Join Scott Onstott for an in-depth discussion in this video Lines, part of AutoCAD 2016 Essential Training.
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- In this video, you will draw AutoCAD's most common objects, lines. To begin, let's go ahead and toggle off anything that's On in the Status bar. This particular element, here, can't be turned off. It just tells us about our Hardware acceleration. If you want, you can hide that by going to the Customization button here in the corner, and turning off Graphics Performance. While you're here, also go ahead and turn on Dynamic Input.
That opens up this control right here. I'd like to turn that off also, so that we can draw lines without distraction. Now go up to the Line tool here on the Draw panel and click. Now let's pay attention to what it says on the Command line. It says Specify first point. That just means click some place on the screen. I'll click at some arbitrary point. And notice that the cursor appears to be connected to that point now.
It's connected with what we call a rubber-band line. The Command line now says Specify next point or [Undo]. Undo is the option that we have. We can go back and specify the first point again. We'll just move forward. I'll click another point. And the Line command doesn't end. You can keep going drawing lines. So I'm gonna click another point. Notice now, however, that we have an additional option, Close. This is available to us because we've drawn two line segments.
I'll click that option. And the Line command ends. We have now three different, separate objects here. And I'd like to repeat the Line command. So to do that, I'll press Enter. I'll click a point, click another point up above. Another point, and this time, to end the Line command, I will right-click.
That opens this Shortcut menu. You have the options here, Close and Undo, just like you do down below. And you also have Enter. So you can click right here. I'd like to show you an option that I like when I'm drawing lines. It's called time sensitive right-click. And this just makes drawing lines a bit more efficient. To access this, we'll go into the Options dialogue box. Type O-P, for options, and press Enter.
Go to the User Preferences tab and click this button. To Turn on this time sensitive right-click simply check this box. And what this does is it times you when you're right-clicking. If you right-click rather quickly, less than 250 milliseconds, then it will be equivalent to pressing the Enter key. If you take longer than that, it will open the Shortcut menu. Apply & Close, and OK. Let's try this out.
Draw another line. Click a few points. And let's say we're done. Let's end the Line command. Just right-click quickly. And the Line command is finished. Now you can repeat the Line command by right-clicking again. Draw a few more segments. Right-click. And this time, hold the right mouse button down for longer than 250 milliseconds. And what happens is you'll see that Shortcut menu.
I don't find this Shortcut menu to be so useful. I prefer just to access the options down here on the Command line. But, you know there are many different ways to do things in AutoCAD, so it's good to know what your options are. When you use time sensitive right-click, you can actually draw very quickly. You can go Line, click, click, click, right-click. Right-click again, and draw some other lines over here. Now let's toggle on Dynamic Input down here on the Status bar.
I'll pan over so we have some blank area to draw in. Draw another line. And notice what's different. Now we have these interactive elements appearing next to the cursor. The first highlighted number is the X-value. And it gets larger when we move to the right, smaller when we move left. The Y-value gets larger when we move up. If I click a point, it's gonna specify the X- and Y-coordinates of that point. Just like that.
Now, we have different controls. We have the length of the line relative to the first point, and we have the angle. Zero degrees is horizontal to the right. 90 degrees is vertically straight up. It's kind of hard to see that there. 90 degrees is straight up. You go down below, this could be specified as a negative angle. Or just by moving the cursor down allows you to enter a value down here.
So I could do 28 degrees down here or 28 degrees up here. Let's say I wanted to draw a line that is 10 units long that is horizontal. I'll type in 10 and press the Tab key. Now 10 is locked in, you see? There's a padlock symbol there. But I still can specify the angle. So I'll type in zero and press Enter. So there's a line that's 10 units long running horizontally. Now let's say I want a line that's five units long, running at a 45 degree angle.
I'll type 5 Tab 45 Enter. Now I'll press Enter to end the command. Another useful aide that you have access to is Ortho and it's right next to this Dynamic Input. Let's toggle that on. And it's really useful when you're drawing lines. Type L Enter for Line. And click your first point. This time notice that the cursor is constrained, horizontally or vertically.
This will save you a bit of time because you don't have to type in the angle. I can type in five Enter for a horizontal line. I can move the cursor up and type five here, 5 Enter. You can override Ortho by typing in an angle. So I can press Tab, go to the angle, and type in 45 Enter. If you want to specify the angle and the distance, you can do that, but you just have to use the Tab key.
You can do it in either order. You can press Tab, say I want this at a zero degree angle. I'll press Tab and then I'll type 3 and press Enter. So that's how you can specify your lines pretty easily with Ortho. Now Ortho can be toggled on and off at any time while you're drawing lines. So I can draw some arbitrary length lines here. I'll turn Ortho back on. Draw another few lines with Ortho.
And, to save time, you can also use the F8 key. So, I'll press F8 and I have the freedom to specify the angle. I'll press F8 again. That locks me into horizontal or vertical. And so in this way, you can draw in Lines more efficiently. So, in this video, we covered in the in's and out's of drawing lines. We also took a look at Dynamic Input and Ortho modes.
Note: The course is an update to our 2015 training, including new movies on working with object snaps, writing multiline objects, making dimension objects, and more.
- Changing workspaces
- Converting drawings to new units
- Drawing lines, circles, splines, polygons, and more
- Moving, copying, rotating, and scaling objects
- Mirroring, lengthening, trimming, and joining objects
- Drawing accurately with coordinates and snapping
- Creating gradients
- Making dimension objects
- Managing object and layer properties
- Reusing content
- Making external references (including xrefs)
- Adding annotations
- Packaging and publishing CAD data