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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Help feature in AutoCAD 2011 has moved from a local to a web-based system. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at how it works and how to adjust its settings. To access the Help feature, we can click the icon in the upper right corner of the interface. Let's maximize this and the first thing I want you to notice is that our Help is coming up in a Web Browser. That's because our Help feature is now an online help system. This web-based interface gives us access to even more resources of information. It's kind of like a Help library.
If we look at these links on the left side, I can click each of these to view the User's Guide, Command Reference, Customization Guide and Driver and Peripheral Guide. A little bit lower are some resources that may be of interest to programmers or developers. Beneath that are some links that I can visit regarding the installation of my AutoCAD. Over here I can find some tutorials that I can use to help me learn the program. In the upper right I can see a listing of some of the new features that have been added to AutoCAD 2011.
Let's select Polylines, and in this documentation I can find out how modifying polylines has changed in the newest version. I can also find out how to edit other AutoCAD objects as well as see a listing of additional topics that may be of interest to me. On the right side I can see that AutoCAD has visited its knowledge base to look for any documentation that may involve the topic that I'm looking at. Let's scroll down a little bit. Since we're talking about modifying polylines, notice that each modification option has its own animation.
If I click this Play button, I can see how that option is used in the context of the command. Let's click back to return to the Help homepage and right here on the right side I can visit some additional online resources. I can visit the Autodesk Support site, Autodesk User Communities, I can go to the Autodesk User Group International website or visit some Autodesk blogs. Down here at the bottom I can visit the AutoCAD Exchange site, where I can ask my question to the weekly AutoCAD expert.
If you'd like to search for information about a particular AutoCAD topic, we can do that by using the Search box at the top of the screen. I am going to type ribbon and hit Enter and AutoCAD will search all of its resources for that particular keyword, and it will give me a list of hyperlinked topics right here that I can use to find my information. Now notice these topics are coming from the Customization Guide. If I click an additional title I can get more results. For instance, if I select the Readme guide, there are some more links.
If I want to expand my search, I can click Advanced Search Options and I can have AutoCAD search these other references for my keyword. Let's close this, because I'd like to show you a shortcut. Let's say you have a question regarding a specific AutoCAD command. Let me show you a great way that you can get help. Let's say I have a question regarding the Array command. I am going to come up and launch Array by clicking the icon and then I'll hit the F1 key on my keyboard. Once again we'll maximize this, and notice that AutoCAD will give me context-sensitive help for the specific command.
I get a nice image of the dialog box. AutoCAD will tell me where I can find this command in the interface and little bit further down I could see a listing of all the features. Let's scroll back to the top and if I'd like, I can always click the Home button to go back to the homepage of the Help feature. Let's close this and then we'll cancel out of the Array command and we'll talk about some of the settings that are associated with this online help. To do that we are going to visit our AutoCAD options and I can get there by right-clicking and I'll select Options from the menu, and if we go to the System tab, right down here in the lower right-hand corner we can find our Help settings.
As you can see by default AutoCAD is using Internet Explorer to view the Help files. If I click this radio button AutoCAD will use my default system browser. This checkbox determines whether AutoCAD will use the online help resources. If I remove this check AutoCAD will use the help documentation that was installed on my local system. When you have a problem and you need help it's important to have as many resources of information as possible. AutoCAD's new web-based Help feature is a well-organized, comprehensive tool that will help you find the answers you're looking for.
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