image image thumb What a fun weekend!  Richmond, VA (where I live) got it’s first real snow since 2005.  While I know some who absolutely hate the thought of snow, I personally like it.  Seems I’ve got at least one friend in my dog (black Labrador) named Guinness, who got to see snow for the first time and couldn’t get enough of frisbee in the snow! Of course in the mix of that was a call from grandma who had lost power and was effectively snowed in.  So yesterday afternoon I paid her a visit to dig her out, and get her a bite to eat. Needless to say, I didn’t get too much work accomplished yesterday, and frankly I’m ok with that!

As much as I could blog about my snow filled weekend, I know why you’re here – AutoCAD!  Parametric drawing and the contextual ribbon are naturally the flagship new features to AutoCAD 2010, but what else is there to the upcoming release?  One of those tools is what I would describe as an enhanced AREA command.  There’s probably someone at Autodesk reading this saying NOOOO it’s so much more than that.  Whatever the case, the MEASUREGEOM command is worth taking a look at.

Finding the MEASUREGEOM Command

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You can find the full array of tools on the Utilities Panel of the Home tab.  Among the tools we have at our disposal are Distance, Radius, Angle, Area, and Volume.  To access any of these tools, simply press the little down arrow on the Measure button.

Super Duper Area Highlighting

So what makes the MEASUREGEOM command better than the age-old AREA, DISTANCE, SUBTRACT, etc commands?  My favorite part is the interactive highlighting.  While I know the AREA command does something similar, the MEASUREGEOM command seems to take it another step.

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The screen capture above illustrates just how the MEASUREGEOM command takes things to the next level.  Within the command I first added the entire Hall area, and then subtracted the portion consumed by the stairs.  Notice the area highlighting AutoCAD places over the area.  As you’ve probably already guessed, the green area shows the area being added, and the red the area being subtracted.

image image thumb3 Again, the MEASUREGEOM command sports quite the arsenal of measurement inquiry tools.  In addition to the area command highlighted (no pun intended) above, we’ve also got tools for distance, radius, angle, and volume. As a general rule each of these work like their classic counterparts.  For instance the Distance function is virtually identical to the good ole’ DISTANCE command.  Not sold on the MEASUREGEOM command, never fear DISTANCE, AREA, and the like are all still valid commands.