Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Dockable palettes, part of AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training.
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Probably the most versatile tools we have in our interface are palettes. Palettes give us quick access to drawing content, properties and commands. Let's look at how we can apply them to our workspace. Now, if I look at the top of the screen, I have several icons right up here. These icons represent palettes. Now, a palette is like a dialog box of features. It's something that's important enough you might want to keep it on your screen for a long period of time. And if you are a pulldown user, we can also access those same palettes right here in the Tools pulldown if I go to the Palettes flyout, this is the listing of all of the palettes available on AutoCAD.
Let's bring one up on our screen. I am going to click on the Properties palette. He pops up right in the middle of my screen and this guy is used to change the properties of our existing entities. So, the first thing we notice is this guy is huge. Autodesk recognizes that these palettes are quite large and they can be unwieldy when we are trying to draft. So they give us the ability to change their size. If I want to change the size of this palette, I am going to move my cursor down to this chamfered corner; and when I get right over the chamfer, my icon will change. At this point, if I click and hold, I can drag my cursor and I can change the width or the height of this palette.
Now, I don't have to leave the palette in the middle of my screen, I can move them wherever I like. If I'd like to move this palette, I am going to move my cursor over the mast and I am going to click and hold, and I am going to drag this guy to the left side of my screen. And as I get closed to my toolbar, he just kind of snaps right into position, just like a magnet. Now that my palette is on the side of my interface, it is still taking up a lot of real estate. I am going to make my palette collapsible and I can do that by coming down and clicking on my Auto-hide icon. If I do that, the palette collapses down to just the width of the mast.
This means I get as much screen real estate as possible to do my drafting. If I wish to use my palette at this point, all I have to do is hover over the mast, the palette will open up and I can take and click and do my changes, do whatever business I have to. And if I move off of the palette, it will return to the collapsed state. If I need the palette to stay open for any length of time, I am going to come down and click on the Auto-hide button once again and that will lock the palette open. Now, the way I prefer to use palettes is to anchor them. If we'd like to anchor the palette, we can right-click on the mast and in the menu, I can select Anchor Left or Anchor Right, which side of the screen would I like to anchor this palette to.
I am going to select Anchor Left and that takes and shoves the palette all the way over to the far side of my interface, and you will find that it works the same. If I hover over this column, the palette opens up; if I move away, the palette closes. I can take it one extra step. If I right-click on this column, I can select Icons only. I am going to pull away to close the palette. I truly have the best of both worlds. I have got a tremendous palette and it's only taking up the same amount of space as a single toolbar icon. This means if I want access to this palette, I just have to move up over this icon, hover, he is available.
I can move away and it closes. If the time comes when I like him to be on my screen for a significant period of time, once again I can hover over so he opens. I can come down and click my Auto-hide button. He will remain on my interface as long as I need him. If I want him to go back to the anchored state, I am going to come over and click on my Minimize button to collapse him back down at the toolbar icon. Palettes are the more versatile tool in our interface. They can bind the functionality of a dialog box with the flexibility of a toolbar.
- Opening, viewing, saving, and sharing drawings
- Customizing the workspace
- Mastering drawing fundamentals and specialized commands
- Defining units of measure and controlling accuracy
- Making primary modifications and major changes to a drawing
- Organizing layers and reusable content
- Annotating and dimensioning
- Plotting with layouts
- Sizing linetypes, modelspace text, and dimensions for a plot
Skill Level Beginner
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AutoCAD 2009: Mastering Referenceswith Jeff Bartels2h 3m Intermediate
1. The AutoCAD Interface
2. Opening, Viewing, and Saving Drawings
3. Drawing Fundamentals
4. Controlling Drawing Units
5. Controlling Accuracy
6. Specialized Draw Commands
7. Primary Modifications
8. Selecting Entities
9. Making Major Changes
10. Organizing Drawings
11. General Annotation
13. Helpful AutoCAD Tools
14. Reusable Content
16. Sharing Data
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