Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quick Tips for LT: Part 2

This is the second of a short series of AutoCAD/LT tips for quick reference. Where noted, some tips require LT2012:
  • LAYERNOTIFY variable: Set to 0 (turn it off) so AutoCAD won’t ask to verify new layers added to a drawing or xref.
  • COLOR command: when you select a new color, a preview is shown in the lower-left. Behind the new color is your previous color selection.
  • WSSAVE command to save your current WORKSPACE after you rearrange AuotCAD/LT menus/toolbars. Or the old layout is restored after a restart.
  • You have AUTOCAPS turned on in your TABLE text editor? turn AUTOCAPS off in MTEXT first to turn it off in TABLE as well when editing.
  • Need to compare 2 DWGs? Plot both to DWF & use the "Compare Sheets" tool in Design Review to highlight differences.
  • Polar tracking: Press F10 to toggle on/off. It provides an "ortho" cursor limit at incremental angles that you define.
  • Create PDF quickly, model or paperspace: EXPORTPDF command, no need to change any predefined PAGESETUPs that aim for another printer or plotter.
  • Use ADCENTER to share content between DWG files: Blocks, Dimstyles, Layers, Layouts, Linetypes, Xrefs, and Mleader/Table/Text Styles.
  • Start LINE command: PERP, snap at edge of circle; PERP, snap at the edge of second circle. LINE is between two circles' common centerline.
  • Set PELLIPSE variable to 1 and you will then be able to draw and explode an ELLIPSE.
  • PELLIPSE changes the way Ellipses are drawn (true ellipse vs Pline ellipse): it has no effect in previously created Ellipses.
  • HATCH command will display small red circles at the location of every gap in your boundary that will prevent the command from completion.
  • MULTIPLE command is often missed for it's power: type it, then type MOVE and start selecting many lines to MOVE non-stop. ESC to end.
  • Use any copy/paste command to copy XREFs from one file to another: PASTEORIG to locate the Xrefs in the same ccordinates in the new file.
  • AutoCAD's Design Center (ADCENTER command) can be used to Reverse Search for Xrefs, two tips:: and
  • Instead of SAVEAS (moves your current file) use WBLOCK command’s ENTIRE DRAWING option: it creates a new file with all the layouts intact
  • A hidden command in older LT versions: DIMROTATED command, use it in lieu of DIMALIGNED command, when you need your dimension string to align with an object or specific angle.
  • You can copy Layouts between drawings by either using ADCENTER, or right-click over any layout>Template>File Type>DWG>then find the file.
  • Set DIMASSOC to 2 and your dimensions will move along with your objects if you snapped to those objects.
  • SELECTIONANNODISPLAY turns OFF (or ON) all of the ghosting that occurs if you select an annotative object when using Annotation Scaling.
  • Restore any Dismissed Pop-ups that you turned off and now need back on by using OPTIONS command>System Tab>Hidden Messages Settings button
  • XLINE command's Offset feature: Resulting XLINE’s center point is the start point of the Line or PLine you offset from.
  • Bisect an angle tip. Use XLINE command’s BISECT option: select the intersection point, then the first leg of the angle then the second.
  • XLINE command can create Horizontal, Vertical, set Angle construction lines too: watch the command line for HOR, VER and ANG options.
  • When you finish editing Mtext, instead of clicking OK button, just click in the background screen area to accept the changes you made.
  • Add some extra text in your dims and still keep the actual dimension: use <> when you edit a dimension's text with DDEDIT or PROPERTIES.
  • Need to move/copy to a specific point? @x,y is for relative coordinates. #x,y is absolute to the current UCS. *x,y,z is absolute to WCS.
  • LT2012's DWGCONVERT command has a REPLACE PAGE SETUPS: use it to assign a new page setup to DWG layouts aiming at a missing printer/plotter.
  • Not using LT2012? DWGTRUEVIEW built-in option called TRUECONVERT has a REPLACE PAGE SETUPS option: use it to fix/assign a new page setup to DWG layouts.
  • Press/hold middle mouse button down then hold the SHIFT key: you will be in the PAN command in a horizontal or vertical constraint mode.
  • Hold down CTRL keyboard key and double-click any attribute in a block: now you edit the attribute in-place just like editing Text objects.
  • When EDGEMODE variable is set to 1, you can extend and trim lines that do not intersect: AutoCAD creates an invisible extension to use.
  • DIMROTATED command, instead of DIMALIGNED, when you need your dimension string to align with an object/angle and not two points picked.
  • COPYTOLAYER command does what it's name implies, COPY entities you select TO another or different LAYER:
  • Is the RIBBON taking up too much screen space? Minimize it to Panel Buttons (it looks like the Classic Workspace menus)
  • LAYER command's list of layer names can be daunting to sort through if you have many layers, especially as you add more content or bring in content from other files. Layer Property Filters are a great way to help sort through them, making the display list of names easier to manage. Explore this excellent list of tips HERE.
  • Switch Layer Filters directly by using +LAYER command (note the + sign to type) in AutoCAD/LT without going into the LAYER Command/Palette.
  • At the "Select Objects" prompt, type F for FENCE: it draws continuous selection "lines", anything it crosses is selected without having to use a rectangular selection window. Try it in place of a crossing window or polygon selection method.
  • FILTER or QSELECT commands are great entity selection tools, a way of pre-sorting objects with shared properties quickly. Both commands can also be used to count blocks: after the selection process is complete, type SELECT command and AutoCAD will return a count at the command line. In LT2011 and LT2012 right-click and pick SELECTSIMILAR as an alternate to those two commands for an even qicker selection sorting method.
  • FIND command can be used to Select specific blocks, with specific attribute settings: see the tip HERE.
Next week, we tap resources all over the internet to outline more tips and methods to speed up your LT usage. ◦