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    By David Lewis

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    If, like me, you spend most of your time driving Civil 3D from a laptop with only 1 screen, you will understand the drawing / modelling space available is a premium, especially when working with multiple pallets as they can command a lot of valuable screen space (Fig 1).

    Therefore, knowing how best to work with the pallets and how to quickly toggle them on and off is advantageous.

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    1. Use the ribbon:

    The pallets each have their own button on the home tab on the ribbon. Selecting each will allow users to toggle pallets / tabs on and off.

    Additional pallets can also be accessed by using the dropdown arrow to the right of the word “pallets.” This includes the button to toggle the command line on and off (Fig 2).

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    2. Dock the pallets and use autohide.

    Drag the tool pallet to the side you wish to dock it and use the autohide button. This will save space on screen whilst also making the pallets available for use as required (Fig 3).

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    3. Keyboard Shortcuts

    At times Keyboard shortcut can be quicker than trying to find the right button, particularly when the ribbon is displaying a different workflow. To find out the keyboard shortcut for each pallet, hover the cursor over the button and wait for the tooltip to display (Fig 4).

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    Examples of useful keyboard shortcuts when space is a premium:

    Clear screen: Ctrl+0

    Properties Pallet: Ctrl+1

    Toolpallets : Ctrl+3

    Command Line: Ctrl+9