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Automating object snap selection

From: AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

Video: Automating object snap selection

The first thing people notice when they start using Object Snaps is that it's a little tedious to have to Shift+right-click for each one. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to automate some of our object snaps. On my screen, I have some abstract shapes. Just for a minute, let's assume I wanted to finish these shapes to create some squares. Well, to do that I'll launch the Line command and I'd like to start my line from the Shift+right-click, Endpoint of this segment and I'd like to draw my line to the Endpoint of this segment and then I'll hit Escape when I'm finished.

Automating object snap selection

The first thing people notice when they start using Object Snaps is that it's a little tedious to have to Shift+right-click for each one. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to automate some of our object snaps. On my screen, I have some abstract shapes. Just for a minute, let's assume I wanted to finish these shapes to create some squares. Well, to do that I'll launch the Line command and I'd like to start my line from the Shift+right-click, Endpoint of this segment and I'd like to draw my line to the Endpoint of this segment and then I'll hit Escape when I'm finished.

As you can see, to finish the rest of these squares, I'm going to have to bring up the Object Snap menu six more times and if I also wanted to draw a line segment that connected the centers of all of these circles, I'm going to have to bring that menu up another eight times. Let's look at how we can automate our object snaps. We'll do that by adjusting a mode setting. I'm going to come down to the Status Bar and I'll click this toggle, the sixth one from the left side. This guy represents our running Object Snaps.

Now that I've turned this on, I'm going to right-click on the icon. this brings up my Running Object Snap menu. If I have a running Object Snaps, it means that AutoCAD will automatically look for this snap anytime it needs a coordinate. Now, I'd like to change these settings. So, I'm going to come down and select Settings and then I will place a check next to any of the object snaps I'd like to set as running object snaps. I'm going to remove the check from Extension and Intersection and I'm going to leave Endpoint and Center turned on and I'll click OK.

Now that I've adjusted my settings and my running Object Snaps are turned on, let's see if we can finish these shapes. Once again, I'll launch the Line command and then I'll move and I'll start my line from the Endpoint of this segment. Notice, I was able to grab that Object Snap without the menu because AutoCAD's automatically looking for Endpoints. In fact, if I hover over these circles, you can see AutoCAD is automatically looking for center points as well. I'm going to finish my line clicking this endpoint and then I'll hit Escape, I'll press my Spacebar to go back into the Line command and I'll draw my line from the endpoint here to the endpoint here and I'll hit Escape, I'll reenter the Line command and I'll draw a line from the endpoint here to the endpoint here.

Now, let's see if we can create a line segment that connects the centers of all of these circles. Once again, I'll relaunch the Line command and I'll draw my line from the center of this circle to this one, I'll select this circle and this one, this one and this one, I can work my way right down the line and very easily grab the centers of all of those circles. As you can see, if we're using running object snaps, we can quickly select coordinates without always having to bring up the menu. Now, I must admit, it's very tempting to do this.

You might want to come down and right- click on this toggle, select Settings and it's very tempting to come over and click Select All and set all of these as running Object Snaps. Unfortunately, as your drawings become more complicated, if you have too many running object snaps, you run the risk of accidentally selecting an incorrect coordinate. My advice is to pick your favorite two running object snaps and select the rest of them from the Standard Object Snap menu. I'm going to click Clear All to clear these and then I'm going to turn on Center and Endpoint as my running object snaps.

Those are the ones that I use most often and I'll come down and click OK. Now that we have an understanding of how running object snaps work, let's pan the drawing over and we'll see if we can use the tool to help us recreate this geometry. I'm going to start by launching the Line command and I'll pick my start point right down here. Then I'm going to lock my Ortho, I'll do that by pressing the F8 key. I'll pull my line to the left a distance of 5 units and I'll hit Enter, I'll pull up 5 units, I'll pull to the right 5 units and then I'll right-click and select Close to close the geometry.

Now, let's see if we can place these circles. Based on the dimensions, I can see the center of this circle is 1 unit over and 1 unit down from this upper-left corner. One thing I don't know, I don't know the radius of these circles. That's okay, we can figure that out. I'll do that by selecting the circle and I'll come over to my property changer. Now, my property changer happens to be anchored to the interface, if yours is not, you can press Ctrl+1 to bring your property changer up on screen, and if I look right down here beneath the Geometry heading, I can see the Radius of the circle is 0.5.

I'm going to move outside the palette and let it collapse and then I'll hit Escape to deselect the circle. To place my first circle in my drawing, I'd like to create an object snap that represents the circle's center point. To do that, I'm going to create some sketch geometry. I'll start by launching the Circle command, I'm going to create a circle from the endpoint of this line and I'd like my circle to have a radius of 1 and I'll hit Enter. The radius of this circle allows me to find the point one unit over from this corner.

Now, I'll launch my Line command and I'd like to create my line from the intersection. Now, I don't have a running object snap set for intersection. So, I'm going to Shift+right-click to bring up the menu, I'll select Intersection and I'll click right here, I'll pull my line down a distance of one and then I'll hit Escape. This endpoint represents the center of my circle. I'm going to launch the Circle command, I'll create my circle from the endpoint of that line and my circle has a radius of 0.5.

I'm going to use the same sketch geometry to find the circle in the lower-right corner. I'll start by hitting my Spacebar to go back into the Circle command. I'll create a circle from this endpoint with a radius of 1, I will then launch my Line command, I'll draw my line from the Shift+right-click Intersection right here, I'll pull this up a distance 1 unit and I'll hit Enter. Finally, I'll launch the circle command, I'll create my circle from the endpoint of this line and my circle has a radius of 0.5.

Alright, we've got one more circle left and there are no dimensions on this circle, but it is centrally located inside the shape. What if I did this? I'm going to launch the Line command and I'll create a line from this endpoint to the endpoint up here. Now, notice as I pull up, I'm not getting the standard rubber band look that we usually get. Don't forget my Ortho is turned on. I'm going to press F8 to turn that off and now this makes a little bit more sense on screen. It would have still worked the other way but this way it looks a little bit nicer.

I'm going to draw my line to this endpoint and I'll hit Escape. Then I'll launch the Circle command and I'll create my circle from the Shift+right-click midpoint of this line and I'm going to hit Enter to accept my previous radius of 0.5. Finally, I can get rid of this sketch geometry. To do that, I'll click to select each of these entities and then I'll press the Delete key to erase them. Taking the object snaps that you use most often and setting them as running object snaps can save you a lot of time when drafting.

Personally, I like to use Endpoint and Center as my running object snaps and for the remainder of this title, unless I specify otherwise, this is how my running object snaps will be set.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 20209 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 23m 33s
    1. Understanding model space
      3m 44s
    2. Accessing AutoCAD's tools
      3m 2s
    3. Leveraging dockable palettes
      3m 1s
    4. Monitoring the Status bar
      1m 28s
    5. Understanding the anatomy of a command
      2m 14s
    6. Customizing AutoCAD's preferences
      3m 13s
    7. Accessing help
      3m 38s
    8. Saving a workspace
      3m 13s
  3. 19m 42s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding mouse functions
      2m 44s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regenning
      4m 24s
    4. Working in a multiple-document environment
      2m 39s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 29s
    6. Saving time with templates
      4m 24s
  4. 14m 35s
    1. Constructing lines
      2m 20s
    2. Locking angles with the Ortho and Polar modes
      4m 49s
    3. Drawing circles
      4m 10s
    4. Activating the Heads-Up Display
      3m 16s
  5. 14m 48s
    1. Defining a unit of measure
      6m 28s
    2. Constructing geometry using architectural measurements
      4m 6s
    3. Working with metric units
      4m 14s
  6. 23m 45s
    1. Understanding the Cartesian coordinate system
      4m 53s
    2. Locking to geometry using object snaps
      7m 42s
    3. Automating object snap selection
      7m 26s
    4. Using temporary tracking to find points in space
      3m 44s
  7. 19m 30s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      4m 56s
    2. Drawing polygons
      3m 4s
    3. Creating an ellipse
      5m 9s
    4. Organizing with hatch patterns
      6m 21s
  8. 29m 46s
    1. Making geometric changes using the property changer
      3m 38s
    2. Moving and copying elements
      4m 28s
    3. Rotating elements
      3m 48s
    4. Trimming and extending geometry
      5m 10s
    5. Creating offsets
      6m 16s
    6. Erasing elements
      2m 46s
    7. Undoing and redoing actions
      3m 40s
  9. 11m 52s
    1. Selecting objects using windows
      3m 46s
    2. Adding and removing from selections
      3m 43s
    3. Using keyboard shortcuts
      4m 23s
  10. 51m 12s
    1. Creating fillets
      3m 52s
    2. Creating chamfers
      3m 51s
    3. Copying objects into a rotated pattern
      4m 20s
    4. Copying objects into a rectangular pattern
      4m 58s
    5. Stretching elements
      4m 4s
    6. Creating mirrored copies
      2m 12s
    7. Scaling elements
      5m 0s
    8. Leveraging grips
      7m 20s
    9. Exploding elements
      5m 47s
    10. Joining elements together
      3m 44s
    11. Editing hatch patterns
      6m 4s
  11. 32m 19s
    1. Understanding layers
      2m 43s
    2. Creating and adjusting layers
      7m 20s
    3. Using layers to organize a drawing
      9m 17s
    4. Changing popular settings using the layer control
      3m 30s
    5. Understanding the BYLAYER property
      3m 37s
    6. Restoring previous layer states
      3m 42s
    7. Using existing geometry to set the current layer
      2m 10s
  12. 37m 43s
    1. Creating single-line text
      3m 11s
    2. Justifying text
      5m 18s
    3. Controlling appearance using text styles
      6m 10s
    4. Annotating with multi-line text
      5m 10s
    5. Editing text
      4m 32s
    6. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 29s
    7. Incorporating symbols
      5m 28s
    8. Correcting spelling errors
      4m 25s
  13. 28m 37s
    1. Creating general dimensions
      4m 13s
    2. Creating continuous and baseline dimensions
      2m 13s
    3. Controlling appearance using dimension styles
      4m 57s
    4. Modifying dimensions
      6m 6s
    5. Creating multileaders
      2m 53s
    6. Controlling appearance using multileader styles
      3m 23s
    7. Modifying multileaders
      4m 52s
  14. 25m 19s
    1. Inserting blocks
      4m 34s
    2. Creating blocks
      6m 41s
    3. Leveraging blocks
      5m 39s
    4. Redefining blocks
      3m 1s
    5. Building a block library
      5m 24s
  15. 13m 50s
    1. Querying a drawing using rollover tooltips
      2m 9s
    2. Taking measurements using the Distance command
      3m 2s
    3. Modifying properties using the Quick Properties tool
      4m 25s
    4. Automating calculations using the Quick Calculator feature
      4m 14s
  16. 36m 6s
    1. Creating quick plots
      6m 4s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 48s
    3. Choosing line weights
      4m 32s
    4. Creating a layout, pt. 1: Choosing a paper size
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a layout, pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      2m 29s
    6. Creating a layout, pt. 3: Cutting viewports
      6m 9s
    7. Reusing layouts
      4m 3s
    8. Organizing layouts
      4m 19s
  17. 16m 49s
    1. Using the Annotative property to automatically size text
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Annotative property to automatically size dimensions
      4m 34s
    3. Using the Annotative property to automatically size multileaders
      3m 58s
    4. Changing the scale assigned to annotations
      4m 4s
  18. 6m 56s
    1. Saving drawings to other formats
      2m 27s
    2. Plotting to the Design Web format
      2m 15s
    3. Plotting to PDF
      1m 20s
    4. Sending drawings via email
      54s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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