Today is a guest post by Brandon of CADintensions with some great AutoCAD Tips to make you more efficient. You can follow Brandon on Twitter at @cadintentions and visit his blog http://cadintentions.com/ for many more great tips like these. If you would like to guest author a blog post on Autodesk product tips and tricks email me.
Thank you, Brandon!
4 Easy Tips To Save Time and Work More Efficiently in AutoCAD
1. Setup and Use a Drawing Template:
Template Files or .dwt files are an easy way to boost productivity and stick to a specific set of standards in AutoCAD. Templates can contain everything from preset styles, layers, blocks, and so much more, giving a head start with every drawing.
I recommend setting up a .dwt for each main discipline or type of work we do, this way all of the blocks, layers, styles, etc.. required for a particular project are already in the drawing and ready to go. This will keep drawings consistent, with less clutter as well at let us get right to the drafting/design instead of spending time setting up a drawing.
To get started and to learn more about drawing templates, start here
2. Create Custom Tool Palettes:
It still surprises me how many seasoned drafters don’t take advantage of the time saving capabilities built right into AutoCAD. Tool Palettes might be my favorite and most common tip I teach to co-workers. I like to have a Tool Palette for each type of project I work on, this makes it easy to switch between different projects and still consistently use the same text settings and blocks for the drawing type.
For example, I might have one Tool Palette that I use for Site Plans and a different palette for piping or floorplans. Each Palette can contain the specific text used for notes (even automatically placing it with the correct properties and layer pre-set), blocks required for the particular drawing type or even typical hatches. Making it easy to maintain standards and general styles throughout every project.
If you’re new to creating Tool Palettes or want a quick refresher, I’ve previously made a video and post walking through exactly how to quickly setup and create Tool Palettes here.
3. Use Fields to Automate Text:
Fields might be the most under-used yet hugely useful feature within AutoCAD. Fields allow us to quickly automate and auto populate text within a drawing. Everything from the date to the area of a hatch can be pulled from our drawing and used to populate a text object.
I like to use fields especially for text that needs to be updated regularly but could be easily forgotten or missed. One great use in particular is for the scale text in a drawing, it can be quite easy to forget to update these and can be a big deal if missed on a final drawing. By using a field to automatically populate the scale text based on the actual scale of a viewport, we never need to worry about to update the scale again.
Learn how to used fields and start automating text here
4. Keep Drawings Clean and Organized:
It may not seem like a big deal to many users but it can really payoff to keep drawings organized and as clutter free as possible. An organized drawing will save time not only with overall performance and speed but it can also make it much quicker for a new user/teammate to pickup and start working on a project further down the road.
Removing any outdated and unused Xrefs, blocks, styles, etc.. can prevent confusion and frustration when someone may need to quickly make changes and re-issue in the future, along with reducing the overall size of the drawing.
I like to use three tools in particular to clean up drawings when I’m finished working on them, Purge, Overkill, and Audit. These commands will quickly remove unneeded and duplicate linework, layers, blocks and more from a drawing, leaving a clean and uncluttered .dwg for the next drafter.
For more on cleaning and organizing a .dwg check out this post here.
That’s all for today, I hope you enjoyed my Guest Post here on Between the Lines. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity and want to thank Shaan for being so helpful on here and everywhere he contributes!
If you liked this post and would like to see more of my AutoCAD tips and tutorials, please stop in and visit me on my blog cadintentions.com, I post articles/videos weekly.
Thank you so much for reading.
Cheers and happy drafting!