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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.
Before we start working on tutorials, let's take a minute and look at some of the general changes that have been made to the interface in AutoCAD 2011. Probably the most noticeable difference is the new dark gray background color of Model space. This is definitely an improvement, because our layer colors have a much better contrast over a dark background than they do a light one. Notice our grid is turned on by default in 2011, and instead of the traditional dot appearance, it now has the appearance of engineering graph paper.
This red and green line has also been added to help identify the X and the Y axis. If you have done any 3D drafting in AutoCAD, you will recognize this grid looks very similar to the grid that we see in the 3D AutoCAD template. Now, that's by design, because AutoCAD is trying to synchronize the appearance between the 2D and 3D drafting environment. That synchronization is why we now see the ViewCube, even though we are working in a 2D wireframe view. This ViewCube is used to adjust our view in three-dimensional space.
And you may be wondering if we are working in 2D, is this cube really helpful? Well, it does have one feature that's nice. Notice these arrows in the upper right hand corner. If I click an arrow, I can rotate my coordinate system in 90-degree increments. This tool can also be used to rotate the contents of a viewport on your layouts. If you decide the ViewCube is not for you, if you would like to turn this guy off, let me show you where you can go to do that. I am going to come up and click the View tab, then we will open up the Windows panel, we will open up User Interface, and the toggle for the ViewCube is right here.
Now, I am going to leave mine on and I will click on screen to close this menu. Let's take a look at a change that's been made to the ribbon in 2011. If you are someone who collapses their ribbon, such that it takes up less space on screen, you know how to use this cycle button. For instance, if we click it once, it will minimize the ribbon down to the panels. Click it again. It will minimize down to the panel names. One more time will minimize it to tab names. And if I click it again, it opens up my ribbon fully on screen.
Well, in 2011, this pulldown has been added. If I click to open up this menu, we can see that Cycle, what we just saw, happens to be the default. If I have a favorite collapsed state, I can select that from the menu and now each time I click the cycle button, I can switch between a full ribbon and my favorite state. I am going to open this back up and we will set this back to the default. In 2011, our Quick Access toolbar has changed. Notice the workspace switching tool has been added.
This makes it a little bit easier to see the name of our current workspace. On the right side of the screen I have got a new Help icon. If I click this, it will launch the Help feature. If I click this flyout, I get access to additional Help resources, like the Welcome Screen, New Features Workshop. If we hover over Additional Resources, we see various Help content that we can access on the Autodesk website. Generally speaking, this is our one stop shop for everything help related. On the right side of the interface, we can see a new toolbar. This is called the navigation bar and it contains tools that are related to navigation.
We will take a closer look at this toolbar in a future lesson. Let's take a look at the status bar. Notice there are some additional icons down here. These represent new settings that are available in 2011. For instance, this icon controls my inferred geometric constraints. This one lets me toggle my 3D running object snaps. This one controls the visibility of my transparency, and this one allows me to toggle my selection cycling on and off. We will look at each of these new settings in the coming lessons.
In the 2011 release, AutoCAD has further refined the ribbon style interface to make it more efficient and intuitive than ever.
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