AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
Illustration by Richard Downs

Modifying object properties


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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

with Jeff Bartels

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Video: Modifying object properties

Modifying properties using the Windows version of AutoCAD may mean visiting three different places. To modify existing objects you will have to visit the Properties palette or the Quick Properties tool, to modify future objects you need to visit the Properties panel in the ribbon. If you are using the Mac version of AutoCAD all properties can be adjusted using a single tool, the Properties Inspector palette. In this lesson we will learn how the Properties Inspector can be a convenient way to modify anything in our drawing. Now my Properties Inspector is docked to the right side of the screen.
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Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
2h 45m Beginner Oct 29, 2010

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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac with Jeff Bartels covers the fundamental differences between the 2011 Mac OS X version of AutoCAD and the venerable PC edition, allowing designers to leverage existing AutoCAD skills and easily transition to the new environment. This course runs through both a typical 2D and 3D design workflow, covering its workspace, tools, customization options, and strategies users can apply working in a mixed Windows and Mac environment. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting preferences
  • Customizing the interface
  • Opening and managing drawings
  • Constructing a 2D drawing
  • Creating and inserting block references
  • Building a library using the Content Manager
  • Making references to external files and images
  • Plotting drawings
  • Creating a model in 3D space
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD AutoCAD for Mac
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Modifying object properties

Modifying properties using the Windows version of AutoCAD may mean visiting three different places. To modify existing objects you will have to visit the Properties palette or the Quick Properties tool, to modify future objects you need to visit the Properties panel in the ribbon. If you are using the Mac version of AutoCAD all properties can be adjusted using a single tool, the Properties Inspector palette. In this lesson we will learn how the Properties Inspector can be a convenient way to modify anything in our drawing. Now my Properties Inspector is docked to the right side of the screen.

If for some reason yours is not visible, you can turn it on by going to the Window menu and you can come down and select Properties Inspector. Note, you can also use the keyboard shortcut, Command+5.Since we are going to be talking about the settings in this palette, I am going to place my cursor right at the edge and I will click, hold and drag and I will make this palette a little wider so it's easier to read the settings. I will also come over and re- maximize the drawing window. Let's talk first about how we can use this palette to manage our drawing properties.

By default the Properties Inspector is displaying the current properties. This means that the information that we are seeing represents the current state of our drawing file. So if I was to create something right now, these are the properties the object would have. It would be drawn on layer DET-1, it would have a Linetype property of Bylayer, and we can see several other general properties. I can use these flyouts to change any of these. As an example, let's change the current layer to be layer 0, notice that that change is also reflected up here.

This palette is also a great place to see or change the current Text Style, Dimension Style, Multileader Style or Annotation Scale. At the top of the properties settings are two buttons Essentials and All, these control the number of settings that we see. Essentials represents the most popular properties, these are the ones that you will use most often. All represents all possible property settings and sometimes this list can be quite long, so you may need to drag this slider up and down to see all of the choices.

I am going to move up and I will set this back to Essentials. These settings represent the current state of our drawing. Now, watch this. I am going to zoom in a little bit, and I will select something: I will select Multileader. Now the Properties Inspector is displaying the properties of the Multileader. I can see the layer that it sitting on. I can see the Leader type and the Arrowhead type, as well as several other settings.

I can also change any of these if I wish. Let's change the Leader type to Spline. Notice you can see the change reflected in the drawing. Now remember these are just the Essential settings. If I click All, I can change things like Text Style, Multileader Style, Annotation Scale or Text Height. I am going to set this back to Essentials and let's take the concept even further. Rather than selecting one object at a time, I am going to select everything in this drawing.

Let's zoom out and I will center this geometry on screen and then I will create a large selection window that grabs everything. If we look at the Properties Inspector, we can see that AutoCAD has selected 269 objects. If I click this flyout, I can see that they are nicely sorted. I am going to select Multileader and let's place all of the Multileaders on the CALLOUTS layer. When I am finished, I will press Escape to deselect. Believe it or not, we can also use the Properties Inspector to adjust our individual layer settings.

For instance, I am going to set layer CALLOUTS current by using the Properties Inspector and then I will click the layer Properties icon. From here I have access to all of the properties of layer CALLOUTS. I can change the name, I can turn it on and off, I can freeze or lock it, and so on. This is why we don't see all of the possible settings displayed as columns in the layer palette. Rather than squeezing all of that information up here, I can simply select the layer and make the adjustments down here.

Let's change the color of layer CALLOUTS to be Green. When I am finished I will hide the layer list and I will set this back to Current Properties. So whether we are adjusting our drawing properties, layer properties or the properties of our objects, the Properties Inspector palette is a convenient single point of contact for any changes we have to make in our drawing.

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