Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using dynamic input, direct distance, and coordinate systems, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Certified Professional (2015).
- We're now going to look at Dynamic Input, Direct Distance and Coordinate Entry in AutoCAD. Now you'll notice the drawing I've got open is 2_Input Distance Coords_PLATE_Complete. That is the completed version that I will save for you. There is also a 2_Input Distance Coords_PLATE.dwg file that is ready for you in your lynda.com Exercise Files. Now what we're going to do is we're just going to look at the methods of input that AutoCAD gives you.
And these are very important, generally, from a using AutoCAD perspective but also because they're covered in your AutoCAD Professional Certification Exam. So you'll notice we've got the plate but you'll notice also that we've got this blank area here. Now in the Layers, by default, the file should be set to the LINES layer. If it isn't, go into your Layer controls, make sure that the LINES layer is the current drafting layer. And then what we're going to do is we're going to draw some lines using Dynamic Input, Direct Distance and Coordinates.
We're going to have a look at all of it. So zoom in a little bit so that you can see this panel on the left here. I've zoomed in nice and tight so that I can see this panel here on the left. And we're going to place a new panel opening in our plate. Now we're going to use that using the LINES layer as I mentioned earlier. So Dynamic Input, first of all, where is the Dynamic Input in AutoCAD itself? Well, you've got the input here on the command line and if you hover over the command line, it highlights. But Dynamic Input is down here on the status bar, right there.
So Dynamic Input on, if I click on it, that switches it off. If I click on it again, that switches it on. It's a toggle down on the status bar. Now if it isn't on, go all the way over here. See these little three lines? Click on it. And you'll see that there's all the different settings to switch on on the status bar and there's Dynamic Input. It's ticked indicating it's switched on down here on the status bar. Switch it on, if it isn't on and then, click on the three lines again to close the menu. So with Dynamic Input on, what that allows us to do is see what we're going to actually input, the command itself.
So I'm going to go to the Line command here on the Draw panel, on the Home tab and I'm going to come into the drawing area, and there's my Dynamic Input. See? Next to the crosshair there? It's prompting me to specify the first point of my line. It's also prompting me on the command line. If I switch off Dynamic Input, you'll see there's no prompt on the crosshair. So that's what Dynamic Input is all about. It means you can see it. It's a bit like watching a foreign movie with subtitles. Instead of looking down at the bottom of the screen all the time, see the command line, you're looking at the crosshair.
Heads-up Design, Autodesk call it. So now we're going to specify our first point of our line. I'm going to start down here. Just pick a point about there and click. And then, as I draw, can you see it? There's all my Dynamic Input, prompting me for a distance and the next point and the angle. I can use the Tab key there to toggle between angle and distance, like so, and that is my Direct Distance Entry. So if I toggle back to the Distance, like that, and I want to keep that vertical so you'll notice, my Polar Tracking is on.
Again that's another setting down on the status bar, down here, so if I come down here, you'll see there, Polar Tracking is on. So that means I can lock into that 90 degree angle going upwards and then I can specify a distance. As I come up, can you see? There's a distance there, highlighted in blue. I'm going to type in 4, there and press Enter. And there's my line. Four units long. I don't know what units this particular drawing is in. I'm not too worried. It's a generic drawing. But it allows me to specify distances so if I come across this way.
Again, I can do that horizontally with my Polar Tracking and I'll type in 3 and Enter, like so. And then what I'll do now is I'll just press Enter, like so, and that closes out my Line command. Now that's Direct Distance Entry and Dynamic Input. What about Coordinates? All I'm going to do now is I'm going to draw another line but I want it to come off the end of this line. So what I need to do is put in a relative coordinate that comes off of the end of that line. So I go back now to the Line command.
I pick the Endpoint Snap, like so, make sure that your Object Snaps are on and click. And then, as I come upwards now, I can type in the @ symbol. Now the @ symbol allows me to put in basically what is called a relative coordinate. So if I type @, there's my @ symbol, you'll see up here on the Dynamic Input. And if I put in something like 2, 2, that is meaning that the line is going to go from the end of this line to two along and two up in the coordinate system.
So when I press Enter now, you'll see that line has gone two along that way, in the positive direction and two up. So the end of my line is over here. Now, obviously, I don't want that line to go into that rectangle so what I can do there. A nice trick on the right-hand shortcut menu. Right-click and just Undo that line segment and I'm still in the Line command and then I can come down here, take that down using the Direct Distance Entry again. Type in 4 and Enter and then Enter, again, to finish. And there's my lines I wanted to draw.
But again, you'll notice I can combine Dynamic Input, Coordinate Entry and also, the distance, the Direct Distance Entry as well. And all of those tools are utilized in AutoCAD all of the time. Practice with them to make perfect for your AutoCAD Professional Certification Exam.
- Creating and publishing AutoCAD files
- Drawing shapes and lines
- Creating isometric drawings
- Transforming objects
- Creating and using arrays
- Organizing objects and layers
- Reusing content with blocks
- Adding text, dimensions, multileaders, and scales
- Creating layouts
- Setting printing and plotting options
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Is this certification available for AutoCAD for Mac users?
A: AutoCAD certification is on the Windows environment only. Currently Autodesk does not have plans for an AutoCAD for Mac certification.
Q: This course was updated on 02/01/2016. What changed?
A: We added four new videos to the "Certification: What Is It?" chapter. These tutorials cover Certiport, the online certification service that now offers a variety of Autodesk certifications.