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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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