Becoming a Keyboard Warrior – Getting Ctrl of CAD

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image 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 Arrow Move 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 + 1 Properties Palette Set
Ctrl + 2 Design Center
Ctrl + 3 Tool Palettes
Ctrl + 4 Sheet Set Manager Palette Set
Ctrl + 6 db Connect Manager
Ctrl + 7 Markup Set Manager: For working with DWF markup sets
Ctrl + 8 Quick Calc
Ctrl + 9 Command Line: Toggles On/Off
Ctrl + 0 Clean 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 + M Repeat Last Command

MTEXT Editor

Ctrl + F Insert Field
Ctrl + R Find / Replace
Ctrl + Shift + Space Insert a Non-Breaking Space
Ctrl + Shift + U Change Text Case – Uppercase
Ctrl + Shift + L Change Text Case – Lowercase
Ctrl + Enter Exit 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.

22 thoughts on “Becoming a Keyboard Warrior – Getting Ctrl of CAD

  1. In general I like to avoid using the function keys except F8 ortho.
    It would be nice to attach the function keys to some custom macros or scripts. In general I prefer using the menus but I have customized some key strokes for my favorite commands that I may not want to fish for in the menus.

    Jim
    Twitter @JAMCAD

  2. In general I like to avoid using the function keys except F8 ortho.
    It would be nice to attach the function keys to some custom macros or scripts. In general I prefer using the menus but I have customized some key strokes for my favorite commands that I may not want to fish for in the menus.

    Jim
    Twitter @JAMCAD

    • @ SENTHILKUMAR – I totally agree with your opinion on the function keys, as that’s what I generally use myself. Some of the keyboard warriors I work with have actually remapped the function keys to their OSNAPS. It’s not my cup of tea, but it works for them. So who am I to complain? Thanks for your comment.

  3. Drawing Aids COMMANDS : THE ONE FUNCTIONAL KEYS WILL DO BETTER THAN CTRL+…

    FOR EXAMBLE CTRL+G = F7, CTRL+L=F8, Ctrl + B=F9,

    ANY WAY LOT OF THANKS FOR THE REST OF ALL SHORT CUTS

    • @ SENTHILKUMAR – I totally agree with your opinion on the function keys, as that’s what I generally use myself. Some of the keyboard warriors I work with have actually remapped the function keys to their OSNAPS. It’s not my cup of tea, but it works for them. So who am I to complain? Thanks for your comment.