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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
A major drawback to the command line is that we must always glance back and forth between our drawing and the bottom of the screen. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have our command line information show up at the cursor? In this lesson I'm going to show you how we can do that. The trick is simply turning on one of our mode settings. I'm going to come down at the Status Bar and click this icon, the fifth one from the right side. This title represents Dynamic Input. And now that I've turned this on, we really don't notice anything different on screen. I'm going to move up and launch the Line command and notice that AutoCAD is now speaking to me from my cursor.
The information that we see on screen is also referred to as a heads-up display. I'm going to pick a plate to start my line. And notice that as I move my cursor, we're seeing a little more information than what we've seen before. I now have a field here that represents the line length and one that represents the lines angle. If I hit my Tab key I can jump back and forth between the fields. We can use these fields to create accurate geometry. For instance, let's say I'd like to create a line segment that's 25 units long. I'm going to hit my Tab key to put my focus on the line length, I will then type 25 and I'll hit Tab.
When I do, if I move my cursor you can see that the length now has a padlock meaning that, not matter what I'm going to be creating a line that's 25 units long. AutoCAD just needs to know the angle. And if you're wondering how the angles work, I've created a small compass over here. Let's say I'd like to create a line that is 25 units to the right or to the east. My line would have an angle of zero, so I'll type zero and hit Enter. From this point let's see if we can create a 25x25 square. I'm going to type 25 from my line length and hit Tab.
And based on my compass I can see the angle of this line is 90. Let's enter the next line length, and that will be 25 and I'll hit Tab. Make sure that you don't hit your Enter key. if you hit Enter you'll complete the line segment. The angle of this line will be 180. I'll hit Enter. At this point I can close the shape, but instead I'm going to finish it using the Dynamic Input Tool. I'll type 25 for my length and hit Tab. This line will have an angle of 90. And I'll Enter. Now, what I'm finished with my shape. I'll hit my Esc key to cancel out of the command.
Now, that we've seen how the heads-up display works, let's try and use it to replicate some geometry. I'm going to pan the drawing over a little bit and let's try to recreate this simple rectangle. Once again, I'll launch my Line command. I'll pick my start point and let's trace this rectangle in a clockwise direction. So my line length is going to be 30 and I'll hit Tab. The angle of my line will be zero and I'll hit Enter. Coming down my line length is 12, I'll hit Tab. The angle of this line is 90.
Notice, that the heads-up display is allowing me to draft accurately without having to use the Ortho or Polar Tracking. This is a great example of AutoCAD giving us multiple ways to accomplish a similar task. Let's finish this up. I'm going to enter a line length of 30. And I'll hit Tab. The angle of this line is 180. Hit Enter. Finally, I'll right-click and select Close to finish my shape. The heads-up display can be a very helpful tool to use when we're drafting. Not always this give us additional control over how we create our lines, it allows AutoCAD to speak to us from our cursor.
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