Using Function Keys And Command Aliases – Part 1

in the previous section we discuss the value of inputting commands with the keyboard one key to efficiency in AutoCAD is taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts or command aliases and also the function keys let’s look at the function keys first they work like toggles they turn certain drawing aids on and off the two you’re going to use the most will be the f3 key and the f8 key the f3 key will toggle your running Oh snaps on and off Oh snaps our drawing tools that force AutoCAD to draw objects to very specific places on another drawing object in the video section where we looked at the right click shortcut windows we found the running Oh snaps or the host snap override commands while running Oh snaps our host snaps that are always on if I were to draw a line and I wanted to draw it from the center of this circle to the top point of this triangle how would I do that well I would use bow snaps
if I’d start the line command and with my osnaps on I get a glyph that little green circle right at the middle of the circle there that is the center oh snap also there’s a little text box there that has the word center on it so when I’m in a command a drawing command or an editing command and I need to snap to specific points of an object like the center of a circle I use the running host snaps to do so once the glyph is highlighted or showing I can left-click to start my line and I picked the center of that circle now to draw to the endpoint of this triangle or to the point of it I just do the same thing I move my mouse with the cursor in the crosshairs near that end point and the endpoint running oh snap glyph will be shown then I click and there you go I drew a line from the center of the circle to the point of that triangle I can toggle those running Oh snaps on and off by pressing the f3 key as you see I just pressed it and the command line says oh snap off if I were to draw a line again and I want to get to the center of the circle I don’t have that running oh snap available same way with the endpoints then won’t go I will take a deeper look later on into all of the exact details of the running Oh snaps and how to decide which ones are on which ones are off
in short these are your options you have an endpoint and midpoint center point nodes quadrants etc there’s a lot everyone here that is checked is what’s going to be turned on I can turn them all on turn them all off
or just turn a few on
depends on how you want to work of course you can always use your
right-click shortcut menu to pick a specific oh snap or you can type in Oh snaps to again we’ll talk about those later
now the other toggle that you’re going to use for your function keys is the f8 key f3 + f8 you will use the most because those are two of your biggest drawing aids f3 is for the running Oh snaps and f8 will turn on your ortho mode ortho mode right now is turn on for me when I draw a line as an example this line will be orthogonal e projected meaning it’s going to be perfectly horizontal or perfectly vertical that’s nice no if I just start the line command again
and I turn off my ortho by pressing f8 I can draw the line at any angle
strained or locked in in any way so you’re going to toggle off and on your running Oh snaps and your ortho projections off and on all the time that’s a constant back and forth those are two buttons that you would often program into like a five button Mouse so that you can quickly in on-the-fly turn those things off and on especially the f8 key now the f1 key is another one you’re going to use often and a lot of times you’re going to hit it by accident because the Escape key and the f1 key are right next to each other the Escape key councils one of your commands so if you’re trying to draw the line and you won’t now I made a mistake I don’t want that you hit the Escape key well a lot of times your fat finger it and you press the f1 key instead for example if I start a line so I don’t want to do it I press escape I’m out of the line command well if I start the line command and I want to stop I go to press the Escape key but I miss and I hit f1 well what does that do well f1 brings up the help menu
and when you’re in a command and you open up help it will open up the Help section for that command so I was in the line command and now it brought up help for the line
a lot of people find this annoying annoying annoying annoying is so bad annoying that many people have been known to rip off their f1 key because they hate it so badly another function or toggle switch that you’re going to use is the f2 key press it that will open up your command text window press it again to close it and remember the function keys are toggle switches so they will turn things off or on
depending on the current state if something is off it will turn them on if they’re on it will turn them off or something like that
now f4 will toggle your three do snaps on and these are your running Oh snaps but they’re for 3d functionality that’s only an AutoCAD in AutoCAD LT it reverts back to the old functionality before this new feature was introduced and that is in toggling on an old drafting tablet so I haven’t used a drafting tablet with AutoCAD in many years but they were really cool we use them often when auto cad was still in Doss and knotted windows and it had a lot of the ribbon like functionality on the tablet itself so you probably aren’t going to use that at MIT anymore or ever again even let’s keep going f5 will toggle through isometric planes this will help you to draw different isometric drawings we’ll look at this later on but if you press f5 it will turn you on to an ISO plane on the top right or left again we’ll take a closer look at drawing and ISO planes later on but those are great for creating 3d isometric views or creating a like a but P&ID sheet you know those are really cool or some circuit drawings now f6 will turn on a dynamic UCF or turn it off again again that’s just an AutoCAD not in AutoCAD LT that is a ever changing coordinate system based on the user input for a face of a 3d object so if you want to work with a cube and you want to draw in a coordinate system that’s based on the face of one of your objects like the cube then it will dynamically are as you’re working it will automatically change your current coordinate system to match that so again that’s only in AutoCAD and not in AutoCAD LT f7 will toggle your grid off and on as you can see on my screen now an f9 will turn your snap mode on or off and this will cause your crosshairs to snap or automatically go to specific points on the grid so for example if I had turned it on I would only be able to go to the points on the grid and that depends on your settings for your drawing we will talk about that later on f10 turns on polar tracking which is another type of snapping and orthodontic projection but based on polar
coordinates f11 turns your oh snap tracking off and on and again both of these we’re going to look at them a little bit later but the oh snap tracking on is really cool because then I can draw a line to a place that’s based on
the linework
something else you see that green line that comes as I move around my drawing that’s the tracking
now it will take the line and follow it and project
chevre line it is I’m drawing from and so I can go or snap to places that don’t exist but are sort of inferred or arbitrary so that’s a very useful tool as well again these tracking devices the polar tracking in the oh snap tracking we’ll talk about them later on in more in depth in a section but the function keys they turn on and off these certain tools that allow you to draw more accurately or drop out or even make sure to watch the video pertaining to each of these tools for more in-depth
descriptions for them

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