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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
One thing AutoCAD is known for is giving you multiple ways to accomplish the same task. Just think for a second of how many different ways we can control the display of this grid. Well, I can come down and click this icon to turn the grid on and off. I can do the same thing by hitting Ctrl+G on my keyboard. I can turn the grid on and off by hitting F7 on my keyboard. I can even type grid, hit Enter, and if I right-click, I can control the grid's display right here in the menu. It has been said that there is at least three ways to do everything in AutoCAD.
Well, the new navigation bar in AutoCAD 2011 gives us yet another way to access our navigation tools. Let's take a look at these tools in the center of the toolbar. I have got Pan, Zoom, and Orbit. Now, you are probably already accessing these tools using the scroll wheel on your mouse. For instance, if I hold my scroll wheel down, I can pan my drawing. If I roll the wheel forward or back, I can zoom. And if I hold down my Shift key while holding down the scroll wheel, I can orbit around my geometry.
When I am finished, I can release my buttons and I am going to restore a top view by moving up to my ViewCube and clicking this top hotspot. So the scroll wheel is probably your preferred way of accessing these commands. But what if you are working on a laptop or a netbook and maybe you don't have access to a mouse? Maybe you do have a mouse, but it doesn't have a scroll wheel. Well, in that case this navigation bar is a perfect alternative way to access these commands. If I would like to pan my drawing, I will click the Pan icon, and then I will click-and-hold, and as I move my mouse so I can pan my drawing.
When I am finished panning, I can hit my Escape key. If I would like to zoom my drawing, I can move over and click this icon. Now, notice that Zoom Extents happens to be the default. There is a flyout under this icon. If I open this up, I can see additional zoom options. Several of these are not available if we use the scroll wheel. I am going to select Zoom Object and I will select this object and right-click, and AutoCAD zooms and centers that geometry on screen. To restore a Zoom Extents view, I can always double-click my scroll wheel or I can come back over to this flyout and select Zoom Extents from the menu.
To orbit my drawing, I will click the Orbit icon and then I will click-and-hold and I can adjust my view in 3D space. Once again, when I am finished I will hit my Escape key and to restore a top view, I will click the top hotspot. Just like the Zoom command, Orbit also has some additional options. Let's take a look at this icon at the top. T his guy represents our steering wheels. Now, I am going to click the flyout and notice that the Full Navigation Wheel is the default. There are other navigation wheels I can choose from.
Now, the biggest difference between these additional choices and the Full Wheel is the amount of tools that we see and the size of the wheel. I am going to click the icon and bring up the Full Wheel. Let me drag this out into Model space and take a look at some of these options. Pan, Orbit, and Zoom. Once again, just another way to launch these commands. Quick overview of how to use a steering wheel. As you move your mouse pointer on screen, the wheel will follow you around. If you move the pointer inside the wheel, there are various hotspots. These are called wedges.
And to launch a command, you will put your pointer inside the wedge, click-and-hold and move your mouse. When I release, the wheel comes back. I can click-and-hold another wedge to access that command. When you are finished using the steering wheel, you can hit the Escape key or click this X to close it. If you would like more information about how to use the steering wheels and how you can incorporate them into your workflow, you can place your cursor in the Search area and type steering wheels and AutoCAD will bring up several hyperlinks that will give you access to the information that you need.
Finally, we will look at this last command. ShowMotion is used to create slide presentations of the geometry in our drawings. I am going to click the icon to launch the command. That brings up the ShowMotion control panel. To create a new slide or a new shot, I will click the New Shot icon. This brings up a dialog box and I can adjust several of my shot settings. I am going to leave all of these to the default. I am just going to select Preview to take a look at my shot. At this point I can click OK to save my shot or I can click Cancel to close this dialog box.
And to close the ShowMotion tool, I can click the X in the control panel. Now, if you would like detailed information about how to create slide presentations using the ShowMotion tool, you can place your cursor in the Search area and type showmotion. All one word and when you hit Enter, AutoCAD will bring up several hyperlinks that you can follow to get all the information you need. Now, if you are someone who feels you are probably not going to use the navigation bar, we can remove it from the interface and we can do that by clicking the small x. At any point in the future if you want to turn this guy back on, you can come up to the View tab and then open up the Windows panel and then User Interface, and the toggle for the navigation bar is right here.
AutoCAD has always been great because it lets us choose the way we want to access commands. This navigation bar is just another convenient alternate way to navigate our drawings.
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