In this video, author Shaun Bryant shows you how to navigate in your AutoCAD drawings using the ViewCube.
- [Instructor] We're starting another chapter now in our AutoCAD Interface Course, and what we're going to look at is how we navigate our drawings quickly and easily and effectively. So we've got a new drawing for you, it's called NavigatingDrawings3D.dwg, and you may question the 3D, but that's what we're going to look at, first of all. You'll notice, in the top-right corner of your screen, there's a funny little cube with North, South, East, and West around it. It's known as the ViewCube, and the ViewCube allows you to navigate drawings in a 3D environment. Now, when you're looking at this NavigatingDrawings3D.dwg file, you might think that I just looks like a flat 2D floor plan. Well, it's not. If we go to the ViewCube and hover over this bottom left corner and click on it, it'll take us into what is called an Isometric view, and you can see that the ViewCube is now in an Isometric view. If we zoom it a bit closer, just roll up on the wheel there, you can see that those walls on that particular part of the drawing have actually been extruded upwards and are 3D objects. What we can also do there is change the visual style. So if you come over here and click on 2D Wireframe, and perhaps go to Conceptual instead, You'll see that the whole drawing changes. You also get prompted up here about 3D display performance. You can click on Don't show me this again, and that won't pop up again. If I zoom it a bit closer and roll up on the wheel a little bit more, you can see those 3D walls in a bit more detail. So that's utilizing the ViewCube. Now, bear in mind over here as well on the View Control, it says Southwest Isometric. So we're in the Southwest Isometric view on the ViewCube. If I click on Southwest Isometric here, you will find that you are in the Southwest Isometric view, but I can also jump back to the Top view. So if I click on top, that takes me back to the Top view, and if I zoom in and zoom out, you can see I'm back on the Top view. Now, you can utilize this effectively. And what you may find as well is some of the graphics might change slightly, depending on the visual style. So I go back now here, and you can click on here, Conceptual, like so, change it back to 2D Wireframe, the visual style changes. Now, this is a really useful feature for you because it allows you to work in both 2D and 3D. There's nothing to stop you utilizing the ViewCube to perhaps make a 2D drawing look good. So if I click on that left corner again on the ViewCube, regardless of the 3D, I could potentially use that view, perhaps in a viewport, to kind of show a nice slanted floor plan. I could freeze off all the dimensions in the gridlines, and have a nice slanted floor plan in an Isometric view, perhaps in a viewport in a Layout tab. Once of the benefits you do have with the ViewCube, though, is that you can rotate. So if I go back to the Top view here on the cube, you'll notice I can rotate the view if I want to, like that, take it through 90 degrees each time. That also updates the X and the Y down here, the UCS, the User Coordinate System, thus revolving all of my X and Y, and my zero going off to the East, which is the default setting on AutoCAD. So the ViewCube can be a very, very useful tool. Also be aware, on later versions of AutoCAD, in the View tab on the ribbon, you've got here a Named Views panel. This allows me to go into the View Manager here, like so, and I can go to Views in my drawing that may be are already pre-saved, like Staircase A. If I OK that now, what I can do here is go to that view in the list. There's Staircase A, but there's all my preset views that are on the ViewCube as well. So there's Staircase A, like so, and it's just a named view, and it's taking me to that named view. But if I went to, say, the Southwest Isometric now, you'll it zooms me out to the Southwest Isometric. That's on later versions of AutoCAD, but it's a useful Named Views panel in the View tab on the ribbon. Again, utilize the ViewCube to your advantage, though. I can go to the Top view again, like so, and I can also rotate the views if I need to. Also be aware, there is a Home setting as well. See the little Home tab there? What I can do is I can right-click over the ViewCube, and I can set the current view as my Home view. So when I click there, like so, that is now my Home view. If I go to that Isometric view again, like that, and then I hover over the ViewCube and click on Home, takes me back to my Home view. So if you've got a view that you use on a regular basis in a project, set that as your Home view on your ViewCube as well. Now, there's a lot to the ViewCube. You'll notice when I right-click on it, you've got the ability there, you can set it to Parallel, Perspective, and Perspective with Ortho Faces. You can ignore those unless you're working in 3D models. But also, if I go to ViewCube's settings, I can specify how the ViewCube appears in AutoCAD as well. There's lots of different settings in there, such as Opacity, ViewCube Size, what to do when dragging on the ViewCube, keeping the scene upright, showing the compass below the ViewCube, and so on. Lot's of different settings in there that you can tweak and play around with. For example, the on-screen position is normally, by default, Top Right. I might want it Top Left. When I OK that, it appears on the other side of screen. You'll notice the Nav bar follows the ViewCube around as well. So the Nav bar is now on the left-hand side of the screen. I hover over the ViewCube again, right-click, go into the Settings, set it back to Top Right again, and OK it, and the ViewCube swaps sides again. So utilize that ViewCube. It's a really effective navigation tool in AutoCAD.
- Working with the navigation bar
- Using AutoCAD keyboard shortcuts
- Navigating drawings
- Working with the ViewCube
- Drawing accurately
- Working with coordinates
- Working with object properties and layer states