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Opening and managing drawings

From: AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

Video: Opening and managing drawings

The DWG file format is identical between the Mac and Windows version of AutoCAD. This means you can work seamlessly between the two platforms. Likewise, AutoCAD for the Mac supports a multiple document environment, meaning you can easily exchange data between open files. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to open and manage drawings. As you can see, I've just launched AutoCAD and I'm sitting in the default Drawing1 file. To open a drawing, I'll move up to the File menu and I'll select Open. This brings up Finder which is very similar to Windows Explorer.

Opening and managing drawings

The DWG file format is identical between the Mac and Windows version of AutoCAD. This means you can work seamlessly between the two platforms. Likewise, AutoCAD for the Mac supports a multiple document environment, meaning you can easily exchange data between open files. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to open and manage drawings. As you can see, I've just launched AutoCAD and I'm sitting in the default Drawing1 file. To open a drawing, I'll move up to the File menu and I'll select Open. This brings up Finder which is very similar to Windows Explorer.

From here, I can navigate through my hard drive and select a file. Currently, I'm viewing my hard drive contents using column view. I can also view my folders and files using an icon view or a list view. I'm going to open up the exercise files folder which is located on my desktop. I'll jump into the chapter_02 folder and I'll select this drawing, mech1, and I'll click Open. I will then click the green icon to maximize this drawing window on screen.

Now, there is more to this drawing than first meets the eye. I'm going to zoom out. I'll do that by rolling back the scroll wheel on my mouse, and then I'll pan this to the middle of the screen by holding the scroll wheel down. Let me mention that I'm using a Microsoft mouse, so my scroll wheel also acts as a third button. The mouse you are using might not allow this. If that's the case, your drawing can also be panned by holding down the Spacebar, much like how you would pan an Adobe Acrobat document. Let's open another drawing.

This time we'll try a different method. I'm going to come down to the doc and I'll launch Finder. Using this method, I can navigate the hard drive using the Cover Flow option. Once again, I'm going to go to the exercise files folder. I'll double-click to open this. Let's flip to chapter_02 and I'll double-click to open. We could probably make this a little larger. I'm going to click, hold and drag to open this up, and then I'll click and drag right here to make these larger.

Using Cover Flow, we can flip through large thumbnails of our drawing files. This time I'm going to select the mech2 drawing and I'll double-click to open. Let's maximize this drawing as well. Now that I have two drawings open, let me show you a couple ways we can switch between them. First of all, we can use the Window menu. In this menu, I can see both of my open drawings. The one with the check is the one that's current on my screen. If I select the other, it will become current.

Another way to flip between open drawings is to use the AutoCAD icon in the doc. If I right-click on this icon, I can find the same menu right here. I'm going to press Escape to close this. We can also flip between open drawings using the keyboard shortcut Command+Tilde. Each time I use the shortcut, I'll jump to the next open drawing. Let's look at how we can minimize a drawing. This is very similar to how it works using Windows. Take a look at these buttons in the upper left corner of the drawing window.

This red button will close the drawing, the green button will maximize the drawing, and if I click the yellow button, it will minimize the drawing down to the doc. Let's open this up and I'll click the drawing again to restore it. Since we have two drawings open, let's move some geometry from one drawing to another. As you can see in the mech1 drawing, I've got three Views of my part: a Top View and Two Section Views. I'm going to flip to the mech2 drawing.

On my screen you can see the 3D representation of this part. Let's switch to the Top view; I'll do that by clicking the Top hotspot on the ViewCube, and then I'll click this arrow one time to rotate my view on screen. If you look over here, you can see that I've already created a flattened block that represents this part. If you're interested, I created this block using the Flatshot command. Let's copy this geometry into the other drawing. To do that I'll click, hold and drag to create a selection window, and then I'll right-click, I'll come down to Clipboard, and I'll select Copy with Base Point.

Let's copy this geometry from the endpoint right here. This is the point that I'll be holding the geometry when I paste it into the other file. Let's flip back to the other drawing. I will then right-click, I'll come down to Clipboard, and I'll select Paste, and I'll paste this geometry right here. Using the Mac interface, we can juggle multiple designs in a single session, even if those designs were created using the Windows version. So, we truly have the best of both worlds. We are free to design within a Mac environment, while seamlessly collaborating with those working on a Windows platform.

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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

35 video lessons · 4032 viewers

Jeff Bartels
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