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AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.
A major drawback to using the command line is that we must continually glance back and forth between our drawing area and the bottom of our screen. This problem can easily be solved by activating our Heads Up display. I am going to take and open a drawing and I come up to my Open icon and click and inside the Exercise Files folder under Chapter 3, we are going to open up drawing number 4, Activating the Heads Up Display. So I will highlight that drawing and click Open to bring them up on screen. Now in this session, we are going to learn how to use our Heads Up display. I can turn my Heads Up display on by coming down and clicking on my DYN button, this guy stands for Dynamic Input.
So let me click on the title. We will turn him on. Now, I don't immediately see a difference. Let's watch the Line command. I am going to come over and click my line icon. As I move into Model space, I guess I've got some extra information with my cursor. If we compare the information with the cursor to the command line, we can easily see that AutoCAD is speaking to us from the cursor. When my Heads Up display is on, I don't have to look up and down from the command line to the drafting board as I work because AutoCAD is going to speak to me from the cursor. Let me start my line.
I am going to pick a point on my screen, and as I pull away, once again I get my rubber-band effect. But since my Heads Up display is on, I have some additional functionality. Notice I have two fields. One represents the length of my line segment. The other one represents the angle. If I want to jump from one field to the other, I can hit my Tab key. Notice if I hit Tab, I just jump to the angle measurement. If I hit Tab again, I jump back to length. Let's create a line segment that is 15 units long. I am going to type in 15.
Now, don't hit Enter; if you hit Enter, you are going to do the same thing as Direct Distance Entry. Instead, type 15 and hit your Tab key to jump to the angle. Notice as I move my cursor, I am rotating a 15-unit long line and there happens to be a padlock in the length right now, and AutoCAD is waiting for me to specify an angle. So let's say I wanted to draw this with an angle of 45 degrees. I will type 45 and I will hit Enter. I just created a line segment 15 units long at a 45-degree angle.
Now, I am going to cancel out of the command. Let me hit Escape. If we hit Escape, we can cancel out of any AutoCAD command. Alright, using the Heads Up display, let's try and create a 25x25 unit square. I am going to come over and launch my Line command. Then I'm going to pick a point on screen, and let's start by typing in the length of line, that would be 25, so let me type in 25 and hit Tab. Now, my angle, what angle am I going to use? If you look at the compass that I created in the lower right-hand corner, we can see how AutoCAD measures the angles.
Angles in AutoCAD are just like directions, just like north, south, east and west. So if I draw a line to the 0 angle, I am going to be drawing it to the east. Let me type in 0 for my angle and hit Enter. Now, I would like to come down. So I am going to type in 25 for my length, hit Tab to jump to my angle field and I am going to type in 90 for my angle. Notice the angle is being measured from the 0 degree line. So as long as I am pulling down and I type in 90, I am getting a 90-degree angle coming straight down.
Let's move to the west. I am going to type in my length. We will type in 25 and we'll hit Tab. Now, the angle. Sometimes students will think well, this is another 90-degree angle because they are comparing it to the line we are coming from. That's not the case. Remember, angles in AutoCAD are directions. So if I am heading west, it's always going to be 180 degrees. Let me type in 180 and hit Enter, and then we can finish this guy up. I am going to show good form. I am not going to use the Close command. We are going to tough this one out.
I am going to type in 25 for a length. I will hit Tab and my angle once again is going to be 90. So I will type in 90 and hit Enter. Now that the command is finished, I can right-click and select Enter. The Heads Up display can be a very helpful tool to use when we are drafting. Not only does it give additional control over the creation of our lines, it also allows AutoCAD to speak to us from our cursor.
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