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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.
As a project increases in size so does the number of layers. In fact, it's common for production drawings to contain a hundreds of layers. Now, as the layer list increases in length, you might start wondering if there's a faster way to navigate the list other than sliding up and down with the scrollbar. In fact, there is. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to navigate the layer list using our keyboard. On my screen, I have an architectural drawing that contains several layers. If we look up here at the Layer control, we can see that Layer 0 is the current layer.
Let's say I'd like the insert an image into this drawing. Now typically I put my images on a layer of their own. I am going to open the Layer control and I'll press the letter I and notice that AutoCAD takes me to the first layer that starts with that letter. If I press Enter the image layer becomes current, no scrolling involved. Now, maybe I'd like to create some block geometry. I'd like to draw that on Layer 0. I'll open the Layer control, I'll press 0 and then I'll press Enter. Once again, much faster than scrolling.
Let's take a look at the Layout tab. As you can see my geometry is being displayed in the viewport. However, the Viewport layer is currently turned off. To turn that on I am going to open the Layer control. I'll press the letter V, I will then click the light bulb to turn it on and then I'll click on screen to close the menu. Let's look at one more. Maybe I'd like to add some dimensions to this drawing. I'll open the Layer control and I'll press the letter D-- and remember that AutoCAD will take you to the first layer that starts with your given letter.
At this point, I could scroll the rest of the way using my mouse or if I keep pressing D, AutoCAD will keep moving down through the list until I hit the layer I am looking for and then I can press Enter to set it current. As you can see, using the keyboard you can quickly navigate through the layer list with very little scrolling involved. As a side note, this trick isn't just for the Layer control. Try it in the Properties panel as well. Virtually, any place you find a layer list you can quickly jump from layer to layer using the keyboard.
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