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AutoCAD Tips & Tricks

Today's Tip

Auto-repeating Commands

Editing the Circle macro in the CUISometimes you need to repeat a command lots of times and it can be a bit tedious doing the usual Right-Click and Repeat… or even using the Enter (Return) key on the keyboard. It would be really useful if you could just keep a command auto-repeating until you hit the Escape (Esc) key. Well, you can. All you need to do is make a small change to the CUI.

For example, say you want to draw lots of circles and have the circle command auto-repeat so that you can just pick center, radius, center, radius etc. Here's what you do:

  1. Select ViewToolbars… from the pull-down menu to display the CUI dialogue box.
  2. In the "Customizations in All CUI Files" section, click on "Toolbars" and then "Draw" to reveal the Draw commands, and then click "Circle".
  3. The Properties area now changes to display the Circle button properties and under the "Macro" heading, you will see the macro used to start the Circle command. By default, this macro is: ^C^C_circle. To cause the Circle command to auto-repeat, simply add a "*" before the existing macro. Once edited, your macro should look like this: *^C^C_circle.
  4. Now click the "OK" button to save and return to the drawing.

Try the circle command and see what happens.

This technique can be used with most commands. For example, if you are doing a lot of dimensioning, you could auto-repeat the Linear Dimension command so that you can draw all your dimensions without breaking stride.

Today's tip is by fuccaro

Yesterday's Tip

Selecting multiple grips

Shift picking for gripsDid you know that you can move more than one grip at a time? Select an object to display the grips. Hold down the SHIFT key and select as many grips as you wish. Release the SHIFT key, click again on any one of the highlighted grips and then click it's new position. All the selected grips will follow.

Yesterday's tip was by fuccaro

Monday's Tip

Cycling through grip modes

Grip Mode CyclingWhen you have a grip selected, the normal mode is to stretch the selected object and AutoCAD displays ** STRETCH ** on the command line to let you know. But did you know that by hitting <Enter> you can cycle through the other grip modes - move, rotate, scale and mirror?

This is a really efficient way of working and means you can spend less time clicking the buttons on the Modify toolbar and more time editing.

Monday's tip was by dbroada

Sunday's Tip

Fillet solid objects

Fillet SolidsThe Fillet command can be used to fillet solid objects as well as just the usual 2D stuff. Not only does the Fillet command fillet edges but it also correctly mitres the corners where two filleted edges meet.

Sunday's tip was by David Watson

Saturday's Tip

Convert to solid

Convert to solidYou may still have some old 3D drawings where objects have been constructed from rectangles, circles or closed polylines which have been given a thickness. Well, you'll be glad to know that you can now convert these objects to solids with one simple command. You'll find the Convert to Solid command at Modify3D OperationsConvert to solid or simply type convtosolid at the keyboard.

Saturday's tip was by David Watson

Friday's Tip

Lock your viewports!

Display lockedThe zoom factor of your viewports is crucial because it affects the plotted scale of your drawing. So, once you have set your viewport scale, it's a good idea to lock your viewport so that you don't inadvertently change it. To lock a viewport, select it in paper space by picking on its boundary and then right-click anywhere within the viewport. Select "Properties" from the right-click menu and the Properties panel will appear. In the "Misc" section, click on "Display locked" to activate the pull-down and set the value to "Yes".

Friday's tip was by David Watson

Thursday's Tip

2D Drawings from your 3D Models

Flatshot

Over the years, there have been various methods of creating 2D drawings from 3D models in AutoCAD. In the early days, we used export to DXB, a file format that is no longer supported. Then came the FLATTEN command. Now, there's a new command that's better than previous methods.

The FLATSHOT command creates a 2D block object of any view that includes 3D solid objects. There are a number of options including show/hide obscured lines and independent control over the colour and linetype of foreground and obscured lines. Flatshot works by projecting the lines of your current view, not UCS, onto a plane. This is a little more versatile than Flatten and doesn't seem to skew the dimension of the object, which Flatten is notorious for. It also has the advantage of leaving the original object as is. The only downside is that it seems to have problems with perspective views. Parallel projection views work perfectly.

Thursday's tip was by CromCruithne

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