Lynn Allen Reveals AutoCAD 2013 Tips & Tricks
Proof that little things can add up to big performance gains, my friend Lynn Allen at Autodesk just published her latest e-book full of tips and tricks for AutoCAD 2013.
The 36-page PDF file clearly and quickly walks you through some of the most important features in the newest version of AutoCAD, and explains how to take advantage of all the new performance-enhancing options and valuable shortcuts.
If you don’t know Lynn, she’s a respected Cadalyst columnist who travels the world speaking to thousands of AutoCAD users each year in her role as Autodesk Technical Evangelist. Lynn started using AutoCAD software with Release 1.4, so she really knows what she’s talking about. We’ve actually featured several video interviews with Lynn here on this blog, including some featuring yours truly.
Lynn Allen’s Tips and Tricks for AutoCAD 2013 is a fast-paced and fun tutorial that provides inside information about the following features:
- User Interface
- Editing Tools
- Associative Arrays
- Helpful Timesavers
- 3D Tips
- Autodesk Inventor Fusion
- Model Documentation
- Point Cloud
- Autodesk 360
- Added Extras
Throughout the book, on top of all the other insights, you’ll find 22, easy-to-implement tips designed to help you work smarter and faster. Here are just a few of my favorites:
In-Canvas Viewport Control
Double click on the [–] (first column) to quickly display 4 viewports or the previously specified viewport configuration. A simple click on the + in the corner of any viewport will fill the screen with that viewport.
Multifunctional grips are even more powerful when dynamic input is on. Use the Tab key to jump between input boxes.
Remove Style Overrides has been added to the right click menu when you select a dimension.
Use the Ctrl key when you select a planer face to offset it as it extrudes to follow the taper angles of adjacent sides.
To break the alignment, select the center grip and then hit the shift key once to break the alignment. Repeat this process to restore the alignment.
Use the Export Layout tool to export your finished drawing views to model space (found in the right click menu of the layout tab). Drawing views containing circular objects now export as circles and arcs rather than polylines.
Use DWGCONVERT to quickly replace page setups in multiple drawings.
If you like these and the other great tips you’ll find in the free e-book, you might want to consider reading AutoCAD Professional Tips and Techniques by Lynn Allen and Scott Onstott. You’ll discover little-known system variables and punch up your style with expert tips on visualizing, publishing, 3D modeling and more.
My Own Tips on System Requirements
To take advantage of all the great new features in AutoCAD 2013, be sure you have enough power in your hardware configuration. Take the AutoCAD 2013 minimum system requirements with a grain of salt.
You can get by with these, but to maximize your performance you’ll want to get a more powerful CPU and extra Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory. This will help you work faster and prevent system crashes. Also, if you do any work in 3D, you’ll definitely want to get a discrete graphics card. All of this and more is explained in my paper, Reference Architecture for AutoCAD, so please check it out if you have any hardware issues that you’d like to improve.
And be sure to tell me what you think of Lynn’s e-book when you have a chance to review it and work with some of the tips and tricks. Don’t be shy: Tell us which tips you like and which ones you don’t, and let us know if you have any of your own tips and tricks to share with the CAD/CAM Performance community.