If you’re new to using CAD or you tend to use the same commands every day in your drafting job, you might not be aware of what you’re missing! Here are 10 really useful commands you probably didn’t even know existed.

1. Burst

When you want to explode an object or block, but still need to retain the information and attributes intact, the ‘burst’ command allows you to do this.

2. Oops

This handy and seldom-used command allows you to restore your last group of erased objects, without losing any of the editing you did since your last ERASE command. Although the ‘oops’ command is probably not something you will use all that often, it can still be useful on occasions when you want to hatch areas that are already filled with text or lines. Just select whatever is obstructing your hatch, ‘e’ to erase the whole lot, and then hatch the newly uncluttered area. Once your hatch is as you want it, use the ‘oops’ command to restore all the stuff you erased previously.

3. Ncopy

This command is very useful if you tend to frequently use external reference sources. ‘ncopy’ allows you to copy objects/lines into your drawing from a nested object. To bring a specific property line into your drawing, hit ncopy and select it from your xref of property lines. Now use 0,0 as your base and insert points.

4. Chspace

Although most designers will already have heard of this command, many do not use it as often as they could do. You can use ‘chspace’ to move drawing objects into model space from layout space and vice versa. All you need to do is choose a viewport and push your object through it, allowing you to shift blocks of text from your layout into your model space efficiently and quickly.

5. Overkill

This is a really useful command that you can use to tidy up your drawings. Run the command and it will trawl through your whole drawing, deleting any duplicate, overlapping lines, and 0 values, leaving your work much tidier and more professional.

6. Control+r

If you ever have a problem selecting a viewpoint that lives inside another viewpoint, for example when you have one view that shows the whole drawing with a smaller, thumbnail one inside it showing a close-up, it can be virtually impossible to activate the thumbnail by double-clicking on it. CAD has a really annoying habit of defaulting to the larger viewpoint instead! This problem is easily solved by using ‘cntrl+r’. Activate the larger image, and then hit the ‘cntrl+r’ command to cycle through the different views.

7. Saveall

This is a very handy command that quite a few drafters overlook. If you want to quickly save all your work at close of play or if you have to leave your desk for a meeting, just hit ‘saveall’. This command saves all your open drawings.

8. Join

This is a great, timesaving shortcut command. Essentially, it is the same as using the ‘pedit’ command followed by ‘join’, but it is much quicker. You simply select every line that you want to combine, and then hit ‘join’.

9. Closeall

This is a very handy time saving command that you can use to save and shut down all of your open drawings, without the need to close each one individually. Just hit ‘closeall’ and you’re all set to go home at the end of your day.

Even if you use computer-aided design software on a regular basis, it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of using the same tools. The commands referenced above may not be on your radar; why not check them out and see how much time and effort you could save by trying something different.

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