Drafting Speed

Everyone in AutoCAD drafts at a different speed. When you’re watching someone use AutoCAD, especially if you are unfamiliar with the software, you might find yourself amazed at how fast their fingers fly to create a drawing. Conversely, if you’ve never seen someone that is very quick at using AutoCAD, then you might think that you’ve reached a plateau and that’s it’s not possible to become faster.

All this talk about finger speed is really a red herring. There are more important factors in someone’s proficiency using AutoCAD than their APM (actions-per-minute). One of them has nothing to do with AutoCAD itself. It’s how familiar are you with what you are drawing. Knowing the subject inside and out is going to produce more accurate drawings faster.

On the technical side of AutoCAD, here are some methods to increase your performance:

1. Minimize repetitive tasks
Example – You need to rotate many blocks simultaneously, use the properties window.

2. Know when you need to press keys and when you don’t.
Example – When joining many lines together, the Join command will act exactly like PEdit join if you select a polyline as the first object.

3. Get the vertical product specific to your discipline
Revit, AutoCAD Architecture, Civil 3D, or MEP will make it easier to design. The learning curve might make it more difficult at first, but the investment is well worth it.

4. Use styles efficiently, don’t override
Example – Create a dimension style and set the scale for the style, do not just rely on the DIMSCALE variable. From then on, change the style when working on a detail that’s at a different scale. Even better, put this into a template.

5. Get training
This is especially important if the number of AutoCAD users you interact with is low.

6. Customize
If there is a tool that you use multiple times a day that is not easy to get to, then make it easily accessible. You can use the CUI, LISP, PGP or Macro Recorder to make it easier to access your commands.

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