Pro Efficiency Tips Every CAD User Should Know
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Pro Efficiency Tips Every CAD User Should Know

May 08, 2020
Video Length:  1:12:33
Presented By:  Jake Lott

Though you may be a daily CAD user, there's a good chance you're not drafting as efficiently as you could be. Whether you're a new or experienced user, you could save valuable time by adjusting how you access a certain tool, configure your shortcut keys, or even just use your mouse when navigating. We'll go over some helpful setup and drafting tips that will streamline the way you work in CAD. We'll show you how to work smarter, not harder – just like Land F/X.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • General CAD Overview
    • Help! (and Where to Find It)
    • Helpful System Variables
  • Efficiency Tools
    • Startup
    • Cleanup/Workspace
    • Drafting

0:00 – 4:22: Intro/TOC

4:23 – 24:39: General CAD Overview


Help! (and Where to Find It) (4:23)

Hover Help/Tool Tips and F1 help (4:51)

If you hover on a tool button for a few seconds, you'll see information on what that tool does. If you press F1 at this point, you'll open a documentation page showing more information on that tool.


Google (5:50)


Helpful System Variables (7:17)

System Variables are settings CAD checks before carrying out certain tasks.


STARTUP = 2 & STARTMODE = 1 (7:50)

These settings give you the start screen rather than Drawing 1 when CAD starts up.


VISRETAIN =1 (9:18)

Xref-dependent layer changes made in the current drawing take precedence. Layer settings are saved with the current drawing's layer table and persist from session to session.



No settings are synchronized.


Manage which Xref layer property overrides you want to sync automatically on reload.



The drawing is regenerated each time you switch tabs.


MENUBAR = 0 (12:43)

This setting hides the menubar (your pull-down menus) to clean up your interface a bit.

14:40 – end: Efficiency Tools


Startup (16:06)

  • Options
    • QNEW (settings for the template that opens when you start a drawing from the start page) (17:20)
    • Save (ensuring that you're saving into the proper file) (19:35)
    • ObjectARX setup (our recommended settings for proxy object corruption detection) (20:15)


Cleanup/Workspace (20:55)

  • Options
    • Display (how your drawing and interface are displayed) (20:55)
    • Profile backup (saving your settings so you can easily retain them with a new installation or computer) (22:04)
  • Command Line (the Command line is completely movable and dockable) (24:25)
    • Opening the Command Line text history window by pressing F2 (26:25)
    • Palette functions (27:07)
      • Layer Properties Manager, Xref Manager, and Properties Manager (27:07)
      • Dock, auto-hide, freeze columns (28:00)
  • Ribbon tricks (31:20)
  • Key commands:
    • CTRL + 0: clean screen mode (32:40)
    • CTRL + 9: display or hide the Command line (33:20)


Drafting (34:20)

  • Navigation (34:27)
  • Mouse functions (35:30)
    • Left-click and select (35:38)
    • Panning (36:45)
    • Double-clicking the scroll wheel to zoom to extents (37:35)
    • Zooming manually (38:44)
    • Our recommended right-click settings (in Options) (39:30)
    • Right-clicking (40:50)
  • Options (41:50)
    • Display: Crosshair size (41:50)
    • Drafting: Aperture size (42:28)



Key commands (44:07):


Alias Edit (44:07)


Quick toggle (F key) options




Layer States (47:04)


Arrow up/down (command history) (48:30)


XLAYER (51:30)


ALIGN (53:20)


TK (Track Mode) (55:55)


Interacting with Shift while in commands (58:20)

Some commands allow you to toggle to another related command by pressing the Shift key.

Example: Trim and Extend (58:50)


MULTIPLE command (1:00:20)

Use the MULTIPLE command to repeat a certain command multiple times without exiting the command.

Example: Fillet (1:00:20)


XHAIR command (1:02:35)


Customizing shortcut tools with the "hamburger button" (1:03:40)


OOPS command: (brings back the last item deleted, even if you've executed other commands in the meantime, without reversing those other commands) (1:06:00)


TEXTTOFRONT and HATCHTOBACK (bring text in front of hatches and hatches behind text and other objects, respectively) (1:06:35)


Shift + spacebar + click to toggle through selectable objects (1:07:35)


BOUNDARY for adjusting polylines where they are (1:09:00)


NCOPY for copying objects from Xrefs into the main drawing (1:09:55)


SUPERJOIN for joining and cleaning up linework (1:10:15)


Interacting with vertices/midpoints of polylines (hover options) (1:10:40)

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