Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using human interface devices (HID), part of AutoCAD: Using the Command Line.
- So now we're in the next section of the using the command line in AutoCAD course. What we're going to look at now is the command process workflow. This combines things like the mouse, the command line, the ribbon, and so on. Now the command process workflow is quite important in AutoCAD, and there's a very clever little setting in AutoCAD called noun/verb selection.
The whole idea of noun/verb selection is it allows you to work with what they call human interface devices, HID. Now an HID device is something such as a mouse or a space mouse if you're working in 3D. Even a keyboard is classed as a human interface device. Now the reason for that is primarily that you're a human, obviously, and it's an interface between you and the computer itself. When the mouse came along, it completely revolutionized computing because it gave you a device that you could literally move around and click on the things that you wanted to choose.
Now what Autodesk have done by way of their software now is you have a ribbon that you click on and you select the commands that you want to use. Now with further study, what Autodesk have discovered is that you normally think about the object first. This is why you have a thing in AutoCAD called noun/verb selection. Now I'm going to just jump over here to the Application menu, the big red A in the top left corner. Now I'm going to click there and I'm going to come down to Options and just go to the Options dialogue box.
It takes a few seconds to open up, but there it is. It's quite big, as you can see. I'm going to go to the Selection tab up there at the top, and there's Noun/verb selection there. I can switch it off. I can switch it on. It's normally on by default. Now as my son would quite rightly say, a noun is an object or a thing, and a verb is a doing word, it's an action. So what you're doing in AutoCAD, using a human interface device, is you're selecting an object and then selecting the command.
Now this is very clever in AutoCAD, and it's very clever in a lot of their other products as well. So I'll just okay that, and basically what it means is I can zoom in on my little table here, which is a polyline. I can select that table like so. There's my human interface selection there. And I now can hover over things and select things, and that's what a human interface device is all about. So what I can do now is go up to the Modify panel here on the ribbon on the Home tab, and I'll select Move.
Now as soon as I do that, that's my noun followed by my verb. That's my noun/verb selection. And that's what revolutionized Autodesk software way back when was this ability to use noun/verb selection with a human interface device such as a mouse because it allows you to think the way that you normally think. So noun, you go I want to move that table. So what do you do? You pick up the table and then you move it. So you want to select the table first.
So if I pick a base point there like that, just using my object snaps, and again, we're in a different drawing, by the way, 06_Workflow, you can see it at the top of the screen, and I'm just going to drag that across like that just using my polar tracking, and click there. I've used a human interface device for every single action there. I haven't had to literally go down to the command line or type anything. So that's where human interface devices become part of the command process workflow.
Now you may ask yourselves what has that got to do with the command line down at the bottom? Well, here's the difference, you may use a different command process workflow. You might go down here, for example, to the command line and type in Move like that. There's the move command. Press Enter. And now it prompts you to select the object. So I'm going to select the polyline again. I then have to right click or press Enter to confirm that selection, and I'll pick the same endpoint there and drag it back to where it came from and click there again.
I've used a human interface device, but the process was slower. The command process was slower. This is why you combine things like dynamic input and the command line because you can speed up your command process workflow just by a different combination of clicks, pressing Enter, keyboard entry, and so on. So that's your human interface devices in the command process workflow combined with, obviously, the mouse and the command line.
- 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