image image thumb14 Given the response I have received from my last post, Becoming a Keyboard Warrior – The Command Alias Editor, I thought I’d do a little mini-series on using the keyboard more efficiently in AutoCAD.  So now that you have created a dozen new command aliases, what else can you do with all those buttons sitting between you and your monitor?  In this post we’ll take a look at how to take “control” of AutoCAD using the [Ctrl] key. Something else, this post comes with an added bonus, as many of the shortcuts I’ll highlight work with many Windows applications. These bonus shortcuts are marked below with an asterisk (*)

Drawing Navigation

Ctrl + Tab * Cycle Through Multiple Drawings: Much like Alt + Tab let’s you cycle through different applications, Ctrl + Tab lets you cycle through your open drawings.
Ctrl + Pg Up *
Ctrl + Pg Dn
Cycle Through Tabs: Want to switch between layout tabs without ever touching the mouse? Use Ctrl + Page Up or Ctrl + Page Down to cycle through the layout tabs in your drawing.
Use in Microsoft Excel to cycle through worksheets.
Ctrl + Directional ArrowMove Drawing Cursor

Drawing File Tools

Ctrl + N * Create New Drawing: Like running the QNEW command.
Ctrl + S * Save Drawing: aka the QSAVE command
Ctrl + Shift + S Save Drawing As: aka the SAVEAS command
Ctrl + O *Open Drawing
Ctrl + P *Plot the current drawing
Ctrl + Q Quit/Exit AutoCAD

AutoCAD Palettes & Palette Sets

Ctrl + 1Properties Palette Set
Ctrl + 2Design Center
Ctrl + 3Tool Palettes
Ctrl + 4Sheet Set Manager Palette Set
Ctrl + 6db Connect Manager
Ctrl + 7Markup Set Manager: For working with DWF markup sets
Ctrl + 8Quick Calc
Ctrl + 9Command Line: Toggles On/Off
Ctrl + 0Clean Screen: AutoCAD for the true Keyboard Warrior

Drawing Editing Tools

Ctrl + C * Copy Uses arbitrary insertion point.
Ctrl + Shift + C Copy with Base Point Lets you enter or select an insertion point (this is my preferred method)
Ctrl + V *Paste
Ctrl + X * Cut Deletes from the drawing, but places items on your Windows clipboard.
Ctrl + Z * Undo Perfectly placed in the lower left corner of the keyboard, I hardly use U for undo anymore.
Ctrl + Y *Redo

Drawing Aids

Ctrl + A * Select All Selects every object in the drawing. Warning, do not combine with Delete key.
Ctrl + D Dynamic UCS [On/Off]
Ctrl + F OSNAP [On/Off] Or you can press F3
Ctrl + G Grid [On/Off]
Ctrl + L ORTHO [On/Off]
Ctrl + B Snap [On/Off]
Ctrl + W Object Snap Tracking [On/Off]
Ctrl + E Isoplane Used for 2D isometric drawings.
Ctrl + U Polar Tracking [On/Off]
Ctrl + MRepeat Last Command

MTEXT Editor

Ctrl + FInsert Field
Ctrl + RFind / Replace
Ctrl + Shift + SpaceInsert a Non-Breaking Space
Ctrl + Shift + UChange Text Case – Uppercase
Ctrl + Shift + LChange Text Case – Lowercase
Ctrl + EnterExit MTEXT Editor and save changes.

On a side note, Microsoft has a KB article listing the standard keyboard shortcuts for Windows.

Edit (5/12/09): Corrected Ctrl + L listing from OSNAP to the correct ORTHO toggle. Added Ctrl + Enter to Mtext category.