<br><h3> Chapter One </h3> <b>Introducing the AutoCAD 2D Interface <p> <p> AFTER COMPLETING THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND:</b> <p> * The 2D interface of AutoCAD 2008, 2009, and 2010 <p> * The differences between the AutoCAD Workspaces for 2D drawing <p> * Some of the pertinent new features of each release <p> <p> When this book was written, AutoCAD 2010 was the current AutoCAD release. Because significant changes were made to the AutoCAD 2008 and 2009 interface, understanding those changes is prudent. AutoCAD usually releases a new version of AutoCAD every year. With each new release, toolbars, commands, and the user interface are enhanced. Sometimes these changes are significant. Because these new features can help you streamline the drawing process and increase productivity, you should explore them and become familiar with them. Typically, a new features Workshop prompt will launch the first time AutoCAD is opened, allowing you the option to review the new features or wait until later. (See figure 1.1.) These new features can also be accessed via the AutoCAD help menu at any time. <p> If you have been using an earlier release of AutoCAD, chances are that you have been interacting with the software via the AutoCAD Classic Workspace and are familiar with it. Although this workspace is still available, the significant new features for each new release are accessed via the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace. While all of the commands can still be accessed using either the command line or the pulldown menus via the AutoCAD Classic Workspace, it is prudent to become familiar with the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace for 2D drawing. You can toggle your display between these workspaces. (See figures 1.2 through 1.4.) <p> If you are proficient with a recent AutoCAD release, you should have little difficulty getting up to speed. This chapter will provide an overview of some of the newest 2D drawing features of AutoCAD for releases 2008, 2009, and 2010. Refer to the particular AutoCAD release you wish to learn. For the most part, the instructions assume that you are familiar with AutoCAD. All of the instructions utilize the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace. Although this chapter reviews releases 2008 and 2009, later chapters will focus on AutoCAD 2010 and its features. <p> <p> <b>AutoCAD 2008</b> <p> Major 2D drawing capabilities were added to the release of AutoCAD 2008-<i>annotative documentation</i>, in particular. This new feature allows you to add notes, tags, symbols, dimensions, etc. at the appropriate size for the scale of your drawing. Annotative documentation takes the guesswork out of the equation and ensures global standardization based on the scale of the drawing. <p> To begin, start by launching AutoCAD 2008 either via the icon on your desktop or using the Start menu. The 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace might load when your version of AutoCAD 2008 is launched. If it does not load, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Workspaces toolbar menu located at the top-left of the model space interface and click on it with the left mouse button. (See figure 1.5.) <p> This action will launch a menu of workspaces from which to choose. <p> <b>2.</b> Position the cursor over the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace option and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will launch the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace (Figures 1.6 and 1.7). Some of its significant new 2D drawing features are listed here: <p> The Information Center <p> The Dashboard <p> The addition of Annotation Scaling and Visibility to the Status toolbar <p> The Clean Screen icon <p> The Maximize/Minimize Viewport icon in layout space <p> <p> <b>The Information Center</b> <p> The Information Center not only allows an additional way to access the help menu, it also allows you to save past help menu searches to a favorites folder, and it allows you to exchange information about your product with Autodesk. (See figures 1.8 through 1.10.) <p> <p> <b>The Dashboard</b> <p> This interface improvement is quite significant because it neatly organizes all of the major commands and toolbars within a docked Dashboard (Figure 1.11) for easy access. The organization strongly reinforces a "point and click" mentality for performing many AutoCAD functions. The Dashboard includes the following toolbars: <p> The Layers toolbar <p> The 2D Draw toolbar <p> The Annotation Scaling toolbar (new) <p> The Dimensions toolbar <p> The text toolbar <p> The Multileaders toolbar <p> The tables toolbar <p> The 2D navigate toolbar <p> <p> <b>The Layers Toolbar</b> <p> This toolbar still allows access to the Layer properties Manager, as well as various other layer functions available to you, such as the function to isolate a layer or to set a layer current. (See figure 1.12.) <p> As an added feature, the Layers toolbar allows layers to be faded within model space and active viewports within layout tabs. To access this option, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Layers icon and click on it with the left mouse button to expand the toolbar (Figure 1.13). <p> Reducing the visual complexity in a drawing is referred to as <i>fading layers</i>. This technique can be useful when you need to keep specific layers active in a drawing in order to add information that may be contingent on the placement of items already drawn. For example, you might want to fade the furniture layer of a drawing in order to add electrical or lighting information, because the placement of the furniture might need to be visible in order to line up electrical outlets or center lighting fixtures, etc. <p> A layer must be locked before it can be faded. This action will automatically fade any layer in the drawing that is currently locked. When the layers appear in their faded state, the visible geometry can utilize osnaps. Additionally, the fade can be adjusted and toggled between on and off by clicking the AutoCAD Lock icon. <p> <p> <b>The 2D Draw Toolbar</b> <p> The 2D Draw toolbar (Figure 1.14) allows access to all of the 2D drawing and modifying icons via the Dashboard. The top row consists of all of the drawing icons, and the bottom row consists of all of the modifying icons. <p> To access additional drawing icons, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> In the 2D Draw toolbar, position the cursor over the pulldown arrow at the end of the top row of icons and click it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will launch a flyout menu (Figure 1.15) showing the additional drawing icons. <p> Additional modifying icons can be accessed similarly. (See figure 1.16.) <p> <p> <b>The Annotation Scaling Toolbar</b> <p> <i>Annotations</i> are any items (such as symbols, text, and dimensions) added to a drawing. Scaling these objects has become significantly easier with the Annotation Scaling toolbar (Figures 1.17 and 1.18). <p> Now whenever any annotation is added to model space, it can be added with an annotative property. This property will automatically define the appropriate size of an object, text, or dimension style based on the chosen scale of your drawing in a Layout tab. Additional scales can be defined or deleted, and based on the scale of a given viewport, they will display appropriately. Prior to inserting any annotative object into the drawing, make sure to check the Annotation Visibility controls. These icons are located on the Status toolbar at the bottom-right of the AutoCAD interface. In order for the annotative objects to be visible when inserted into the drawing, these settings need to be turned on. To verify that they are, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Refer to the lower-right of the Status toolbar to visually verify that the Annotation Visibility icon is on. (See figure 1.19.) <p> <p> This is easy to determine. If the Sun icon appears, then Annotation Visibility is on. This designation will show annotative objects for all scales. <p> If the Sun icon is shaded, the annotative objects will appear for the current scale only. If the icon is shaded, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Annotation Visibility icon and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> Also, verify that the Annotation icon located directly adjacent to the Annotation Visibility icon is also set to the on position. When this icon is set to the on position, it will appear with a yellow lightning bolt and AutoCAD will automatically add scales to annotative objects when the annotation scale changes. If this setting is not set accordingly, follow the previous step. <p> Symbols can be accessed using the Annotation Scaling toolbar. To access the tool palettes of the available symbols (Figure 1.20), do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Annotation Scaling icon in the Annotation Scaling toolbar on the Dashboard, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> <p> To insert a symbol into a drawing, do the following: <p> <b>2.</b> Position the cursor over the desired symbol in the Annotation tab on the tool palette and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> <p> This action will launch the Select Annotation Scale window (Figure 1.21). It will automatically default to a scale of 1:1. <p> To change the annotation scale to 1/4" = 1'-0" of that symbol, do the following: <p> <b>3.</b> Position the cursor over the pulldown arrow of the Annotation Scale control, scroll through the menu, select 1/4" = 1'-0", and click on it with the left mouse button. Click the OK button with the left mouse button, and select an insertion point in the drawing by clicking it with the left mouse button. <p> <p> This action will insert the symbol within model space at the correct size for a drawing, which will ultimately be plotted at a scale of 1/4" = 1'-0" and end the command. (See figure 1.22.) <p> An Annotative icon (Figure 1.23) will appear when the cursor is positioned over an object that has annotative properties. <p> The Annotation Scale of the drawing will be updated to 1/4" = 1'-0". Refer to the Status toolbar in the lower-right corner of the model space interface (Figure 1.24). <p> Additional scales can also be added to annotative objects from the Annotation Scaling toolbar (Figure 1.25). <p> <p> <b>The Dimensions Toolbar</b> <p> The Dimensions toolbar (Figure 1.26) still allows you to add all of the various dimensions to a drawing, as well as some new enhancements such as adding a jog to a linear dimension and breaking an extension line when it intersects with existing geometry. Additionally, dimensions can be added to a drawing as annotative objects. <p> <p> <b>The Text Toolbar</b> <p> The text toolbar (Figure 1.27) allows you to add multiline and single text to a drawing, as well as new text styles. An additional enhancement is the Spell Check option. Additionally, text can be added to a drawing as annotative objects. <p> <p> <b>The Multileaders Toolbar</b> <p> The Multileaders toolbar (Figure 1.28) allows you to add a multileader style, as well as arrange and align leaders in the drawing. <p> <p> <b>The Tables Toolbar</b> <p> The Tables toolbar (Figure 1.29) still allows you to add tables to your drawing, as well as other enhancements to create better quality tables with the addition of options such as borders and margins. <p> <p> <b>The 2D Navigate Toolbar</b> <p> The 2D Navigate toolbar (Figure 1.30) still allows you to zoom into and pan across your drawing in real time. <p> <p> <b>Clean Screen</b> <p> As you may have noticed, the drawing display area in the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace is somewhat limited because of the addition of the Dashboard. there are two options to remedy this. The first option is to simply modify the size of the Dashboard by stretching its limits, or you can use the Clean Screen icon. The Clean Screen icon (Figure 1.31) is significantly easier to use, and it allows you to toggle back and forth. The Clean Screen function basically hides all of the toolbars within the display, allowing the drawing space to take over the complete display (Figure 1.32). <p> To start the Clean Screen function, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Clean Screen icon in the bottom-right corner of the display, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> <p> To disengage the Clean Screen function, do the following: <p> <b>2.</b> Position the cursor over the Clean Screen icon in the bottom-right corner of the display, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will return the display to the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace. <p> <p> <b>Maximize/Minimize Viewport</b> <p> The Maximize/Minimize icon (Figures 1.33 and 1.34) is a significant enhancement to the Layout tab. This icon easily allows you to select/activate a viewport within any Layout tab. <p> To practice using this tool, make sure that your display is set to a Layout tab and do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Maximize Viewport icon, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> <p> This action will maximize the viewport of the current Layout tab (Figure 1.35). It will appear as a red, dashed border. To deselect the viewport, do the following: <p> <b>2.</b> Position the cursor over the Minimize Viewport icon, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will return the display to the Layout tab and deactivate the viewport. <p> <p> <b>AutoCAD 2009</b> <p> The first thing you will notice is that the AutoCAD 2009 user interface has changed dramatically. Interacting with AutoCAD is much the same as interacting with the new Microsoft office 2007 interface. The Dashboard has been replaced with a Ribbon that neatly organizes all of the commands you will use. The goal is to visually present the tools in a concise manner, thereby increasing the end user's productivity. <p> To begin, start by launching AutoCAD 2009 either via the icon on your desktop or via the Start menu. The 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace may load when your version of AutoCAD 2009 is launched. If it does not load, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the pulldown menu of the Workspaces toolbar located at the upper-left of the model space interface, or access the Workspace Switching icon (Figure 1.36 and figure 1.37) in the lower-right of the model space interface on the Status toolbar. Click it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will launch a menu of workspaces from which to choose. <p> <b>2.</b> Position the cursor over the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace option, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will launch the 2D Drafting and Annotation Workspace. Some of the significant new 2D drawing features (Figure 1.38) are listed here: <p> The Menu browser <p> The ribbon <p> The Standard Annotation toolbar <p> Improvements made to the Status toolbar <p> Improved tooltips <p> <p> <b>The Menu Browser</b> <p> The Menu browser neatly organizes the dropdown menus that formerly appeared at the top of the model space interface within the AutoCAD Classic Workspace. Its icon (Figure 1.39) is located at the top-left of the model space interface. <p> To access the Menu browser, do the following: <p> <b>1.</b> Position the cursor over the Menu Browser icon located at the top-left of the model space interface, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> This action will open the Menu browser and allow access to commands in a way similar to that of the dropdown menus of the AutoCAD Classic Workspace. To interact with AutoCAD via the Menu browser (Figure 1.40), simply do the following: <p> <b>2.</b> Hover the cursor over the category to access, position the cursor over the command to launch, and click on it with the left mouse button. <p> <p> <b>The Ribbon</b> <p> Keeping in step with the new Microsoft Office 2007 interface, the new ribbon replaces the Dashboard panel. Now all of the commands can be accessed using the ribbon tabs located at the top of the user interface. (See figure 1.41.) <p> <i>(Continues...)</i> <p> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>CAD for Interiors</b> by <b>Joseph A. Fiorello</b> Copyright © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission.<br> All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.