Gain Screen Real Estate in AutoCAD

12 Oct, 2014

Is your Command line taking up too much screen real estate? In this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen, you’ll learn how floating the Command line can give you more room for your drawing, and how tweaking the various settings can help you set up the perfect environment.

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Welcome to another AutoCAD tip courtesy of Cadalyst magazine. Thank you for joining me.

Now if you are like me, you are very greedy with your screen real estate. Now what I mean by that is that you want as much room as possible for the drawing area. You want everything else out of the way. So if you take a look at my screen, you can see that the Command line is at the bottom of the screen. It's docked, which is the way so many of you people believe that God intended for it to be. I get it. I totally understand. But, it takes up a lot of room.

If you are willing to just grab the Command line by the handle there, and pick it up and move it so it's not docked at the bottom of the screen, you'll find that you have so much more room for your drawing. So as you can see as I move it around, you can kind of see through it. It's transparent. I'm going to actually move it down to the lower right-hand corner right above by the Status bar. I personally think that's the best place for it. It doesn't take up too much room, and I can still see through the Command line to the drawing when necessary. Now let's take a look at this.

How does it work, right? So I'm going to go ahead and let's go into the Polyline command. Right? I'm going to draw a polyline. You will see the command history shows up above the Command line. I can still select in the Command line. I can pick Close, for example, if I want to close it up. You can do that whether it is docked or not. So it's very simple, very straightforward. Watch the command history as it disappears into the abyss. I don't need it anymore. So it's gone, and I still have lots of room for my screen real estate. I didn't miss out on anything there. I still saw everything I needed to see, and yet I didn't take up a lot of room.

Let's take a look at this further. I want to show you that when I move my cursor over, when I hover over the Command line, it gets darker and much brighter. I move it away, and it gets more transparent and less obvious. So how do we control that? If I click on the wrench, and I select Transparency, we will see that I have complete control over how transparent it is when I'm not hovering over it. So now watch it while I move this all the way over to Clear, you will see it gets to the point where it's almost completely invisible, which kind of makes me think of ways to torture your coworker, but that's a totally different tip, another day. So you can just decide how transparent you want it to be. I would like to see it a little bit.

You'll also see that you can control how transparent it is when you have your mouse right on top of it, like you are going to use it. So you'll see that I can't move that any further down the road than the upper setting is, which makes sense. So very simple. I kind of like it solid when I'm using it. That's up to you if you want it to be transparent or not. If you want to see what it looks like before you hit an OK, you hit Click to Preview or you just hit OK, look at it and change it. It's totally up to you. I think that's a little bit easier. So I guess technically I made it a little bit more transparent. You can see through to the drawing a little bit more.

Some other things you might want to take a look at -- the Lines of Prompt History. The default is three. You can set it to a higher number, let's say I set it to six. Now let's see what happens when I go into the Polyline command. You'll see I get quite a bit of information on the screen, so it might actually fill up the screen at some point. You can set it to as high a number as you want -- that's up to you. I think that's a little bit too much. I like the default of three. Totally up to you though.

You can still come down here and hit Close. I love that option -- it came out a couple of releases ago in AutoCAD. Love being able to do that because then I don't have to move my hands over to the keyboard, right? I can just keep it on the mouse, which I love. And just my last tip in case you didn't know it, if you ever want to repeat a command that you did two times ago or three times ago, hopefully you've discovered you can click on this little arrow right here, whether it's docked or not, and you'll see the last few commands that you executed. I think that's way faster than going back and trying to find the command in the Ribbon again or keying in the shortcut -- whatever it is that you do. You can also use the arrow key to go through the commands. I do that a lot too because that's worked for a long time, back down the commands. So, down arrow. So whatever you prefer.

So there are some tips regarding screen real estate. I hope that you give moving the Command prompt a try. I'll see you back here in two more weeks. Thank you for joining me.

Add comment

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition