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When learning a new program, you typically start out by asking a lot of questions. The faster you can answer those questions, the easier it is to learn the program. In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to use AutoCAD to find the answers you're looking for. Let's start with the Ribbon. Take a look at some of these icons. Notice these guys look a little bit cryptic. It may be difficult looking at the icon image to tell what command that icon launches. However, if I place my Cursor over an icon, AutoCAD will tell me what tool gets launched, and if I wait a little bit longer, AutoCAD will give me even more information.
and In this case, I'm even seeing an illustration. This additional information is called an Extended Tooltip. Now, what if I'd like even more help with this tool. Take a look at the bottom on the Tooltip. If I press F1 at this point, AutoCAD will bring up context-sensitive help for this specific command. Notice the Help comes up in my Internet Browser. That's because AutoCAD's Help is HTML-based. I'm going to grab this Slider and pull down and I can get all the information I need about this specific command. If we look right here, we can see all of the sub-options of the command and each of these is a hyperlink.
If I click the hyperlink, AutoCAD will tell me exactly what that sub-option does. Let's close this. The Tooltip feature that we just saw doesn't only work for the Ribbon, it also works inside dialog boxes. I'm going to move up to the top of the screen and launch the Plot command. This brings up the Plot dialog box. If I have a question about any of these settings, I can hover over the setting and AutoCAD will give me more information. In fact, several of the dialog boxes also contain this informational hyperlink. We can use this to get a general overview of how to use a specific feature, in this case Plotting.
We'll talk about Plotting a little bit later. So let's close this box. Let's talk about what we do if we need help in the middle of a command. I'm going to move up to the Draw Panel and launch the Circle command. If we look right down here at the command Line, we can see that command is active. Whenever you're in an active command, if you need help, press your F1 key and AutoCAD will bring up context- sensitive help for that particular command. Once again, I can grab my Scroll Bar, I can move down and read all of the information. I can also follow these hyperlinks to view information about the sub-options.
Sometimes you may need help finding a command. If that's the case, you can move up to the Application menu and click. You can use the search area right here. I'm going to click in this area and type Plot. When I do, AutoCAD will tell me every place I can find that command or a similar command. We can see right here that Plot is in the Quick Access Toolbar, that's right up here. Plot is also located in the Application menu. I can also find it on the Output tab of the Ribbon and it's inside the Plot Panel. The nice thing about this list is that these guys are all hyperlinks. If I move over one of these and click, I can launch the Plot command from here. Let's close this.
We'll look at where we go if we have a question about a specific topic. If you require a general purpose help, press your F1 key and AutoCAD will bring up the Help homepage. On the left-side of the screen, notice that we have several reference guides that we can follow to try and get information about our topic. Likewise, I have some general purpose hyperlinks in the middle of my screen. Over on the right, I have got information regarding the new features. In AutoCAD 2011, I have some Online Resources that I can follow to get information. All the way at the bottom, I have information regarding Tutorials.
If I don't see exactly what I'm looking for, I can scroll back to the top and I can use this search area. As an example, I'm going to type plotting and I'll hit Enter. And AutoCAD will give me several hyperlinks that contain the keyword that I entered in the search area. When you first start learning a program of the size and scope of AutoCAD, it's normal to have a lot of questions. Fortunately, AutoCAD goes out of its way to help you find answers.
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