AutoCAD 2004 Update Tutorial

General Enhancement


Aims and Objectives

The aim of this tutorial is let you appreciate the general enhancement of AutoCAD 2004. After studying this tutorial, you should be able to:

Figure 1 shows the start up dialog box of AutoCAD 2004.

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Figure  1 AutoCAD 2004 interface

Right Click Shortcuts

With the mouse cursor placing on different screen locations, selecting the right mouse button brings up various shortcut menus. Virtually, most of the options of in the command line interface can be assessed in the shortcut menus. See Figure 2 through Figure 7.

Figure 2 shows the shortcut menu when the mouse is placed on the graphics window and there is no command in operation. The default command is HELP. Therefore, you can repeat the HELP command. You can cut, copy, and paste objects. You can manipulate the display by panning and zooming.

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Figure 2 Default shortcut menu

Figure 3 shows the shortcut menu when the mouse is placed on the graphics window and the LINE command is in operation. Here, you can select the [Enter] item instead of pressing the [Enter] key, you can cancel the command, you can undo the last line segment, and you can pan and zoom the display.

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Figure 3 Shortcut menu when the LINE command is in operation

Figure 4 shows the shortcut menu when objects are selected but no command is in operation.

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Figure 4 Objects selected but no command is in operation

Figure 5 shows the shortcut menu inside the LAYER command dialog box.

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Figure 5 Inside the LAYER command dialog box

Figure 6 shows the shortcut menu inside the command line interface.

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Figure 6 Inside the command line interface

Figure 7 shows the shortcut menu when the mouse cursor is placed on a toolbar.

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Figure 7 Placed over a toolbar

To customize the shortcut menus, you can use the OPTIONS command by selecting the Options... of the Tools pull-down menu. See Figure 8.

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Figure 8 Options command

To customize shortcut, you can use the User Preferences tab of the OPTIONS command. See Figure 9.

<Tools> <Options...>

Command: OPTIONS

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Figure 9 User Preferences

Refer to Figure 9. Select the [Right-click Customization...] button to bring out the Right-Click Customization dialog box. See Figure 10.

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Figure 10 Right Click Customization dialog box


A profile is a set of configuration that you define in the OPTIONS dialog box. You can maintain a number of profiles. See Figure 11.

<Tools> <Options...>

Command: OPTIONS

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Figure 11 Profiles tab

Partial Drawings

Opening drawings of very large size may take considerable time. It also uses substantial computer memory. But you may only work on a small portion of the drawing.

Instead of opening the entire constituent of a drawing, you can selectively open part of it by using the PARTIALOPEN command.

Select the Open item of the File pull-down menu. Then select the Partial Open... button. See Figure 13.

<File> <Open...>


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Figure 12 Partial Open... button

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Figure 13 Partial Open dialog box

In a partially opened drawing, only those opened items are loaded to the computer memory. To load the portions of the remaining unopened objects of the partially opened drawing, you can use the PARTIALOAD command. See Figure 14.

<File> <Partial Load>


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Figure 14 Partial Load dialog box

Quick Select

The QSELECT command enables you to construct filter set for object select. See Figure 15.

<Tools> <Quick Select>

Command: QSELECT

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Figure 15 Quick Select dialog box

Parallel Object Snap and Extension Object Snap

You can construct a line to be parallel to an existing line. You can also construct a line with its starting point locating at the extension of existing objects.

To construct a line to parallel to an existing line, select the LINE command and specify a starting point. Then use the parallel object snap (Figure 16) and move the cursor to the reference parallel line. Wait a few seconds for the prompt that the line is accepted. You will see a small cross at the reference line. After that, you can select a point on the screen.

Use the LINE command to construct three line segments.

<Draw> <Line>

Command: LINE
Specify first point: 10,10
Specify next point or [Undo]: @120<15
Specify next point or [Undo]: @120<65
Specify next point or [Close/Undo]: @120<-15
Specify next point or [Close/Undo]:[Enter]
Repeat the LINE command to construct two parallel lines.

<Draw> <Line>

Command: LINE
Specify first point: 50,0
Specify next point or [Undo]: PAR to [Select the second line segement.]100
Specify next point or [Undo]: PAR to [Select the third line segment.]150
Specify next point or [Close/Undo]: [Enter]

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Figure 16 Object snap

The Extension (Figure 16) item enables you to select a point that is extended from an existing line or arc.

Use the ARC command to construct an arc by specifying three points.

<Draw> <Arc> <3 Points>

Command: ARC
Specify start point of arc or [CEnter]: 200,200
Specify second point of arc or [CEnter/ENd]: 300,200
Specify end point of arc: 350,160

Use the LINE command to construct a line starting from an extension point which is 30 units measured along the arc of the last arc.

<Draw> <Line>

Command: LINE
Specify first point: EXT of [Select the end point of the last arc.] 30
Specify next point or [Undo]: @100<0
Specify next point or [Undo]: [Enter]


Polar Tracking tab of the DSETTINGS command dialog box enables you to determine tracking directions. See Figure 17.

<Tools> <Drafting Settings...>


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Figure 17 Drafting Settings dialog box

In the Drafting Settings dialog box, check the Polar Tracking On box. Then set the Increment angle to 45 . After that, select the [OK] button.

Now tracking is set to 45 . Use the LINE command to construct a line.

<Draw> <Line>

Command: LINE
Specify first point: [Select a point on your screen. Then place your cursor on your screen at approximately 45 from the first point. Move the cursor slightly sideways until you see the prompt [Polar: ???<45 ] on your cursor.]
Specify next point or [Undo]: 40
Specify next point or [Undo]: [Enter]

Object Properties

The PROPERTIES command combines the functionalities of the DDCHPROP command and the DDMODIFY command. Figure 18 shows the Properties dialog box content when nothing is selected. Figure 19 shows the properties categorized. Figure 20 shows the properties of a selected line.

<Modify> <Properties>


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Figure 18 Properties arranged in alphabetical order

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Figure 19 Properties categoried

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Figure 20 Properties of a line segment


To set the dimension styles, you can use the DIMSTYLE command. See Figure 21.

<Format> <Dimension Style...>


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Figure 21 Dimension Style Manager dialog box

In the Dimension Style Manager dialog box, you can construct a new dimension styles by selecting the [New...] button, modify an existing dimension style by selecting the [Modify...] button, override the settings of a dimension style by selecting the [Override...] button, compare two dimension styles by selecting the [Compare...] button, and select a dimension style by selecting the [Set Current] button.

The dialog boxes for [New...], [Modify...], and [Override...] are virtually the same. See Figure 22.

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Figure 22 Override Current Style dialog box

Figure 23 shows the Compare Dimensions Styles dialog box. Here two dimensions styles are compared.

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Figure 23 Compare Dimensions Styles dialog box

New commands:

<Dimension> <QDIM>

Command: QDIM

<Dimension> <Leader>

Command: QLEADER

Multiple Drawings

Multiple number of drawings can be opened concurrently. Figure 24 shows four opened drawings arranged in tiles. Figure 25 shows the opened drawings arranged in cascade.

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Figure 24 Multiple num ber of drawings arranged in tiles

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Figure 25 Multiple number of drawings arranged in cascade

With multiple opened drawings, you can cut, copy, and paste objects from one drawing to another drawing by using the commands placed under the Edit pull-down menu. See Figure 26.

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Figure 26 Edit pull-down menu