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Customizing AutoCAD's preferences

From: AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

Video: Customizing AutoCAD's preferences

AutoCAD is a very customizable program. This means, we don't have to work using a typical out of the box installation if we don't want to. In this lesson, we're going to look at where we can go to customize our User Preferences. Now, I've got a drawing open on my screen. You don't have to open the same drawing. I'm only using this as a visual layout. To modify my User Preferences, I'm going to bring up the Options dialog box. One way I can do that is by clicking on the Application Menu, and then I'll come down and click the Options button. This brings up a very large, but very well organized box, containing literally hundreds of settings.

Customizing AutoCAD's preferences

AutoCAD is a very customizable program. This means, we don't have to work using a typical out of the box installation if we don't want to. In this lesson, we're going to look at where we can go to customize our User Preferences. Now, I've got a drawing open on my screen. You don't have to open the same drawing. I'm only using this as a visual layout. To modify my User Preferences, I'm going to bring up the Options dialog box. One way I can do that is by clicking on the Application Menu, and then I'll come down and click the Options button. This brings up a very large, but very well organized box, containing literally hundreds of settings.

All the settings are divided up under these tabs. So in a sense, the Options dialog box works much like our Ribbon. Now, we don't have time to go through all of these settings, so I'm going to show you how to use a couple of them, so you can see how they work. Then I'll show you how you can get more information about any of the other settings that interest you. Let's start by taking a look at the Display tab. Notice the tab is divided up into named groups. These groups are similar to the panels on the Ribbon. Each group represents a series of related settings. In the event you're searching for a setting, these groups can make the setting easier to find.

Let's make a change. I'm going to click to put a check in this box, so that I can display the scrollbars in the Drawing window. Then I'm going to come down and click Apply. When I do, watch my Model Space. As soon as I click Apply, AutoCAD adds these scrollbars to my interface. Now, there are better ways to adjust our view these days, so I'm going to turn these scrollbars back off. Let's click to remove the check. Then I'll come down and click Apply. When I'm finished adjusting my User Preferences, I can click OK to dismiss this dialog box.

Take a look at this. If I place my cursor over an entity, AutoCAD will display a pop-up that tells me a little bit more about the object. This pop-up is called a ToolTip. ToolTips are also controlled by our User Preferences. Let's take a look. I'm going to go back to the Options dialog box. Once again, I'll click the Application Menu, and I'll click the Options button. And the setting for the rollover ToolTips is right here on the Display tab. I'm going to click to remove the check and turn this feature off, and then I'll come down and click OK. Notice if I place my cursor over an object now, we no longer see the ToolTips.

Since you're just starting out learning AutoCAD, it's probably a good idea to leave the rollover ToolTips turned on. So let's open up our Options again. Another way I can bring back the dialog box is by right-clicking in the middle of the screen. You will always find Options right here at the bottom of the menu. I'm going to click again to turn this feature back on, and let me show you how you can get information about the rest of these settings. If you place your cursor over a preference, AutoCAD will display a pop-up that gives you more information about that setting. Notice that some of these settings have a drawing icon next to them.

That means that this setting is applied to the current drawing only. All the other settings are saved in the registry, and they'll be retained even if you close and reopen AutoCAD. Since I'm finished adjusting my preferences, I'm going to click OK to close the dialog box. At first glance, the Options dialog box may seem a little intimidating. However, as you continue to use the program, you'll begin to recognize the relationship between the commands, the interface, and the User Preferences. Soon, changing your settings will become second nature.

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This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 20288 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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