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This course introduces you to the interface and key processes of Inventor, the parametric design system from Autodesk. Author John Helfen covers sketching, part modeling, assemblies, and drawings. These tasks work in conjunction, allowing you to create parts and assemblies and document them in a way so that the manufacturing process proceeds faster and more efficiently.
The last interface component that I want to talk about is the Graphics Window and the Marking menu. Now you saw a glimpse into the Graphics Window when we were talking about the browser. It's essentially the gray area of the main component on the screen where your models and drawings are shown. The Marking menu is essentially a component of the Graphics Window. By right-clicking anywhere in the Graphics Window, you can bring up the Marking menu. The Marking menu is essentially just our right-click menu, but with a twist. Rather than just listing commands like you'd see in a traditional right-click menu, in Autodesk Inventor, it's very context-sensitive.
The most common commands are gathered in a circular pattern around the top of the right-click menu. It's important to remember that the Marking menu is very context-sensitive. Very much like the Ribbon bar and browser, it will change based on the environment you're in. In this case, we are in an Assembly file, so you see things like Create New Component, Place Component, Constrain, things that you would use commonly in the Assembly environment. If I double-click and begin adding a part and right-click again, now you see things like Fillet, Extrude, Revolve modeling actions that we'll learn more about in a later movie.
Again, even further, this continues on into things like temporary tabs. In our sketch environment which we talked about in the Ribbon movie, you'll notice that we have a temporary tab and here's where I use the Marking menu the most. You'll notice, as I move around the Marking menu at the top, a highlighting action takes place. Once I find an item is highlighted, I can left-click on it to launch that command, and now I'm able to create rectangles.
The important thing about the Marking menu beyond just where things are located is understanding how you can access this menu. While so far I've right-clicked and simply selected an item from this list, that doesn't really improve things too dramatically over a standard right-click menu. Where things become useful is once you understand where these items are located within this pattern, you can launch the command by using a right-click drag action without actually having to launch the command. So, if I want to create a line, for example, which is straight to the top of this pattern, I can right-click and drag my mouse up, and release my right-mouse button to launch the Line command.
If I right-click, and hit Cancel, I can then launch another command. I know that, in this case, a 2-point rectangle is up and to the right. I am going to hit Escape to get out of the Marking menu, and now I can right-click and drag up into the right, and launch the Rectangle command. So, for those commonly used commands that you access on a regular basis--once you get the hang of where they are in the Marking menu--it's going to save you a significant amount of time. Rather than returning always to the toolbar, you will be able to launch these commands from the right-click menu or possibly not even bring up the menu in the first place.
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