Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Keyboard shortcuts for coordinate entry, part of AutoCAD: Using the Command Line.
- We're now in the last video of the entering coordinates section of our Using the Command Line in AutoCAD course. We're staying in the 09_Coordinates.dwg file, and that's in your lynda.com exercise files as usual. Now what we're going to look at now are keyboard shortcuts that allow us to enter our coordinates using the Command Line only. So I'm going to come down to the status bar, make sure that Dynamic Input is off, like so. Now, if I want to draw a line, from that bottom-left corner of the building, the coordinates now will be 3000,3000 in the X and the Y direction because we've done those previous two move commands where we used the command line followed by the dynamic input.
So these keyboard shortcuts, now, for commands become very, very important when I'm working in the Command Line only. Dynamic Input is off, so if I type in LINE like so, it obviously gives me the suggestion menu for the LINE command. So I'm going to press enter for the LINE command. Now the lovely thing is, it prompts me to specify the first point. So, keyboard shortcut there would be L for line, for example. Now if I want to type in that first point, I type in 3000,3000 like that.
And that means that I can then draw a line from that bottom corner there. So there's a keyboard shortcut there for the command only. Now what about keyboard shortcuts for coordinate entry using dynamic input, though? How does that work? Well, the lovely thing about this is you'll notice when I'm using the Command Line, I can't actually input any coordinates on the cross hair. And this is the magic of the dynamic input as against the Command Line, which is why I don't want to tell you which way to input your data, your variables, and your commands in AutoCAD.
I find a mixture of the two works best, where you're working with dynamic input and the Command Line at the same time. Let's just hit escape to cancel that LINE command. Let's go back down to the status bar now, and what I'll do here is click, and switch Dynamic Input on. Now, I can just type L and there's my command shortcut for LINE, and I press enter. Now as soon as I do that, the LINE command appears on the Command Line, but I also get Specify first point next to the cross hair because I've got Dynamic Input on.
Now you'll notice there I've got a coordinate read-out, but as I go over the snap here, the endpoint snap, there's Endpoint then I click. So there's my line now, coming off of that particular object snap, the Endpoint snap. But the benefit I've got now, you'll notice, is I've got things like angles, distances, polar tracking, all appearing on that cross hair. So what keyboard shortcuts can I use now for coordinate entry when I'm working with Dynamic Input in AutoCAD? Well, right now if you look at that, the polar tracking is locked to 30 degrees.
The distance is the default entry, which is 3066 value just there. So if I want that line to be 2500 long, like that, I type it in. Let's make sure I get that distance dead on, two zeros there. Then if I hit the tab key, and these are these nice little keyboard shortcuts, I can then specify the angle I want that line to be. So, I've specified the distance there, and the 2500 now is locked. You can see the little padlock next to it. Now if I change the angle to 45, and then press the tab key again, that's where that line is going to go, 2500 at 45 degrees.
They're both locked; however, I can change the value to 3000 and press tab again and lock it to 3000. It then makes it longer, but stays at the 45 degrees. Notice the polar tracking has stayed at 30 because that's where my cross hair is right now. If I move the cross hair, can you see that? It stays or moves from that tracking line. So you can see there that I can lock in distance and angle. What about coordinates, though? Well, what I can do there is I can turn back to the distance again like so, using the keyboard shortcuts.
And if I now type something like 5000 and press the comma key, it automatically does that. So you can see there that it's 5000,5000. If I press enter now, that will give me a little red box because it's not a distance now, it's a coordinate. And the reason being is it's locked to that angle, and it's locked to that distance. So I get a red value because it's not ready to accept coordinates. So what I have to do is hit escape once, like so, and then move the mouse again, can you see? And that's locked in, so I have to actually cancel the command, go back to the LINE command.
So I'll just right click there Repeat LINE, and I'll go back to that Endpoint snap. So this time, before I lock it in now, if I come over here and type in the 5000, can you see now the comma defaults over to the coordinate entry instead? So if I do 5000 again like that, then I can tab between the coordinates, and then that is locked as well. And can you see, it's gone to a similar point, over there just on top of that table with the curved ends? But you can see how these little keyboard shortcuts are really useful.
So if you remember to use Tab to tab between distance and angle, remember that locks it at distance and angle. And you will need to cancel the LINE command if you want to go back to coordinate entry. Or, you type the first coordinate and then the comma and then AutoCAD knows that you're using the keyboard shortcut for coordinate entry instead of distance and angle or what they call Polar entry. So those keyboard shortcuts with just the tab and the comma key can be extremely useful when you're working with Dynamic Input to enter coordinates using AutoCAD and the Command Line in AutoCAD.
- Entering input with the keyboard and mouse
- Positioning the command line
- Hiding the command line
- Customizing command-line settings
- Typing commands
- Using dynamic input
- Navigating an AutoCAD drawing with the command line
- Using the function keys
- Entering coordinates