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AutoCAD's interface is considered a multi-document environment. This means, we can have more than one drawing open at a time. Having multiple open drawings means we can easily share content between files. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to use the interface to manage multiple drawings. As you can see, I already have a drawing open, this is an architectural floor plan. I'd like to open another drawing. To do that, I'll move up to the Quick Access Toolbar and I'll click the Open icon. Then I'll look inside the chapter_02 folder and I'll select this drawing called the dormRoom and click Open.
At this point, I have two drawings open in my interface, and you may be wondering, where did the first drawing go? Let me show you how we can flip from one open drawing to another. I'm going to select the View tab on the Ribbon, then I'll come down to the Windows Panel and I'll click Switch Windows. This brings up a list of my open drawings. The little check represents which drawing is current on screen. If I'd like the other drawing to be current, I could select its name from the list. Now, I love shortcuts. Another way we can toggle between open drawings is by pressing Ctrl+Tab.
If I press Ctrl+Tab, I can cycle through all of the open drawings in my interface. Now, may be I'd like to view both of these drawings at the same time. To do that, I'll click the Tile Vertically button, here on the Windows Panel. This gives me a nice side-by-side comparison of my files, and it's kind of like having two versions of AutoCAD open. As you can see, my focus is currently in this window. That means, I can pan, zoom and work in this file. If I place my Cursor over here and click, I can now pan, zoom and work in this drawing.
Let me center this guy on screen a little bit better. And you may be wondering when would something like this come in handy? Well, let's say I'm working in the Bedroom area of this drawing and may be I need a symbol that represents a bed. Rather than redrawing a bed from scratch, I'll steal the geometry from this drawing. Since my focus is already in this file, I'm going to click once to select this bed and then I'll click-and-hold, this copies the geometry to my Cursor. And then I'll drag this bed over into the other file and I'll release.
Now that I'm finished, I can click the X to close this drawing. I'm not going to save changes, and I can click the Maximize button to maximize this drawing on screen. It's important to remember that whenever you're working in AutoCAD, you never have to draw the same thing twice. You can always recycle geometry from another file. By allowing us to have more than one drawing open at a time, AutoCAD makes it easy to share content between drawings.
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