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Time-Saving CAD User Tips

CAD software can be a powerful tool for boosting your productivity and the quality of your output. However, the full potential of CAD can only be unlocked with the right training and experience. That’s why we at Matrix CAD Solutions, LLC offer free CAD user tips in addition to our One Pick Plot program and other services. Whether you’re working in the architecture field, the engineering industry, or another area, you’ll find that our tips save you time – and paper.

Experience You Can Rely On

Improving your design process becomes infinitely easier when you take advantage of CAD systems. Computer-aided design programs allow you to streamline your methods and finalize drawings quicker than you ever thought possible. Learn what you need to know to maximize your CAD use by consulting with our specialists. With over 30 years of experience to draw upon, we’re well-equipped to give you advanced and simplified CAD software solutions.

 Continue reading below to see what advice our technical experts have for you and your team. We employ some of the most skilled professionals in the field, ensuring that you have access to the most relevant information. Check back often to see what new tips we’re offering, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions


Tip — You can add a ribbon button to the Quick Access toolbar (at the very top of your screen) by right clicking on any ribbon button and clicking add to quick access toolbar. Use this with One Pick Plot for true one pick Plotting.

Tip - With AutoCAD 2019 you can use COMPARE to comapare two drawings to see what the differences are. It creates a third file with the differences Highlighted and clouded.

Tip - You can increase the number of the recent drawing file list by going to options->Open and Save->Application Menu and increasing the number from 9 to 50 or whatever you prefer.

Tip - Need to count the blocks in a drawing. USE the BCOUNT Command

Tip - Have a drawing thats not working quit right, crashing or other problems. Type AUDIT on the Command Line and hit Yes to fix any errors.

Tip — When using trim or extend, you can hold down the shift key to do the opposite trim if in extend, and extend, if in trim. You may also select everything on the screen by hitting enter twice instead of selecting an object.

Tip — Having a problem with AutoCAD sticking after hitting the F8 or F9 keys to toggle ortho or snap? Type "tempoverrides" on the command line and set it to zero.

Tip — With AutoCAD 2017 and above, you can use PDFimport to import a PDF as line work no Need for a third party converter.

Global Find and One Pick Plot Configurations

Tip — Bloated drawings? If you have AutoCAD 2015 or above, and after "purge," the drawings are still bloated, try purging registered applications. On the command line type, purge <enter> R <enter> * <enter> N <enter>. If that doesn't work, try audit<enter> Y <Enter> then purge registered apps again. Also in the purge window make sure, "automatically purge orphaned data," and "purge zero length geometry," are checked.

Tip — You can use the extension, "osnap," to stretch at the current angle of an object. Type "osnap" on the command line and check the extension box. Stretch as you normally would by selecting the first point, either an endpoint or intersection, then the second point near the angle of the object. As you are picking the second point when the angle is correct, you will see a small X near the center of the cross hairs.

Tip — Select Similar. You can select an object on a drawing, then right click and choose, "select similar," to select all objects with the same object type and Layer.

Tip — Have a floor plan from an architect that uses the AEC package with walls joined to doors and walls that are one piece? You can use the, EXPORTTOAUTOCAD," command to make the drawing more usable.

Tip — You can copy and paste text from single attributes by holding down the Ctrl key and double clicking on an attribute. Then Hit Ctrl+C to copy the text (no need to select the text because it is already selected). You can paste the text into whatever application you need to, including  Excel, or FileMaker.

Tip — When using the, "fillet," command you can hold down the shift key to fillet with zero radius, regardless of your current radius setting.

Tip — When using extend or trim, you can trim or extend from all entities currently displayed by hitting an extra enter.

Tip — Would you like to have more screen area free of toolbars and menus? Try Ctrl+Zero to get a clean screen and more drawing area. Note sometimes on toggling back the ribbon disappears. To get it back, type ribbon on the command line.

Tip — Have a viewport inside a viewport in paperspace and can't switch to the inner one? Use Ctrl+R to switch between viewports.

Tip — Have a drawing where colors and linetypes are not by layer? You can use the, "setbylayer," command to fix it.

Tip — Have a drawing with overlapping lines and duplicate text? You can use the, "overkill," command to fix it.

Tip — Edit Attributes in place by holding down the Ctrl key and double clicking on an attribute. You can also hold down the Ctrl key and single click on several attributes, then use properties or quick properties to change the values all at the same time.

Tip — Use, "chspace," to transfer objects from papaerspace to modelspace and vice versa. You must be in a layout tab other than, model," to do this.

Tip — When selecting objects, you can remove them by holding down the shift key and selecting them.

Tip — Use, "torient," to fix the rotation of text to a readable rotation.

Tip — Use, "tjust," to change the justification of text and attribute definitions without having the text jump.

Tip — Having trouble with xrefs on multiple drawings? Use reference manager to change the all at once. Reference manager is located under Start—>All Programs—>Autodesk—>Autocad 20xx—>Reference Manager.

Tip — You can copy to clipboard with a basepoint by hitting Ctrl+Shift+C.

Tip - You can bring blocks,Layers, Text styles, Dimension styles and layouts from one drawing to another by using AutoCAD Design Center. Just type ADC on the command line and select the drawing you want to pull things from. Double click on the various Items then drag what you want directly on to your current drawing. Note: for layouts just drag them on to your drawing not to the layout tab area.