AutoCAD: Select items on the screen, let us count the ways

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Are you slowing your production down with the way you select items on your screen?

AutoCAD offers many ways to select geometry even if it’s not listed as an option with the modify commands.

Geometry can be selected prior to activating a Modify command or preferably start the Modify command and at the prompt “Select Objects” these options are available (with the exception of the Stretch command, see below *), by default or by typing in the Alias Key function of the Selection Set you want to work with. These options are not listed within most of the Modify commands but are still available, here is how. These options are called Selection Sets.

Solution:

Selection Sets: Pick, Implied Window, Crossing Window, Fence, Window Polygon, Crossing Polygon, type in All, Previous or Last.

Pick: By default this is available within the Modify commands with no additional input from us. The Crosshairs turn into a small box you bring this box over the item you want to select and with the left mouse button select the item. This selects one item at a time.6-1

Implied Window: This option is available by default within the Modify commands with no additional input from the user. The Crosshairs turn into a small box, bring this into an open area (not on any geometry) near the items you want to select, pick on the screen with the left mouse button (let go of the button) move the mouse to the Right of your first pick creating a box or window around the items to be selected, then with the left mouse button select again in an open area on the screen to finalize your selection. This creates a box with a solid line on the outside and inside the box is blue. This options selects everything completely encompassed within the windowed area that was selected.6-2

Crossing Window: This option is available by default within the Modify commands with no additional input from the user. The Crosshairs turn into a small box, bring this into an open area (not on any geometry) near the items you want to select, pick on the screen with the left mouse button (let go of the button) move the mouse to the Left of your first pick, creating a box or window around the items to be selected, then with the left mouse button select again in an open area on the screen to finalize your selection. This creates a box with a dashed line on the outside and inside the box is green. This options selects everything it touches and completely encompassed within the windowed area that was selected.6-3

Fence: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in F and enter. This switches the pick box to crosshairs, select in open area (not on any geometry) then move your mouse placing Fence lines through the geometry to be selected. Picking as if placing a line. The creates a dashed line that will go through the geometry and select everything it touches.6-4

Window Polygon: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in WP and enter. This switches the pick box to crosshairs, select in open area (not on any geometry) then continue selecting areas around or through the items you want to select. This option selects everything that is completely encompassed with the selection of the Window Polygon. This creates a solid outside line with the inside of the polygon shaded blue. It may be placed in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, it just cannot overlap itself.6-5

Crossing Polygon: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in CP and enter. This switches the pick box to crosshairs, select in open area (not on any geometry) then continue selecting areas around or through the items you want to select. This option selects everything that is completely encompassed along with what the Crossing Polygon is touching. This creates a dashed line with the inside of the polygon shaded green inside. It may be placed in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, it just cannot overlap itself.6-6

All: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in All and enter. This selects all of the geometry on the screen that is not Locked within the Layer Controls and also will select All geometry that resides on Layers that are turned Off. Geometry on a Frozen Layer will not be selected.

 Previous: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in P and enter. This option will select the previous items that were last modified.

 Last: When in a Modify command at the Select Objects prompt type in L and enter. This option selects the last item that was drawn not modified on the screen.

 * The Stretch command is the modify command with the exception to the above options. The Stretch command prompts you with two Selection Sets that works with this command. They are the Crossing Window and the Crossing Polygon.

AutoCAD: Quicker access to all of Open drawings and their Layouts

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

File Tabs: New to AutoCAD 2014

AutoCAD has added another (quicker) way for us access the Model Space and all Layouts in open drawing. File Tabs display the drawing file name and allow quick access to your open drawings. These tabs are located at the upper left corner of the drawing area.

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Solution:

All open drawings can now be displayed in these File Tabs. To activate a different drawing select the File Tab you want. This makes that drawing the current (active) drawing, and opens it up in the last view it was worked in.

To preview prior to selecting a view hover the mouse (cursor) over a File Tab. This displays a preview of both the Model Space and all Layouts within that drawing. (As the Quick View feature in previous versions displayed those options) To select the Model or a specific Layout Tab hover over the File Tab, move the mouse to the view you want to select, select the view, this will make that the current (active) view on the screen. This allows for a quick approach to select what view you would like current.

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5-3If you are not seeing the List View you will need to change how the system Variables are defined.

At the Command Prompt type in Filetabpreview this is a System Variables that control of how File Tabs are displayed:

Filetabpreview: Controls whether you see a List View or a Thumbnail view when you hover over a File Tab.

Filetabpreview <1> as the default it will Displays a Thumbnail View

Filetabpreview <0> as the default it will not Displays a List View

AutoCAD: Quicker access to all of Open drawings and their Layouts:

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

File Tabs: New to AutoCAD 2014 

AutoCAD has added another (quicker) way for us access the Model Space and all Layouts in open drawing. File Tabs display the drawing file name and allow quick access to your open drawings. These tabs are located at the upper left corner of the drawing area.

5-1

Solution:

All open drawings can now be displayed in these File Tabs. To activate a different drawing select the File Tab you want. This makes that drawing the current (active) drawing, and opens it up in the last view it was worked in.

To preview prior to selecting a view hover the mouse (cursor) over a File Tab. This displays a preview of both the Model Space and all Layouts within that drawing. (As the Quick View feature in previous versions displayed those options) To select the Model or a specific Layout Tab hover over the File Tab, move the mouse to the view you want to select, select the view, this will make that the current (active) view on the screen. This allows for a quick approach to select what view you would like current.

5-2

5-3

If you are not seeing the List View you will need to change how the system Variables are defined.

At the Command Prompt type in Filetabpreview this is a System Variables that control of how File Tabs are displayed:

Filetabpreview: Controls weather you see a List View or a Thumbnail view when you hover over a File Tab.

Filetabpreview <1> as the default it will Displays a Thumbnail View

Filetabpreview <0> as the default it will not Displays a List View

AutoCAD: To display or not to display the File Tabs

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

File Tabs have been added to the top of our drawing space. These take up some of our drawing real-estate area. Although they offer a great way to quickly access another drawing you may want that area back to increase your drawing area. The following two options will show how to toggle on and off the File tabs:

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Solution:

From the Command line type in one of two commands, FILETABCLOSE or FILETAB.

To turn OFF the File Tab feature – in the Command Line type in (one word) FILETABCLOSE then enter.

To turn ON the File Tab feature – in the Command Line type in (one word) FILETAB then enter.

From the Ribbon we have the File Tab button available that toggles On or Off the option. This button is located in the Ribbon – View Tab then within the panel User Interface the second icon is the button for the File Tab.

When the button is blue the File Tabs are displayed, when the File Tab is gray the File Tabs are not displayed.

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File Tabs: New to AutoCAD 2014

Written by:  Cindra Drowne-Walsh

New, Open, Save and Close options available with a Right-Click of the mouse. 

File Tabs: New to AutoCAD 2014

Are you looking for a new way to access the New, Open, Save and or way to Close a drawing? We are now offered another way to access these option found right on the drawing screen with a Right-Click of the mouse over the new feature File Tabs.

Solution:

When you hover the mouse over an active File Tabs then Right-Click you will have the following options to choose from.

OpenSave1

Also if you Right click in the gray area after the File Tabs you have a condensed version of those options available for selecting.

OpenSave2

 To access a Template File (.DWT) select the file tab with the + sign located at the end of the row. This will open up the Select Template Dialog Box for you to select your desired template. This opens up to where it is pathed out to in the Template Setting found in the Options Dialog Box – File tab.

OpenSave3

An asterisk (*) after the drawing file name represents modifications have been made to the drawing and the drawing has not yet been saved.

OpenSave4

Trouble with the default direction of an Arc:

Written by:  Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Well struggle no more!

Until now Arcs were placed into drawings by design in a counterclockwise direction. AutoCAD now offers an option to change direction while in the Arc Command to a clockwise direction.

Solution:

          Start the Arc Command

Place your first two known point of your arc

Hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard prior to your last placement of your Arc. This is where you are being prompted at the command line for “Specify end point of arc” or “Specify center point of arc” then move the cursor into the desired Clockwise direction and place your last point.

Arc

This option works on all Arc options except the Start, End, Direction Arc option as that option offers the direction option right within the command.

NEIT Mechanical Engineering Instructor, Featured in The Digital Machinist

New England Tech Mechanical Engineering Technology Instructor, Christopher Vasconcelos, is featured in The Digital Machinist.

“Lucy” the see-through oscillating engine was designed by Mr. Vasconcelos using Auto CAD, primarily in Solidworks – a career skill taught at New England Tech.

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