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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac with Jeff Bartels covers the fundamental differences between the 2011 Mac OS X version of AutoCAD and the venerable PC edition, allowing designers to leverage existing AutoCAD skills and easily transition to the new environment. This course runs through both a typical 2D and 3D design workflow, covering its workspace, tools, customization options, and strategies users can apply working in a mixed Windows and Mac environment. Exercise files are included with the course.
When migrating over to the Mac version of AutoCAD, the first thing we need to learn is how to access our tools. Now, just like in the Windows version, there are several ways we can do this. Take a look at the left side of the screen. This is called the tool Sets palette, and this is probably the most common way to launch commands. Fortunately, the icons that we see in this palette are identical to the ones that we see on the Windows platform. If you have a question regarding a specific icon, simply hover over it and AutoCAD will tell you the command that that icon launches.
Notice that some of these icons have a small flyout indicator in the lower right corner. If you click and hold on the icon, you can access additional commands that are related to that tool. Now the tools in this palette are organized into tool groups. Notice that some of the groups display a small arrow. If you click the arrow, you can access additional tools in that group. When you move your cursor back into model space, the group will close. If you would like the group to stay open, you can click this pad lock and that group will remain visible on screen, until such time as you come over and click the pad lock again to unlock it.
These tool groups are very similar to the Ribbon panels on the Windows version. Right-clicking on an icon will bring up this menu. You can use this menu to turn groups on and off. So any event you're not using some of the tools in this palette, you can click to remove the check and those tools are removed from the screen. I am going to right-click again and I will turn the Selection tools back on. At this point, you've probably noticed that there aren't any tools here for annotations or dimensions or 3D modeling. Well, that's what this flyout is for.
This is where I can select a new tool set. Currently, we are seeing the Drafting tools. If I select Annotation, I have access to my text tools, Dimensioning and Multi-Leaders, Tables and Annotations Scales. If I flip to the modeling tool set I have access to many of the tools associated with 3D modeling and rendering. Let's switch this back to the Drafting tool set. Another way we can launch commands is by using these menus. If you are an AutoCAD veteran, you will find these menus are nearly identical to the ones used on the Windows platform.
Let's take a quick look at these. I am going to open the Apple menu and take a look at this option. If AutoCAD freezes this is where you can go to force out of the application. The AutoCAD menu contains tools that are related to the application itself. This is where we can minimize AutoCAD or Quit AutoCAD. Notice there is no X over here in the upper right corner to close the application. The File menu contains tools that are related to the DWG file. This is where we can create New drawings, Save drawings, or Print drawings.
The Edit menu is where I can find Undo and Redo as well as my clipboard functionality. The View menu contains tools that are related to display. This is where you can find Zoom, Pan, Orbit and the Render options. The Insert menu can be used to bring things into your AutoCAD drawing, like Blocks, References, or Images. The Format menu is used for drawing configuration. This is where you'll go to adjust your styles or change your drawing units. The tools menu is where you'll find drawing utilities, commands like the Spell Checker, Draw Order and the Block Editor.
The Draw menu is where you can go to find commands that create geometry. The Dimension menu is used to create Dimensions and Multileaders. We can use the Modify menu to make changes to our geometry. The Parametric menu contains tools for creating Geometric and Dimensional constraints. The Window menu gives me access to the Drawing Window and palette Controls. I can use the Subscription menu to access content associated with my subscription and I also have a Help menu this is where I can go if I have questions.
Now there is one other way to launch commands and that's by typing them down here at the command line. This method may seem a little outdated but I tell you what, if you've been using AutoCAD for years on the Windows platform and you are struggling to find some of the commands and system variables in this new interface there is nothing wrong with punching those out at the command line. One thing AutoCAD is known for is letting you define your own workflow. So whether you access your commands using the new toolset palette, the classic pull-down menus, or the Vintage command line, you can be certain that you are in complete control over the creation of your designs.
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