by David Lewis
Generally when delivering an essentials course I encourage users not to type commands into the command line, but rather to take the opportunity to explore the interface and subcommands to help them get a better idea of some of the tools they have available and where these tools are located.
I find that this approach helps users to understand how the interface is organised and gives them the opportunity to explore the ribbon and see what else may be useful before they begin to develop a tunnel vision approach where they start using the same tools for every job, whether or not it is the best tool for the job.
At times it may not be obvious where a tool is located, or a tool may have multiple locations, therefore AutoCAD has the option to search for a command by expanding the Application menu and typing the command into the ‘search command’ bar at the top.
After typing the desired command, the locations for that tool will display. In the example below the ‘Plot’ tool has been searched and 5 matches are displayed as this tool can be accessed from the Quick Access Toolbar, Application menu and Ribbon. Also notice the alternative suggestions available for plot. This can also help users to get a feel for what other tools may be relevant to the operation they are trying to perform (Fig 1).
Another useful function of the search bar is that the commands are hot, therefore when the command is selected from the list it is initiated.