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AutoCAD Tips & Tricks

Today's Tip

Object snap tracking

object snap trackingFinding the centre (centroid) of a square or rectangle used to require the use of at least one construction line but with object snap tracking, the same point can be found without having to draw any other objects.

This technique relies on the fact that "Midpoint" is set as one of your running object snaps and that polar tracking (POLAR) and object snap tracking (OTRACK) are on. Say you have a square and you want to draw an inscribed circle. Start the circle command and then hover the cursor over one of the vertical sides of the square until the midpoint snap icon appears. Move towards the centre and a dotted tracking like will appear. Next, hover the cursor over one of the horizontal sides of the square until the midpoint icon appears, again, move towards the centre of the square. This time, when you get close to the centre, both horizontal and vertical tracking lines appear and you can snap to the intersection simply by left-clicking. Finish the circle by snapping to any midpoint.

Today's tip is by David Watson

Yesterday's Tip

AutoCAD 2007 - Where's my old XREF Manager?

A lot of people using AutoCAD 2007 and above don't like the new XREF Manager, so here's a simple way to get the old one back.

CUI Dialogue Box

AutoCAD 2007 introduced a new way to manage XREFs and to bring up the "old" XREF Manager, you have to type CLASSICXREF at the command line. Well, if you want things back the way they were and use the classic XREF Manager as the default from the keyboard and from the menu, a few adjustments will get you there…

First, go to ToolsCustomizeEdit Program Parameters (acad.pgp). This command opens the ACAD.PGP file in Notepad. This is where all the keyboard shortcuts are defined.

Next, scroll down until you see XR (or use EditFind…), change the value from *XREF to *CLASSICXREF and save (FileSave). Close Notepad and return to AutoCAD. Enter the command REINIT, check the "PGP File" checkbox and click "OK". That fixes the keyboard so that next time you type XR, you'll see the old manager and not the new one.

To change your Menu, type CUI at the command line. In the "Customizations in All CUI Files" pane of the "Custom User Interface" dialogue, go to MenusInsertExternal References… and click on it once to highlight it.

Now, in the "Properties" pane, change the "Macro" setting from ^C^C_externalreferences to ^C^C_classicxref, click "OK" to save the changes and you're done.

Yesterday's tip was by StykFacE

Wednesday's Tip

Shift for fillet radius zero

Do you get fed up having to set your Fillet alternately to a radius value and then to 0 to get a right angle?

You don't have to! Just fillet your lines while holding down SHIFT and the current default fillet radius value will be ignored.

Wednesday's tip was by dbroada

Tuesday's Tip

Tab through commands

This tip works begining with AutoCAD 2006:

Command TabAt the command line, type the first letter of the command you wish to start. Do not press Return (ENTER); instead, press the TAB key repeatedly and watch as AutoCAD runs through an alphabetical list of all commands, beginning with the letter you first typed. When the right command appears in the command line, press Return to start it.

This isn't a very efficient way to invoke a command but it's a great way of finding commands you never knew existed; try it yourself and you will discover that AutoCAD has a lot of commands…

Also, you can press SHIFT+TAB to walk back through the list.

Tuesday's tip was by fuccaro

Monday's Tip

Keeping the UCS icon in its place

By default, AutoCAD always displays the UCS icon at the drawing origin (0,0) unless the origin is off screen, in which case, the UCS icon sits quietly in the bottom left-hand corner of the drawing area.

If you find the UCS icon distracting when it's floating in the middle of the screen, you can force it to be displayed in the bottom left-hand corner using the ucsicon command.
Enter an option [ON/OFF/All/Noorigin/ORigin/Properties] <ON>:
Use the "Noorigin" option to force the icon into the bottom left corner and the "ORigin" option to set it back to the default.

See the UCS Icon tutorial for more details.

Monday's tip was by David Watson

Sunday's Tip

Oops is your friend

Most AutoCAD users know about the undo command, which allows you to step back through the command sequence. This is useful if you make a mistake and need to retrace your steps. But what if you deleted something a while back and in the meantime you did some useful stuff that you don't want to lose in order to recover your deleted stuff. Oops to the rescue!

The oops command recovers the last deleted selection set, without undoing everything in-between. It can also be used to recover objects removed after using block or wblock.

Sunday's tip was by fahim108

Saturday's Tip

Add your name to the status bar

modemacroHave you ever wanted to see your name or your company's name displayed on the AutoCAD status bar? If so, you need to know about the modemacro variable. Whatever value you set this variable to will appear on the status bar, just to the left of the dynamic co-ordinate display. To do this, enter "modemacro" at the command prompt and then enter the text you'd like to display.

The assigned value of modemacro remains set only for the current drawing session. If you's like to see your text displayed every time you start AutoCAD, simply add the following line to acad.lsp:
(setvar "modemacro" "text to display")

Saturday's tip was by India

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