Friday, March 11, 2011

AutoCAD/LT Function Keys

There are many functions and commands that can be quickly accessed through the keyboard without typing the entire command: many are covered in a previous blog called AutoCAD/LT Shortcut Keys.

Another set of keyboard buttons allow access to even more commands and variables: these are called Function Keys and are best recognized on your keboard as they are the keys with the letter F in front of a numeral.

Below is a list of what each F-Key initiates as a command. These are Toggle functions: tap the key once to change a setting, tap the same key again to restore the original setting. For example, if you tap the F8 key you will see AutoCAD respond by changing the setting of ORTHO with each tap.

Note that where pratical we have hyperlinked to AutoCAD's HELP file below to give you an opportunity to explore these commands even further.
  • F1 - Toggles AutoCAD/LT's HELP file.
  • F2 - Toggles the Text Window, which is basically your command line expanded beyond the few lines you see on screen normally.
  • F3 - Toggles OSNAP running Object Snap; useful if you prefer to have a set or running osnaps but occasionally need then all off  or on while drafting. Not sure where to start with running Osnaps? At the command line type OSMODE then enter 123.
  • F4 - Toggles Tablet (Tabets are alternates to a mouse, requires a very specific driver from that manufacturer to properly work with this function key). Very handy tool if you want to set up custom menus beyond the screen menu or if you really want to get into the new freehand SKETCH command.
  • F5 - Toggles Isoplane, perfect if you need to draw in Isometric.
  • F6 - Toggles Coordinates Display, lower-right corner of your screen. Keeps track of where your cursor is located based on coordinates.
  • F7 - Toggles GRID display on screen: some additional instructions can be found HERE.
  • F8 - Toggles ORTHOMODE: a great way to ensure you are drafting in fixed 90-degree angles.
  • F9 - Toggles SNAPMODE, which is basically use to ain in drawing with grid-like restrictions.
  • F10 - Toggles POLARMODE: this is an alternate to ORTHOMODE above, it allows you to select what angles to use instead of being limited to Vertical and Horizontal cursor movement (90-degrees). And no, it cannot be on at the same time as ORTHOMODE.
  • F11 - Toggles OTRACK: you can draw objects at specific angles or in specific relationship to other objects along specified directions called alignment paths.  
  • F12 - Toggles Dynamic Input: when on, tooltips display information near the cursor that is dynamically updated as the cursor moves. When a command is active, the tooltips provide a place for user entry.
Need to change or modify any of these or other shortcut keys? Explore this topic from HELP to get you started. ◦