After you have set up your work area, you can begin the plan of-a typical bathroom in your studio. You will use this example to learn about some of AutoCAD’s drawing aids. These tools might be compared to a background grid (Grid mode), scale (Coordinate Readout modes, and a T-square and triangle (Object Snap Tracking mode and Polar Tracking Code). These drawing modes can be indispensable tools when used properly. The Drafting Settings dialog box helps you visualize the modes in an organized manner and simplifies their management.
Using the Grid Mode as a Background Grid
Using the Grid mode is like having a grid under your drawing to help you with layout. In AutoCAD, the Grid mode also lets you see the limits of your drawing and helps you visually determine the distances you are working with in any given view. In this section, you will learn how to control the grid’s appearance. The F7 key toggles the Cric mode on and off; you can also click the GRID button in the status bar. Start by setting the grid spacing.
1. Choose Tools» Drafting Settings, or type Rm.J to display the Drafting Settings dialog box, showing all the mode settings.
2. Click the Snap and Grid tab at the top’ of the dialog box. You see four button groups:Snap, Grid, Polar Spacing, and Snap Type & Style.
3. Let’s start with the Grid group. Notice that the Grid X Spacing input box contains a value of 1/2″. Metric users see a value of 10.
4. Double-dick the Grid X Spacing input box. The 1/2″ (or 10 for metric users) highlights. You can now type in a new value for this setting.
5. Type 12’for 12″, then press the Tab key to move to the Grid Y Spacing input box. Metric users should type 30, then press Tab. Notice that the Grid Y Spacing input box automatically changes to the same value as the X spacing value you just entered. In the case of the English measurement, the value also changes from 12 to 1′.AutoCAD assumes you want the X and Y grid spacing to be the same, unless you specifically ask for a different Y setting.
6. Click the Grid On check box. This setting makes the grid visible. Also notice the f7 in parentheses. This tells you that the F7 function key also controls the Grid OnIOff function.
7. Click OK. The grid now appears as an array of dots with a 12″ spacing in you drawing area (30cm if you are following the metric version of this tutorial). The grid dots will not print or plot with your drawing.
With the grid of a 12-unit spacing (30cm for metric users), you can see your work area more ) It also gives you a visual reference for your drawing. You can see what a . -foot (or 30-cm) distance looks like in your drawing. Since the grid appeared randomly within the drawing limits, you are better able to see your work area. In the next section, you’ll see how the Snap mode works.
8. Press F7, or click the word GRID in the status bar (you can also hold down the Ctrl key and press G). The grid disappears.
9. Press F7 again to turn the grid back on again.
Using the Snap Modes
The Snap mode has no equivalent in hand drafting. This mode forces the cursor to step a specific distance. Snap mode is useful if you want to maintain accuracy while entering distances with the cursor.
There are actually two snap modes available in AutoCAD: Grid Snap and Polar Snap. Experienced users \ ill know how to use the Grid Snap, but the Polar Snap is new in AutoCAD 2000. You’ll start by looking at the Grid Snap mode.
The F9 key toggles the Grid Snap mode on and off. Or, just like the Grid mode, there is a SNAP button in the status bar that you can click. Follow these steps to access the Grid Snap mode:
1. ChooseTools> Drafting Settings, or type Rm-.l.The Drafting Settings dialog box appears again. .
2. In the Snap group of the dialog box, double-click the Snap X Spacing input box and type 4. Then press the Tab key to move to the next option metric users should enter 10. As with the grid setting, AutoCAD assumes you want the X and Y snap spacing to be the same, unless you specifically ask for c different Y setting the X and Y snap spacing to be the same, unless you specifically ask for c different Y setting.
3. Click the Snap On check box so that a checking appears.
4. Click OK and start moving the cursor around. ,Notice the cursor seem: to move in “steps” rather than in a smooth motion. also nonce that the SNAP button in the status bar appears to be depressed. in eating that the Snap mode is on.
5. Press F9 or click the word SNAP in the status bar (you can also hold down the Ctrl key and press B); then move the cursor slowly around the drawing area. The Snap mode is now off.
6. Press F9 again to turn the Snap mode back on.
Take a moment to look at the Drafting Settings dialog box. The other options in the Snap group allow you to set the snap origin point (X Base and Y Base), rotate the cursor to an angle other than its current 0-900 (Angle), and set the horizontal snap spacing to a value different (from the vertical spacing (Snap X Spacing and Snap Y Spacing).
In the Snap Type & Style group, you can change the snap and grid configuration to aid in drawing isometric drawings by choosing the Isometric Snap radio button. The Polar Snap option allows you to set a snap distance for the Polar Snap feature. When you click the Polar Snap radio button, the Polar Distance option at the lower left of the dialog box changes from gray to black and white .to allow you to enter a Polar Snap distance. The next exercise discusses these features.
Using Grid and Snap Together
You can set the grid spacing to be the same as the snap setting, allowing you to see every snap point. Let’s take a look at how Grid and Snap modes work together.
1. Open the Drafting Settings dialog box.
2. Make sure the Snap and Grid tab is selected, then double-click the Grid X Spacing input box in the Grid group, and type O.
3. Click OK. Now the grid spacing has changed to reflect the 4″ (or 10 em) snap spacing. Move the cursor, and watch it snap to the grid points.
4. Open the Drafting Settings dialog box again.
5. Double-dick the Snap X Spacing input box in the Snap group, and ‘type 1 (or 3 for metric users),
6. Click OK. The grid automatically changes to confirm to the new snap setting. When the grid spacing is set to 0, the grid then aligns with the snap points. At this density, the grid is overwhelming.
7. Open the Drafting Settings dialog box again.
8. Double-click the Grid X Spacing input box in the Grid grow, ‘all type \2 (30 for metric users).
9. Click OK. The grid spacing is now at 12 (or 30) again, which i~ a more reasonable spacing for the current drawing scale.
With the snap spacing set to 1 (3 for metric users), it is difficult t’?tell if the snap mode is turned on based on the behavior of the cursor, but the coordinate readout in the status bar gives you a clue. As you move your cursor, the-coordinates appears as whole numbers with no fractional distances. Metric users with notice the coordinate readout displaying values that are multiples of 3.
As you move the cursor over the drawing area, the coordinate readout in the lower-left comer of the AutoCAD window dynamically displays the cursor’s position in absolute Cartesian coordinates. This allows you to find a position on your drawing by locating it in reference to the drawing origin-D,O-that is in the lower left comer of the drawing. You can also set the coordinate readout to display relative coordinates by clicking the readout itself or by pressing the F6 key. Throughout these exercises, coordinates will be provided to enable you to select points using the dynamic coordinate readout.
Next, you’ll learn how to use the snap tools as your virtual drawing scale,T-square, and triangle.