By Dennis Collin
AutoCAD has so many ways of achieving tasks from drop down menus, ribbons and right click menus. Some users favour one environment over another whereas others prefer a mix. Personally, I prefer keyboard shortcuts for many tasks as they tend to be quicker and can be ported to other versions of AutoCAD’s and even to other platforms.
The SHIFT key is very useful in combination with mouse operation and selection techniques. Here are several useful options that can perhaps make routine tasks a little easier to do.
SHIFT+RMC (Right mouse click)
This shortcut key combination with the mouse will display a context menu for Snap Overrides. It exposes a very useful snap midway between 2 Points. This snap has been in AutoCAD/LT since 2005 but many users are still unaware of its existence.
Hold down SHIFT for Temporary Ortho Mode
Holding this key while you draw or perform an edit will activate temporary ortho mode. This is similar to the ortho mode when pressing [F8], but this is just temporary constraint and will revert to freehand once the Shift key is released.
Hold down SHIFT whilst modifying selection sets
When selecting multiple objects for modification, it is all too easy to select too many objects and then users need to remove some objects from selection set.
Although you can type R then [enter] to change the selection mode to remove mode, there is an easier way to just hold [shift] when selecting objects you want to remove from the selection set! To resume add mode just release the shift key. (An alternative way is to type A and then [enter]) but most users opt for Shift method to toggle selection mode.
Hold down SHIFT when using Chamfer or Fillet commands to force a corner
I use Fillet and Chamfer a lot in AutoCAD, often with a common or typical Radius/Chamfer Distance. However, Fillet and Chamfer are also useful in tidying linework and make a good alternative to the Trim and Extend commands. Holding down the Shift key forces the fillet radius to zero and therefore saves the user having to constantly change this value. Releasing the Shift key allows AutoCAD to use the specified radius/distance value.
TIP. Keep an eye on the Command Prompt, it provides reminders to users that they can do this!
Use SHIFT when Trimming or Extending elements
When Trimming elements to an edge, it is sometimes required to extend another element to that same edge when it is drawn short. Rather than cancelling the Trim command and using Extend, hold down the Shift Key and the Trim command will perform as Extend and vice versa i.e. Extend works like Trim. This feature has been in AutoCAD for many years but is still missed by some users.
Holding SHIFT and pressing the Spacebar
Since the introduction of the Cycle Selection Option, this feature has been side-lined, but the Cycle Selection option is disabled this older keyboard shortcut combination can be used to control the selection of objects within busy drawings. Use SHIFT and Spacebar to toggle between multiple elements where the selection is ambiguous. Typically, when used lines are intersecting.
These tips are demonstrated and discussed on our scheduled and bespoke AutoCAD courses. For more information on these courses, or for training or assistance on other products, please contact one of the Cadline team on 01784 419922 or on the live chat facility on https://training.cadline.co.uk/