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Increasing speed with command aliases

From: AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

Video: Increasing speed with command aliases

AutoCAD's Ribbon is a very efficient way of launching commands. However, the fastest way to launch commands is by using the keyboard. By typing a command alias, we can launch any command we like, regardless of the current Ribbon tab and without having to move the mouse. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to create a command alias. Now a command alias is simply an abbreviated version of a command name that we type at the command line. For instance, rather than typing line to launch the line command, I'll type l and I'll press enter.

Increasing speed with command aliases

AutoCAD's Ribbon is a very efficient way of launching commands. However, the fastest way to launch commands is by using the keyboard. By typing a command alias, we can launch any command we like, regardless of the current Ribbon tab and without having to move the mouse. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to create a command alias. Now a command alias is simply an abbreviated version of a command name that we type at the command line. For instance, rather than typing line to launch the line command, I'll type l and I'll press enter.

As you can see, I'm in the line command. If I type the letter C and press Enter, we can see that the letter C is associated with the circle command. To be honest, I'm actually not pressing the Enter key. I'm pressing the Spacebar. When working in AutoCAD, the Spacebar acts just like the Enter key. Let's try another alias. I'm going to type S and press the Spacebar and we can see that S is associated with the Stretch command. The nice thing about command aliases is that we can set these up however we like.

We don't have to stick with the out-of-the-box settings. For instance, take a look at the left side of your keyboard. You have the keys Q, W, E, R. Imagine if those four buttons represented your top four drawing commands, Line Circle, Rectangle and Hatch. May be the next row, A, S, D, F, represents your favorite modification tools, Move, Copy, Rotate and Scale. Maybe the next row down represents tools to create dimensions or text.

If you place your left hand over the keyboard while you work, you can launch these commands as fast as you can tap the keys and you never have to worry about the current Ribbon tab or moving your mouse. To create a command alias, I'm going to type aliasedit and I'll press Enter. Now aliasedit is considered an Express Tool. So if you're not seeing this dialog box, it means the Express Tools weren't loaded when you installed AutoCAD. If that's the case, click your Start button, jump out to the Control Panel, select Uninstall a program, and then select AutoCAD 2011 from the list and then click Uninstall/Change.

From here you can select Add or Remove features and then you can come over to this list and make sure that the Express Tools are selected. In my case they are. If yours are not, you can click to put a check in a box and then you can click Next and proceed with adding that feature to AutoCAD. I'm going to close this and return to AutoCAD. Now in the aliasedit dialog box, we can see two columns. The column on the left represents the alias or the keys that we press on the keyboard and the column on the right represents the command that's going to be launched.

To create an alias, I'll click the Add button. Now let's say I'd like the letter Q to launch the Plot command. In the alias area I'll type Q and then I'll click in the AutoCAD command area and I'll type plot, then I'll click OK. As you can see that alias has been added to the list. Also note that we can remove or edit an alias if we wish. I'm going to click OK. I'll overwrite my original configuration. AutoCAD tells me that my command aliases have been updated on my system and I'll click OK.

From now on each time I press Q and tap the spacebar, AutoCAD launches the Plot command. We could now go back to aliasedit and set up additional commands if we like. At this point, you may be wondering if there's an easier way to launch aliasedit. I mean do we always have the type it at the command line? No, we don't. There is an icon. However, we have to turn it on. Remember that aliasedit is considered an Express Tool and Express Tools are optional bonus tools that are loaded separately when AutoCAD is installed.

If the Express Tools are loaded on your system, look in the Ribbon and see if you can see the Express Tools tab. If not, you can load it by typing expressmenu and press Enter. This is something you should only have to do once and the Express Tools tab will be available each time you launch AutoCAD in the future. If I select the Express Tools tab, we can find the ALIASEDIT icon right down here. When it comes to command aliases, you probably don't want to use them for all of your commands.

However, if you create special aliases for your top 10 or 12 commands, you'll be surprised that how much faster you can access your tools.

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This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets
AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

66 video lessons · 8135 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 1m 28s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 47m 11s
    1. Adding relevant data to Quick Properties and tooltips
      5m 38s
    2. Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels
      8m 55s
    3. Creating macro-enabled tools
      10m 29s
    4. Increasing speed with command aliases
      4m 44s
    5. Finding commands and system variables using Auto Complete
      2m 35s
    6. Optimizing the size of palettes
      3m 17s
    7. Accessing drawings using Favorites
      2m 25s
    8. Controlling notification bubbles
      2m 24s
    9. Restoring hidden messages
      3m 53s
    10. Following a blog from within AutoCAD
      2m 51s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Disabling mode settings on the fly
      3m 28s
    2. Finding hatch boundaries in busy drawings
      3m 32s
    3. Generating boundaries from difficult shapes
      2m 20s
    4. Calculating the overall length of multiple entities
      6m 16s
    5. Calculating the area of multiple shapes
      4m 42s
    6. Flattening geometry to a single elevation
      4m 0s
    7. Trimming all entities to one side of an object
      2m 42s
    8. Eliminating duplicated geometry
      5m 10s
    9. Creating true offsets
      3m 44s
    10. Finding errors when joining multiple entities
      6m 48s
    11. Moving and copying entities using Windows shortcuts
      2m 24s
    12. Solving expressions using the command prompt calculator
      5m 1s
    13. Using the Calculator palette
      10m 25s
  4. 21m 17s
    1. Bringing all text objects to the front
      1m 20s
    2. Underlining single-line text
      1m 21s
    3. Managing numbered and lettered lists
      3m 36s
    4. Creating superscript and subscript text
      3m 18s
    5. Removing formatting from MTEXT
      3m 26s
    6. Using fields to identify who revised a drawing
      3m 10s
    7. Squeezing text into tight spaces
      3m 5s
    8. Hiding extra annotative scales
      2m 1s
  5. 16m 55s
    1. Creating "one-click" dimensions
      1m 52s
    2. Dimensioning angles greater than 180 degrees
      1m 40s
    3. Creating dynamic dimension breaks
      2m 20s
    4. Making linear dimensions act like aligned dimensions
      2m 44s
    5. Finding dimensions with false values
      1m 38s
    6. Creating parent/child dimension styles
      4m 45s
    7. Making dimensions easier to read
      1m 56s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Making global edits to attribute data
      4m 1s
    2. Clipping references using curved geometry
      2m 21s
    3. Exchanging one block symbol for another
      3m 3s
    4. Using drag-and-drop to insert content
      3m 17s
    5. Creating a block library in two clicks
      1m 58s
  7. 10m 42s
    1. Making global changes to layer names
      3m 19s
    2. Converting all object properties to BYLAYER
      1m 43s
    3. Navigating layer lists using the keyboard
      2m 5s
    4. Producing a hard copy of the layer settings
      1m 34s
    5. Removing stubborn layers
      2m 1s
  8. 25m 1s
    1. Accessing viewports within viewports
      3m 21s
    2. Creating viewports with islands
      6m 5s
    3. Creating legends using the Change Space tool
      3m 55s
    4. Rotating viewport content to match layout
      4m 55s
    5. Importing layouts from template files
      2m 3s
    6. Visualizing multiple design alternates
      4m 42s
  9. 30m 18s
    1. Consolidating backup files into a single folder
      2m 48s
    2. Launching applications from within AutoCAD
      3m 53s
    3. Creating custom linetypes
      5m 9s
    4. Incorporating symbols into custom linetypes
      2m 48s
    5. Salvaging data from a corrupt drawing
      3m 57s
    6. Applying hyperlinks to drawing objects
      3m 34s
    7. Converting drawings from name-based to color-based plot styles
      2m 0s
    8. Identifying the owner of a drawing
      1m 18s
    9. Incorporating drawings into PowerPoint presentations
      4m 51s
  10. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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