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With each new release, AutoCAD adds new commands and system variables, and at some point you may find yourself struggling to keep track of all of the new features. In this lesson I'm going to show you an easy way to locate Commands and Variables that you may have trouble remembering. Let we start by mentioning that I have a drawing open on my screen. You do not have to open the same drawing. I am merely using this file as a background. I am going to start by moving down to the status bar and I'm going to turn on my Dynamic Input mode. This moves my command line information to my cursor.
Next, I am going to press the letter E and then I will start tapping my Tab key, and notice that each time I press Tab, AutoCAD is showing me another command that starts with the letter E. This is considered an Auto Complete feature, and using this I no longer have to have total recall of all possible AutoCAD functions. So as long as I have an idea of what I'm looking for, AutoCAD can help me search from there. I am going to hit Escape to Cancel this, and let me show you where you might use Auto Complete. For instance, in AutoCAD 2011, we now have this new Engineering Style grid and I once had a student who asked me if there was a way to set this back to the traditional dot type grid.
And I must admit, at the time I didn't know the exact system variable that he was looking for, but I did know that it probably started with the word grid. So, I'm going to type grid and then I'll press Tab and I'll press Tab again. I'll keep pressing Tab until I see something that appears promising. GRIDSTYLE looks like it might be what I'm looking for. I am going to press Enter to accept that and then I'll immediately press F1. This launches AutoCAD's context- sensitive Help for the active command.
And if we scroll down a little bit, we can see that GRIDSTYLE is the system variable I was looking for. If I set this to 1, AutoCAD will display a dotted grid in 2D model space. So, I'm going to close this, I will set this to a value of 1, and I'll press Enter. As you can see, using this Auto Complete feature, we don't always have to remember everything. We only have to get close. I'm not going to type grid style again. I'm going to a right-click and in the menu I'll select Recent Input and I'll grab GRIDSTYLE from here.
Let's set this back to the default value of 0 and I'll press Enter. Let's face it. There's a lot of functionality built into AutoCAD and it's nice to know that we can use Auto Complete to help us remember the features that we may not use everyday.
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