Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the keyboard, part of AutoCAD: Using the Command Line (2016).
- We're staying in the 06_Workflow.dwg file. And you can find that in your lynda.com exercise files, as usual. Now, in the previous video, I stressed how important a human interface device was, such as your mouse when you're working with AutoCAD. Trust me, when you've had to use AutoCAD with a trackpad on a laptop, for example. Or, for example, just using it on it's own without a mouse, you will realize how important those human interface devices are.
What we're going to look at now, is using the keyboard. Now, what you do with AutoCAD is combine keyboard and mouse. Both of these devices are Human Interface Devices, or HIDs for short. So what we're going to look at now, is actually working with the mouse and the keyboard at the same time. I'm actually going to switch off dynamic input down here on the status bar, like so. And what I'm also going to do now is I'm going to switch off my object snap, as well.
So, I'm going to switch off object snap, I'm going to switch off object snap tracking, and I'm going to switch off polar tracking, as well. They're all going to be turned off. Now, here's where I have to use the keyboard and I have to use my human interface devices. So what I want to do, is I want to move my table again, here. Now this time, I'm going to stay zoomed out a little bit, because I'm going to move it down to about here. I'm going to use the keyboard. First thing I'm going to do, is I've got dynamic input switched off so I don't even need to move the mouse.
I just type. So there's the move command. Because the dynamic input isn't on, AutoCAD registers now, obviously, that I'm using the command line. Now, because I've hovered over that command using the pointer, I'll just move the mouse out of the way, you can see that if I hover over a command I get a tool tip, and then I get a little video kind of idea, as well. I don't need to worry about moving the mouse. I've just moved the mouse to show you that little video environment there. If I press Enter, my move command kicks in. Now I have to use the mouse.
My human interface device now is the mouse. I have to visually move the pick box over the object to select it, as per the prompt on the command line. So I click, like so. Now, I've selected the object. I don't have to right-click on the mouse. I can press Enter on the keyboard. So there's my keyboard entry again. As you can see now, I can move and specify the base point on that particular table. Now my object snaps are not switched on.
So again, I go back to my human interface devices, and using the keyboard now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to hold down Shift on the keyboard and then right-click on the mouse. That brings up my override snaps, and you can just see, coming up there on the menu, there's Endpoint. So I use the mouse and I select Endpoint. Now I've got to pick my base point, I'm going to use that endpoint snap there. Now you think to yourself, "Hang on a minute. I'm getting an endpoint snap even though object snaps are off. Why is that?" That's because those running object snaps are still there.
So I haven't actually switched off object snaps, per say, but what I've done there is I've used an override snap, slightly different. The running object snaps are off, but the override snaps still work. But the only snap I'll get, because I'm using an override snap, is endpoint snap. So I can't get any other snap. So I use the endpoint there, like that. I can now move this, again, using the mouse if I want to. But if I look at that, I can actually move that by way of coordinates, as well. So what I could do there is I can type the coordinates, so I'm going to type "@" because it's a relative coordinate.
And then I want it to go to the right, so that will be X is positive. So I'm going to go "@" 2,500 to the right, and then comma, and then minus because I'm going downwards, which is negative in the Y direction, and I'm going to go 2,500 again. So that's two and a half meters each way. I'm going two and a half meters to the right, two and a half meters down. If I press Enter now, I'm using the keyboard and the command line. And lo and behold, it's actually gone outside the building, not a problem. But you can see it's gone across to the right and downwards.
Now, if I now switch on my dynamic input, and then switch on my object snap tracking, and my polar tracking and my object snaps, watch how quick it is to use a human interface device instead of the command line. I'm not trying to tell you not to use the command line, you should sometimes. But to move this really quickly using that noun/ verb selection, I select the object, I then right-click and I can select move on the shortcut menu. Now that has gone slightly off the screen so I'll just come down here and right-click.
There we go, there's the move command on the shortcut menu. I pick that point there, drag it up there, look how quick that is using the human interface device, which is the mouse. Way quicker. That's why you have this combination of command line and human interface devices. I've kind of gone the long winded way there, because I want to explain the theories behind it. But that's how you can use the command line, but at the same time, you can use things like the mouse, the right-click menu, the ribbon to do all different things.
And with AutoCAD, you've got all these different interface methods built into the command process workflow to make you quicker and to find the method that you want to use. There will be, I can guarantee, two or three different ways of doing everything in AutoCAD. But you will find the path that you want to follow and use the input method that you want to use.
- 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