How to use the AutoCAD interface #4 – the application menu
Welcome back to my AutoCAD basic tutorials series. We were talking about the Application Menu, as part of this series about how to use the AutoCAD interface. So, let’s click again on the big A button at the top left of the screen; this is how we launch the application menu. Highlighted in yellow below is the Search Commands field. You can type search terms here when you need some help.
Figure 01 – the Search Commands field of the Application menu
I’m going to type “Line” in the field. See what pops up underneath, immediately? The top section is Best Matches. The line tool appears here. To the right of the tool, in italics, we see the location of the command: it’s on the Home tab, Draw panel.
Figure 02 – the search commands results.
Underneath the best matches we see other command options relating to the word “line” – construction lines, linear dimension annotations, lineweight and linetype. And so on. If we left click on it, we activate the Line tool and we’re right in the sketch environment. But, let’s hover over the search result for a moment– a tool tip appears, telling us what the tool does (“create straight line segments”–as opposed to curved ones, like arcs and circles). The tool tip lets us know that we can press F1 for more help.
Figure 03 – A helpful “tooltip” appears when you hover over a command for a couple seconds.
Let’s hover over the tooltip for just a second longer. The extended tooltip then appears, as we see below:
Figure 04 – The extended tooltip appears when you hover over the command for just a second longer.
The extended tool tip provides some additional description of the tool’s purpose, and also an example of what a line looks like. So, using the search function in the application menu is a quick way to get some help when you’re not sure what a tool does or how to use it.
Alrighty, ’nuff said. Let’s just click the darn command. And we’re in sketch mode as you see below.
Figure 05 – The line tool is active.
Above, I’ve created a line series with subsequent left clicks. The dynamic input toggle is active, so I can specify the next point manually by entering numbers in the field.
Alright, let’s take a look at something else. I want to show you how to search for commands by tag in the application menu. Click on the double arrow you see below and launch the workplace switch. Let’s scroll down to Customize.
Figure 06 – One way to launch the Customize window
By the way, another way to launch the Customize window (this is the quick way, actually) is just to type “cui” in the command line, as shown below:
Figure 07 – typing “cui” in the command line launches the Customize window also. This is a shortcut.
Here’s the Customize window. I’ve typed “line” in the Command list search field.
Figure 08- here’s the left panel of the Customize window.
So, then the Line tool shows up below. Let’s left click to select the tool, and then go to the right side of the screen to Tags. Let’s left click in the Tags field–not where it says Tags, but to the right of that, under ^C^C_line. This opens up the field for input.
Figure 09- here’s the right panel of the customize window; that’s where we’re working now.
When we left-click in this field, you see the button with the three dots at the right corner of the field, as shown below. Now, let’s click the button.
Figure 10- click the small button with three dots (an ellipsis, in case you’re wondering what this symbol is called!)
I’m explaining this in step-by-step detail because if you don’t get these clicks in the right way you can’t launch the Tag Editor. Here’s what the tag editor looks like, shown below:
Figure 11- the Tag Editor
Left-click in the Tags input field and the tag for the Line tool. I’ll enter “My Tag”, and press OK.
Figure 12-entering my tag in the editor, and clicking OK.
So, now the Line tool is now tagged with the words “My Tag”. I can now use this as a search term in the Search Commands field of the application menu. Let’s left-click on the big A to launch the Application menu again.
Figure 13-entering my new tag ‘My Tag” pulls up the line tool right away.
So, this is a way you can code certain commands to make them really easy to find. Then you don’t have to change workplaces, tabs, environments, or panels to find the command you’re looking for.
That’s all for now!
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This concludes part 4 of this AutoCAD basic tutorials series on using the application menu button. Stay tuned for part 4.
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