- Not everything that we draw can fit on our screen at the same time. So it is important we get comfortable with zooming in and out of the work space so we can get to what we need to work on. Zooming around your drawing is an imperative skill. Too often I see drafters trying to select an object in a crowded drawing, while zoomed out to a ridiculous degree. I liken this to trying to pick up a cup, with arms stretched all the way out, each holding a single chopstick. It's needlessly difficult. Never be afraid of zooming in or out to find the optimum view. AutoCAD for Mac has a number of tools to help with this under the View menu item, under Zoom, here we find RealTime, Previous, Window, Dynamic, Scale, Center, Object, In and Out, as well as All and Extents.
Scale is pretty straightforward, it simply allows us to type in a value, like .5, or in this case, two, to increase our zoom factor. RealTime turns our cursor into a spyglass. As I click, and drag down, I zoom out. As I click and drag up, I zoom in. Zoom Window allows you to specify a specific area of the drawing to zoom in to. And Zoom Previous sets your zoom factor back to the previous level.
Another important Zoom tool, is Zoom Extents. Zoom Extents literally zooms out far enough despite every piece of geometry in your drawing. Another method of zooming in and out is to use your mouse or track pad. If you're using a standard two button mouse with a wheel, you can roll the wheel forward and backward, to zoom in and out of your drawing. The direction will depend on your Zoom Factor settings. Here, under the System Preferences. It can also be reversed, directly AutoCAD, under Preferences, General, here under Reverse Zoom Direction.
Also note that AutoCAD for Mac takes advantage of the gestures built into Mac OS X, meaning you can pinch, and reverse pinch on your track pad to zoom in and out, like so. Also note that both zooming with the wheel mouse, and zooming by pinching, center the zoom action on your cursor, meaning you will be zooming in to wherever on the screen your cursor lies. This means you can increase your efficiency, by minding your cursor as you zoom in and out.
Personally, I find a simple two button mouse with a wheel to be the most efficient mouse to use for drafting with AutoCAD. But, using the track pad with pinch and zoom is quite productive as well.
- Accessing palettes
- Changing preferences
- Opening and saving files
- Working with views
- Creating basic geometry: lines, ellipses, splines, and more
- Selecting, moving, copying, and scaling geometry
- Working with layers
- Using gradients
- Creating blocks and dynamic blocks
- Working with references
- Creating layouts
- Annotating drawings
- Plotting and sharing
- Starting in 3D
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Interface
2. File Management
4. Basic Geometry
5. Geometry Tools
6. Modifying Geometry
8. Advanced Objects
11. Plotting and Sharing
12. 3D Basics
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