to navigate in your file or in your drawing very easily and very quickly I can pan around zoom in real tight to this corner and now let’s say I want to get out to the other corner really quickly of my drawing well I can pan-pan pan-pan yeah this is going nowhere fast
or I can double click it zooms all the way out and now I can pan and zoom and get there very quickly so you’ll find yourself navigating through your file with your mouse very easily especially with the scroll wheel zoom in and out pan around
that’s probably how you will do 95% of the navigation in your file and your crosshairs are another important tool they are your target where your mouse goes the crosshairs go where your crosshairs are is where your new lines your text your objects anything you draw or create will be placed in your file I prefer to have my crosshairs fill the screen I do this so that I can use them as a guideline when I draw to change this but again only if you want to open up the options window
you can right click and hold if you change that setting and go to recent input and go to the options or you can do it just like we showed earlier click on the application menu and come down to options
now this time we want to go to the display tab it’s up here towards the left now come over here to your crosshair size the
a percentage you can make it as small as 1%
or as large as 100% click in this box and type in the number you want or click and hold on this slider bar and move it back and forth either way again in AutoCAD you’ll find that there are a lot of different ways to input information into your drawing now this is a percentage of your screen at 100% the crosshairs will extend 100% across and up and down at 50% they’ll only fill half the screen when you have the size you want just click OK and then you’ll see here my crosshairs fit the screen I like this because I use it as a drawing aid I can quickly see if something is collinear if they’re lined up correctly or not
the pick box is still right where I needed to be
again this is user preference a lot of people don’t like it to be this big we’ll have it around 50% that’s up to you
it’s still pretty big I can still use it as a guide but it helps me to know a little bit better sometimes exactly where my pick box is at again it’s up to you the crosshairs consist of three major items your vertical line your horizontal line in the pick box these three items are there for visual reference the two lines are perfectly straight and they intersect at the middle of the pick box this point of intersection is the point where you will select objects or insert new objects we mentioned that earlier
when you move your crosshairs off of the drawing area which is this big box right here
see something a little bit different you’re gonna see an arrow so when I move it to one of these selection options man lying to my windows toolbar or anywhere in the ribbon
or the quick access toolbar etc it turns into a pointer
drawing area this is a large black area again you’ll have them as crosshairs this is where all of your objects go there are two main spaces in which you will draw model space and paper space model space is where you’re drawing objects go paper space is where your annotation then sheets objects got like a title block or some tax dimensions your drawing boarder etc we’ll cover these two spacers in good detail later on in another section one other area that I want to mention before we go is the info center that’s right up here this is where you can get a lot of different information you can go there for help you can go there to log on to Autodesk 360 you can search for different product updates
find a lot of information we’ll go into more detail about it later on but every space on your screen has a reason has a purpose and is a useful tool that you want to make sure you look at

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