Quick Selections And Advanced Operation Techniques

there are many ways to work within AutoCAD there is the ribbon and the command line to name a few these are two of the most important and most often used input methods in the user interface the ribbon is very straightforward go to a tab
go to a panel
then click the icon you want to you and that starts the command very simple the command line though is a bit more involved in fact no matter if you use the ribbon toolbars menus or whatever you still have to use the keyboard for input there are some tricks that you can use to be more efficient with it though in other sections we spoke about entering commands on the command line like the line or the art commands we also discussed the command aliases for those commands you know for example the command alias for the line command is the letter L just type in L and press Enter and you’ve drawn a line
a and you’ve drawn a narc quite simple but what if you type the wrong thing it’s okay it happens we all do it you can work in the command line as if it were a single line text editor in a word processor I can come to the command line click inside it
and start working
so if you make a mistake similar to this you can use your arrow keys to move the cursor around you can backspace or delete to get rid of text you don’t want you can even use the home and end keys to move to the front of the line or to the back
just like in a word processor remember to the pressing the up and down arrow keys will navigate you through the menus you’re not in a command pressing up or down will toggle you through your most recent commands
so there are a lot of ways to use the command line and dynamic input to use or start or activate commands when you execute a command there are usually some sort of instructions or a request given to you by AutoCAD it will need more information the circle command is a fantastic example you would think that a circle is a very simple thing it’s round it has a center point well there are a lot of different ways to draw a circle and AutoCAD by default when you start the circle command you pick your center point and you enter in the radius of the circle you can just pick a point or you can type in a set distance well what if you want to enter in the diameter but you can take that diameter do the math divide it in half and there’s your radius or you can start your circle command
and follow the command prompts in your command line now you can click on the word diameter and now you’re drawing your diameter or you can just type in the letter D for diameter so I start my circle command type in the letter D press Enter I’m now drawing with my diameter that’s a very basic but let’s start the circle command again it already starts off before I’ve done anything before I’ve picked the center of my circle I have options I have three of them I have three p 2 p and t TR which is tan-tan radius this will allow you to draw a circle in a different way maybe you don’t know where the center of your circle needs to be
for example let’s look here at this little widget let’s say we want to draw a circle it comes from this end point to this end point where’s the circled center what’s the radius what’s the diameter I don’t know I can pick the 2p option and this will draw your circle based on two points it picks your first point there and then as you move the cursor around
it draws a chord in your circle define where your circle goes pretty cool
can also use the 3p method and again I can come down to the command line and pick it or I can just type in 3p I pick my first point
I pick a second point
that defines
on my circle and now a third point a lot of ways and a lot of reasons to draw this way
similarly
the tan tan radius will ask me for a tangent of the circle will say this line to another tangent for the circle this line and now it will ask me for a radius let’s say five units
so it drew this circle
engine two these two lines with a radius of five units
these lines to my circle
you’ll see that they’re tangent to them and if I trim it
I have a nice tangential arc to the end of my widget so there are a lot of different reasons why you would want to draw a circle in different ways it’s going to be based on the information you already have and with what you want to do now if we knew what the radius of this circle was going to be or if we knew where the center point is that would be very easy to use the default of circle commands so look at your command line when you start a command and see what it says it will typically show you that you have more options available but not always entering a command can be tricky from time to time because you have so many options when you put something on the command line then you can use different things typically though you’ll be able to just enter in your command type it in just start typing or over your app when you’re done press Enter that starts the command another option besides the Enter key is the space bar the space bar and AutoCAD unless you’re typing in text functions just like the enter key so when i’m starting a command
I can press space and that’s enter I can start my command pick a point do things and press the spacebar
the space bar in the enter key and AutoCAD are the same thing that’s nice because the space bar is much larger and it’s much easier to hit with my left or my right hand while I’m working and if you have your mouse set up your right click functions as the enter key remember when you’re not in any commands and if you hit enter that will restart your last command so I can draw a line just by pressing enter I can restart the line command again by pressing enter again or the space bar then to cancel a command you just press the Escape key cancels out what you’re doing and nothing happened but be careful because there is the dreaded f1 button hitting that will open up your help window as you go and use AutoCAD you’re going to learn that you want to hit the Escape key but often miss and you hit the f1 button it’s kind of happen if it hasn’t happened to you already it will happen trust me many users have literally ripped off the f1 button so they don’t hit it by accident and yes it does happen that much you can also type in a question mark press ENTER and that will open up your help window as well so removing your f1 button won’t hinder you unless of course you need it in some other program AutoCAD is fully equipped with an undo feature which is one of my favorite options or commands in AutoCAD to get to it just type in the letter U or just type in the whole word undo if i type in you it will undo my last command i can also press ctrl-z that will undo something or i can come up to my quick access toolbar and click the undo arrow this arrow here will give me a list of a lot of the commands I’ve already done as I move the mouse up and down you’ll see they’re highlighted but in blue all of these are going to be undone if I pick this last circle here lumen undoes all of that stuff and then you have a redo option but redo doesn’t work so well we’ll talk about these a little bit more and in depth it’ll really only redo your last thing now if you type in the word undo
going to get a lot of different options just like with the circle each one of these things does something different you can tell AutoCAD do undo the last four things I’ve done and it will you can also mark a point in time and say I want you to go all the way back to that point that’s very handy if you’re trying out a new concept design and you say hey let’s mark this point they don’t try out this concept say I didn’t work go back and it goes back and undoes all of that stuff you tried that’s very cool it will reset you to where you were before one other thing in our advanced operation techniques here that I want to go over is the need to start a command from within a command not everything can do that you can’t start the line command while you’re in a circle command obviously that would be selling but there are some things that you’re going to want to do like pan and zoom these are called transparent commands the most common of these are going to be your pan or zoom commence there will be times when you need to zoom in really close and draw a line from something like this circle and then draw another line from it but then you will need to pan out or zoom out to draw the second part of your line now when you start a transparent command from the ribbon it’s automatic and you don’t have to do anything special for example let’s draw our line from the circle and we go to the ribbon tab and pan
now this will allow us to pan over to where we need to go
and hit the Escape key and now I can draw this line to the center of my circle and there you go you can also use the scroll wheel zoom in and out or pan back and forth transparently within a command so I can zoom in zoom out pan zoom back in these are transparent commands
since the scroll wheel became used in AutoCAD to zoom in into pan around I haven’t really used transparent commands and thought about it in a long time but if you’re entering in your commands on the command line so if I’m starting off a line snap to the center of the circle and I want to enter in the zoom command I have to use an apostrophe type in ‘ and then Z that will give me a real time zoom
my window zoom
me in and now I’m back to drawing well again honestly I don’t do that too much anymore because the scroll wheel does it for me
but if you need to I wanted you to know about it again you may never need to but if you do and you want to enter in everything that way because let’s say you only have a two button Mouse or the scroll wheel isn’t working for whatever reason and you still need to work and starting your command then going to the View tab on the ribbon picking pan or picking zoom can be difficult it takes more steps you don’t want to use more steps you just want to work so ‘ Z or ‘ p for your transparent commands

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