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25 August 2018

All Autocad Keyboard Commands & Shortcuts Guide


Basic AutoCAD Commands

L

Making simple lines in the drawing.

C

Making a circle in AutoCAD.

PL

Make a Polyline in your drawing.

REC

This command will make a rectangle in AutoCAD.

POL

Make a polygon with minimum 3 sides and a maximum of 1024 sides.

ARC

Make an arc in AutoCAD.

ELLIPSE

Make an ellipse with the major and minor axis.

REG

Make a region geometry in AutoCAD.

CO

Copy object(s) in AutoCAD.

ARRAY

Make Rectangular, polar or Path array.

TR

Trimming a geometry.

OP

Open options window which contains most of the settings of AutoCAD.

SC

Change the scale of an object.

B

Creating a block, the properties of the block can be defined using the block definition window.

I

Insert an existing block or a drawing as a block in AutoCAD.

ST

Open text style window which controls properties of the default AutoCAD text style.

X

Explode objects like Polyline to simple lines, an array or a block to a simple geometry etc.

F

Add rounded corners to the sharp edges of the geometry, these round corners are also called fillets.

CHA

Add slant edges to the sharp corners, these slant edges are also called chamfers.

LA

To open layer properties manage palette which is a tool for creating and managing layers in a drawing.

Keyboard Shortcut Keys

Ctrl + N

Open a new drawing a tab in AutoCAD.

Ctrl + S

Save a drawing file.

Ctrl + Shift + S

Save the drawing as a new file or in short this is shortcut for “save as” command.

Ctrl + 0

Clears screen to show only the drawing area and hides palettes and tabs. Press it again to reset default AutoCAD interface.

Ctrl + 1

Select and object and press Ctrl + 1 to open the properties palette which lists properties of the object. You can use this palette to modify most of the properties of the object too. You can also use PR command to open the property palette.

Ctrl + 2

Open design center palette which contains many AutoCAD blocks that can be used directly in your drawing.

Ctrl + 9

Toggle the visibility of command line. If for some reason your command line is hidden from the drawing area, then use this keyboard shortcut to bring it back.

Ctrl + C

Select objects from the drawing area and press Ctrl + C to copy to objects to the clipboard.

Ctrl + V

To paste the copied objects of the clipboard in the drawing keeping their original properties, you can use this keyboard shortcut.

Ctrl + Shift + V

To paste the copied objects as a block you can use this keyboard shortcut, the block thus created will have a random set of characters as is name. You can use this keyboard shortcut to make blocks quickly without going through the create block window.

Ctrl + Z

Undo last action in your drawing. You can press this shortcut key multiple times to undo many actions.

Ctrl + Y

Redo the last undo action which you have performed.

Ctrl + Tab

Cycle through all open drawing tabs in AutoCAD.

Status Bar Toggle

Status bar options along with their properties and uses.

F7

Toggle the visibility of background grid which is often visible in your drawing area.

F9

Toggle Snap mode, when snap mode is active AutoCAD cursor will jump to specific points in the drawing area which is defined in snap mode.

DYNMODE

By default the value of this system variable is set to -3 which keeps it off you change this  system variable to 3 to make dynamic input active. Dynamic input allows you to add information dynamically on the cursor tooltip.

F8

Toggles Ortho mode on/off. When ortho mode is on you can make lines either horizontally or vertically only.

F10

Toggles Polar tracking on/off. With polar tracking active you can make lines inclined to any angle which is defined in the polar tracking increment angle.

ISODRAFT

Using this toggle you can activate the isometric drawing plane in AutoCAD. You can select from Isoplane Left, Isoplane Top and Isoplane Right. You can also toggle between different isoplanes using F5 function key. The default value of ISODRAFT option is orthographic.

F11

Toggles Object snap tracking on/off. Using this option you can track snap points of geometries like center, midpoint, endpoint etc and make geometries with their reference.

F3

One the most important status bar toggles. This function key activates/deactivates object snap option, when object snap is active you will be able to snap your cursor to some exact points in the geometry like End, center, quadrant, tangent etc. This option allows you to make precise AutoCAD drawings.

LWDISPLAY

This system variable toggles visibility of lineweight in a drawing. The default value of this system variable is OFF which keeps the lineweight display off you can change its value to ON to keep lineweight visible in the drawing area.

TRANSPARENCYDISPLAY

Just like lineweight this status variable allows you to toggle the visibility of transparency of an object. You change the value of this system variable to 1 to make transparency visible or 0 if you want to make it invisible.

SELECTIONCYCLING

Using this system variable you can select overlapping objects very easily. When the value of this system variable is set to 2, an overlapping icon and a menu containing a list of overlapping objects appear and you can select the required object from this list.
If you set the value of this system variable to 1, only the overlap icon appears not the menu. You can turn this off by changing the value of this system variable to 0.

F6

Dynamic UCS can be activated or deactivated using this function key. Using dynamic UCS you can make geometries directly of the face or another 3D object irrespective of the position of UCS. You can also toggle dynamic UCS using UCSDETECT system variable, the values of this system variable can be 1 for ON and 0 for OFF.

GRAPHICSCONFIG

Open Graphics configuration window which is used to change settings related to display and graphics properties of AutoCAD. You can also use 3DCONFIG for opening the graphics performance window.
These are some of the commands which can be frequently used in you drawing workflow to improve your overall efficiency. You might be familiar with many of these commands but there are also some commands which are really helpful still they remain largely unused.

TXTEXP

Convert single line as well as multiline text into geometries.

XLINE (XL)

Make infinite lines starting from the point of selection. When you trim or break this infinite line to a finite length it becomes a simple line geometry.

POINT (PO)

Makes a single point geometry in the drawing. To modify the type of point created by this command you can use PTYPE command and choose the desired point type from Point Style window.

REVCLOUD

Make a revision cloud geometry by freehand sketching.

SKETCH

Make a freehand sketch using this command. You can use Line, Polyline or Spline as the object type for making this freehand sketch.

MULTIPLE

Repeat any command without pressing enter key then use MULTIPLE command. To cancel repetition of command press ESC key.

NCOPY

Copy nested objects from a block or Xref without exploding them.

CAL

Using this subcommand you can perform calculations directly on the AutoCAD command line even when you are in the middle of a command. You can start this subcommand by entering ‘CAL (don’t forget to add an apostrophe before CAL) while running any other command.
To know more about this subcommand refer the related article.

BURST

Explodes the block containing attributes retaining the attribute setting and its layer definition. This is especially helpful if you want to retain the text of attribute after exploding the block.

SP

Check the spelling of selected text and correct the spellings from Check Spelling window.

ARCTEXT

Write arc aligned text in AutoCAD. You can use this command to even write text aligned to a circle. More about this command can be found in this related article.

OOPS

Restore the last deleted object in your drawing. After deleting an object if you made many other changes in the drawing and realized that you might need to restore the deleted object then simply type OOPS and press enter.

CHSPACE

Change the space of an object from model space to paper space and vice versa. See the animated image shown below for reference.

DIVIDE

Divide any 2D geometry into many equal parts. At each point of division, a point geometry will be added on the 2D curve. More about this command can be found in this related article.

RENAME

Rename any named object like layer, block or linetype simply use this command to rename it. More about this command can be found in this related article.

BREAK

Break 2D geometries at one or two points. It is helpful if you want to break a curve at the point of intersection with other curve or if you want to create a gap by breaking a part of the geometry.

TIME

Find a lot of information about your drawing like the date when the drawing was created and total editing time consumed on the drawing.

QSELECT

Make the selection from your drawing with filters. As an example, you can use quick select to make a selection set containing all circles of the drawing with the radius of a particular value.

DI

Distance between two points in the drawing.

COPYBASE

Copy any object using a base point.

PASTECLIP

You can paste the copied objects from clipboard to your drawing using this command. If you use COPYBASE to copy the objects then you will be able to paste it in the same or another drawing with the selected base point.

LIST

Find lots of properties of an object like the layer they are on, area, length or radius, perimeter or circumference and a lot more. To use this command simply type LIST on the command line then press enter and select the object from drawing area about which you want to know and press enter again.

DIM

This command was introduced in AutoCAD 2016 version and it can be used to make most of the dimensions like Linear, aligned, radius, diameter and baseline. To access this command you can use DIM command or select the DIM tool from dimensions panel of Annotate tab.

TOLERANCE

If you want to add feature control frame representing tolerance related information in your drawing then you can use this command.

SCALETEXT

Change the scale of existing Text or Mtext object in the drawing. To use this command type SCALETEXT on the command line press enter and select the text from drawing area and press Enter again.
Now select “Existing” option from the command line and then select “scale factor” option and then type the scale in which you want to convert the text height and press enter. When the scale of these text entities are changed the base point will remain fixed.

BASE

Change the base point of a drawing without changing its origin. This is especially helpful in the situation where you want to insert the drawing into another as a Xref. By default, AutoCAD takes origin as the base point which can be modified using this command without changing the origin.

DWGPREFIX

If you have a drawing open in AutoCAD and you don’t know the location where it is saved you can simply type DWGPREFIX command to look it. This command can be used to quickly find the location of Xref’s attached in the drawing.

TJUST

Change the text justification of Text and Mtext elements in the drawing.

UNITS

Set the drawing units and other settings like the precision of linear and angular dimensions and default rotation angle.

ML

Make a multiline geometry which contains multiple parallel lines.

TINSERT

You can insert a block or a drawing as a block in the table using this command. You can also fit the block in the table cell and also justify its location automatically with TINSERT dialogue box. I have made a simple table by importing blocks of design center as shown in the image below.

MIRRTEXT

By default, AutoCAD does not mirror text in the drawing but if you want to mirror the text of your drawing then change the value of MIRRTEXT system variable to 1.

AREA

As the name suggests this command can be used to find the area of closed or open shapes in the AutoCAD drawing. To know more about finding the area in AutoCAD drawings refer this related article.

TORIENT

Using this command you can reorient text entities in best readable position. In the image A below the text is oriented at different angles and in some of the situations, the text is not properly readable. Whereas in image B below TORIENT command has been used to make the text readable for all angles.

ID

Fnd the coordinate values of a point in AutoCAD drawing.

MINSERT

Insert existing blocks of a drawing as a rectangular array component. An array added using MINSERT command can’t be exploded.

BOUNDARY

Extract closed boundaries from any enclosed area. This boundary can be used to find the area of the enclosed region or for many other applications. In the image below the boundary of the area mentioned as A has been extracted as a polyline using BOUNDARY command.

DIMROTATED

Make a dimension line inclined to a particular angle with respect to the positive side of the X-axis. In the example shown below the dimensions are made with DIMROTATED command.

BREAKLINE

Make a Breakline symbol on a line. Type BREAKLINE on the command line and press enter then click on scale option of the command line and apply an appropriate scale to the breakline.
Select the starting and end points of the breakline then click at any point on the line to specify the location of breakline or directly press enter to place it exactly at the center of the line.

TXT2MTXT

Convert a text object into a Mtext object and you can also combine multiple separate Mtext objects into a single Mtext unit.

SAVEALL

Save all of the open drawings in AutoCAD window.
There are many best practices that you follow to keep your AutoCAD software and PC in great working condition and there are also many inbuilt tools and commands in AutoCAD that help you in keeping the performance of your software properly optimized. In this section, you will find all those performance and optimization related commands which you can use in your daily workflow.

PURGE

Remove unused named objects like layers, blocks and dimension styles from the drawing.

LAYDEL

Delete some of the most stubborn layers from your drawing which can’t be removed using PURGE command. This command can also remove Defpoints layer and also layer containing objects but I would not recommend that.

FILLMODE

Using this system variable you can turn off or on the visibility of filled area in hatches or wide polylines by changing its value to 0 or 1 respectively. By turning the FILLMODE to off you can enhance the performance of AutoCAD by limiting resources consumed on regenerating the filled geometries.
You need to regenerate the drawing using REA command after changing this system variable to see its effect on the drawing.

APERTURE

This system variable controls the area of influence of object snap. The aperture size as defined by this system variable is the area of the square under which the point will be selected if the cursor is brought into it. The default value of this aperture is 10 but depending on the complexity of the drawing you can change this value between 1-50.
The size of the aperture is relative to the current scale of the screen and it is not an absolute value. In the image below the red box (not visible in AutoCAD) is the aperture size for two values 10 and 50 respectively.

OVERKILL

Remove overlapping or unnecessary geometries from the drawing.

ISAVEPERCENT

You can change the value of this system variable to reduce the time it takes to save a drawing. This system variable also affects file size of AutoCAD drawings and its compatibility with other softwares.By decreasing the value of this system variable you can increase its compatibility with other softwares and it also decreases the size of the CAD file but the time consumed in save operation generally increases. When you increase the value of this system variable opposite happens.
The default value of this system variable is 50 and it can be changed from 0 to 100.

SELECTIONPREVIEW

When hovering the cursor over any object a preview will appear if the value of this system variable is set to 3. You can remove this preview thereby improve the performance by changing the value of this system variable to 0.

HIGHLIGHT

This system variable is also similar to SELECTIONPREVIEW but in this case, the object will appear highlighted when selected. Its default value is 1 but you can turn off this highlight effect by changing its value to 0.

RECOVERALL

This command repairs a corrupted or damaged drawing along with all of its attached Xref’s.

LAYMCH

Using this command you can change the layers of selected objects. To use this command type LAYMCH on the command line and press enter key then select objects whose layer assignment you want to change and press enter then select any object of the layer which you want to apply on selected objects and press enter key again.

PICKBOX

Using this system variable you can change the size of Pickbox which appears at the cursor of AutoCAD. The default value of this system variable is 3 and you can change its value from 0 to 50.
In the image below the size of Pickbox is 3 for first cursor and 10 for the second cursor.

STARTMODE

This system variable will toggle the visibility of start tab at the beginning of the AutoCAD application. By default the value of this system variable is 1 which allows start screen to appear, you can change this value to 0 if you don’t want to see the start

CLOSEALL

If you have multiple tabs open in your AutoCAD window and you don’t want to manually close them one by one then you can simply use CLOSEALL command to close all the open windows. AutoCAD will prompt you with the save dialogue box before closing all unsaved drawings and it will take you to start screen after closing all of the drawings.

SELECTIONCYCLING

Using this system variable you can make a selection of overlapping objects very easily. When the value of this system variable is set to 2, an overlapping icon and a menu containing a list of overlapping objects appear and you can select the required object from this list.
If you set the value of this system variable to 1, only the overlap icon appears not the menu. You can turn this off by changing the value of this system variable to 0.

AUDIT

This command should be used for removing errors from your drawing. It is always a good practice to keep checking your drawing file with AUDIT tool for errors.

RECOVER

This command is similar to the AUDIT command but it is useful for the drawings which are corrupted to such an extent that you can’t even open it. More about drawing repair tools can be found in this related article.

MA

Copy properties of one object on other without changing its geometry or contents.

CLOSEALLOTHER

Close all open drawing windows except the current drawing window.

TEXTFIT

Shrink or expand the text entities in a drawing to fit in the required area. In the example below I have fitted the AutoCAD text within the rectangle using TEXTFIT command.

WIPEOUT

Using wipeout command you can clean background in a crowded drawing to make overlaying objects clear against the background. In the image shown below Wipeout command has been used to clean the area around the second hook. You can use WIPEOUTFRAME system variable and change its value to 0 to remove wipeout frame boundary also.

DWGUNITS

Convert your AutoCAD drawing from one unit to another and you can also scale the existing drawing to new scales automatically, you can know more about this command in the related article.

TEXTMASK

Using this command you can automatically create a masking behind the text to make it clearly visible against the crowded background. In the image below Textmask has not been applied for the first case and in the second case, it has been applied.

LAYMRG

If you want to merge layers of multiple objects then this command is for you. Type LAYMRG press enter key then select the objects whose layers you want to change then press enter again. Select any object of target layer on which you want to transfer the selected objects and press enter again.
All the objects of the selected layer will be transferred to the end layer and also the selected layer will be removed.

DS

Using this command you can open the drafting settings window which can be used to change settings related to status bar options like object snap, polar tracking, snap and grid settings.

LAYWALK

Using this command you can check all the objects which are on a particular layer. When you use LAYWALK command a list with all layers appears on the screen and you can click on any of the layer(s) from the list and objects from that layer(s) will only become visible in the drawing area. The original status of layer and object visibility is restored once you close LAYWALK window.

CENTERMARK

This tool was added in the AutoCAD 2017 version and it allows you to create center mark easily on a circle or arc.

CENTERLINE

As the name suggests you can add a centerline easily between parallel or intersecting lines using this tool. See the related article for more on Centermark and Centerline tools.

TABLET

If for some reasons you are looking to use Tablet as pointing and navigation device in AutoCAD then you can use this command to turn the Tablet input on and off. The Tablet can be turned on and off using TABMODE system variable also.

TEXTSCR

Open a text window which has a history of recently used commands.

BATTMAN

Modify the attribute information of blocks containing attributes.

SEEK

This command will redirect you to BIMobject.com page (formerly Autodesk seek) which is a CAD and BIM object catalog. It is one of the great places to get blocks for your projects.

FS

Using this command you can select objects which are connected to the selected object in the drawing area. The behavior of this command is controlled by FSMODE system variable, if the value of FSMODE is OFF then FS command will select only the selected object and one object that is directly connected to the selected object.
If the value of FSMODE is ON then FS command will select the selected object as well as all the objects connected to it and its next connected object in the series. This selection series continues as long as the command finds connected objects.

TEXTTOFRONT

Using this command you can bring TEXT, Dimensions and Leader lines on the front of all underlying objects like hatches. This command is especially helpful if you want to bring multiple annotations to the front of all drawings objects without changing their draw order selectively.

PUBLISH

Print multi-sheet files directly, unlike PLOT command which only plots single sheet this command will allow you to plot multiple sheets or even all of the sheets of the drawing directly.

ISOLATE

Using this command you can hide all objects from the drawing area except the selected objects. By hiding unnecessary objects from drawing you can get a clean work area. To bring back all the hidden object back to the drawing select UNISOLATE or UNHIDE command.

HIDEOBJECTS

This command is similar to ISOLATE command but in this case, you can hide selected objects keeping remaining objects visible. In this case, also you can bring back hidden objects by using UNHIDE or UNISOLATE command.

GROUP

Group multiple objects as a single unit. This command is great for making groupings of the similar type of objects like a group of similar blocks. To break this group you can use UNGROUP command.

ADCENTER

Bring Design Center palette in the drawing area. You can also use CTRL+2 key to open the design center palette. To know more about design center go to the related article.

IMPORT

Import drawings of many different formats in AutoCAD, the list of all supported formats is shown in the image below.

FIELD

Fields are dynamic text information which can add a lot of intelligence to your drawing by keeping data interlinked and updated. Fields are extensively used in the sheet set and layout drawings and they can be used to automate a lot of information in AutoCAD drawings.

WBLOCK

Export certain pat of your drawing or any of its blocks to an external file then you can use write block tool or its command equivalent WBLOCK.

autocad Shortcuts Guide

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