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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this lesson, we're going to learn the fastest way to change the properties of our objects. I'm speaking of the Quick Properties Tool. This tool is like having a miniature Property Changer right at your Cursor. Now Quick Properties is actually a Mode setting. I'm going to come down to the Status Bar. I'll click this toggle to turn the tool on. When I do, we really don't notice anything different, that is, until I select something. I'm going to select this circle. Notice that the Quick Properties Tool looks very similar to the Property Changer.
Essentially it's the same thing. It's just a smaller collection of settings. Now the tool is coming up in a collapsed state. If I move my Cursor over the tool, it will expand and show me all of the settings. As an example, I'd like to change the Radius of this circle. So I'll click on the Radius setting. I'll change this to 0.1 and press Enter. When I'm finished, I'll press my Escape key to deselect the circle and notice that the Quick Properties Tool closes on its own. So by having this tool turned on, each time you select something, you get quick access to many of the popular settings.
Now I'd like to make another change. These center lines are on the wrong layer. So I'm going to click each of these. Then I'll come over and click this Layer fly-out and I'll put these guys on the center layer. As you can see, by having the properties close to the Cursor, we can make changes very quickly. I'm going to select this circle one more time and bring back the tool and this time, we'll talk about the tool itself. In the upper left corner, we can see this bumpy pattern. This is a handle.
If I click and-hold on this, I can move the palette if it gets in my way. There is an Options icon in the right side of the Palette. If I click this, I can adjust the settings that are associated with this tool. I'll select Settings from the menu and Palette behavior controls whether the Palette collapses and how many settings that we see when it's in a collapsed state. Palette Location controls where the Palette pops up on screen. If I set this to Static, I can drag the Palette wherever I like and from then on, it will always pop up in that same location.
By default this is set to Cursor-dependent. This is my favorite setting by the way. We can see that it pops up to the Top-Right of the Cursor. If I click this fly-out, I can change that. And the Palette comes up 50 pixels away from the Cursor. I'm going to click OK to dismiss this dialog and then I'll set this circle back the way it was. I'll select it and then I'll change its Radius back to 0.25. Let me show you one more thing.
You're going to notice that some of the objects that you select aren't going to have all of the properties that you like. For instance, take a look at this dimension. This is on the wrong layer. If I select this, notice in the Quick Properties Tool, I have no Layer setting. That's what this big button is for. This allows us to personalize the Quick Properties Tool to match the way we like to work. If I click this, it brings up the Customizable User Interface. I can see right here that I have a Dimension selected.
Over here on the right, I can see a listing of the settings that I can choose from to display in the Palette. So every time I have a Rotated Dimension selected, I'd like to be able to change its layer. When I'm finished I'll click Apply and OK. Now when I select this dimension, I can move up and change its layer right here. Now it's important to note that all dimensions are not alike. This is a Radial Dimension. If I select this, notice there is no Layer option.
That's because this is a different object type. I'm going to go back to the Customize button and I'll turn on the Layer setting for Radial Dimensions as well. While I'm here, I can select any of these other object types and I can dial-up my Quick Properties Tool to match any of the settings that I use most. Finally, I'll use my setting to put this Radial Dimension on the correct layer. Using the Quick Properties Tool, we can change our settings much faster because the tool is just inches from our Cursor.
As an added bonus, we can customize the tool and load it up with the settings that we use most.
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