By Dennis Collin
When conducting AutoCAD training courses, I find certain commands tend to give a more positive response from delegates than others, especially when these commands make what might seem initially to be quite a tedious process much easier!
I thought I might share what I consider my top 10 AutoCAD commands. This is quite a tricky task as there are so many ways of doing things especially with the current version of AutoCAD 2020.
Bubbling under the top 10 list are some commands which are worthwhile, but don’t quite make it in my personal list, nevertheless, I still use them on a regular basis.
Fillet is a brilliant way of drawing tangential curves between lines and polylines and leaving the radius at zero will join lines to a point. It can be considered a useful alternative to the popular Trim and Extend commands.
Layer Walk is a very useful drawing management tool and is a good way to check a drawing that may have been issued by a third party with elements being placed on the correct layer. This command permits a user to browse a drawing layer by layer and note any inconsistencies in a drawing format.
Layer Isolate is another popular command when editing drawings at an advanced stage. This command allows a user to select elements on layers that need to be edited, and the command will lock and fade or hide elements on layers that do not need to be changed.
Cad Standards checker is a useful asset for managers because it will check a drawing setting against a company standard and ensure that the correct settings have been applied. It will also fix any inconsistencies as desired. This includes, layers, text styles, dimensions and multi leaders.
Now on to the actual top 10 list:
10. Object snap tracking - a very useful function of AutoCAD that works with the other drafting aids by creating automatic construction lines. Several reference points can be used and it is ideal for finding centres and mid points without having to create unnecessary construction geometry.
9. Tool Palettes - this environment, in my opinion, is the best way for a user to manage block libraries, hatch patterns and custom command macros. Once configured a user just needs to choose the command and click, CAD has never been easier than this!
8. Purge - over time drawings can get rather messy and bloated. So, a periodic ‘spring clean’ during a project and before file issue can make files much tidier. The command removes unused layers, symbols and annotation. It also reduces file size making the drawing easier to issue.
7. Etransmit - working with Xrefs? Need to issue drawings in a hurry? Don’t want to receive calls from recipients about missing files? Then this command is for you. This command effectively gathers all the files necessary for the drawing and will package it as a Zip file or a folder of drawings ready for email or upload to the cloud.
6. Publish - also known as batch plot is another useful command for AutoCAD. If you have many drawings to print out to an actual or virtual device then this command can be set so that drawings can be plotted as a batch process overnight or at lunchtime. Just create a sheet list and set it to go.
5. Match Properties - a useful tool to ensure elements are drawn consistently throughout a drawing. Sets layers, colours, line types, hatch patterns, dimensions, text and viewports to a consistent user desired standard. If you need to edit drawings, then this command is a must have.
4. Align - a very useful command which combines, move, rotate and scale functions.
3. Path Array - the successor command to the old Divide and Measure function of AutoCAD. Parametrically copy an object along an irregular curve using either a spacing or number of elements function. Useful in all kinds of architectural and engineering applications.
2. Wblock - this command has been in AutoCAD for some time as it was previously used to create block libraries with symbols as separate files which could be inserted later. However, it still has a use today as a ‘Save selected’ command. This is useful as a purge function and will permit the copying of elements to a new drawing in the event of file corruption.
1. Oops - yes this command dates from the mid 1980’s; an old command that brings back the last deleted object without using the undo command. This is useful if a mistake is made some time ago and deleted elements need to be restored without undoing vital drawing work. I also found the command particularly helpful if a layer is deleted by mistake. The command is missed by many users as it is only available via the command line.
These commands are all discussed during our AutoCAD Essentials and Intermediate Courses as well as bespoke AutoCAD workshops. For more details on our training please visit https://training.cadline.co.uk or call one of our team on 01784 419922 where we will be happy to help.