The drawing commands you’ll probably use the most in Auto CAD are LINE and RECTANGLE. You will begin by drawing some lines and rectangles without worry-ing yet about entering measurements.
Lines are the backbone of AutoCAD. Let’s begin drawing lines.
1. In Ch2-A.dwgor Ch2-A-metric.dwg, zoom into the living room at the lower right of the floor plan so that empty space fills the canvas.
2. Turn off all status toggles in the application status bar. Status toggles are highlighted in blue when they are on and appear in gray when they are off (see Figure 2.7).
FIG UR E 2 .7 All status toggles turned off
3. Type L, and press Enter. Click two arbitrary points to define a line object. Observe the flexible segment (called a rubberband) connect-ing the cursor with the second point you clicked (see Figure 2.8).
FIG UR E 2 . 8 Drawing a line
4. Click another point to draw your second segment. The prompt in the Command window reads:
Specify next point or [Close/Undo]:
Type U, and press Enter. The last point you clicked is undone, but the rubberband continues to be connected to the cursor, indicating that you can keep drawing lines.
5. Click two more points, and then type Cand press Enter to create a closing segment between the first and last points. The close option automatically terminates the line command.
6. Press the spacebar (or Enter) to repeat the last command. Click two arbitrary points to create a single line segment. Right-click to open the context menu, and then select Enter with a left-click to complete the Line command.
7. Open the Application menu and click the Options button at the bottom. Click the User Preferences tab in the Options dialog box that appears. Under the Windows Standard Behavior section, select Right-Click Customization and then, in the new dialog box, select Turn On Time-Sensitive Right-Click (see Figure 2.9). Click Apply & Close, and then click OK in the Options dialog box.
Note: Time-Sensitive Right-Click is just that: an option. Try it out to see if you find drawing lines in this way more efficient.
FIG UR E 2 .9 Turning on Time-Sensitive Right-Click for more ef f icient drawing
9. Right-click again to repeat the last command, and then click two points on the canvas. Next, slowly right-click (holding down the right mouse button for longer than 250 milliseconds, to be precise), and you’ll see the context menu shown in Figure 2.10. Left-click on the word Enter from this menu to complete the Line command.
FIG UR E 2 .10 This contex t menu appears when you hold down the right mouse button longer than 250 milliseconds.
Line segments are treated as individual objects, whereas the four line segments comprising a rectangle are treated as a single entity. Although rectangles can obviously be drawn with the Line command, specialized commands such as RECTANGLEare more efficient for constructing specific shapes, and they offer more options. Let’s experiment now with this feature.
1. Click the Rectangle tool in the Draw panel, and then click two oppo-site corner points on the canvas. The command automatically termi-nates when the rectangle is drawn.
2. Press Enter to repeat the last command. This time pay attention to the prompts in the Command window:
Specify first corner point or [Chamfer/Elevation/Fillet/Thickness/Width]:
You have the opportunity to use any of the options listed in the square brackets before you even begin drawing the rectangle. However, in this case, you will use the default option, which comes before the word or.
Note: Pay close attention to the prompts in the Command window to see what options are available and what specific input is requested at each step.
3. Click the first corner point in the document window. A new prompt appears:
Specify other corner point or [Area/Dimensions/Rotation]:
At this point a new command prompt shows another default option before the word oras well as a few options in square brackets. You will again take the default option in this prompt, which is to specify
the other corner point.
4. Click the other corner point, and the rectangle is drawn. In addition, the command is automatically terminated.
5. Type RECTANG (the command alias for the RECTANGLE command), and press the spacebar. Type F, and press Enter to execute the Fillet option. The command prompt reads as follows:
Specify fillet radius for rectangles <0.0000>:
6. Type 2” (or 5 for metric), and press Enter. Units are drawing-specific, so you must use the UNITS command and select Architectural to input feet or inches if you are using a generic or metric template.
Note: Do not type cm when using metric units; input numbers only.
7. Click two points to draw the rectangle. The result has filleted corners (see Figure 2.11).
FIG UR E 2 .11 Rec tangle drawn using its Fillet option
8. Draw another rectangle, and observe that it also has rounded cor-ners. Some options such as the fillet radius are sticky; they stay the same until you change them. Zero out the Fillet option by pressing the spacebar, typing F, pressing Enter, typing 0, and pressing Enter again. Click two points to draw a sharp-edged rectangle.
9. Save Ch2-A.dwgor Ch2-A-metric.dwgby clicking the Save button in the Quick Access toolbar.
Drawing Recovery Manager
Occasionally something goes wrong with AutoCAD and it crashes. The next time you launch AutoCAD, the Drawing Recover y Manager will automatically appear, allowing you to recover damaged drawings that were open (and possibly corrupted) when the program unexpectedly came to a halt.