we have seen how to get information about our objects but what if we need to get information that these objects create for example I need to know the distance between two lines that info is not displayed in the properties palette or in the list command there are many tools though and utilities available to us an AutoCAD that will give us this information to go to the ribbon on the Home tab in the utilities panel here’s where you’ll find most of them now open up the blocks and tables file I still have it open from when we went over our last chapter really any file will do but I suggest you open this one up to help follow along let’s say you needed to find the coordinates of a point or the coordinates of one of these light fixtures or lamps where are they located well if you come up to the utilities panel and select ID point or just type in ID on the command line find the center of the lamp and pick it with the left click it shows you your coordinates x and y in a finger working in AutoCAD the Z very simple

you can only do one point at a time but it’s quick and easy to do that it also puts it in your text window so if you press f2 you can now select this point you know your coordinates copy it out and put it into a report and email etc now AutoCAD also has another set of tools that will help you measure your geometric shapes that’s called measure GM is short in order a mash-up sort of of geometric measurements now you can type in measure GM on the command line to open it up or you can just type in MEA

found right here on the utilities panel there are different fly out options for a distance radius angle area and volume each one measures what it states and they all work in similar ways but measuring the different types of data so if you type in MEA on your command line press Enter you will also get a list of all of these same options distance radius angle area and volume so however you want to use it and go right ahead let’s start with area

go to a room

the laundry room maybe we need to find the area of this room so we can order enough tile that’s quite easy just start picking the points

at the corners of the room AutoCAD will create this green shape for you and it will give you the total area wherever the green is that’s where the area will be measured

if you press f8 to turn on your ortho you can only move horizontally and vertically but if you turn it off you can move anyway and you can visualize and see the shape that’s going to be created once you’re finished picking all of your points press ENTER and there you go we’re working in architectural inches right now so it’s giving us the area in square inches and it’s also showing it to us and square feet the other nice feature that it adds in there for us is the perimeter 42 feet 1 inch now we know that we need 93.2 29 square feet of tile so however much tile we need to order depending on its size we now know so that’s a great bit of information just click exit and you’re done press f2 and your information is right here I can copy this out

select it right-click hit copy and then I’ll paste it in an email to my contractor who will then go and order the tile and come back and finish the flooring on my laundry room for me very nice feature very useful now let me show you some other tricks that you can do with it though

start the area command again and remember the command line gives you prompts for different options I can select an object

I can add up different areas together or i can subtract out areas let’s see what happens when i select an object now how much space do i need for this

refrigerator

well i don’t know i can only pick a closed polygon and this is a block so i can’t pick it this file may be a bad example but i can find out the closed area of this wall you see everywhere that’s highlighted in green and this is going to tell me that I have a sixty eight point seven seven seven square feet of wall in this area now I can keep going in my command I can find different things that I want but let’s continue with the area now let’s start with the ad let’s say I need to know a couple of different rooms I need to know the total for tile that I’m going to need to order well I can do each room one at a time write them down and then give them to the contractor or i can just do this all at once so we’re going to pick add area and let’s just start picking our shape and you can do any shape that you need it cannot select arcs but it will do straight lines from point to point once you’ve finished picking everywhere for your area click enter and now the command keeps that area in memory and allows you to continue on so I need to do this room now

and I have my running oh snaps on so that it’ll automatically pick the endpoints for me and that’s a great tip once I’ve picked that shape I press ENTER and as I’m going along it’s telling me how much area that i’m using are going to need to use

going to this room now because it also has tile

press enter

these three rooms now this is a hardwood floor right here so I don’t need that room again hardwood floor hardwood floor and it looks like I’m finished for the main level now I have these three rooms i press enter

and I have my total area

pretty neat

now I can pick something here

any shape again press enter

nu on I can’t add more to it I can’t do anything else I have to start with the ad area in order to get started so if I start with ad and I pick my shape whatever it might be

press enter

now that i’ve added something to it i can pick the subtract area

so let’s say I don’t want

this part

in red will be the part that’s being subtracted from the green part so once I’ve picked everything I press Enter and if that’s everything i’ve done that i want to do i press enter again and here is my total that’s just the green area not the red area so that’s nice if you have a special case

for example if I wanted to work on the kitchen area make sure though that you start off with the ad area pick your shape i’m just going to limit to what i’m doing here to give you an idea so we don’t take forever just clicking here’s my area for my kitchen let’s say i don’t want tile underneath my sink well now i can use the subtract option

and pick some points these aren’t the exact points I need but in order to speed things up I’m just going to give you an idea here so there you go now i know enough tile minus the sink area of what i need now that’s very useful very useful indeed and the fact that it puts everything in your text window so that you can copy it out and insert it into a report or to an email or so that you can just isolate it in some way is also very useful now the other features work essentially the exact same way so let’s say distance i can find the distance between two points

there it is

command again

and I pick my first point

I get the option to be able to select multiple points or just pick my other point

so if I

points or type in the letter M I can measure

several different points so I can get the link that I’m going to need across this wall or I can measure the perimeter of something and it tells you your total distance so it’s very similar radius also very simple I just find an arc or a circle I pick it and it tells me the radius

you will be given the radius and the diameter which is very nice it is limited though that you can only pick one circle or arc at a time it’s not like the volume or the distance where you can measure multiple points or multiple rooms so you can only measure one item at a time but that’s okay that’s typically all you’re going to need an angle command there are a couple different ways that you can use it to measure something you can pick the object

and it’s very visual it shows you the angle here and it tells it to you lines

angle

so that sort of thing

pick a vertex and then define the two lines so start the angle command again and it tells you here to select an arc circle line or specify a vertex so if i want to specify a vertex I just type in the letter S

pick a point say right here pick my first line that’s my starting line and then it measures the angle

and it tells you what it is let’s try that again start the angle command press s to specify a vertex

I’ll pick

point there and now I’ll pick this point here and then I’ll measure

down to here

degrees so that’s how you do the angle command quite simple very

straightforward pretty quick and easy enough to use now the last one I want to look at is the volume command the volume command works exactly like the area only once you’ve found an area you give it a height and then it will use the basic area times the height to give you the volume so if we wanted to find the volume of the kitchen given find my area and I’m going to simplify this area again

press ENTER and then I tell it how high to create it so if i type in three feet the volume in cubic inches which is my basic unit so we’ll give you your volume in basic units for the units that you are being set in so if you need to find a distance a radius and angle an area or volume of something these are some very useful and great tools to use when you’re finished just click exit