Engineering technician Hayden Clarke discusses one of AutoCAD’s newest features, the Nudge tool.
"This tip is about a new and controversial command called Nudge. This command is initiated by holding the Control key and using the arrow keys. In AutoCAD 2012 there are two types of Nudge: one with Snap Mode off, the other with it on (pressing F9 toggles between the two).
"With Snap Mode turned off, the Nudge tool is best suited to freestyle drawing, because it moves objects two pixels at a time (relative to the screen and current zoom). This is similar to the nudge movement used in Microsoft Office products for what we call 'WordCAD.'
"Since AutoCAD is mainly a technical drawing–based program, users want controlled movements in the model space. By turning Snap Mode on, the object(s) nudged is moved a set distance determined by the snap settings. By changing the snap and grid settings, you can adjust the nudge distance.
"This controlled nudging is very useful for spatial planning, design of gridded systems such as irrigation systems, and structural design. The Nudge command can also be used during the Copy command; simply toggle Snaps on by pressing F9 (provided your snap spacing is already set up as required)."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: The Nudge command was introduced in AutoCAD 2012. It’s a simple concept: Select an object or objects, press and hold the Ctrl key, then press an arrow key, and the selected objects will be moved in the arrow’s direction by two screen pixels. (Not by any drawing units, but by pixels.)
Nudge works well with concept layout work or for general design purposes, but not for precise layout work. This command probably shouldn’t be used in a precision drawing, unless the tipster's recommendation to use the snap setting is followed. With Snap Mode on, an interior designer can quickly move furniture around in a room.