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AutoCAD Tips & Tricks

Today's Tip

Extend/Trim commands

While in the middle of either of the Trim or Extend command, you don't have to exit out of one to start the other; they're virtually the same command. So if you're using Trim, and need to Extend, simply hold down the SHIFT key and it will convert to the Extend command, and vice-versa.

Today's tip is by StykFacE

Yesterday's Tip

DWG TrueView

DWG TrueViewQuite often, you need to share your AutoCAD drawings with co-workers or others who don't have a copy of AutoCAD. In the past, this meant either providing drawings in DWF or buying some special viewing software. Well, now you can share your drawings files in DWG format for free.

Autodesk's own DWG TrueView application is free to download and install, and it looks just like AutoCAD. Co-workers without AutoCAD can not only view your drawings but they can plot them too and publish them as DWF. See here for more information.

Yesterday's tip was by David Watson

Wednesday's Tip

Selection Preview Cycling

Selection Preview CyclingMaking positive selections is much easier now that AutoCAD highlights (previews) objects as you mouse over them. However, it can still be difficult to select the right object when drawings become complicated with lots of overlapping objects. Fortunately, AutoCAD allows you to cycle through all the overlapping objects under the cursor.

All you need to do is hold down the Shift key and then repeatedly hit the Spacebar (Shift + Space). Each object under the cursor will be highlighted in turn and you can easily pick the one you want.

You can use a similar technique to cycle through sub-objects such as faces and edges on 3D Solids. To cycle through sub-objects, hold down the Control key and hit the Spacebar repeatedly (Ctrl + Space).

Wednesday's tip was by David Watson

Tuesday'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.

Tuesday's tip was by fuccaro

Monday'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.

Monday's tip was by fuccaro

Sunday'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.

Sunday's tip was by dbroada

Saturday'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.

Saturday's tip was by David Watson

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