AutoCAD: Command Line features/Display broken down

Written by Cindra Drowne-Walsh

These features/options help the user to be more productive. Part 2 of 2 – Continued:

1 Command Line 4-5 options
*See the previous Command Line part 1 of 2 blog for options 1 – 3.

4. Recent Commands: shows the latest used Commands:

Select the Arrow located in the lower left at the Command Line input area. This gives a
drop down of the last few commands.

2 Command Line example a
5. Customize: option when docked / un-docked (floating).

4 Options un-docked
Input Settings: Toggle option to turn ON or OFF the Input setting, quicker access.
Saves a step from accessing the Input Search options Dialog box.

5 Input Settings

Lines of Prompt History: This starts the system variable CLIPROMPTLINES:
When the Command Line is floating and set to display just the prompt line.
(*the Registry value must be set to 3) This system variable controls how many lines display above or below the Command Line.
This can be set between 0 – 50 lines.

Input Search Options: settings for AutoComplete, AutoCorrect, System Variables /
Commands and Named Content. These are a toggle ON or toggle OFF option.

*Installed settings displayed below (a check mark or a solid circle represents those options are active.6 Input Options

Transparency: Opens a dialog box that give the user opacity control over the
Command Line.

Options: This opens up the Options dialog box.
(This is also accessed through Right-Clicking in the Command Line / and in the drawing, also through the Application menu.)

*An alternative option to access these features is to Right-Click in the Command Line:
This option also offers Cut, Copy, Copy History, Paste, Paste to Command Line.

7 Rt-Click Command line

AutoCAD: Command Line features/display broken down Part 1

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

These features/options help the user to be more productive.

Part 1 of 2

Command Line 1-3 options

  1. How to move the Command Line when docked / un-docked (floating):

2.   How to turn ON or OFF the Command Line window:

Turn OFF:

  • Select the X on the left side of the Command Line window.
  • Type in COMMANDLINEHIDE then Enter this will close the Command Line window.

Turn ON:

  • Type in COMMANDLINE then Enter. (even though there is no Command line window it works.)

On or OFF Toggle options:

  • Ctrl+9 keys selected together
  • Command Line button: Located in the View tab – Palettes panel.

Button toggle
3. Bring up a larger view of the Command Line window.

a. Select the up arrow in the lower right corner (only available when un-Docked not n Docked) it displays a larger list of the Command history.
b. Keyboard options: (toggles both ON and OFF)
F2 key when Floating – a pop up from the Command line is displayed.

CTRL +F2 key when un-Docked – opens up the full Text Screen Window. When

F2 key when Docked – opens a larger view of the Command Line Window (Text Screen Window.)

c. Select the View Tab, Palettes Panel, Text Window Button.

*You can scroll back through previous input with all options.

Sequence of selection for the Text Screen in the video is:

1st. Arrow located in the lower right hand corner selected with the mouse–floating Command Line
2nd F2 key- floating Command Line
3rd CTRL + F2 key – floating Command Line
4th F2 key- Docked Command Line
5th Text Window Icon – floating or Docked Command Line

*Keep in mind typed in commands are not case sensitive.

**Part 2 of 2 will cover Recent Commands and the Customize options.

Learn more about Command Line Features and other NEW AutoCAD 2015 features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: Cursor Badge(s)

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

New in 2015:

This enhancement displays at the cross hairs or pick box. The symbol changes per the active command. This feature is nothing more than a visual aid.

“Autodesk refers to this visual as contextual feedback.”

Examples on how the Badge symbols will display within some commands, not all commands offer a Badge display.

When accessing the following Utilities commands the display will be a ?.

Examples. Measure, Radius, Angle, Area, Volume and ID Point

Utilities 1

When accessing some of the Modify commands a Badge will display but a badge does not display for all of the Modify commands.

Examples. Move, Copy, Scale, Rotate

Modify Move 2 Modify Copy 3  Modify Scale 4rotate

 

 

 

When in a selection mode such as the Implied Window / Polygon, Crossing Window / Polygon and Lasso, the below Badge symbols display.

The X displays when in commands such as Erase, Trim and Extend. This represents the portion of the geometry that will be removed from the drawing.

Selections Implied 6           Selections Crossing 7Selections 8

 

 

 

 

Within the Rotate Command this is the Badge display. If the Clockwise feature is modified from the default setting the visual of the Badge flips.

Modify Rotate 10Modify Rotate 11

Rotate setting 12

 Mtext 13There is also a Badge that displays when in the Multiline Text Command. (MText)

 

 

 

*If you prefer that the Cursor Badge feature does not display it can be turned off by changing the System Variable CURSORBADGE to the option of 1. This is a new System Variable available only if Service Pack 1 has been installed onto your system.

Learn more about Cursor Badge(s) and other NEW AutoCAD 2015 features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: Breaking overlapping Dimensions lines

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

DIMBREAK command allows the user to modify overlapping Dimension Lines with a break (This

creates a space in one of the Dimension Lines that overlaps another Dimension Line or other Geometry) Helps create a more technical looking drawing. 

Where to Access this Command:

Command Line type in DIMBREAK and enter: 

Ribbon: Annotate Tab – Dimension Panel – Break

Break 1

DIMBREAK has been available for a few releases, it allows for one or multiple Dimension Lines to be modified at a time. The Dimensions stay Associative, this is important / helpful when and if the geometry is modified as the Dimensions will update with those changes.

Break 3 Break 2
Command sequence:

Command: _DIMBREAK

Select dimension to add/remove break or [Multiple]: select the Dimension Line that
you want visually broken.

Select object to break dimension or [Auto/Manual/Remove] <Auto> : select the
Dimension Line that intersects the previously selected dimension line.

Select object to break dimension: Enter to finish the command.

Command sequence – Using the Multiple option:

Command: _DIMBREAK

Select dimension to add/remove break or [Multiple]: M (M and Enter to utilize the option Multiple)

Select dimensions: At this prompts you want to select the Dimension you want the Dimension Lines broken on. Using the crossing window option I selected the Horizontal dimensions.

Select dimensions: Once done selecting Enter for the programs next prompt.

Select object to break dimensions or [Auto/Remove] <Auto>: Select the Dimension Line(s) overlaps the dimension previously selected that will be broken.

Select object to break dimensions: This is a running command keep selecting all Dimension Lines necessary for the results needed, once done Enter to finish the command. 

Break Command options: [Auto/Manual/Remove]

[Auto] is the default <Auto> so simply Enter at this prompt and the program will break all intersecting Dimension Lines of that first selection.

[Manual] no need to make it the default option because if you select with the mouse on a Dimension line it will respond correctly.

[Remove] will remove all breaks from the selected Dimension(s).

Dimension Break command using the Multiple option:


The key is to remember that the First selection(s) is the Dimension Lines that will be visually broken.

These Dimensions are considered to have a Smart Break which means that the break areas of the Dimension Lines will adjust accordingly if modified with grips or a modify command the.

Prior to this command we either ignored overlapping Dimension Lines or used the Explode command on those dimensions then using a different Break command (located in the Modify Panel) break out the section of the Dimension Line that is wanted to be removed. Draw back to this approach is the Dimension is no longer Associative and is now multiple segments.
Break 5

Learn more about Text Alignment and other NEW AutoCAD 2015 features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: NEW in 2015

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Text Alignment features:

AutoCAD is consistently improving the Annotation features. This command offers Vertical and Horizontal alignment along with the option of spacing between the groups of text selected. This features works with Attributes, Single Line and Multiline Text.

Access to the Command:

Located in the Ribbon, Annotate tab, Text panel is the Text Align Icon. Or in the Command line type in TEXTALIGN.

Text Align 1

Options within the command that will be shown in following videos:

Distribute
Set spacing
current Vertical (this is the default setting)
current Horizontal

Text Align command sequence:

1. Start the Text Align command
2. Select the text to be aligned
3. Enter
4. At the prompt – Select text object to align to (this selection of the text is the text that will stay stationary and the rest of the text will align to it).
5. At the prompt – Pick a second point – Move the cursor in this case straight down with Ortho or Polar mode On, once the text aligns select a point on the screen with the mouse to place the text.

This video shows how the Vertical alignment is created (which is the default setting for this command).

*Notice that the spacing does not adjust automatically this needs to be set within the Option feature of the command and will be shown in the other video. (Make sure that Ortho or Polar mode is on, this makes the vertical placement easier.)


This video shows a Vertical alignment along with how the Distribute option is used then how the Set spacing option is used.

*Distribute option places the text evenly.
*Set spacing option allows the user to set a specific distance.

Text Align command sequence:

1. Start the Text Align command
2. Select the text to be aligned
3. Enter
4. At the prompt – Select text object to align to (this selection of the text is the text that will stay stationary and the rest of the text will align to it).
5. RT-Click: select Options: select the needed option.
(first shown is the option Distribute / next shown is the Set spacing option)
6. At the prompt – Pick a second point – Move the cursor in this case straight down with Ortho or Polar mode On, once the text aligns select a point on the screen with the mouse to place the text.


This video shows both Horizontal alignment along with the Set spacing option. The Distribute option could also be used the same as the previous video.

Text Align command sequence:

Same as above but at step 5 the option Horizontal is selected then you RT-Click again to select the option Set spacing, set the distance and enter. Continue through the prompts to place the text.


This option allows alignment to the justification of the text. (The default justification aligns to option LEFT) this can be changed to any one of these. Once you have selected another justification that stays as the default until it is changed again.

Text Align 2Text Align 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text Align changing the justification command sequence:

1. Start the Text Align command
2. Select the alignment option / choose desired the justification. Here I selected the option Right.
3. Select the text to align.
4. Enter
5. Select text object to align to (this selection of the text is the text that will stay stationary and the rest of the text will align to it).
6. At the prompt – Pick a second point – Move the cursor straight down with Ortho or Polar mode On, once the text aligns select a point on the screen with the mouse to place the text.

Learn more about Text Alignment and other NEW AutoCAD 2015 features by registering for the 32-hour Fundamentals class. Click Here to request more information.

AutoCAD: Quickly select similar geometry in a drawing

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Quick tip:

Quickly Select similar geometry in a drawing without know any of its properties:

Select Similar will select the same type of geometry. (Lines, Circles, Polylines…)

Select an item in a drawing

Right Click – this opens a pop up window

Select the option Select Similar.

All geometry with the same type and same properties will be selected per what is defined in the Select Similar Setting dialog box.

Select 5

One window is selected Right Click / Select Similar command

Select 6

All windows are selected

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Select Similar Settings Dialog box:
Within this dialog box is where the features are chosen that will be selected:

At the Command prompt type in SELECTSIMILAR then access the option Settings. This is done either by typing the SE (not case sensitive) or selecting the option [Settings] in the command line.
Within this dialog box select the appropriate options:
Select 7

AutoCAD: Create and add a Button to the Quick Access Tool Bar

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

AutoCAD offers a few ways to access commands. A Button (when you know there location) is usually the quickest way to start a command. There are a few commands though that still need to be typed to access them: for example ATTEDIT (Attribute Edit) seems to be one of them. To eliminate some typing created a Button.

Here is how:

In AutoCAD 2014 – Select the drop down arrow located just after the Workspace arrow in the Quick Access Toolbar. 2014 Drop Down 1
Select the option More Commands…This opens the Customize User Interface dialog box.

Button 2
In AutoCAD 2015 – Select the Workspace arrow located in the Status Bar,

2015 Workspace 3
Within that drop down select Customize… This opens the Customize User Interface dialog Box as in 2014.

2015 Customize 4
Within the Customize User Interface dialog box starting with the Customize Tab
select the Command you want to add to the Toolbar.

*To filter the list of commands, in the Search area type in the command or part of the command you want. The list will reduce to those relevant commands.

*The command ATTEDIT is not available in this list. I type in ATT and it thinned out the list. ATTEDIT opens the Edit Attribute Dialog box to appear allowing quicker modifications to the attributes “the text part only”.

*I selected the command Edit Attribute. This command does allow Attribute modification but opens a more extensive dialog box the (Enhanced Attribute Editor) where more than just the annotation can be modified, for quick text changes this tends to be time consuming.

With a command selected right-click and select the Duplicate option. By doing
this you do not eliminate or modify what AutoCAD has set up. It created a copy that can be modified. Right Click over of that duplicated command and Select Rename.
Button 5
Create a Button: An existing Button can be selected, “the only concern there is it most likely to already be in use and you may confuse them.” So modifying or creating your own can be done.
Here is how:
On the right of the dialog box Button Image select the Edit button,
If modifying: choose your color and then the option of Pen Line or Circle and add it to the existing image.

If designing your own: Select the Clear Button, (I like to work with the Grid on) Then using the Colors and the option of Pen Line or Circle add the Image you want. There is also the option to erase if needed.

Once the Button is created Save the Image. You will also want to Export the Image out so that you have a copy somewhere safe in case of a system crash and also so it can be added to other systems in your office. If it is a time saver for you it most likely would help out a fellow co-worker.
Button 6
Define the Macro:
In the Properties Area (lower right) change the Macro line to ATTEDIT. Leaving the ^C^C as the prefix. AutoCAD places this is in front of these buttons/commands, it represents a double cancel. Highly recommend leaving this. Then select Apply.

Button 7
Place the new command into the Quick Access Toolbar:
Right-Click over the newly created command and select Copy.
Select the Transfer tab: Path out to Quick Access Toolbars / select Quick Access Toolbars1, Right Click and select Paste.
Button 8
*The newly created command will be listed and highlighted in blue. To move it into a preferred position, Pick – Hold and drag it into the order you want it to show up on the Quick Access toolbar.

Select Apply – Select OK. The Button will now show up within the Quick Access Toolbar.
Button 9
Always TEST out any customized features a few times to make sure it is responding the way it needs to.

The result is the following Dialog Box:
Button 10
Side note:Button 11
Button 12

AutoCAD: Open Multiple drawings at once

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

Quick tip(s): Open Multiple drawings at once:

Add commands/features to the Quick Access Toolbar quickly:

Open multiple drawings within the same directory at the same time:

Start the Open command:

Path yourself out to the needed directory, Select the DWG files you want to open.

  1. When the files are in a consecutive order select one DWG file, hold down the SHIFT key then select the last file in the group to be selected. All files selected will highlight select Open.
  2.  When the files are not in a consecutive order hold down the CTRL key and select all files individually. The selected files will highlight then select Open.

All of the selected drawings will open in their own file tab.

Open 2Open 1


Add almost any AutoCAD command located in the Ribbon quickly to the Quick Access Toolbar with a Right Click of the mouse.
*This is a great option for highly used commands / features which will help save you time.

In this example the Layer Drop down will be added to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Locate the Layer Panel in the Draw tab
Right Click over the Layer Drop down list, this opens a pop up window
select the option – Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
This automatically places the feature into the Quick Access Toolbar.

Layer 3Layer 4

AutoCAD: LASSO a NEW Selection option offered in AutoCAD 2015

Written by Cindra Drowne-Walsh

AutoCAD offers many ways to select geometry (Selection Sets) the latest selection option added offers quick selection using just the mouse. Whether you are at a Select Object prompt or are pre-selecting geometry on the screen this option is available. See a previous Blog titled “Select items on the screen, Let us count the ways,” for additional selection sets options.

Lasso: How this works:

When the program prompts you to Select objects or if you are pre-selecting items this feature is available.

With the mouse Pick (select) a point on the screen, DO NOT take your finger off of the pick button of the mouse, move the mouse through and around the items you want included in the selection. This creates an irregular shaped selection area.

Lasso selection features:

Window Lasso: Select a point on the screen move the mouse to the RIGHT of that

selection, this creates an irregular shaped area dawn around the geometry intended for the selection. The visual results on the screen is a solid outer line with the interior of the shape blue in color. This selection responds like the Implied Window selection, everything completely contained inside the solid lines will be selected. 

Fence Lasso: This option becomes available when a Lasso selection is active on the

screen and the mouse button is still held, select the Spacebar. By selecting the Spacebar it cycles you through the Window, Fence and Crossing Selection features without reselecting the geometry. The Spacebar turn the outer line into a Fence, all the geometry that the line touches is selected.

When cycling though the options and the one you want is visible on the screen let go of the mouse button the selection stays current and allow you to continue.

Crossing Lasso: Select a point on the screen move the mouse to the LEFT of that

selection. This creates an irregular shaped area drawn around the intended geometry. The visual results on the screen is a dashed outer line with the interior of the shape green in color. This selection responds like a Crossing Window or Crossing Polygon selection, everything completely contained inside and everything the dashed lines touch will be selected.

Window Lasso 1Crossing Lasso 2
In this video: While using the Lasso selection feature and the mouse button is still selected, select the Spacebar to cycle through the Window, Fence and Crossing options.

*Watch the Command line it shows the prompts to cycle through the selection options by selecting the Spacebar.

*The Geometry Highlights to represent what is being selected.

AutoCAD: Working between drawing files

Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh

While working from one drawing to another you may want to reuse geometry from one drawing to another. Here I will cover a few ways that you can quickly transfer / copy geometry from between drawings.

(Reference to Geometry = anything placed in the drawing, Blocks, Annotation, data placed in with the Draw and Insert commands…..)

Preliminary steps to take to set up the drawings to easily work between them.

Step One:

Set up the drawings you are working between be visible on the screen. My preference is to Tile the drawings Vertically. There is also the options to Tile Horizontally or to Cascade them.

View tab

Interface Panel

Tile Vertically

Step Two:

Orientate your drawings so you are working in the area of the geometry you wish to work with from one drawing to the other drawing area you are placing the items into.

*Only one drawing can be active at a time. The Title area of the drawing is highlighted to represent the active drawing. To make a drawing active Click in the drawing area or select the Title area of the drawing.

Tile Vertically 1

The drawings are ready to work between:

1st Option: Pick, Hold, Drag and let go…

1. Make sure the drawing you are copying the data from is Active.
2. Select all of the geometry that is to brought into the other drawing, (no command active)
a. With the Pick box select somewhere on any of that geometry avoiding all grips.
b. Drag the geometry into the other drawing and place it in the drawing by letting go of the mouse button.
*This option allows a quick copy to be brought into the drawing with no option for an exact point of placement.

2nd Option: Clipboard: This is a Windows feature not an AutoCAD command.

1. Make sure the drawing you are copying the data from is Active.
2. Select all of the geometry that is to brought into the other drawing, (no command active)
3. Right –Click the mouse to bring up the Pop up window. Select Clipboard.
Here you have four options:

Cut: this option Deletes the selected data and places it onto the Clipboard. Make
the other drawing active, Right –Click then choose how you want to place in the geometry, Paste, Paste as a Block, Paste to original Coordinates.

Copy: this option makes a Copy of the selected data and places it onto the Clipboard
(When selecting data created in other applications this is a better option to use.) Make the other drawing active, Right –Click then choose how you want to place in the geometry, Paste, Paste as a Block, Paste to original Coordinates.

Copy with Base Point: this option makes a Copy of the selected data and places it onto
the Clipboard, but prompts you to select a new Base Point – select a Base Point. (also known as a Handle). This Base Point is where your crosshairs will be attached to the data when you place it into the other drawing. Make the other drawing active, Right –Click then choose how you want to place in the geometry, Paste, Paste as a Block, Paste to Original Coordinates.

Paste: Prompts you for an Insertion Point. (as the Insert Command) Select a location
to place the data. Brings in a copy of the copied data.

Paste as a Block: Same as Paste but groups the data together as a Block and AutoCAD
defines the name of the block.

Paste to Original Coordinates: Right-Click select this option and the data placed onto
the Clipboard is now copied onto the drawing in the Original Coordinates that it originated from.

Clipboard 2
Clipboard 1
3rd Option: Typing options

CTRL+C: Select the geometry to copy, from the keyboard select CTRL then C button. This
places the selected data to the Clipboard.

CTRL+V: Brings in the copied data from the Clipboard and prompts for an Insertion point.

*Keep in mind these options will also work within the same drawing. While working within the same drawing using AutoCAD commands (copy) and options usually offer faster results.

*If the information you want to recall into a new drawing is saved as a block in your block library, another approach would be to use the INSERT command to insert it into your drawing.