Space Management Specialist Mitch Hirschklau shares a shortcut macro he made to save himself a keystroke each time he draws a line at a relative distance from the previous point in AutoCAD.
"I've always done a lot of drafting from architectural field survey. Therefore I do a great deal of Command line typing of the LINE @15'-4,0 variety, and I would like to recommend a simple little custom shortcut key. This technique works in full AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT (all versions).
"I simply put the Shift + 2 delta Cartesian coordinate prefix for 'from previous point' — the @ symbol — into a shortcut key. Pick a key (I prefer to use F1, but I'm an "Olde CADD Dogge" and I've been programming the keyboard — using stone knives and bearskins, no doubt — since the DOS ANSY.sys in the late 1980s), and assign to it the following macro:
"Now, instead of doing the two-finger shuffle, just press your one-finger custom shortcut key. It doesn't seem like much, but it can save thousands and thousands of keystrokes annually. (I mean really, why did Autodesk feel we needed to have a two-finger keystroke combination — Shift + 2 — as our delta coordinate prefix?!) All that is needed is to customize the shortcut keys segment of the CUI (command user interface)."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Macros are one of the best time-savers you can create in AutoCAD. In this case, our tipster consistently draws lines at specific distances from the starting point.
A line is drawn by providing two points. The first point is typically defined by picking a point with your cursor; you can do this accurately by using osnaps or by typing in the coordinates. The second point can be defined using these methods or with a few others. Type # before your coordinates to draw to those specific coordinates, or — as in the case presented with this tip — type the @ symbol to put the second point that many units away from the first point. This is known as a relative coordinate. If you use this method often, you have to press Shift + 2. That doesn't sound too bad, but the keystroke can be cumbersome and disruptive. Pressing the F1 key is much simpler and less intrusive.