Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video The AutoCAD tool palettes explained, part of AutoCAD: Tool Palettes.
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- [Instructor] So, here we are in our first Chapter of using tool palettes in AutoCAD. Now, this first chapter is an introduction to tool palettes and some of the other functionality in AutoCAD that allows you to utilize your tool palettes as well. So, you'll notice in this chapter we have a new drawing, which is 01_ToolPalettes.dwg. You can download that from your Lynda.com exercise files to follow along with the video. Now, you'll notice that it's remarkably similar to the drawing that you saw in the introductory videos at the beginning of the course, and it is.
It's a straight copy, but you'll notice I haven't got the tool palettes active, and I haven't got anything else on the screen apart from the objects in the drawing itself. So, make sure you download the drawing. Save it locally so that you can find it, and then open it up to follow along with the video. So, the first thing we're going to look at is the tool palettes in AutoCAD. Let's have a look at where they are. So, we go up to the ribbon, and we click on the View tab, and you'll notice there is a Palettes panel, because there's not just tool palettes in AutoCAD.
You've got things like the Properties Palette, the Sheet Set Manager, and so on. We've also got another very important one that we'll look at later, DesignCenter. But, let's just click on Tool Palettes first, and there's our tool palettes there. So, what are tool palettes? Why are they there? Why do we use them? Well, tool palettes come up like this on the screen, and you can basically incorporate things like commands that you use regularly, hatches that you use regularly, blocks that you use regularly, and you'll notice that you can give things a title.
So, you'll notice we've got hatch patterns here that are imperial settings. We've got ISO hatches that are metric settings, and we've got some sample gradient fills as well. Now, the nice thing about the tool palettes is I'm look at all palettes at the moment. If I come down here and click on this little bunched up set of tabs here, it'll tell me all the different tool palettes I have available. And these are just my default AutoCAD tool palettes. If I click away, that menu disappears. Now, if I come down here, and click here, and right-click, you'll see there, look, there's all my settings for my tool palette.
So, I can anchor it left, anchor it right, I can dock it. I can create a new palette. I can rename. I can customize. And you'll notice now, if I go to a palette group, here, I can actually go to something like Annotation and Design. As soon as I do that, can you see it changes the tool palette? And I've now got annotation and design tabs only showing here. So, there's my annotation. There's my design, mechanical, hatches, and so on. If I come back down here, right-click, and set it to All Palettes again, it goes back, and you can see I've got the entire bunched up set of palettes again.
So, that's basically how your tool palettes work in AutoCAD. You go to the View tab, click on Tool Palettes, and these are all of your default palettes that you can use. One more thing before we go. We can dock the tool palette if we want to. So, if I just drag, like this, you'll see there I can dock it to one side, like that. If I hover over here, like this, you'll notice I can just click and drag it away if I want to again. I can also auto-hide it if I want to as well. So, the nice tool there is that it's smaller.
It's less conspicuous, less obvious. But, also, I can make it even less obvious if I switch on a thing called auto-hide. And now, look, it's hiding even more. Hover over it, and there it is. Click on the title bar, drag, and I can undock it again. So, there's all these lovely tools. Now, I've undocked it there, you'll notice. I haven't switched off of auto-hide, which is that little icon there. So, it will still auto-hide even when it's undocked, which is kind of nice as well. So, you got lots of little nice tools there on the AutoCAD tool palette, and as we work through the course you'll see how these tool palettes work more and more.
- Using tool palettes
- Using AutoCAD DesignCenter
- Finding and inserting blocks
- Creating tool palettes from DesignCenter
- Setting up tool palettes with styles, hatches, and DWGs
- Adding blocks and groups
- Importing and exporting tool palettes