If you have kept up with the new features packed within AutoCAD 2008 you have likely read a small novel worth of articles about Annotative Scaling. Now don’t get me wrong, Annotative Scaling is a really cool new feature, but lots of other smaller features have gone without a lot of fanfare. My firm is currently gearing up for our AutoCAD 2008 upgrade, and as a result I am now starting to pick up on these lesser known features packed within this latest release. One area that I was happy to see some enhancements was the way layout tabs can be managed. Admittedly these features aren’t going to revolutionize the way you do your job, but they should allow you to streamline the way you work with layout tabs.

Quick Cycle Through Layout Tabs

Ok so this isn’t a new feature to 2008, but it is a lesser known feature of layout tabs. Pressing either the Ctrl + Page Up or Ctrl + Page Down key will allow you to change your current layout tab without ever touching the mouse. Making this feature even cooler is the fact the keyboard shortcut also works in Microsoft Excel to cycle through workbooks.

Double-Click to Rename Tab

062207 0033 managinglay1Pre AutoCAD 2008 renaming a layout tab required you right-click and to select “Rename”, and finally specify a new name. AutoCAD 2008 allows you to simply double-click a layout tab to rename it. No fear for those who enjoy living in the past, you can still right-click to rename a layout tab.

Drag Drop Reorder

062207 0033 managinglay2Reordering layout tabs used to mean using a rather cumbersome interface to get that perfect order. Starting with oh-eight we can simply press and hold our left mouse button to drag it into a new position.

Select Multiple Layouts at Once

062207 0033 managinglay3Granted this is not new for 2008, it is still a lesser known option when working with layout tabs. Pressing the Ctrl key will allow you to select any combination of layout tabs within your drawing. Pressing the Shift key will select all layout tabs between the current layout and the last selected layout tab.

Drag-and-Drop to Sheet Set Manager

062207 0033 managinglay4 For this feature to work you must save your drawing first. With your drawing saved, select the layout tab or tabs you want to add to Sheet Set Manager, and simply drag to the subset you wish to add the layout(s) to. After letting go of the left-click button you will then be presented with the same Import Layout as Sheet dialog that is in previous versions of AutoCAD.