AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
Illustration by Richard Downs

Adjusting user preferences


From:

AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Adjusting user preferences

On the Windows platform, we customized our AutoCAD settings by visiting the Options dialog box. Here on the Mac, our settings are referred to this Application Preferences. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to make changes to our Preferences. We can access the Preferences by opening the AutoCAD menu, and selecting Preferences. I can also use the keyboard shortcut, Command+Comma. This opens up the Application Preferences dialog box, which is similar to the Options dialog box on the Windows platform. Now our Preferences are divided into groups.

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Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
2h 45m Beginner Oct 29, 2010

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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.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting preferences
  • Customizing the interface
  • Opening and managing drawings
  • Constructing a 2D drawing
  • Creating and inserting block references
  • Building a library using the Content Manager
  • Making references to external files and images
  • Plotting drawings
  • Creating a model in 3D space
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD AutoCAD for Mac
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Adjusting user preferences

On the Windows platform, we customized our AutoCAD settings by visiting the Options dialog box. Here on the Mac, our settings are referred to this Application Preferences. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to make changes to our Preferences. We can access the Preferences by opening the AutoCAD menu, and selecting Preferences. I can also use the keyboard shortcut, Command+Comma. This opens up the Application Preferences dialog box, which is similar to the Options dialog box on the Windows platform. Now our Preferences are divided into groups.

We can see the group names over here on the left side. As I click through these groups, I want you to notice two things; one, the settings themselves are identical to what we see on the Windows platform, they're just organized in a different way. Two, they are appeared to be fewer settings than what we're used to see in the Windows version. That's because this dialog box represents a streamlined approach to our Preferences, rather than giving us every possible setting, we're seeing the Preferences that are popular with the majority of AutoCAD users.

That being said, just because you don't see a setting here, doesn't necessarily mean it's unavailable. If you are familiar with the system variable that controls the setting, you can always try typing it at the Command line. For instance, if I go back to the General group, I can see right here that our drawings are Automatically saved every 10 minutes. Now on the Windows version, we will also have a setting that controls the creation of backup files. By default, this setting is turned on, and it's rarely turned off. That's why it isn't displayed here.

The system variable that controls backup file is ISAVEBAK. Let's close this dialog box. I am going to click down here at the Command line, and I'll type isavebak, and I'll press Return. Notice that this setting is available, and we can see it set to 1, which means it's turned on. So if there is a more obscure setting that you're interested in. You can always try adjusting it at the command line. I am going to press Escape to cancel this, and then I'll press Command+Comma to bring back the Preferences.

If you are having difficulty finding a particular setting, you can use this Search box. I am going to click in here, and I'll type the word display. When I do, AutoCAD shows me a list of preferences that involves the word Display. If I select an item, AutoCAD will take me to that group, and highlight the setting. If you'd like a comprehensive description of all of the user preferences, you can click this Help body. One of the most important Preferences in this box is in the Application Group, and its right here, Reset Application Options.

If you're having problems using AutoCAD, maybe an interface component has become corrupt, or maybe you've a palette that no longer displays on screen. You can click this button to reset your AutoCAD back to a factory fresh condition. So right now, I am going to leave all of these settings at their default values. I'll click the red X to close this dialog box. When migrating from Windows AutoCAD to the Mac version, you need to be aware that some preferences have changed to make AutoCAD act more like a native Mac program.

For instance, on my screen, I have a couple of dominoes. Let's say I'd like to erase this domino on the left. I'll move over and launch the Erase command, and I am going to use a selection window. So I'll click to start my window, and notice that nothing happens. Let me click again, once again, nothing happens. That's because, the Mac version by default requires you to click-and-drag to create a selection window, and release when you're finished. Now that I've selected my entities, I'll press Return to finish the command.

Let me mention that throughout this title I am going to work using these default Mac inspired user preferences. You may choose not to do this. If that's the case, and you would like your selections to act more Windows like, you can press Command+Comma to bring back the Application Preferences. Select the Cursor & Selection group, and remove this check. Once again, I am going to leave mine on, and I'll click Cancel to close the dialog box. So no matter how you like to work, even if it involves Windows methodology, the Mac version of AutoCAD can easily be customized by adjusting the Application Preferences.

There are currently no FAQs about AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac.

 
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