After traveling for two weeks (one week on vacation so don't feel too sorry for me!) I am finally back at home (and facing an enormous stack of mail - Yikes!). I did my first two AutoCAD 2009 presentations in Florida. Let's just say the first one was less then polished (first time presentations are always a little iffy) and thankfully the second one was much better at the Fort Myers AutoCAD User Group. Tom Holmlund did a fantastic job with 100 sign-ups for the meeting (even going up against American Idol!)and the group was really great at providing feedback to help me continue to improve my presentation. A big thank you to all of them!

And here is a picture of Tom Holmlund (the User Group president) and yours truly (after my third presentation for the day).

And I would be remiss if I didn't also mention and thank Mike Parsons of CADDCenters of Florida for being such a fabulous chauffeur (and technical consultant)...driving me from Ft. Lauderdale to Fort Myers (and helping me spot alligators as we drove through the everglades!). Thank you Mike!
On to some more AutoCAD 2009 features!
The New AutoCAD 2009 Steering Wheel
The new Steering Wheel view control makes it easy to navigate both 2D and 3D environments. It also combines many different types of navigation tools into one. You can grab the new Steering Wheel from the status bar or by keying in the word WHEEL. The Steering Wheel follows your cursor as you move it so it’s always handy.

There are four steering wheels available, you pick the one that suits your current needs the best. Let’s look at the options available to you on the full Navigation wheel.
Note: While in paper space you’ll only have the ability to Zoom, Pan and Rewind
  • Zoom
  • Pan
  • Orbit (3D)
  • Rewind (a visual zoom previous)
  • Center (recenters the view based on the selected point)
  • Walk (simulates walking through a model)
  • Look (rotates horizontally and vertically around a fixed point)
  • Up/Down (slides the current view along the Y axis of the screen)
Tip: Switch to Up/Down by holding down the Shift key (in Walk mode)

When you get REALLY good at the Steering Wheel you might decide to try the downsized mini wheels. Mini wheels have tooltips instead of labels and are much smaller.
There are many different options (such as increasing or decreasing the walk speed) that go along with the Steering Wheel that can be found in the right-click menu (or by selecting the down arrow in the lower right corner). You’ll also find you can control the appearance and settings in the Steering Wheels Settings dialog.

You're going to see this steering wheel start to pop up in many of the Autodesk products - that way, no matter what product you are using you'll be able to feel comfortable when you need to change your view!