Using the SHIFT Key in AutoCAD 2012

Zen Admin
Zen Admin

By Martin Phelps

Using the SHIFT key another quite often overlooked feature.

Although many users access AutoCAD commands via the icons, using keyboard shortcuts can make a difference to your draughting speed.

The Shift key may be used in many ways to help make your AutoCAD tasks easier and quicker and can be quite useful in day to day draughting.

  • SHIFT while using a linear command (line, polyline etc.)
    Holding the Shift key down while drawing using the line command for example will temporary active the ORTHO command, a tool tip icon is displayed to the right of the crosshairs for as long as the shift is being held down.


  • SHIFT within fillet and chamfer commands
    When using the fillet or chamfer commands by pressing the previously se value for either the radius in the case of fillet and the distance in the case of chamfer is over ridden and temporary set to zero, releasing the shift key will revert back to the previously set value.


  • SHIFT within grips
    When pre-selecting objects prior to using a command i.e. using the grips function, once all objects have been selected by holding down the shift key more than once grip can be made hot.


  • SHIFT within trim and extend commands
    Using the shift key while working with either trim or extend can use the reverse function for example once all cutting edges have been selected in trim and the enter key has been pressed to move on to the trimming part of the command by holding the shift key down the extend command will come in to being. Holding the shift key down when using the extend command will initiate the trim command.


    To access the object snaps hold down the shift key and press the right mouse button the menu displaying all the object snaps is now displayed, allowing a selection from the list and overriding the current running object snap settings.  A use full option in the list is mid between two points which is not displayed in the object snaps toolbar or the settings dialogue. 


    This key combination can be very useful if you have objects drawn over objects, this sometimes can happen purely by mistake.  Using the shift and space bar will allow the user to cycle between objects that may have been drawn on top of one another. First make sure that Selection Cycling is turned on this can be achieved by either left clicking on the “SC” button in the status line or press “CTRL + W”, roll over one of the objects so it becomes displayed as a selected object, hold down the “SHIFT” key and continually press the space bar until the required object becomes highlighted. Once the correct object has been selected left mouse click to select. Press the “ESC” key to stop cycling.


However if the “DYN” Dynamic input is turn on in the status line, then a dialogue box will be displayed showing all overlapping objects by moving the cursor up and down the list each object is highlighted in turn, a left click will select from the list.


The following may be of use:

SHIFT+F1 Subobject Selection, No filter

SHIFT+F2 Subobject Selection, Vertex

SHIFT+F3 Subobject Selection, Edge

SHIFT+F4 Subobject Selection, Face

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