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

AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Organizing the palettes

AutoCAD for the Mac has a very modular workspace. This means we can rearrange the interface components to match how we like to work. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to make adjustments to our palettes. First of all, we can move palettes around by dragging on the title bar. I am going to click, hold and drag the Properties Inspector out into model space. Notice how the layers palette expands to fill the empty gap. Let's drag out the layers palette. I can also drag out the tool Set palette.

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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

Organizing the palettes

AutoCAD for the Mac has a very modular workspace. This means we can rearrange the interface components to match how we like to work. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to make adjustments to our palettes. First of all, we can move palettes around by dragging on the title bar. I am going to click, hold and drag the Properties Inspector out into model space. Notice how the layers palette expands to fill the empty gap. Let's drag out the layers palette. I can also drag out the tool Set palette.

We can drag out the Command line or the Status bar. I can even drag the Drawing window out and place this wherever I like on screen. Notice how the interface is really just a collection of smaller components. The nice thing is I could rearrange these components however I like. To dock if loading palette, drag it over to the side of the screen and when you see the blue light, release your mouse button. I am going to dock the Command line down at the bottom of the screen; I will dock the Properties Inspector over here to the right side.

Finally, I will dock the layers palette, notice where the blue light is now. If I release my mouse button at this point the layers palette will be docked above the Properties Inspector. If I drag this a little lower, I can dock it below. I am going to dock it above and then I will move over and click this green icon to maximize the Drawing window to fill the available space. All right, I am going to drag the Properties Inspector back out into model space because I would like to talk about these icons at the top of the palette.

The icon that looks like a minus sign is a toggle that will minimize or maximize the palette. The icon just to the left can be used to close the palette; now that I have closed it let me show you where you can go to get it back. I am going to open the Window menu and right here I can see a listing of all of the available palettes. I am going to select Properties Inspector. Note that we can also use the keyboard shortcut Command+5. Let's take a look at this icon on the upper right. This will collapse the main palettes down to icons.

When a palette is collapsed, you can click the icon to access the tools, click it again to close it. If you right-click on an icon, you can move them to the other side of the interface. Once again, I am going to maximize my drawing to fill the screen. Having your palettes collapsed gives you the absolute more screen real-estate for your designs. To restore the palettes to the interface, right -click on an icon and select Show as palettes. Let's re-dock the Properties Inspector below the layers palette and then I am going to drag the Drawing window over here and I will maximize this to fill the screen.

As you can see the Mac interface has a very modular feel. Using the palette options, you can control the display and location of your favorite features, allowing you to configure your screen in a way that makes you most productive.

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