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    By Martin Phelps


    This is not a new function since it’s been with AutoCAD for a number of years, but it’s one that is often over looked. It’s one of those functions users either “love” or “hate”, a bit like “Marmite”, however it may take some user’s time to adjust to its functionality and appreciate its full potential. Having said that, it’s always a tip I include on both my essentials and intermediate courses.

    After installation, the default setting when pressing the right mouse button is to display a menu, the contents will depend on the command currently being used. In Figure 1, the “Line” command is in progress, so the sub commands displayed are “Close” and “Undo”, but it will also give the options to “Enter” or “Cancel” the command and access to the “Object Snap Overrides”. This can become quite tedious if the user has to keep left clicking the cancel option to end the current command.


    Figure 1.

    By setting a “Time Sensitive” right click the user can have the “Best of Both”, “cancelling the command by a quick Right Click or access to the sub commands by holding down the right button to display the menu option.

    The “Time Sensitive” right click settings can be accessed by opening the “Options” dialogue box, selecting the “Right-Click Customisation” button in the top left of the “User Preferences” tab as shown in Figure 2.


    Figure 2.

    Once selected the “Right-Click Customisation” dialogue is displayed, check the box to activate, once the box has been checked the “Click Duration” time can be set. By default the time is set to 250 milliseconds, which seems too long so my preference is to reduce this to 150 milliseconds, but this will depend on the user. Leave all the other settings to their defaults.

    Select “Apply and Close” to confirm the new settings and “OK” the “Options” dialogue box to complete the changes.

    Now, when using a command with multiple sub options, holding down right button for time period greater than the one specified will display the short cut menu at the location of the cross hairs. Allowing the user to quickly select the required function, instead of typing the required function by letter and pressing enter.

    Figure 3 shows the “Right-Click” and hold menu display the sub-commands for the “Polyline” command.


    Figure 3

    A quick right mouse click will now act as “Enter”, cancelling the active command, right click again will reinstate the last used command.