Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the menu browser, part of AutoCAD 2009 New Features.
AutoCAD's new menu browser serves two purposes. It makes our Drafting Area larger, and it gives us new functionality. But before we talk about the new browser, I would like to open a couple of drawings. I'm going to do that by coming up and clicking my Open icon, and we are going to look inside the Chapter 1 folder, located inside our Exercise Files directory, and I would like to open up these two drawings. I can do that by clicking once on this drawing to highlight him, and then I will hold my Shift key and I will click the drawing just beneath him. Now they are both selected, I will come down and click Open. I have just opened two drawings within my interface.
As I move up to the top of the screen to talk about the menu browser, I want you to notice what's missing - the pulldown menus. The pulldown menus have been turned off or deactivated in AutoCAD 2009. Now, don't worry, if you're someone who likes using the pulldown menus, we can still use them, we just have to turn them back on. Let me show you how we can do that. If you want to turn on your pulldown menus, place your cursor on top of the Quick Access toolbar, and right-click, and select Show menu Bar, and this will restore your pulldown menus, and these guys work just like they always have.
Now, this is technically older functionality. We really don't need the pulldown menus anymore. So I'm going to turn mine off. Once again, I'm going to move on top of the Quick Access toolbar, right-click, and I'm going to remove the check. Let's take a look at AutoCAD's new menu browser. The menu browser is located beneath this big letter A; kind of looks like a refrigerator magnet. If I click this guy, the menu browser opens up, and I can see the exact same menus that used to be along the top of my screen. Basically what AutoCAD has done is they have collapsed our pulldown menus and placed them beneath a single icon.
Now, in addition to compressing our menus down to one location, the menu browser also gives us additional features. Let's take a look at some of those. Notice, I have a Search menu now. If I'm looking for a particular command within the menus, I can click in the Search area and I can type the command. Let me look for the refedit command. If I type refedit, AutoCAD will find the command within the menus; it happens to be located inside the Tools menu. If I wanted to, I could click this hyperlink and I could launch the command.
Now, I don't want to talk about the refedit command just yet, so I'm going to click X to close the search. If I place my cursor over the Recent Documents area, AutoCAD will populate the right side of the menu with a listing of all of the drawings that I have worked on recently. If I place my cursor over a drawing, AutoCAD will show me a thumbnail image of what that drawing looked like the last time it was saved. Now, this list can hold as many as 50 drawings. By default, it's only set to show me nine. We will look at how we can change that number in a little bit.
Notice at the end of each drawing name I have got a pushpin. If I click the pushpin, AutoCAD will maintain this drawing in the list. Now, if I have a drawing that I work on several days in a row, it's very easy to find. I can go right here to grab it, I don't have to navigate through my hard drive, it will always be available in this list. I can also change the way my list looks, by clicking this flyout. Let's select Large Images. Notice the difference. Let me click the flyout again, we'll set this back to Icons. I can change the way the list is ordered; let me click this flyout and I can group these by Date. This can come in very handy when you're doing a time sheet; what did I work on today, what did I work on yesterday, what did I work on two days ago.
I can also sort these by Type. I'm going to set this back to Ordered List, and let's look at the Open Documents feature. If I place my cursor over the Open Documents feature, AutoCAD shows me the drawings that are currently opened in my interface. If you remember, we opened two when we started this session. If I want to jump from one drawing to another, I can simply click the drawing name to jump to that drawing. Let me bring the menu back up again. I'm going to come up and click on the letter A, and notice that AutoCAD remembers the last place that I was. That can come in very handy.
If I come down and hover over Recent Actions, AutoCAD will show me the last several commands that I accessed through the menu browser. Also notice that each of these commands also contains a little pushpin, so if I want to maintain these in the list, I can click the pushpin and this command will never drop off the list. Now by default, AutoCAD is going to remember the last nine commands you have accessed. Once again, we can also raise this number to 50. Let me show you where we can do that. I'm going to leave the menu browser. I'm going to hit my Esc key to clear it, and we can change our menu browser settings within our Options. If I right-click and come down and select Options. I'm going to go to my Open and Save tab, and right here is where I can adjust the settings for my menu Browser. As I mentioned before, by default, we can see nine recently used files and nine recently used menu actions. So we can set these up to 50 if we wish.
Let me click OK to exit the Options dialog. By using the new menu browser, we still have access to all of our standard menus, in addition to having a great new tool to navigate through our recently used drawings and content.
- Using the new Quick Access toolbar, quick properties, quick view layouts, and quick view drawings
- Understanding the Status bar and the Layer Properties palette
- Recording, editing, and sharing action recorder macros
- Finding and replacing text
- Checking spelling automatically
- Creating presentations with ShowMotion
- Navigating drawings using the ViewCube and SteeringWheels
- Setting a geographic location