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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
When working in an AutoCAD drawing, we have several mode setting options. We can see the icons for them right down here at the bottom of the screen. Now each of these icons represents a toggle that turns a specific setting on and off and one of the first things we learn in AutoCAD class is that we can also toggle many of these settings using the function keys on our keyboard. For instance, if I tap the F8 key, I can turn ortho on and off. F10 toggles my polar tracking. The F11 key toggles object tracking.
I'm going to leave that one off. F3 toggles running object snaps, and so on. If you would like a listing of the function keys that control your Mode Settings, simply right-click on one of these icons in the status bar and hover over the word Display. Let me press Escape to cancel out of this. Now I showed you that so I can show you this. Our mode settings don't have to be an on/off proposition. We can use these Function keys to temporarily enable or disable a mode setting.
Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to ensure that my running object snaps are turned on. I'll do that by pressing the F3 key, and then I'm going to zoom in on these dimensions at the bottom of my part. Now I would like to push this dimension up and center it a little better between these other two dimensions. To do that I'll select the dimension. I'll grab this grip. I'll move it up to here and click. Notice that's not what I wanted. My running objects snap got in the way. Now running objects snaps are controlled using the F3 key and rather than turning the feature off, I'm going to click this grip.
I'll pull the dimension up to here and then I'll press and hold the F3 key down. Notice the extra icon appearing at my cursor. This disables the mode setting until such time as I release the F3 key. Let me click to place my dimension and then I'll release F3. When I am finished, I'll press Escape to deselect the entity. Now this process also works in reverse. If I turn my running object snaps off-- I'll do that by clicking the icon in the status bar-- I can press and hold the F3 key whenever I'd like to enable them.
I'm going to create a linear dimension. I'd like to place it at the endpoint here. I'm going to press and hold F3. I'll click the endpoint here and the endpoint here. I'll pull this down, I'll release F3, and I'll place my dimension right here. This process also works with all of the other function keys. Let's zoom out a little. I'll pan this over so I have some room. I am going to launch the Line command. Currently my ortho is turned off.
I'm going to pick a point on screen. I'll pick a few more points, then I'll hold down F8. Notice ortho is toggled on. As soon as I release the F8 key, I'm back to normal. If I press and hold F10, now my polar tracking is locked on until such time as I release F10. To complete my shape I'm going to press and hold F3 so I get access to this end point. When I am finished I'll press my Escape key. As you can see, by holding down the function keys we're able to go beyond the simple on-off usage of our mode settings.
Temporarily enabling or disabling settings on-the-fly means we can focus more on our designs and spend less time pushing buttons on the interface.
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