Top 50 AutoCAD Tricks and Shortcuts You Need to Know

Top 50 AutoCAD Tricks and Shortcuts You Need to Know

AutoCAD is one of the most used engineering programs across the world, and it's likely that you have come in contact with the program sometime in your career.

Top 50 AutoCAD Tricks and Shortcuts You Need to Know

[Image Source: CADD Microsystems via Vimeo]

This week, we polled our Q&A Community to discover which programs everyday engineers were using the most. Other than Microsoft Excel, which we already have an extensive shortcuts list about, AutoCAD was next in line. For all the AutoCAD users out there, from new to expert, here are the top 50 AutoCAD tricks, commands, and shortcuts from across the web!

CHSPACE

Allows you to move objects in a drawing from layout to model space by choosing a viewport to push the text or objects into. This works in both directions.

BURST

BURST allows you to explode a block/object without losing any of its attributes.

NCOPY

Copies linework or objects from a nested object into your current drawing. Especially useful for bringing XREF linework into current drawings.

OOPS

OOPS does exactly what you think it does, it fixes your mistake (as long as it's a delete) no matter how far back it was. Instead of using CTRL-Z, OOPS undoes your last erase command without affecting any work you have done since then.

FILEDIA

Setting this value to 1 allows dialog boxes to open in AutoCAD, setting it to 0 means everything is done in the command line.

APPLOAD

Allows you to set which application to load in conjunction with opening AutoCAD.

Work with Images

Instead of scaling and rotating images each time, simply insert the image into a blank drawing and set its position, scale, and rotation. After your image is how you want it, save the drawing. This lets you insert that image as a drawing, instead of the image, and all settings are kept the same. Especially useful for images like company logos, etc.

R / REDRAW

Refreshes the drawing in the viewport.

DIMBASELINE

Creates a dimension that starts from a baseline of earlier dimensions that is linear, angular or coordinate.

ID

Displays point coordinates throughout your worksheet.

Autoscale Setting

You can adjust your default scale factor by setting the Auxiliary scale factor to Plot Scale or Dimscale.

OVERKILL

Deletes any duplicate or overlapping items. Perfect for the AutoCAD perfectionists out there.

QDIM

Quick dimension creation after object selection.

RECOVER

Recovers a damaged file.

Default NO PLOT Layer

Creates a layer called DEFPOINTS. Anything on this layer will show up in model and paper space, but won't plot. Perfect for adding notes.

TORIENT

Orients text to a specified angle or most readable angle. Also works on Block Attributes.

RULESURF

Quickly creates a surface between two predefined curves.

Importing Block Definitions

After the INSERT command and selecting the file, press the ESC key at your first prompt. Definitions will be kept in your drawing to reference later.

SPELL

For all those engineers out there that can't spell, use this to spell check all your text. (Uses your computer language settings)

XCLIP

Trims a block's visible area using a boundary line. Use the command first, then set or draw the boundary.

U

A quicker "undo" than CTRL Z.

Stop REGEN After PAN

For drawings not created by you, AutoCAD can sometimes autoregen after you pan around. To keep this from happening, use the VIEWRES command and type YES to fast zooms, then set your zoom percent to 200.

MATLIB

Imports and exports materials to a library.

WIPEOUT

Allows you to set boundaries on top of lines and objects that "wipes out" everything behind it. Like a reverse hatch. It's a good idea to put all your wipeouts on one layer so you can turn them on and off as you wish.

One Key Shortcuts

Want to know all of the one key AutoCAD shortcuts? Autodesk put together this quick guide that assembles them all into one sheet. You can check it out here on the Autodesk website, or below.

Top 50 AutoCAD Tricks and Shortcuts You Need to Know

[Image Source: Autodesk]

Change Your MText to Lower Case or Upper Case

Instead of retyping MText if you forgot to capitalize it, right click and select CHANGE CASE. Or use CTRL + SHIFT + U  or CTRL + SHIFT + L, for upper case and lower case respectively.

DIMROTATED

Aligns dimensions to objects that are staggered where DIMALIGNED falls short.

BOX

Creates a 3D box and defines height, depth, and width.

COLOR

Chooses a layer color for future objects/lines/blocks.

DIMALIGNED

Creates a dimension aligned with an axis or a line.

LIGHT

Let's you modify the lighting effects on 3D models.

MLEDIT

Edits multiple parallel lines at once.

PAGESETUP

Allows you to set up your paper in paperspace. Useful for changing your designed plot paper size. This is one of my most used AutoCAD tricks.

SKETCH

Creates freehand drawing lines.

TIME

Displays all of the statistics of your current DWG file like creation date, last update, and edit times.

3DSOUT

Exports a file compatible with 3D Studio [.3ds].

PREVIEW

Similar to print preview in other programs, allows you to see how your paperspace drawing will plot went sent to a plotter.

PFACE

Creates a 3D mesh vertex by vertex.

SAVEALL & CLOSEALL

The best 2 commands an engineer can hit at the end of his or her workday.

MENUBAR

Toggles you to the old style menu bar.

Ctrl + R

Changes viewports in paperspace.

BATTMAN

Does not signal Batman. Changes the order and properties of block definitions.

FACETRES

Adjust the smoothness of curves on a solid.

QLATTACH

Attaches leader line to MTEXT.

XDWGFADECTL

Quickly changes XREF settings back to normal by setting the value at 0. Will fix "faded" XREFs in your drawing.

IMAGECLIP

Let's you "crop" an image in your DWG.

CLASSICXREF

If you miss the old style of XREFs, this is for you.

SETBYLAYER

Sets properties of selected or all objects to BY LAYER.

QSELECT

Let's you filter your selection to certain objects by object type or other criteria.

BO / BOUNDARY

If you want to split an object in half, simply draw a line through it and use the BOUNDARY command in each half to create correctly sized polylines and erase the original objects.

If you enjoyed these tricks and shortcuts or you want to share your favorite commands we missed, please comment below, or give the post a share to help out other AutoCAD users across the globe.

SEE ALSO: Top 40 of the Best Excel Shortcuts You Need to Know

Written by Trevor English

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