Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ten Ways to be More Efficient at AutoCAD

After 15 years of experience using AutoCAD and other Autodesk products, I have put together a list of ten tools and methods (not in any particular order) anyone can use to be more efficient in AutoCAD.

  • Keyboard Commands - pgp file
  • Templates - star with dwt files
  • X-ref and Data Reference - why do things twice
  • Sheet Sets - organize your work
  • Fields - change your data globally
  • Dynamic Blocks - minimize your library, make quick changes
  • Tool Pallets - find it, drag it
  • CUI - put your tools where you want them
  • Standards - keep everyone on the same page
  • Drafting Tools - classic osnaps, tracking, and more
There are so many things, steps, and tricks and you can use and take in order to make your design documents more quickly and accurately. I have come up with these ten basic concepts that I will delve into more deeply in future posts.

It is my experience that CAD users need to work less, not faster, to increase accuracy and to decrease drafting time. Let me explain the theory here. The less I have to do, the quicker I can get it done. What I mean is that use the tools in AutoCAD to automate your work. The above tips focus on this concept.

I do not mean for drafters to do less work, well, ok I do. The only way to draw faster is to move the mouse less, click less, pick less, and type less. One other tip is to be a two handed drafter. Keep one hand on the keyboard and one on the mouse. Forget toolbars, menus, ribbon, etc. and enter your commands with one hand on the keyboard while positioning your cursor with the other. If you take the time to move the mouse, click, move it again, click, and then start working you have wasted much time. BUT if you move and type at the same time, eventually you will get your work finished sooner.

This is one way in which AutoCAD users can work more quickly. I will take a look at my other ideas later on.

But before that starts, what do you think? What do you feel is the number one thing AutoCAD users can do to be more efficient? Why? What do you do? How do you use it in your day to day routine?

Happy CADDING.
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