I don't. If that's all you care about, you can stop reading here.
I have a 21" tube which I adore. Run the thing at 2048 x 1536 pixels
and if I'm tired really should switch the UI to "big buttons".
There is still aliasing (I work light on black, unlike some Don's I
could name) but it's fine grained enough not to be a distraction. The
details don't smoosh together into bright blobs at reasonable levels
of zoom out. That's something of an aesthetics issue, but I prefer to
look at drawings that look like drawing not greeking.
I used a 19" tube at 1600 x 1200 at the office for five years and it
was... perfectly adequate.
When the drivers for the 21" permitted 2048 pixels I suddenly found
myself not maximizing my applications as much. I generally keep n apps
open and would alt-tab between them. Now I keep the big apps (cad, 3d,
painting) un maximized with bits of others showing to be monitored
visually and grabbed by mouse (if that's what suits me at that
moment). For apps like Photoshop (ok, ok, I'm using Elements) with
unconstrained child palettes, I move them outside the app.
I do keep a second tube around (currently a dump find... looks like
maybe a 17", running at... whatever suits me. 1280 if I want the real
estate. I was running at 800 the other day because the Illustrate
options are pickyass in small type and the extra distance to the side
monitor isn't good). Had a task correcting some drawings based on
PDFed scans of faxes of field sketches. CAD on one tube, PDF on the
other. Yeah, I have to turn my head a bit but it's better than
switching windows to front on the one tube, imo. ymmv.
There are times, less so with the monitor in a lower position than a
higher one, when schlepping all the way across the monitor for a
button or menu gets to be a distraction. UI people have a 2 second
rule for responsiveness. There may be an n inch rule for head turning.
And that is the issue. It's a head movment not just an eye flick. It
probably wouldn't be as bad if I didn't wear glasses which put the
nose piece right between my right eye and the upper left corner ;-).
Still, it may be a consideration. Makes you learn the keyboard
commands and that's good for you. Builds character. Increases
If you're running a wide 30" then I can see putting up CAD here and
reference material next to it, or getting a better view of a web page
or using more of them new fangled palette thingies (which I'm finally
getting around to integrating into my workflow usefully). Or keeping
the properties panel open ALL the time. Or properties AND palettes!
I had a... musta been a 17" flat running at ... some stupid low cheap
LCD pixel count at the last job. That was not enough. In order to work
smoothly I had to print out those floor plans on real paper. And
that's one of the problems I have with the LCDs. You want how much
money for how much screen that will run how few pixels (and look how
I could only find:
1024x768 VGA with True Color (more under Vista)
Is that what you mean, or something else?
If so, sure we used to run on far less back in the day, but IMO unless
you are talking special vision needs, assume 1280 minimal. I know I'm
a freak with the 2048, but 1024 and you are just talking too crowded
in this day and age. And CHUNKY on a 30". That's gotta be what... like
I'm not sure what you mean "if that all you care about." I have hand drawn
for a long time and got used to being able to read different information n a
regular sheet size without having to zoom twice in to something and then
zoom twice out and then compare what I saw on the first 2 zooms to other
information on the drawings that I have to AGAIN zoom in and then out, on
A bigger monitor, as long as the resolution is correct, is always better on
the eyes and ability to read more information on drawing without zooming.
I have a 19" and I don't adore it.
Well, we obviously don't agree on what's adequate. I'll say that it
WORKABLE. One can do the work but it is far from the best experience.
"Do you have a 30" monitor?" "No."
Everything there after addressed _not_ a 30" monitor. If you only care
about 30" monitors then prattling on about 17" monitors would be of
you use to you.
And some people will actually whine if you try to help beyond their
specific perceived cares. So I try to pre-empt them. The lurkers still
might learn something.
Obviously. I think "adequate" means "adequate" and "best experience"
doesn't. You appear to conflate the terms.
Well, I'm actually typing with my 30" Dell Monitor right now. I thought I
may have problems with the resolution but with all the control Windows gives
you in font and type size, I've managed to correct the "tight" resolution in
order to avoid "pixilation" (or however it's speleed). I've also started a
new project and it's totally awesome. I'm able to read door and window
schedules and look over at the drawing and see the door and window marks. I
can actually proofread like that without zooming in and in and then out and
out in one area to proofread in another part of the drawing when I had to
zoom in and in and then out and out again. With many functions, I only have
to zoom in once. AutoCAD also allows large icons and with all the icons to
the left and right of the drawing (vs above) I get the maximum size of the
drawing to the extends.
But the way, I didn't "conflate" the terminology, jerk. Oh, and bye bye
now. I'm having an AWESOME AUTOCAD EXPERIENCE! If you want to spend
$1,400, you too overcome having an ADEQUATE experience and experience
AutoCAD like it should be experienced..
AutoCAD should be experienced with as few icons as possible, more-so because
you have a 30" monitor and having to mouse back and forth for those icons
would be a huge pain in the butt. Learn shortcuts and you'll have an even
MORE AWESOME AUTOCAD EXPERIENCE, with even more real estate used for the
I can hear Don already...
I'm already used to that but I'm moving the mouse, obviously, a bit more
than usual. Even though I learned with commands only with only a small
reliance on the tablet, I now personally perfer icons, mouse and pull downs.
One other thing I noticed was that I'm moving my head more! lol Actually,
I'm taking your advice since I'm using more shortcuts than I did before
getting my new computer and monitor. Also, to rid myself of the icons would
only give me, perhaps, 1/2" more of drawing at the top with nothing on the
sides. When I have my drawings to the extends, it has a lot of space left
to right of drawing. That is why is all but zoom icons to the left & right
of the screen. Later.
Does it drive you nuts or are you getting used to it? I got used to it
moving to the 21, but haven't gotten used to it with dual-head and
worry that I may never. Maybe a better arrangement. Or a 30" ;-)
I'm not used to it yet but I gather that I will be eventually. Everything
new requires adaptation... obviously... It all worked out okay even though I
had some reservations, given what some people told me. I even view the
internet @ 150% which is near perfect for 30" monitor. I just had to change
a setting to have it at that percentage all the time. The whole success
really depended on Windows,. Explorer & AutoCAD giving you the power over
the size of icons & text. Later.
The screen area is one thing, but the real benefit of using aliases is that
the cursor can stay near the work (SPEED). One keystroke with your other
hand, right-click enter, and you're right there. That's the fastest way to
work. Buttons/menus are fine for infrequently used stuff. Custom buttons are
great for scripts or complex command sequences, but for simple commands,
your top 50 should be via command alias, IMHO.
And don't be afraid to override them. Though if you do, learn how to
move them to another machine or you'll be hurtin' ;-)
How often do you COPY? CIRCLE? Shouldn't COPY be C? Let CIRCLE be CI.
Last place I worked I did more checking than drawing. I'm left handed
with the mouse. Made dimension shortcuts IL, II, IO. Very nice for
single right hand typing. I prefer to invent SOME kind of logic for
memory ('cause I"m slow that way). So I for d_I_mension. _L_inear,
c_O_ntinue and al_I_gned. Your milage will likely vary.
Also, don't be afraid to have a look at LISPs. They can be real handy
for slicking up AutoCAD to work smoothly YOUR way. Example: I use
SCALE RELATIVE all the time.
(defun C:SR ()
(setq sel (ssget))
(setq pt_base (getpoint "\\nbase:"))
(setq pt_from (getpoint "\\nfrom:"))
(setq pt_to (getpoint pt_base "\\nto:"))
(command "._SCALE" sel "" pt_base "r" pt_base pt_from pt_to)
SC select enter click R enter click click click
SR select enter click click click
Which doesn't SEEM like much, but for me it streamlines what had
always felt like an awkward speedbump.
Last job I kept having to move drawings to 0,0:
(defun C:MZ ()
(setq sel (SSGET))
(setq base (getpoint "\\nBase Point: "))
(command "._MOVE" sel "" base "0,0,0")
My ultimate point not being "you need to adopt these commands". You
probably don't. But rather - see how a few lines of code can adapt
AutoCAD to behave like you think.
It's not for everybody and totally OT ;-)
While I totally agree, I've sorta stopped agreeing. I've got enough
screen now that a couplefew toolbars aren't making that much
difference. And it gets worse!
That last job with the checking, I did a lot of drawing layout lines
and dimensions on an existing drawing. I wanted dimensions of style
temp on layer tempdim. I got tired of switching layers. Once per
drawing I'd need to use a specific hatch on the entry arrow and one of
two specific hatches on the floor tile. I made palette items for
these. Leave the thing on layer LAYOUT, click _my_ dimension button
and draw a dimension of my style on my layer and end up still on the
LAYOUT layer. The only thing I'd have to do is type 'L' again. Click
on the hatch and click in the arrow and it's hatched in the right
style, scale, rotation, on the right layer. Those palette things take
up way too much screen real estate but they were worth it. Even on the
And then, with the 21" on 2048 I don't necessarily maximize the app.
So I'm already willing to work on a "document" that isn't as full
screen as possible. It's weird and I worry that I'm a heretic.
The ones I use regularly are:
(defun c:fz ()
(command "fillet" "radius" 0 "fillet")
Purge all with no dialogue box
(defun c:pu ()
(command "purge" "all" "*" "no" )
Audit and autofix no dialogue
(defun c:au ()
(command "audit" "y")
Line convert to pline and join
(defun c:pj ()
(command "pedit" pause "j" pause)
Attribute set, paper space and zoom to fill screen
(defun c:pz ()
(setvar "tilemode" 0)
(command "zoom" "e")
(command "zoom" ".95x")
(command "layer" "s" "0" "")
(command "mirrtext" "0")
(command "psltscale" "0")
(command "regenauto" "on")
I like the two you posted very much and will be stealing them :).
One other thing, a good way to expand on available keyboard shorcuts is to
use one letter twice. Rather than make the circle command CI and having to
go across the keyboard to envoke it, I chose to use CC instead as it is much
quicker, same thing with the mirror command (MM).
Mostly for me it helps when you need to look at two drawing side by side,
otherwise a half an inch doesn't really make that much of a difference.
Yes, it's x times y, and it's 160 x by 2580y. Yet, you have to use large
icons and put all your icons & block manager to the left & right of the
screen. If you do that, you get a really nice & large drawing and you can
actually read the whole (24"x36") drawing without zooming. Also, most
functions while designing require only one zoom (except for details such as
breaking wall lines, etc.). Take care.
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