Using Function Keys And Command Aliases – Part 2

and in an earlier video though we did talk about entering commands into the command line we mentioned the fact that there are command aliases these are typically one or two keystroke long entries some or more that you use them to start a command
like L for the line command
instead of hunting for it on the ribbon or instead of typing in the full word line which honestly isn’t really that difficult but still L if I’m drawing lines all day
l saves me well let’s hear that’s one keystroke but I have to type in no matter what Li in E that adds three more keystrokes than I press Enter so if I draw 10 lines that’s saving me 30 keystrokes or it’s saving me 30 times where I have to go up to the line command and then back to where i’m drawing again just L enter and I’m gone there are big time-saver especially over time another example is c4 circle or m4 move or CP for copy etc no there is a file that’s called the PGP file and you can edit that to change these aliases if you want to it’s a simple text file that you can open up a notepad and you can just edit it you can add to it you can change it but there is a set pattern or a way that you need to do this in order for it to function correctly it’s really easy to get to go to the ribbon and go to the manage tab
go to the customization panel and then click on the Edit aliases button this will open up the PGP file in notepad for you here’s a little bit of legalese disclaimers saying hey if you mess with this file you could really screw up autocad so be careful in you know it yes that is absolutely true if you mess this up the commands are still going to be there like line or circle but you’re going to mess up the command aliases so just be careful you can scroll down all this part here this is just giving you a bit of information on it and it’s sort of a disclaimer so that Autodesk knows that you know what you’re doing here are some examples of some things that you can do
a bit farther and it gives you the format on how you need to type these in put in the alias and then a comma then an asterisk and then the full command name it’s really that simple so let’s look now there’s a command called 3d array in AutoCAD it’s not there in autocad LT because there’s no 3d functionality in it but you can type in 3d array or you can type in 23 a much easier that’s a better solution for entering that command so it’s pretty simple you put in the command alias that you want and then a comma and then you just tab over until you line this up with the rest of the text just to keep it visually consistent and then you type in the full command here’s a shortcut for arc arcs only three letters but still it helps it saves two key strokes so mathematically you know evaluating the savings in time you’re reducing the amount of time to start the art command by two keystrokes now you need a RC and then enter so that’s four you’re cutting your time to start the art command down by fifty percent that’s significant and then you look at other things like this export to AutoCAD and it’s aec to a cat in this case right here what it’s done is that this is an older command and AutoCAD that they don’t want to get rid of but they’ve replaced it with this command so that whenever you type it in it will do this command a little strange I know but that’s what it is
so you can go through this entire list and look at all of the command a list is that there are you can print this out and hang it up in your cubicle or on your wall or just study it put it on your refrigerator at home and every time you go to get a glass of milk you’ll be able to read and study these shortcuts you can see in here that some of these commands will show up twice or more than twice even like copy
here’s co 4 copy and then here’s also CP for copy there are a couple of reasons why some of this has happened it used to be that people would customize these files in a pretty standard way some people didn’t like that copy started with CP I thought it didn’t make any sense because copy is spelled copy2 they started editing the PGP file well because you can and it’s easy to do so they put in co well autodesk saw this and said you know what let’s default this in so you have essentially three ways to execute the copy command inside autocad you can type out copy you can type out CEO or you can type out CP it’s up to you a lot of people have even changed it to just the letter C so we’ll what happens then to the circle command that’s a great question and they have an answer for you and we’ll get into that here in just a little bit but we’ll go down this list as you can see it’s quite long not every command is in here in AutoCAD but the majority of them are now you’ll also notice as you scroll through here that there are command overrides that have been put in place after certain releases a lot of these are alternatives that get rid of old commands or old functionalities like the CP this will happen to end autocad release 13
autocad 2000 they put these in
now in this case these are commands for discontinued AutoCAD commands meaning these commands right here in this left column no longer exists so people were still using them even an AutoCAD 2000 when these commands were gotten rid of and they didn’t want people to get frustrated or to not know how to use the same or similar functionality so people were putting in DD CHP ROP for the change properties command which was changed and now you used the properties command it functioned similarly but yet had more to it so when they type in the old command they got the new one that made things a lot easier for a lot of people and that’s something that you can do again it’s more and more and more no we come down to the bottom and this is where you should customize your file if you want to don’t remove anything up here don’t change anything up here and i’ll tell you why because if you ever need to revert back to the default settings all you have to do is delete what you’ve done you don’t have to keep track of it in any way you don’t have to manage it in any way you just put everything down here at the bottom so this is pretty cool now this is where that circle and copy thing came into play the way AutoCAD reads this pgp file is that it starts at the very top it starts here and it reads the aliases that are listed and this says okay 3a is the alias for 3d array all right great comes down it keeps going keeps going and it says okay c is for circle great now a lot of times people have changed that because they want to use the copy command more than the circle command so they make c is to be copy and they’ll make CI for circle so well what happens so i need to change it here well you can but don’t come down here
then let’s type in our new commands will type in CI comma and will tab make our asterisk
in the circle command
enter save the file and there you go now whenever i type in c i4 circle autocad knows that see i will start the circle command and i can do this again c comma tab / asterisk and copy okay so we have a bit of a conflict here we have the C command alias in here twice once for circle up above and once for copy down here well autocad does what it was told last so it sees literally up here in the top of the file that c is for circle but when it gets down here says c is for copies okay it forgets the first one and does the second one so i can leave everything that AutoCAD has given me intact but I can add to it or I can change it and if you say no I don’t like this functionality anymore I just delete it and everything goes back to my default settings perfectly untouched clean the way it should be
save your file and you have your PGP functionality customized that’s a quick and easy way to make some changes to customize AutoCAD to fit your needs and to fit your way you want to work I do know a cad drafter that had changed the PGP file so that all of the commands were available to him with just the left hand on the keyboard so he put his left hand in the home position for typing and everything was a queue wer tea or a QQ or a QQ q or w/e etc it took him some time he said to Train himself to do that but he said the benefit was he never moved his hand from the left home position that’s an extreme case trust me in fact I hardly ever customize the PGP file anymore it’s fantastic the way it is and it’s nice so there are some things that you can use with the keyboard that will help you in your efficiency in using AutoCAD those are the function keys and those are the command aliases you can program the aliases very easily and you can help manage them in the very easy way

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