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Use Quick Keys in Windows Applications
Tip# 3514 By Don Brown On 17-Oct-2010
Rated By 1 users
Categories : Misc. User Tools
Software type : AutoCAD 2011
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Increase your speed with keyboard shortcuts.

CADD Manager Don Brown has a Windows-based tip to increase efficiency in AutoCAD.

"As a CADD/BIM [building information modeling] manager, I am constantly looking for ways to work more quickly and efficiently. Something I've noticed is that drafters commonly overlook the 'ready-made' shortcuts within most Windows applications (not just AutoCAD), such as using Alt+F+S to save, Alt+F+P to print, etc.

"When you press Alt, the application puts you into the menu bar, and underlines or highlights the quick keys: F for file, E for edit, etc. Once you learn to use those keys, you can often make things happen very quickly — and, best of all, without having to take your hand off your mouse. Give it a shot: Open multiple files in AutoCAD and press Alt, then W, then T. I know it's faster right now to just press the Window Tile button, but once your fingers are trained, you'll never go back."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Keyboard shortcuts are a great tool to help you work more efficiently: you aren't wasting time moving your mouse around the screen. There are several keyboard shortcuts that come with Windows; Alt+Shift will get you to the interface of the current program. The Ctrl key will also give you access to some basic Windows-based shortcuts. I often use Ctrl+S to save, Ctrl+C to copy, and Ctrl+V to paste, to name just a few. 


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User comments
Comment by Millard,Chad
Posted on 2010-10-18 15:40:18
Adding the extra button push with alt (alt+f+s) seems a bit much, especially when ctrl+p = plot, ctrl+s = save and such. If you follow the trend of windows, pull down menus are being steadily phased out, along with icons and being replaced by the ribbon. For longevity reasons, I wouldn't get accustomed to using these types of shortcuts.
Comment by Herzog,Mike
Posted on 2010-10-19 08:58:06
For plotting, I use the P key. I assigned P to the Plot command in the acad.pgp file. It used to be assigned to the Pan command, but ever since we were able to click the mouse wheel to Pan, it left my P key wide open. Plot just seemed the most logical to me.
Comment by Carter,Roger
Posted on 2010-10-19 09:43:26
Typing in commands is so antiquanted. You shouldn't have to take your eyes from the monitor. Plus, if you hit the wrong button then you have to try again. If you type in commands and mis-spell the command then you have to re-type the command. I have seen that so many times. I don't like the AutoCAD ribbon but I have gotten used to the Inventor ribbon.
Comment by Millard,Chad
Posted on 2010-10-19 09:52:31
If you are only using the Ribbon, then those of us that actually use hot keys (c = copy, l=line etc) are going to be about 5X as efficient. The ribbon is great for commands that you don't use often, or if you are trying to figure out new commands, but for everyday CAD work, it's slow. FYI, I haven't messed up a hot key command in at least 10 years.
Comment by Radek,Arek
Posted on 2010-10-31 11:42:38
I've found it easier to use Ctrl+Tab to switch between drawings.