by John Flanagan
Using AutoCAD’s Align tool we can quickly create new geometry from two randomly placed shapes.
In AutoCAD, draw a rectangle and a polygon as shown below (Fig 1).
Fig 1: Large Rectangle and Small Polygon
From the drop-down menu of the modify panel on the Ribbon, select the Align tool (Fig 2) and then follow the command prompts to align and scale the two objects that you have just drawn.
Fig 2: Align Tool location
Tip: Hover over the Align tool icon to access a tooltip. Hover a little longer for a roll-over tool tip as illustrated. For more help press F1 on your keyboard. This will filter the AutoCAD help files providing you with relevant information on the selected tool. Try this with several icons on the Ribbon that you are not sure about.
Note: You can click on the pin on the drop – down menu to keep it open.
Using the Align tooltip as a guide, you should end up with the following shape.
Fig 3: Polygon Aligned and Scaled to Rectangle
Keep an eye on the Command Line prompts. The final prompt will give you the following options. Type Y and then press enter so that the polygon Aligns and Scales simultaneously.
Tip: The Align tool is often overlooked because it is hidden in the Ribbon’s
Modify Panel drop-down menu. Right click on the Align tool icon and
select the Add to Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) option
Working with the command line can be a lot of fun. Try experimenting with other draughting and modify tools. Watch the command prompts and don’t be afraid to try out the options in brackets. Remember in AutoCAD 2014 you can select options from the command bar by simply clicking on them.