In this video, Shaun Bryant shows how to utilize the interface panel and your AutoCAD display options effectively.
- [Instructor] Welcome to another AutoCAD tip and trick to help improve your workflows and efficiency while you're using AutoCAD in the workplace. Now, today we're going to look at the Interface Panel in the AutoCAD ribbon and the Display Options that it can provide. So, we've got a whole new drawing for you, InterfacePanelDisplayOptions.dwg. Nice and quick and easy to say, you might think. You can download it as usual from the website to follow along with this particular tip and trick video.
Now, before we get started let's jump to the View tab on the ribbon. And there's our Interface Panel on the end there. Now, before we jump into the Interface Panel and look at its functionality and what it can do for us, what I'd like you to do is create a new AutoCAD drawing. Now, the drawing you've already got is in inches and all of the blocks that you can see, the furniture blocks, are also in inches. So, what I'd like you to do is create another drawing that uses Imperial inches. Just got to the New button up here on the Quick Access toolbar there.
And what we'll do is we'll use the acad.dwt template file. Click on Open and that'll open up a blank drawing. And as you can see, AutoCAD's called it Drawing1.dwg. Do a Save As, again on the Quick Access toolbar. Just save it into the same folder as the 12_InterfacePanelDisplayOptions drawing. So, I'm just going to to call it DRAWING001, like that, just so it moves away from the default AutoCAD naming philosophy, so I'll click on Save. So, I've got two drawings open and they're here.
So, there's the tab there for my Interface Panel Display Options and there's DRAWING001. Now, you'll notice that I'm using those file tabs at the top to move in and out of drawings. Let's have a look at the Interface Panel now on the ribbon. Now, File Tabs. It's in blue at the moment, highlighted. If I click on it, my file tabs disappear. If I click on it again, my file tabs come back. Now I always, always, always leave that on because it means I can see which drawings I've got open, more importantly which is my current drawing 'cause it highlights it.
Notice DRAWING001 is the current drawing. Click on Interface Display Panel Options, that is now the current drawing and you can distinguish between the two. Now, for every drawing you have a Model tab where you do all your design work and you also have a couple of default Layout tabs. They're normally bottom left corner just at the bottom underneath the drawing area. So, there's my Layout1 and there's my Layout2 and there's my Model tab where all my blocks are at the moment, where I'm doing all my drawing work. Now, the trick is I can also switch those off by clicking on Layout Tabs, and they disappear.
If I click on it again they come back. Now, this is all interface settings. Your AutoCAD Interface Settings. So, you're basically setting up the way that you want to work and which bits and pieces you want to be able to click on to perform your work during the course of a regular day. Now, another one that I really love is this Switch Windows option. Now, obviously if I switch off the File Tabs how do I jump between drawings? Well, I can use Switch Windows and I can jump to DRAWING001.
I can jump back to my InterfacePanelDisplayOptions drawing. Now, I like that and it kind of works but I do prefer my File Tabs. Now, that's just me. I'm a little bit OCD about that, being able to see what I'm doing in AutoCAD. But, as you can see you can alter your interface based on your individual workflow. Now, there are some other really nice commands available on the Interface Panel. You've got Tile Horizontally. If I click on that it basically horizontally tiles all of those File tabs that I've got at the top of the screen.
So, there's my InterfacePanelDisplayOptions drawing, there's my DRAWING001 and I just click on the title bar of each one to go to it and there's the Start tab there. So, I can go to any of these, like so. Now, if I want to switch these off I select the drawing and I click on the red cross, like so. So, I can close that drawing down. Now, I don't want to close the drawing. What I want to do is maximize my InteracePanelDisplayOptions drawing. And then we're back to there.
There's DRAWING001 and there's the InterfacePanel drawing again. Now, you can see that I can jump around and work with different drawings. Now, if I tile these vertically, like so there's my Start tab there. Now, I'm not too worried about that one so I could, if I wanted to, just close it. Now, you would have thought click on the cross and it would go away. It doesn't. It's fixed. And, It's just a default setting in AutoCAD, so just be aware of that when you're working in AutoCAD. That the Start tab up here is fixed, so you can't get rid of it.
However, the nice thing is I can go into my InterfacePanelDisplayOptions I can perhaps click on this block here, click on an edge of it and drag and I can bring it into my DRAWING001 and release like that. I've copied that across from one drawing to another because I've tiled two drawings vertically. Now, the trick is do I save that drawing or do I want that drawing to be maximized? And there we go. So, I'm now in DRAWING001 with a chair block in it that I brought in from this drawing here.
So, you can see how that Tile Horizontally and Tile Vertically can be extremely useful. Now, the last command on the Interface Panel that I'm going to work with is Cascade. Now, this cascades all of the files including the Start tab you'll notice which is there. And you can see that I can drag these, I can move them around when they're cascaded like that and if I don't want one of these drawings, again, I can click on the red cross to close it. I'll be prompted to save it, et cetera. If I want to maximize it I click on the maximize icon there on the title bar and we're back to where we were before.
So, Tile Horizontally, Vertically, and Cascade allow you to have different interface views of all of the drawings you've got open. Now, I mentioned Display Options as well. There's a little arrow on the title bar of the Interface Panel. When I click on that you'll notice it takes me into the Options dialog box into the Display tab. Now, there's lots of different settings that you can work with in the Display tab, and there's things like Window Elements, Color Schemes, Colors, Layout Elements, and you'll notice one of the more important ones is down here.
You can Display Layout and Model tabs when you're in a Layout tab. You can display the paper background and the shadow. And also display resolution for things like arcs and circles. Your crosshair size, and so on and so forth. Now, all of this is Display Options. Now, I rarely, rarely, rarely change any of this. I often just leave this at the default settings when I'm working in AutoCAD. But obviously, if you'll pardon the pun, that option for your Display Options is there on the Interface Panel.
So, you set up your settings, click on OK, close the Options dialog box, job done. But, it's just there, that little arrow there on the Interface Panel if you need it. So, that's your Interface Panel and your Display Options all in AutoCAD that you can tweak, change, customize and improve so that your workflow and efficiency obviously goes up.
Skill Level Intermediate
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