Six tips to make you more productive with AutoCAD

Here I have compiled six tips that can save you time and make you more productive with AutoCAD software. I have also compiled some command line and text related tips that you might be interested in.

Repeat command without pressing enter:

If you want to use a command multiple times and don’t want to press enter key again and again then you can use MULTIPLE command to keep command running in an infinite loop.

multiple command autocad

Type MULTIPLE on the command line, press Enter key and then enter the name of the command which you want to repeat for example type C for circle and press enter, now make a circle. Once your circle is completed AutoCAD will not exit circle command and it will be ready for making another circle. To exit this loop press ESC key.

Bring all annotations to front:

This command can save you lot of time by allowing you to bring all annotations on top of other overlapping drawing objects with a single command.

To bring all annotations like text, dimensions and leader lines to the front of every other drawing object type TEXTTOFRONT on command line press enter then select All from options.

texttofront command autocad

Searching named objects from the command line:

You can search named objects like blocks, layers or dimension styles directly from your command line and you can activate them too from the command line.

For turning on search feature type INPUTSEARCHOPTIONS on the command line and press enter. Now make sure “search content at command line” radio button is turned on.

Also turn on radio buttons of named objects from content type panel, for best results I recommend turning on all radio buttons from content type panel. See image below for reference

productive with AutoCAD

Once you are done click OK to close the window. Now type the name of any named object on the command line and it will appear among the results, click on the name of the object to activate or make it current.

Related: Six useful AutoCAD command line tips

Clean up drawing area:

If you want maximum working area from AutoCAD you can turn off the ribbon and other clutter from your AutoCAD window by pressing CTRL + 0 on the keyboard. You can also hide command line by pressing CTRL+9 to get maximum space.

To bring back ribbons press CTRL + 0 again and for command line press CTRL + 9 again.

Toggle object between model space and paper space:

If you want to move an object to and from model space to paper space then this command is for you. This command can only be activated in layout view and it automatically adjusts scale of the object to the scale of target space (model space or paper space).

Open layout view and double click inside your viewport to activate model view. Now type CHSPACE on the command line and press enter, select object(s) that you want to move to paper space and press enter again. Your selected objects are now in paper space.

productive with AutoCAD

Similarly to move the object in paper space to model space double click outside viewport to activate paper space then activate command CHSPACE and select object on paper space then press enter. Your objects will move to model space and the scale of the object will also be maintained.

Calculation directly on the command line:

You can enter expressions on the command line to make calculations directly to find dimensions of geometry and you don’t need to open calculator separately for making tedious calculations every time.

As an example, I will make a circle with radius equal to 2/3*radius of another arc from geometry.

Start circle command then type ‘CAL on the command line and press enter (make sure you add an apostrophe before CAL). Your command line will now show following prompt.

cal command autocad

Enter an expression 2/3*rad and press enter then click on arc or circle from geometry to pick the value of rad for expression mentioned above. Your circle will be created with the radius equal to 2/3 multiplied by the radius of arc or circle you selected from drawing.

Suppose radius of selected circle or arc is 6 units then the final circle will have a radius of 4 units which is equal to 2/3 X 6.

You can also enter simple expressions like 3*pi or 4/3*5 which does not contain any variable.

Apart from these productivity tips, you can also have a look at this awesome post from Brandon of CADintensions where he has shared his insights into time-saving and productivity tips.

Do you have a time-saving or productivity tip that you often use? Let us know in the comments below.

17 comments

  1. Very useful tips. Thank you. I have used the MULTIPLE command before but only as a sub-command. I am looking forward to using it as you have described.

    A quick tip to offer up is the extended use of the space bar. Not too many people are aware of all the commands you can implement via the space bar. Simply select an object, click on one of the blue grips that you want to use as a base point and then tap the space bar. From there you can Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, or Mirror with each tap of the space bar. You can even Copy as a sub-command of either of the five commands. Enjoy.

  2. I felt it necessary to mention the difference in the way AutoCAD and Excel evaluate expressions.
    WHERE an AutoCAD expression is (+ 2 2)
    AN Excel expression would be (SUM 2 2)

  3. Most people don’t realize that AutoCAD can perform command line calculations even without typing the apostrophe and “calc”. The format is…
    (Expression value value) and looks like this…
    (+ 2 2) which returns the value 4. This method works very similar to how formulas are used in Excel. For example… (+ (* 2 2) 1) yields 5. Also the expression (* (+ 2 2) 2) yields 8, as the inner parentheses are evaluated first.

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