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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
If you've ever dragged a file from one folder to another in Windows Explorer, you're familiar with Windows shortcuts. Believe it or not, those same drag-and- drop functions work inside AutoCAD as well. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to move and copy our geometry using common Windows-based functionality. On my screen I have a drawing of a large sand play area with a swing set at its center and I also have a couple of trees. Let's say that we're a landscape architect and we'd like to place some trees around this play area.
Now I can move this geometry the exact same way I can move files in Windows Explorer. For instance, I'll click to select this tree and then I'll click-and-hold on a highlighted segment. I'll drag the tree over here and then I'll release. To move the little tree I'll click to select, click-hold-and-drag, and I'll release. If I wanted to create a copy I would click to select, click-hold-and-drag, and while I'm dragging I'll hold down the Ctrl key.
Notice the icon changes at the cursor. I will then release my mouse button to create the copy. Let's create a couple more copies. I'll select this tree, click-hold- and-drag, I'll hold down Ctrl, and I'll release the mouse button. I'm going to do the same thing to create one more right here. Now, you might be wondering if dragging with the right mouse button has the same effect as it does in Windows. Yes, it does. As an example, I'm going to select both of these trees and then I will right-click, hold-and-drag, and when I release the right mouse button AutoCAD brings up a menu that allows me to move, copy, or paste this geometry as a block.
I'm going to select Copy here. I'll create a crossing window to select the smaller trees and then I will right-click, hold-and-drag, I'll release, and I'll create a copy over here. Now, let's be honest. You probably don't want to use the Windows functions as your main method of moving and copying geometry. As you can see it does lack the precision of object snaps. However, in the event you don't require a high degree of precision, the Windows shortcut functions can be one of the fastest ways to move or copy your labels, furniture, north arrows, or even trees.
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