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AutoCAD 2009 sports cutting-edge features and a brand new interface, making it the perfect opportunity for those with no prior drafting experience to learn AutoCAD from the ground up. In AutoCAD 2009 Essential Training, Jeff Bartels gives a thorough explanation of the interface and explains the commands in the same order they would be encountered in a typical workflow. He discusses each concept using simple line work, and then applies it to a real-world example. The course is "industry neutral," meaning the skills and techniques can be applied to any drafting discipline: architectural, mechanical, civil, or design. Example files accompany the course.
AutoCAD is a very customizable program. The amount of flexibility we have, can easily be seen in a sheered number of available User Preferences. Let's take a look at where we can go when we want to change the way AutoCAD behaves. To make changes to AutoCAD, I'm going to go into the Options dialog box. We can find that inside the Menu Browser. I'm going to come up and click, we will come down to Tools. and then I'm going to come over. and we will grab the slider, and we will go all the way to the bottom of the menu, and select Options. This brings up our Options dialog box on screen, and we can see that this is divided up into tabs. If I click each tab heading, I can jump to that tab. Notice Setting after Setting after Setting.
Now we are not going to go through all of the Settings obviously in the session. We are going to talk about some of the essential changes I'd like you to make, some things that would make things easier for you as a beginner. If you have any questions in the future about the other Settings, you can simply place your cursor over a Setting, and AutoCAD will give you more information in the form of a tool tip. If you'd like even more information, you can always hit your F1 key to go to the Help feature. The first change I'd like to make, involves the background color of model space. If I moved outside the dialog box, we can see that the background color of model space is yellow. Now, it's always been black; 2009 is the first released where model space was changed to yellow. In my opinion, black gives as much better contrast between our layer colors, and makes things a little bit easier when we draft.
So I'm going to make that change. I'm going to change the background color. I can do that by going to the Display tab and clicking. We are going to come down to the Colors area and click, and in the Drawing Window Colors dialog, I'm going to go up and select, 2D model space, which is already highlighted. I can come over and select the Uniform Background, which is also highlighted, and we will come over in the Color area. We will click the drop down, and we will select Black. At any point if you want to restore AutoCAD to its Factory Settings, you can click Restore all contexts. Now that I have made that change, I'm going to come down and click Apply and Close. At this point I'm going to come down and click OK and save my changes, and dismiss the dialog, because I want to show you one more thing I want to change. Watch this, as I move my cursor over my geometry, look at that, as I pass over something, it highlights on screen. That can be confusing for a beginner because as you move around you are kind of getting a light show. I'd like to turn that feature off.
To do that, once again we are going to go back to Options, I'm going to go to Menu Browser, Tools, we will come all over down to the bottom of the menu, and select Options. That specific feature is located on the Selection tab. Let we click the Selection tab, and we are going to go to the Selection Preview area, and I'm going to remove the check from When no command is active. That will prevent those entities these from highlighting when I pass over them. I'm going to do one more thing, let's go into Visual Effect Settings. This area controls how the entities are highlighted. Right now I will set to Both, Thicken and Dash. I'm going to set this to Thicken. Now even if I do select an entity, or if I do hover over an entity when a command is active, it's just going to pop up a little bit on screen. It's not going to be quite so aggressive. When I'm finished making my Setting, I'm going to come down and click OK.
Lastly, I'd like to go the User Preferences tab. I'm going to come over to the Window Standard Behavior area, and let's click the right click Customization button. In the interest of making sure that your set up matches mine, I want to make sure that our dialog boxes have the same settings. Now these are all set to Shortcut, Shortcut, Shortcut. This happens to be the default, so unless you have changed yours, our settings should already be the same. When I'm finished, I'm going to click Apply and Close, and I'm going to come down and click OK to save the changes that I have made, and return to model space. At first glance the Option's dialog box may seem a little intimating, however, as you continue to use the software, you will begin to recognized the relationship between the Commands, the interface and the User Preferences.
Soon, changing your Settings will become second nature.
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