Download (direct link):
1. Toggle the DesignCenter palette on by clicking the DesignCenter button on the Standard toolbar or by pressing Ctrl+2.
2. Open or create a drawing containing named objects you want to copy.
You can also use the Folders tab, the Load button, or the Search button to load a drawing into DesignCenter without opening it in AutoCAD.
3. Open or create a second drawing into which you want to copy the named objects.
4. Click the Open Drawings tab to display your two currently opened drawings in DesignCenter’s navigation pane on the left.
If you used the Folders tab, the Load button, or the Search button in Step 2, skip this step; DesignCenter already displays the drawing you selected on the Folders tab.
5. If DesignCenter doesn’t display the symbol tables indented underneath the source drawing (the one you opened in Step 2), as shown in Figure 5-10, click the plus sign next to the drawing’s name to display them.
6. Click the Layers table to display the source drawing’s layers in the content pane.
7. Choose one or more layers in the content pane.
8. Right-click in the content pane and choose Copy from the menu to copy the layer(s) to the Windows Clipboard.
9. Click in the AutoCAD destination drawing’s window (the drawing that you opened in Step 3).
10. Right-click and choose Paste from the menu.
AutoCAD copies the layers into the current drawing, using the colors, linetypes, and other settings from the source drawing.
If the current drawing contains a layer whose name matches the name of one of the layers you’re copying, AutoCAD doesn’t change the current drawing’s layer definition. For example, if you drag a layer named Doors whose color is red into a drawing that already includes a layer called Doors whose color is green, the target drawing’s Doors layer remains green. Named objects from DesignCenter never overwrite objects with the same name in the destination drawing. AutoCAD always displays the message Duplicate definitions will be ignored even if there aren’t any duplicates.
If you’re repeatedly copying named objects from the same drawings or folders, add them to your DesignCenter favorites list. On the Folders tab, right-click the drawing or folder and choose Add To Favorites from the menu. This procedure adds another shortcut to your list of favorites.
122 Part II: Let There Be Lines
To see your favorites, click the DesignCenter toolbar’s Favorites button. ^ To return to a favorite, double-click its shortcut in the content pane.
Precise-liness Is Next to CAD-liness
Drawing precision is vital to good CAD drafting practice, even more than for manual drafting. If you think CAD managers get testy when you assign properties by object instead of by layer, wait until they berate someone who doesn’t use precision techniques when creating drawings in AutoCAD.
In CAD, lack of precision makes later editing, hatching, and dimensioning tasks much more difficult and time consuming.
Small errors in precision in the early stages of creating or editing a drawing often have a big effect on productivity and precision later.
Drawings may guide manufacturing and construction projects; drawing data may drive automatic manufacturing machinery. Huge amounts of money, even lives, can ride on a drawing’s precision.
In recognition of these facts, a passion for precision permeates the profession. Permanently. Precision is one of the characteristics that separatesCAD from ordinary illustration-type drawing work. The sooner you get fussy about precision in AutoCAD, the happier everyone is.
CAD precision versus accuracy
We often use the words precision and accuracy interchangeably, but we think it's useful to maintain a distinction. When we use the word precision, we mean controlling the placement of objects so they lie exactly where you want them to lie in the drawing. For example, lines whose endpoints meet must meet exactly, and a circle that's supposed to be centered on the coordinates 0,0 must be drawn with its center exactly at 0,0. We use accuracy to refer to the degree to which your drawing matches its real-world counterpart. An accurate floor plan is one in which the dimensions of the CAD objects equal the dimensions of the as-built house. In a
sense, then, it's not the drawing that should be accurate — it's the house!
CAD precision usually helps produce accurate drawings, but that's not always the case. You can produce a precise CAD drawing that's inaccurate because you started from inaccurate information (for example, the contractor gave you a wrong field measurement). Or you might deliberately exaggerate certain distances to convey the relationship between objects more clearly on the plotted drawing. Even where you must sacrifice accuracy, aim for precision.
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In the context of drawing objects, to use precision means to designate points and distances exactly, and AutoCAD provides a range of tools for doing so. Table 5-2 lists the more important AutoCAD precision techniques, plus the status bar buttons that you click to toggle some of the features off and on.