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U s i n g t h e r i b b o n 2 3
5. Click the Modify panel’s title bar to expand the panel and expose all of the Modify tools.
6. Often, you may find yourself returning to the same tool on an expanded Ribbon panel. When that happens, you can pin the panel open by click- ing the pushpin-shaped button in the bottom-left corner. When the panel is pinned open, it remains open even when the cursor is not hov- ering over it (see Figure 1.25).
7. Click the button again to unpin the panel, and then move the cursor off the panel to collapse it. Regardless of whether a panel is pinned or unpinned, it will automatically collapse if you change Ribbon tabs.
F i G u R E 1 . 2 4 The cue card for the Copy tool
F i G u R E 1 . 2 5 The Modify panel pinned to stay open
Customizing the Ribbon Nearly every portion of the Ribbon can be customized to your liking. From modifying an existing Ribbon panel to building your own custom tabs and pan- els, to displaying only the buttons you want — it’s all possible! There are several
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ways to customize the Ribbon, and the overall user interface. One of the easiest ways to custom tailor the user interface to the way you plan to use AutoCAD is with the Initial Setup Dialog box.
the initial Setup Dialog Box To access the Initial Setup dialog box, select the Application Menu button (the big A icon in the upper-left corner of the screen), and then select Options. This opens the Options dialog box, where you can select the User Preferences tab and then click the Initial Setup button. Finally the Initial Setup dialog box (Figure 1.26) will appear prompting you to select an industry that most closely describes your work. After progressing through the Initial Setup Dialog, the software will custom tailor itself to better match the way people in your industry use AutoCAD. For instance, if you were to select Architecture, AutoCAD would customize your Ribbon panels and tool palettes, and it might also make changes to settings such as the default drawing template path.
F i G u R E 1 . 2 6 The first Initial Setup dialog box
Because so many configurations are possible when using this tool, click the Skip button if you open the Initial Setup dialog box. Staying with a generic setup will help ensure AutoCAD will both look and perform as shown in this book. Choosing the Skip button will open the Initial Setup - Changes Not Saved dialog shown in Figure 1.27 where you can Return to Initial Setup or Discard
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changes and close Initial Setup. To ensure AutoCAD looks and performs as shown in this book, choose Discard changes and close Initial Setup.
Using the Initial Setup Dialog box is just one way to customize the look and feel of AutoCAD. More advanced features such as the Customize User Interface (CUI command) allow you to customize nearly every element of the user interface. You can even design your own buttons for commands that aren’t already represented by buttons on the toolbars. These activities are for more advanced users, however, and aren't covered in this book. There are numerous resources available online from blogs, such as your author’s www.TheCADGeek.com. George Omura’s book Mastering AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011 (Wiley, 2010) provides a compre- hensive look into customizing the Ribbon and more.
F i G u R E 1 . 2 7 The second Initial Setup dialog box
using the Application Menu The Application menu contains the tools for opening, saving, and printing (plot- ting) your drawings, similar to the options found under the File drop-down menu in AutoCAD and many other programs. When the Application menu is open, the menus for these tools project from the upper-left corner of the AutoCAD window and cover the drawing area and any open dialog boxes.
1. Click the Application Menu button to open the Application menu.
2. The left pane of the Application menu displays the different commands. Clicking or hovering over a command displays a menu of its options in the right pane, as shown in Figure 1.28.
A bar with an up or down arrow at the top or bottom of the right pane indicates that additional tools are available. You can display these tools by placing your cursor over either bar.
Be careful not to double-click the application menu, as this will make autoCaD close.
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F i G u R E 1 . 2 8 The Application menu showing the Print options
opening a Drawing with the Application Menu The Application menu offers a quick method for opening drawings. You can even see a thumbnail preview of the drawings and arrange drawings that you fre- quently edit so that they are easily accessible. Here’s how:
1. To open a new AutoCAD file from the Application menu, select New ➢ Drawing, as shown in Figure 1.29.
This opens the Select Template dialog box, where you select a tem- plate on which to base the new drawing. Opening a file with a template is covered in Chapter 2, “Learning Basic Commands to Get Started.”
F i G u R E 1 . 2 9 Opening a new drawing from the Application menu
2. To open an existing file from the Application menu, select Open ➢ Drawing, as shown in Figure 1.30.
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F i G u R E 1 . 3 0 Opening an existing drawing from the Application menu
This opens the Select File dialog box, where you can navigate to the desired drawing file and select it.
3. To open a file that you’ve worked on recently, click the Recent Documents button at the top of the Application menu’s left pane. This displays the most recent files opened in AutoCAD in the right pane, as shown in Figure 1.31.
F i G u R E 1 . 3 1 Displaying the recent documents in the Application menu
4. Hover over a filename in the right pane to display a thumbnail pre- view of the drawing and additional information, including the draw- ing location and AutoCAD drawing format (see Figure 1.32).
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F i G u R E 1 . 3 2 Displaying a thumbnail of the selected file
openIng neW FIles You can open new or existing files using the QNew or Open button in the Quick Access toolbar. Existing drawings can also be opened by dragging them from a Windows Explorer window to the AutoCAD title bar.
gettIng the Most oUt oF the reCent doCUMents lIst The Application menu offers many time-saving tips. Here are two of the best ways to use the Recent Documents list:
Frequently Used Drawings: For drawings you access on a regular basis, and would like to remain on the Recent Documents list, click the pushpin that displays next to its name. This will “pin” that drawing to the Recent Documents list until you unpin it.
Maximize the Number of recent Documents: Out of the box the Recent Document list only displays the last nine drawings you’ve opened. This number can be increased to fifty by opening the OPTIONS command, selecting the Open and Save tab, and changing the Number Of Recently-Used Files setting under the Application Menu heading.
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N O T E AutoCAD 2011 uses the AutoCAD 2010 drawing (DWG) file for- mat. This means that the files created in AutoCAD 2011 are compatible only with autoCaD 2010 and autoCaD 2011. You can share drawings with releases earlier than autoCaD 2010 by performing a simple conversion. to convert a 2010 format drawing to a prior version, open the application menu and then click Save as ➢ autoCaD Drawing and choose the version you want from the Files Of type drop-down list at the bottom of the Save Drawing as dialog box.
Switching between open Drawings As in many programs, you can have multiple drawing files open in the same ses- sion of AutoCAD. Each drawing is stacked behind the drawings in front of it. There are several ways to switch between the open files, including using the Application menu, as shown next.
1. Start or open two or more AutoCAD files.
2. Open the Application menu, and then click the Open Documents option at the top of the left pane. The open drawings are displayed in the right pane, as shown in Figure 1.33.
3. Click on any drawing to bring it to the front of the AutoCAD window.
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F i G u R E 1 . 3 3 Displaying the open drawings in the Application menu
4. You can change the way AutoCAD displays the list of open drawings by clicking the icon near the top of the right pane and choosing one of four sizes of icons or thumbnail images to represent the open drawings.
5. Another option for switching between open drawings is to click the Quick View Drawings button in the status bar. This displays thumb- nails for the open drawings, and you can click any thumbnail to make its drawing active. Hovering over a thumbnail displays that drawing’s layouts (see Figure 1.34). Layouts are designated views of the drawing with scaled viewports looking into the drawing model. Viewports are covered in Chapter 14.
F i G u R E 1 . 3 4 Displaying the open drawings with the Quick View Drawings tool
using the Drop-Down Menus If you prefer to use drop-down menus, they’re still available in AutoCAD 2011, although they are turned off by default in the 2D Drafting & Annotation, 3D Basics, and 3D Modeling workspaces. You can display them by switching to the AutoCAD
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Classic workspace, clicking the down arrow at the right end of the Quick Access toolbar, and choosing Show Menu Bar (see Figure 1.35), or by entering MENUBAR↵ 1↵. This book will focus on the use of the Ribbon; the menus are covered here so that you’ll be familiar with them if you use them in the future.
F i G u R E 1 . 3 5 Turning on the menu bar
The left end of the menu bar, just below the title bar (see Figure 1.36), consists of an icon and 13 (11 if you don’t have the Express Tools installed or are using LT) menus. Click any of these to display a drop-down menu. The icon and the File and Edit menus are included with all Windows-compliant applications, although they are somewhat customized to work with AutoCAD. The drop-down menu associated with the icon contains commands to control the appearance and position of the drawing area.
F i G u R E 1 . 3 6 The AutoCAD user interface showing the menu bar
Commands in the File menu are for opening and saving new and existing drawing files, printing, exporting files to another application, choosing basic utility options, and exiting the application. The Edit menu contains the UNDO and REDO commands, the Cut and Paste tools, and options for creating links between AutoCAD files and other files. The Help menu works like most Windows Help menus and contains a couple of AutoCAD-specific entries as well, including some online resources and a link to the New Features Workshop.
The other eight (or ten) menus contain the most frequently used AutoCAD com- mands. You’ll find that if you master the logic of how the commands are organized
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by menu, you can quickly find the command you want. Here are short descriptions of the other AutoCAD drop-down menus:
View Contains tools for controlling the display of your drawing file.
insert Contains commands for placing drawings and images or parts of them inside other drawings.
Format Contains commands for setting up the general parameters for a new drawing or changing the entities in a current drawing.
tools Contains special tools for use while you’re working on the current drawing, such as those used for finding the length of a line or for running a special macro.
Draw Contains commands for creating new objects (such as lines or circles) on the screen.
Dimension Contains commands for dimensioning and annotating a drawing.
Modify Contains commands for changing existing objects in the drawing.
Parametric Contains commands for constraining objects or dimensions to spe- cific values or parameters.
Window Contains commands for displaying currently open drawing windows and lists currently open drawing files.
Express Contains a library of productivity tools that cover a wide range of AutoCAD functions. Express Tools are widely used but aren’t officially supported by Autodesk. They are a part of the default program installation but may be omit- ted in a custom installation. AutoCAD LT users do not have the option to install Express Tools.
You can turn off the menu bar by clicking the down arrow on the right end of the Quick Access toolbar and choosing Hide Menu Bar, or by entering MENUBAR↵ 0↵.
using the toolbars The AutoCAD toolbars have essentially been replaced by the Ribbon or other features, so we’ll only touch on them briefly here. Toolbars, like the Ribbon pan- els, are collections of tools grouped by similar tasks. Like the Ribbon itself, any toolbar can be displayed or hidden without affecting the others, and they can all be docked to a side or the top of the drawing area or float freely. To display a toolbar, first display the menu bar; then choose Tools ➢ Toolbars, click a toolbar category, and click the toolbar that you want to open (see Figure 1.37).
Take a few minutes to explore the available toolbars, and then close them and hide the display of the menu bar. You’ll touch on a few of the toolbars throughout the course of this book, but most of the tools used will be accessed from the Ribbon.
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F i G u R E 1 . 3 7 Selecting a toolbar to display
Workspaces You haven’t been directed to make any significant changes to the workspace, but when you do, you can save this setup as a new workspace. Using this feature, you can always return to your preferred layout by activating the saved layout. Follow these steps:
1. Click the Workspace Switching drop down list next to the Application menu, or on the right side of the status bar, and choose Save Current As from the menu, as shown on the left in Figure 1.38. This opens the Save Workspace dialog box, shown on the right in Figure 1.38.
F i G u R E 1 . 3 8 The Save Workspace dialog box
2. Enter a name for the workspace and click Save. The dialog box closes, and you are returned to your workspace. Until you change it or select a different workspace, the new workspace setup will remain as it is now.
When you make changes to the new workspace by adding a toolbar or chang- ing the background color of the drawing area, you can easily update the current workspace to accommodate those changes. Follow steps 1 and 2, naming the workspace again with the same name. You’ll get a warning window telling you that a workspace by that name already exists and asking you whether you want the new arrangement to replace the old one. Click Yes.
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using the Keyboard The keyboard is an important tool for entering data and commands. If you’re a good typist, you can gain speed in working with AutoCAD by learning how to enter commands from the keyboard. AutoCAD provides what are called alias commands — single keys or key combinations that start any of several frequently used commands. A good example of a command alias that ships with AutoCAD is the LINE command. Of course you could enter LINE at the command line to launch the command, but typing the one-character alias L is much quicker and easier. You can add more aliases or change the existing ones as you become more familiar with the program.
In addition to the alias commands, you can use several of the F keys (function keys) on the top row of the keyboard as two-way or three-way toggles to turn AutoCAD functions on and off. Although buttons on the screen duplicate these functions (Snap, Grid, and so on), it’s sometimes faster to use the F keys.
While working in AutoCAD, you’ll need to enter a lot of data, such as dimen- sions and construction notes; answer questions with “Yes” or “No”; and use the arrow keys. You’ll use the keyboard constantly. It might help to get into the habit of keeping your left hand on the keyboard and your right hand on the mouse if you’re right-handed, or the other way around if you’re left-handed.
using the Mouse Your mouse most likely has two buttons and a scroll wheel. So far in this chapter, you have used the left mouse button to choose menus, commands, and options, and you’ve held it down to drag the Ribbon. The left mouse button is the one you’ll be using most often, but you’ll also use the right mouse button.
While drawing, you’ll use the right mouse button for the following three operations:
To display a menu containing options relevant to the particular step you’re in at the moment
To use in combination with the Shift or Ctrl key to display a menu containing special drawing aids called object snaps
To display a menu of toolbars when the pointer is on any icon of a toolbar that is currently open
The middle button with scroll wheel serves a dual function. Pressing-and- holding the middle button will allow you to pan throughout your drawing until
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you release the middle button. The second function of the middle scroll wheel is to zoom in/out within your drawing. When scrolling toward the screen, you will zoom into your drawing. Conversely, when scrolling away from the screen, you will zoom out from your drawing.
AutoCAD makes extensive use of toolbars and the right-click menu feature. This makes your mouse an important input tool. The keyboard is necessary for inputting numeric data and text, and it has hot keys and aliases that can speed up your work; however, the mouse is the primary tool for selecting options and controlling toolbars.
The next chapter will familiarize you with a few basic commands that will enable you to draw a small diagram. If you want to take a break and close AutoCAD, choose Application Menu ➢ Exit AutoCAD (lower-right corner), and choose not to save the drawing.
Are You Experienced? now you can…
recognize the elements of the autoCaD application windowEE
understand how the command window works and why it’s importantEE
start commands from the ribbonEE
start commands from the command lineEE
use the application menuEE
display the drop-down menusEE
open and control the positioning of toolbarsEE
save a workspace of your screen setup in autoCaDEE
Learning Basic Commands to Get Started Now that you’ve taken a quick tour of the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT screens, you’re ready to begin drawing! This chapter will introduce you to some basic commands used in drawing with AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. To get you started, this chapter will guide you through the process of drawing a simple shape (see Figure 2.1).
You will need to use only five or six commands to draw the box. First, you’ll become familiar with the LINE command and how to draw lines at a specific length. Then I’ll go over the strategy for completing the form.
Understanding coordinate systems
Drawing your first object
erasing, offsetting, filleting, extending, and trimming objects in a drawing
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using the Line Command In traditional architectural drafting, lines were often drawn to extend slightly past their endpoints (see Figure 2.2). Today we have entire applications that can open a CAD drawing and not only apply this effect, but make the drawing look hand drawn. A popular application for applying such an effect is Autodesk Impression. I won’t be covering Autodesk Impression in this book; however, you can visit http://autodesk.com/impression to learn more about it.
F i G u R E 2 . 1 The shape you’ll draw
The LINEcommand draws a straight line segment between locations on existing objects, geometric features, or two points that you can choose anywhere within the drawing area. You can designate these points by left-clicking them on the screen, by entering the x-and y-coordinates for each point, or by entering distances and angles from an existing point. After you draw the first segment of a line, you can end the command or draw another line segment beginning from the end of the pre- vious one. You can continue to draw adjoining line segments for as long as you like. Let’s see how this works.
To be sure that you start with your drawing area set up the way it’s set up for this book, expand the Application menu (the red A button in the top-left corner of the AutoCAD user interface), and then choose Close ➢ All Drawings to close any open drawings. The Application menu is shown in Figure 2.3.
Like many other Windows-based programs, AutoCAD provides many ways you can close drawings individually as well. The first and perhaps most popular way is to click the X icon in the upper-right corner of any drawing next to the Minimize
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and Restore icons. The Quick View Drawings feature found on the AutoCAD status bar also features a similar X icon from which drawings may be closed individually. Drawings can also be closed from the Application menu by choosing Close ➢ Current Drawing. Finally, if you’re an aspiring keyboard warrior, press both the Ctrl + F4 key at the same time to close the current drawing.
F i G u R E 2 . 2 The shape drawn with overlapping lines
F i G u R E 2 . 3 Use the Application menu to close any open drawings.
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As shown in Figure 2.4, once you no longer have any drawings open, your drawing area will be a gradient gray and blank with no crosshair cursor; the Ribbon will disappear and only three buttons will remain in the Quick Access toolbar area on the left side of the title bar (along with the three informational buttons in the Quick Access toolbar).
F i G u R E 2 . 4 The AutoCAD user interface without any drawings open.
Now follow these steps to begin using the LINE command:
1. Click the New button at the left end of the Quick Access toolbar. In the Select Template dialog box, select the acad.dwt file, if it’s not already selected, and click Open, as shown in Figure 2.5. The menus, crosshair cursor, and toolbars return, and you now have a blank drawing in the drawing area.
N O T E DWt files are drawing templates with several parameters, such as dimension styles, layers, plotting settings, and more already set.
2. On the left side, some of the tools, such as Object Snap and Dynamic Input, are turned on while others remain off. Make sure that Polar Tracking, Object Snap, Object Snap Tracking, Allow/Disallow Dynamic UCS, and Dynamic Input are turned on and all the others are turned off. You can identify the buttons by pausing over each and exposing its tooltip. Your toolbar should look similar to Figure 2.6.
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F i G u R E 2 . 5 Choose the acad.dwt template in the Select Template dialog box.
Ortho Mode Grid Display Snap Mode Infer Constraints
Allow/Disallow Dynamic UCS Dynamic Input
Polar Tracking Object Snap 3D Object Snap Object Snap Tracking
Selection Cycling Quick Properties
F i G u R E 2 . 6 The toolbar as it has been set up
3. From the Home Ribbon tab ➢ Draw panel, click the Line tool. Look at both the bottom of the command window and your cursor. Because Dynamic Input is turned on, prompts such as this one display both at the command line and next to the cursor (see Figure 2.7).
T I P You can also start the Line by typing LINE or L and pressing the enter key, space bar, or the right mouse button.
The prompt now tells you that the LINE command is started (Command: _line) and that AutoCAD is waiting for you to designate the first point of the line (Specify first point:).
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F i G u R E 2 . 7 Both the command prompt and the cursor change to reflect the current command.
4. Move the cursor onto the drawing area, and notice that the small box at the intersection of the crosshairs is not there.
When the cursor is used to select objects, the default condition, the pickbox appears in the cursor. When the cursor is used to designate a point, the pickbox is not visible. Using the left mouse button, click a random point in the drawing area to start a line.
5. Move the cursor away from the point you clicked and notice how a line segment appears that stretches like a rubber band from the point you just picked to the cursor. The line changes length and direction as you move the cursor, and these values are shown as input boxes in the drawing area.
6. Look at the command window again and notice that the prompt has changed (see Figure 2.8).
It’s now telling you that AutoCAD is waiting for you to designate the next point (Specify next point or [Undo]:).
7. Continue picking points and adding lines as you move the cursor around the screen (see Figure 2.9). After you draw the second segment, the com- mand window repeats the Specify next point or [Close/Undo]: prompt each time you pick another point. The Dynamic Input fields and command prompt appear near the cursor, showing the angle and distance from the last point selected.
8. When you’ve drawn six or seven line segments, press Enter (↵) to end the LINE command. The cursor separates from the last drawn line segment.
The command prompt has returned to the bottom line. This tells you that no command is currently running.
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F i G u R E 2 . 8 The command prompt changes for the next point, and the line’s length and direction are shown in the drawing area.
F i G u R E 2 . 9 Drawing several line segments
T I P the enter (↵) key exits the LINE command and several others. another option is to right-click and choose enter from the context menu. this may require an extra step, but it may still be faster because your eyes never leave the screen. When you’re not entering data, the spacebar also acts like the enter (↵) key and executes a command.
In this exercise, you used the left mouse button to click the Line button on the Ribbon and also to pick several points in the drawing area to make the line seg- ments. You then pressed Enter (↵) on the keyboard to end the LINE command.
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N O T E In the exercises that follow, the enter symbol (↵) will be used. When I say to “type” or “enter” something, it means to type the data that fol- lows the word type or enter and then to press the enter key (↵). For example, rather than writing “type L and press the enter key,” I’ll write “enter L↵.” Finally, although I’ll capitalize the names of autoCaD commands, be aware that commands are not case sensitive and may be entered however you wish.
using Coordinates A coordinate system consists of numbered scales that identify an initial, or base, point and the direction for measuring subsequent points on a graph. The Cartesian Coordinate System, named after the philosopher René Descartes, who defined the xy- coordinate system in the 1600s, consists of three numbered scales, called the x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis, that are perpendicular to each other and extend infinitely in each direction. As illustrated in Figure 2.10, each pair of axes (xy, xz, yz) forms a flat plane. Most of your time using AutoCAD will be spent drawing in the xy-plane.
Z Axis +
+ Y Axis
+ X Axis
F i G u R E 2 . 1 0 The x-, y-, and z-axes and the related xy-, xz-, and yz-planes
The point where the scales intersect is called the origin. For each axis, all values on one side of the origin are positive, all values on the other side are negative, and values that fall in line with the origin have a value of 0 (zero). The divisions along the scales may be any size, but each division must be equal. The axes divide the coordinate system into four regions called quadrants. Quadrant I is the region above the x-axis and to the right of the y-axis. Quadrant II is the region above the x-axis and to the left of the y-axis. Quadrant III is the region below the x-axis and to the left of the y-axis. Quadrant IV is the region below the x-axis and to the right of the y-axis. Most of your work in AutoCAD will be done in Quadrant I, and this is the area shown when you first open a drawing.
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Any point on a graph can be specified by giving its coordinates relative to the origin given as a combination of the X value and the Y value delineated with a comma. For example, a coordinate of 5,7 means a point on the coordinate sys- tem that is 5 units in the positive X direction and 7 units is the positive Y direc- tion. Figure 2.11 shows a typical Cartesian Coordinate System and the default region used as the drawing area in a new AutoCAD file.
N O T E autoCaD displays a readout for the z-coordinate as well, but you can ignore it for now because you’ll be working in only two dimensions for the majority of this book. the z-coordinate always reads 0 until you work in three dimensions. (This will be covered in the later chapters.) AutoCAD LT doesn’t have the readout for the z-coordinate because it doesn’t have 3D capabilities.
Quadrant IQuadrant II
Quadrant III Quadrant IV
F i G u R E 2 . 1 1 The x- and y-coordinates of the drawing area
In this next exercise, you’ll try using the LINE command again, but instead of picking points in the drawing area with the mouse as you did before, this time enter the x- and y-coordinates for each point from the keyboard. To see how to do this, follow these steps:
1. Click the Erase button from the Home ➢ Modify Ribbon panel,
2. Enter ALL↵. The objects in the drawing become dashed to indicate that they are selected.
3. Press ↵ to clear the screen.
4. Click the Dynamic Input button in the command line to turn off this feature. The button will change to a gray background.
You can also start the ERASE command by entering E↵.
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Now begin drawing lines again by following these steps:
1. Start the LINE command by clicking the Line button from the Home tab ➢ Draw panel on the Ribbon.
2. Enter 7,2↵ to start the first line segment at a location 7 units above and 2 units to the right of the drawing’s origin point.
3. Enter 11,3↵ to determine the endpoint of the line.
4. Enter 9,6↵.
5. Enter 7,2↵.
6. Enter 1,4↵.
7. Enter 3,7↵.
8. Enter 9,6↵.
9. Press ↵ again to end the command. Figure 2.12 shows the completed drawing, with coordinates and
direction arrows added for clarity.
F i G u R E 2 . 1 2 Completed drawing showing coordinates and direction of lines
The lines are similar to those you drew previously, but this time you know where each point is located relative to the 0,0 point. In the drawing area, every point has an absolute x-and y-coordinate. In steps 2 through 8, you entered the x- and y-coordinates for each point. For a new drawing such as this one, the ori- gin (0,0 coordinate) is in the lower-left corner of the drawing area and all points in the drawing area have positive x-and y-coordinates.
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Let’s explore how the cursor is related to the coordinates in the drawing.
1. Click the Zoom Extents button located on the navigation bar (the semitransparent vertical bar under the ViewCube), or enter ZOOM↵ E↵ to adjust your view to show the extents of the drawing area.
2. Move the cursor around, and notice the left end of the status bar at the bottom of the screen. This is the coordinate readout, and it dis- plays the coordinates of the cursor’s position, as shown in Figure 2.13.
F i G u R E 2 . 1 3 The x- and y-coordinates of the cursor are shown at the bottom of the AutoCAD window.
3. Move the cursor as close to the lower-left corner of the drawing area as you can without it changing into an arrow. The coordinate readout should be close to 0.0000, 0.0000, 0.0000.
4. Move the cursor to the top-left corner of the drawing area. The read- out changes to something close to 0.0000, 7.0000, 0.0000, indicat- ing that the top of the screen is 7 units from the bottom.
5. Move the cursor one more time to the upper-right corner of the drawing area. The readout still has a y-coordinate of approximately 7.0000. The x-coordinate now has a value around 10.5.
The drawing area of a new drawing is preset with the lower-left corner of the drawing at the coordinates 0,0.
N O T E For the moment, it doesn’t matter what measure of distance these units represent. I’ll address that topic in Chapter 3, “Setting Up a Drawing.” Don’t worry about the four decimal places in the coordinate read- out; the number of places is controlled by a setting you’ll learn about soon.