Mousing Around #2 – AutoCAD Tutorials for Beginners

Mousing around the AutoCAD Interface part 2-  AutoCAD Beginner Tutorials

Welcome back! This article is part of the AutoCAD tutorials for beginners series. You are reading part two of mousing around the AutoCAD interface. If you missed part 1, you can find it here: AutoCAD Tutorials For Beginners – Mousing Around Part 1

I’d just left off explaining how a context-sensitive menu works. You get a context sensitive menu every time you right-click. AutoCAD assesses what you’re up to and anticipates what you might want to do next depending on what you’re doing right now; each right click provides an appropriate set of command choices.

Let’s hover the mouse over Recent Input in the contextual menu. AutoCAD shows us what we’ve done recently, and when we select the options in the fly-out menu, we will activate that command. In the case of the screenshot below, we can repeat the rectangle command, open the Options dialog window or save the document.

AutoCAD Beginner Tutorials

AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners

Figure 01 – The Recent Input submenu in the contextual menu.

I’m going to scroll down to the bottom of the contextual menu and click Deselect All.

AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners

AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners

Figure 02 – Deselect all.

Now, let’s right click in blank space without any geometry selected. Here’s what the contextual menu shows us now:

AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners

AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners

Figure 03 – the contextual menu with nothing selected in the graphic area. Get to know which tools are available to you from where and your mousing around becomes much more efficient. Less wasted time looking for commands means you work a lot faster.

As you can see, we can repeat our last command, check out other recent input, see what’s on the clipboard and take some actions with it, like cut, copy, paste; undo, pan, zoom, access the steering wheels & action recorder, and some of the other AutoCAD general tools like the filters, Quick Calculator and Options dialog window.

Now, let’s right-click on the ribbon. That’s the strip of commands at the top of the drawing area. AutoCAD gives me some options for modifying the ribbon’s display of commands:

AutoCAD Beginner Tutorials

AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners

Figure 04 – The contextual menu on the ribbon is how you can quickly modify which commands display on the ribbon and how big or small the buttons are.

In the screen shot above, I’ve hovered over Show Tabs, and the menu fly-out that appears tells me which tabs are available (unchecked) and which are already visible on the ribbon. The tabs tagged with a check mark are already visible, like Insert, Annotate, Layout and so on.

The only ones I haven’t got checked are 3D Tools and Render. So, those tabs are currently not visible. To make them visible, just select them with a left-click. Then, they will be tagged with a checkmark also, and they’ll be visible on the ribbon.  Let’s say you want to free up some room on your ribbon, and you want to hide some of the tabs that are currently visible. That’s easy, too: just unselect a checked tab with a left-click. Easy-peasy!

This concludes part 2 of our AutoCAD tutorials for beginners series on effective mousing around your interface. Stay tuned for my next blog post on this topic.

Thanks! Rosanna D, VTN

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