Engineering technician Hayden Clarke discusses the new features added to AutoCAD's UCS (User Coordinate System) icon.
"The UCS icon in model space is usually just an indication of which view we are looking at. In AutoCAD 2012, however, the UCS icon is an interactive object that can be selected and manipulated without going to the ribbon or commands.
"First, select the UCS icon by left-clicking on it, then hold your mouse over any of the axis multi-functional grips to adjust the UCS. These adjustments include rotating around any of the other two axes and changing the direction of the selected axis.
If you hover the mouse over the vertex of the UCS icon, you will see options to move the UCS and align to a 3D object or mesh, move the drawing’s origin, or reset the UCS to its world location.
When selected, the UCS icon properties also appear in the Properties palette where other elements of the UCS can be edited, but at this stage they are limited.
The editable capabilities of the UCS icon are available in 2D and 3D model space and through viewports, which is a big plus."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: This new feature of the UCS icon is one of my favorite additions to AutoCAD. Finally, the UCS icon has a real purpose! If you never work in 3D or never have to rotate a view, then perhaps you don't use a custom UCS. However, being able to dynamically alter the UCS on the fly and in real time is a huge time-saver. This feature also makes the task of changing the UCS much easier.