AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: 01 Interface and Drawing Management
Illustration by Richard Downs

Leveraging dockable palettes


From:

AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: 01 Interface and Drawing Management

with Jeff Bartels

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Leveraging dockable palettes

Another major interface item AutoCAD uses are palettes. Palettes give us access to commands, settings, drawing content, or calculation tools, among other things. Palettes are also notorious for taking up large amounts of screen real estate. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to optimize our palettes. Let's start by looking at some of the palettes that we have available. To do that, I'll go to the View tab, and, if I come right down here to the Palettes panel, I will find an icon for each of the palettes that I can display in the interface.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: 01 Interface and Drawing Management
1h 5m Beginner May 15, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

AutoCAD Essentials with Jeff Bartels is a multi-part series that takes a more modular approach to this massive program, used for everything from 2D and 3D CAD design, drafting, and modeling to architectural drawing and engineering projects. This first installment includes a lengthy tour of the interface, from understanding the concept of model space to customizing the AutoCAD preferences and working with dockable palettes. The second half of the course show how to manage your drawings, including getting the most from the mouse and many shortcuts, creating time-saving templates, and plotting from either model space or in a layout.

Topics include:
  • Launching AutoCAD
  • Accessing the tools
  • Saving a workspace
  • Monitoring the status bar
  • Understanding the anatomy of a command
  • Opening a drawing
  • Zooming, panning, and regenning
  • Working in a multiple document environment
  • Saving your work
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Leveraging dockable palettes

Another major interface item AutoCAD uses are palettes. Palettes give us access to commands, settings, drawing content, or calculation tools, among other things. Palettes are also notorious for taking up large amounts of screen real estate. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to optimize our palettes. Let's start by looking at some of the palettes that we have available. To do that, I'll go to the View tab, and, if I come right down here to the Palettes panel, I will find an icon for each of the palettes that I can display in the interface.

One of the palettes that I use frequently is the Properties palette. This guy allows us to change the properties of any selected object. To turn it on, I'll click the icon. Note that you can also toggle the display of this palette using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+1. I'll tap Ctrl+1 to turn it off. Ctrl+1 again to turn it on. Just to give you an example of how this tool works, I'm going to click to select this circle, and if we look to the palette, we can see all of the settings that are associated with that geometry.

Right here I can see the radius. Maybe the radius of this circle was supposed to be 3. I'm going to click on this value. I'll type 3 and I'll hit Enter. And notice the circle instantly changes. When I'm finished, I'll hit Escape. So you can see this palette is very handy. It would be nice to have this guy available all the time. Unfortunately, it's quite large. Let's see some of the ways we can apply palettes to our interface. I'm going to start by clicking and holding on this title bar. This is kind of like the handle. I can use this to drag the palette around.

If I get this guy close to the edge of the screen, you can see the shape changes. If I release my mouse button at this point, it will dock the palette to the interface. Now when the palette's in this state, I can click and hold on this edge and I can drag left and right to change the width of the palette. Now this isn't bad, but it is still taking up quite a bit of room. I'm going to try something else. I'm going to move my cursor up and click and hold on the title bar again. I'll drag this guy away, and then I'll release. This time I'm going to right-click on the title bar and I'll select Anchor Left or Anchor Right, depending on which side of the interface you want to go to.

I'll select Anchor Left, and this collapses the palette down to the margin on the left side of my screen. Now, if I want to access the settings, I can hover over the margin, utilize the tools, and then when I move away, it will collapse. Now this is good. I can even take it one step further. If I right-click on the margin and choose Icons Only, I can collapse the palette down to a single icon. Now if I want to access the tools, I hover over the icon, use the tools, and move away.

Having a palette collapsed down this small means that I could have several palettes available on my screen while taking up the absolute least amount of space. In the event I needed this guy to stay open for any length of time, I'll move up and expand it, and then I'll click the Auto Hide button to turn that feature off. That converts the palette back into a docked state. To convert it back into an icon, I will hover over the name bar and I'll click the Minimize button. Knowing what we know now, I'm going to add one more popular palette to my interface, that is the calculator.

The icon is right here. As a side note, the keyboard shortcut for the calculator is Ctrl+8. I'll add this guy to my interface by right-clicking on the name bar and I'll choose Anchor Left. And this guy is now available whenever I need him. When it comes to managing your palette, nothing beats the Anchor feature. Anchoring allows you to squeeze all of the functionality of a palette into a single icon onscreen.

There are currently no FAQs about AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: 01 Interface and Drawing Management.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: 01 Interface and Drawing Management.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.