50 AutoCAD Commands for Architects
The plight of Real Estate industry today:
Once a major cash cow, the real estate sector is undergoing a major phase of corrections as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country. Mumbai, a ~USD 800 billion real estate market, is seeing the most devastating spell of wealth erosion in history. Property prices in Mumbai have corrected by about 10-15% since 2016, the fall being much steeper in the premium property segment. This means that the price correction itself was to the tune of a massive ~USD 100 billion! Equivalent to 43% of India’s stock market value and 29% of our GDP, the stakes in Mumbai real estate are eye watering.
Nonetheless, even on the brink of being reduced to ashes, there is still hope for the sector as COVID-19 is changing the dynamics of life and the entire concept of work-life balance itself. The idea of ‘People to Work’ is being replaced by ‘Work to People’ in the face of the current upheaval. Office spaces and commercial properties will have to be completely reinvented to keep pace with changing consumer behavior as COVID-19 is here to stay for a long span of time.
Architects will soon be tasked with designing commercial properties that are less manpower-focused and more essentials-focused. Designing however will remain loyal to its engineering software such as AutoCAD which continues to remain a popular choice for all.
Here are 50 commands specifically for the budding architects out there (Some commands may overlap with other fields as the basics they all rely upon remain common):
Allows you to juxtapose objects in a drawing and move them from layout to model space by choosing a viewport to push the text or objects into. This works both ways.
This allows you to explode a block / object while retaining all of its attributes.
This command is used to copy the linework or objects in a nested object into the currently used drawing. (It’s most useful in bringing XREF linework into the current drawing)
Yes you’re right – OOPS does exactly what you thought. It un-deletes your last mistaken deletion no matter how far back it was. Instead of using CTRL+Z, OOPS offers better functionality in leaving your work post the deletion untouched. (There’s a shorter command for CTRL+Z in the list too!)
Setting this value to 1 opens dialog boxes in AutoCAD; setting it to 0 moves the operation to the command line.
Allows you to set which application to open in conjunction with AutoCAD.
TIP: Work with Images
Instead of breaking your head with images by scaling and rotating each one every time, simply insert the image into a blank drawing and set its position, scale, and rotation. Once it is to your satisfaction, save the drawing. This lets you insert that image as a drawing, instead of getting inserted as an image. Additionally, all settings are retained. (Especially useful for images like company logos, etc.)
· R / REDRAW
This command refreshes the drawing in the viewport
Insert a linear or angular dimension from the basepoint of another dimension
Displays all point coordinates present on your worksheet.
TIP: Auto-Scale Setting
You can adjust your default scale factor by setting the Auxiliary scale factor to Plot Scale or ‘Dimscale’
This tells AutoCAD to scrutinize your drawing for overlapping or duplicate items and remove them. This is a great way to maintain a neat and legible drawing by eliminating all extras.
Create a ‘quick’ dimension for pre-selected objects.
Recovers a damaged file.
TIP: Default NO PLOT Layer
Creates a layer called ‘DEFPOINTS’. Additions on this layer will show in model and paper space, but won’t get plotted. (Perfect for adding notes)
Modifies existing text orientation to a specified angle or ‘most readable’ angle. (Also works on Block Attributes)
This command creates a quick surface between two pre-defined curves.
TIP: Importing Block Definitions
After the INSERT command and selecting the file, press the ESC key at your first prompt. Definitions will be kept in your drawing to reference later.
For all the grammar Nazis that hate spelling errors in their work – use this command to proofread your text. (Uses your computer language settings)
‘Clip’ (or trim) a block’s visible area using a boundary line. (Use the command first, then set or draw the boundary)
A quicker “undo” than CTRL Z.
TIP: Stop REGEN After PAN
For drawings not created by you, AutoCAD sometimes performs an auto-regen after you pan around. To prevent this from recurring, use the command ‘VIEWRES’ and type YES to fast zooms, then set your zoom percent to 200.
Performs Import and export of materials to a library.
This function is more like a reverse hatch. A hatch shows you the insides of the object, a ‘wipeout’ hides the underneath the defined area. This command creates a polygon frame with the background colour and masks everything below it. (The frame can be turned on and off depending upon whether or not you want to see it in your drawing)
CHEAT SHEET: One-Key Shortcuts
Want to know all of the one key AutoCAD shortcuts? Autodesk put together this quick guide that assembles them all into one sheet. You can check it out or below:
TIP: Change Your MText to Lower Case or Upper Case
If you forgot to capitalize your MText, right click and select CHANGE CASE. Or use CTRL + SHIFT + U or CTRL + SHIFT + L, for upper case and lower case respectively. (Instead of retyping MText)
Aligns dimensions to staggered objects wherein DIMALIGNED falls short.
Creates a 3D box and defines height, depth, and width.
Chooses a layer colour for future objects / lines / blocks.
Creates a dimension aligned with an axis or a line.
Modify & display the lighting effects on 3D models.
Use this to edit multiple parallel lines at once.
Allows you to set up your paper in ‘paperspace’. Useful for changing your designed plot paper size. (An extremely useful command)
Creates freehand drawing lines.
Displays all details of your current DWG file such as creation date, last update, and edit times.
Exports a file compatible with 3D Studio [.3ds]
Similar to the ‘print preview’ function in other programs; this allows you to view how your paperspace drawing will plot went sent to a plotter.
Vertex by vertex creation of a 3D mesh
· SAVEALL & CLOSEALL
The two most satisfying commands at the end of a long day
Switches you to the old style menu bar.
· Ctrl + R
Changes viewports in paperspace.
No this does not project a callout to Batman! This command changes the order and properties of block definitions.
Manipulate and finetune the smoothness of curves on a solid.
Attaches leader line to MTEXT.
Quickly resets XREF settings by setting the value to 0. (This will fix “faded” XREFs in your drawing.)
True to its name, this lets you “crop” an image in your DWG.
This one’s for you if you miss the old school style of XREFs.
Sets properties of all objects (or selected objects) to ‘BY LAYER’.
Let’s you filter your selection to certain objects by object type or other criteria.
· BO / BOUNDARY
If you want to split an object in half, simply draw a line through it and use the BOUNDARY command in each half to create correctly sized polylines and erase the original objects.
This brings us to the end of all essential commands, which is at the tip of your tongue, will shoot your productivity through the roof in your designing jobs. We at Text and Clicks Academy are committed to making you a confident and well-rounded designer.
Voracious reading regimes coupled with a penchant for writing led me away from a glamorous yet mundane corporate career. When nobody's calling, the mountains always are - you'll invariably find me atop one.