5 Tips and/or Neat Things in AutoCAD to Brighten Your Day

March 13, 2019 Mark Flayler

If you use Inventor as much as I do, when you have to go back to AutoCAD for a design purpose, you want it to be as enjoyable as possible.  If you are an AutoCAD everyday user then you may already know some of these in this list, but if not, I hope I showed you something interesting or productive for your day.

Here's 5 things I always show or talk about with my AutoCAD students at some point during my classes.  No particular order of awesomeness.

MTJIGSTRING: Type this variable in and change the string to something more fun than "abc".  This setting controls the preview for your text boxes.  Some users simple make the ABC capitalized so they can see sizing better.  I usually promote my favorite sports teams.


ZOOMFACTOR: This setting controls how much of the screen is zoomed for each click roll of your center mouse.  Default is 60, go lower and you will go slower.  Valid values are 3-100.  If you have a mouse with no click to the wheel at all, we can't be friends, you are weird.  Fun story on this, i once had a student that vehemently denounced the use of a wheel on ANY mouse and kept a box of un-wheeled mice under his desk for quick replacement as they wear out.  That was a fun week of training.

Double Click the Mouse Wheel: Since we are on the topic of the wheel on a mouse.  If you double click the button (yes, the wheel is a button too), then you will perform the equivalent of a ZOOM EXTENTS.  It still amazes me how many people I show this to and its been in the software since 2007.

Fillets and Chamfer with Radius 0: We all know that you can clean up corners easy with grips, extending, and triming, but while you are in the FILLET or CHAMFER command if you hold down SHIFT you will perform a 0 radius or 0 distance on your tool creating a nice sharp corner.  This overrides whatever your setting is to get 0 as the next set of clicks.

Turn off the Lasso: This is definitely something I didn't know was a thing until it was.  I always grew up (AutoCAD R14) by selecting objects with a left click then a release and then another click.  It blew my mind when I learned some users click and drag for selection.  I just never learned that way.  This never used to even be a noticeable problem until about AutoCAD 2015 when the Lasso selection was introduced.  Read up on it here in an old post from 2015.  Like most occasional users of AutoCAD, this is an annoyance when they come into the software from Inventor or maybe even it still drives you nuts and you never found the setting to adjust it.  Well, its in your Selection Tab of your Application Options to turn it off.


As an added note to selection, the Lasso is actually variable setting 5 of the PICKAUTO system variable.  Setting 1 is normal and setting 2 is pretty neat if you are already hovering on an object, and setting 3 is setting 1 and 2 combined.  Have a look in the help system for more info on this setting.  There are not many system variables (to my knowledge) that are sum based bitcode variables but this is one.

About the Author

Mark Flayler

Engagement Engineer, Manufacturing<br><br>Mark has implemented the Autodesk manufacturing products with several industries including the blow/injection molding, automotive, and custom machinery markets. Autodesk Inventor has been a profound augmentation in his abilities allowing him to bring 3D digital prototyping to the forefront of the industries with which he has interacted. He has extensive experience and a comprehensive understanding of the technical, practical business, and human dimensions of implementation. He is an effective and skillful communicator, consulting with his clients to help achieve their business objectives. Mark is an ATC certified instructor and he helps his customers maximize their project’s effectiveness through training, support, and implementation.

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