# - Auto CAD Tutorial 2010 -

## 4.6 - INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW

 LESSON 4-1 AUTOCAD TEMPLATE FILES LESSON 4-2 USING OSNAPS IN AUTOCAD LESSON 4-3 LINETYPES AND LINETYPE SCALE LESSON 4-4 AUTOCAD FILE FORMATS LESSON 4-5 GRIP EDITING LESSON 4-6 AUTOCAD'S INQUIRY TOOLS LESSON 4-7 XREF'S (EXTERNAL REFERENCES) LESSON 4-8 SYSTEM VARIABLES LESSON 4-9 TABLES LESSON 4-10 INTRODUCTION TO SHEET SETS LESSON 4-11 MODIFYING AND CREATING DIMENSIONS LESSON 4-12 INTRODUCTION TO CUSTOMIZING AUTOCAD

## Topics covered in this Lesson:

#### Distance | Area | Mass Properties | List | ID

AutoCAD has many tools to help you as a designer. Some of these you may have already used. The properties command gives you a lot of information about an object you have selected and allows you change most of them. AutoCAD also has some commands used specifically for pulling information from objects.

Most of these commands can be accessed from the Home > Utilities tool panel. Here is a list of those commands (click on the icon for more information) :

 COMMAND KEYBOARD ICON DESCRIPTION Distance DISTANCE / DI Distance measures the distance and angle between two points Radius MEASUREGEOM Measures the radius of an arc or a circle. Angle MEASUREGEOM Measures the angle between two lines. Area AREA Area Calculates the area and perimeter of objects or of defined areas. Volume MEASUREGEOM Area Calculates the area and perimeter of objects or of defined areas. Mass Properties MASSPROP None Mass Properties Calculates and displays the mass properties of regions or solids. List LI None List Displays database information for selected objects. ID ID ID Point Displays the coordinate values of a location.

The first one, DISTANCE (DI), is quite straight forward. It allows you to select two points on the screen and AutoCAD will tell you the total distance as well as the changes in X,Y & Z.

### Command: DI DIST Specify first point: <SELECT ANY POINT> Specify second point or [Multiple points]: <SELECT ANY POINT> Distance = 12.5107, Angle in XY Plane = 25, Angle from XY Plane = 0 Delta X = 11.3228, Delta Y = 5.3208, Delta Z = 0.0000

MEASUREGEOM is used to for a few options, among them Radius which will measure the radius of a circle or arc. Enter the command and then choose radius from the list on the screen.

With Radius selected, just pick on any arc or circle to have the radius displayed.

AutoCAD is kind enough to give you both the radius and the diameter on the screen - and on the command line:

### Select arc or circle: <SELECT THE OBJECT> Radius = 3.3780 Diameter = 6.7559

You are left in the command and can select another option like Angle. Now you're asked to select 2 lines and the screen will display the angle between them.

Volume measurements can be used on 3D objects or 2D objects (if you enter a height). You can either select and object or pick points.

AREA is a command that can be very useful. This can used to calculate square footage for floors, property lots, or even something like sheet metal parts. To use this command, you can type in AREA and see this on your command line:

### Command: AREA <First point>/Object/Add/Subtract: O Select objects:<SELECT AN OBJECT> Area = 56.7498, Perimeter = 30.6775

The default option is to pick a point on the screen. This allows you to select the four corners of a room to find the total area in square drawing units (usually inches). You can pick as many points as you need and then press enter when you're done. AutoCAD returns the area and the perimeter length. If you select the next option (object), you can select a circle, rectangle, polyline or some other closed object. You also have the option of adding to or subtracting from the initial area. You may need to find the carpeting area of a room, but exclude where you have tile. Or you may need to add several rooms together.

MASS PROPERTIES is an option for finding information about 3D solid objects. You can find out the total volume and from there calculate the weight based on volume. AutoCAD also figures out some important engineering figures for you such as the center of gravity for an object. This listing shows you all the information you can get from MASSPROP:

### Write analysis to a file? [Yes/No] <N>: n

This is a lot of information, so AutoCAD gives you the option of saving it to a file after it is displayed.

LIST is an inquiry that gives you some basic information about a command. This is usually the information that AutoCAD needs to know about it to keep track of it in its database. Here is a listing of a line:

### Select objects: LINE Layer: "0" Space: Model space Color: 1 (red) Linetype: "BYLAYER" Handle = 2fd from point, X= 9.2042 Y= 13.5272 Z= 0.0000 to point, X= -2.1187 Y= 8.2064 Z= 0.0000 Length = 12.5107, Angle in XY Plane = 205 Delta X = -11.3228, Delta Y = -5.3208, Delta Z = 0.0000

Here are the properties (CTRL+1) for the same line:

Notice that you can get the same information, but also have the option of changing anything that you need to.

After List, the next option is ID POINT. This allows you to select anywhere on the screen and have AutoCAD return the X,Y&Z coordinates for that point. Here is a listing of ID POINT:

### Command: ID Specify point: <SELECT POINT> X = 155'-2 1/2" Y = 48'-9 3/16" Z = 0'-0"

(You can also get this information by selecting a grip and looking at the status bar.)

OTHER INQUIRY TOOLS:

Time Displays the date and time statistics of a drawing. Type TIME.

Status Displays drawing statistics, modes, and extents. Type STATUS.

Set Variable Lists or changes the values of system variables. Type SETVAR.

TIME and STATUS are two inquiries that give you information about the system, as opposed to objects.

Here is a listing of TIME:

### Current time: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 6:00:11:671 PM Times for this drawing: Created: Sunday, April 28, 1996 10:11:02:620 AM Last updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 1:24:52:328 AM Total editing time: 0 days 12:00:49:244 Elapsed timer (on): 0 days 12:00:49:244 Next automatic save in: <no modifications yet>

You can see the current date, when you last saved and when AutoCAD will do its next automatic save. And yes, that file has been with me for 8 years.

Here is a listing of STATUS:

### Command: STATUS 120 objects in Drawing1.dwg Model space limits are X: 0.0000 Y: 0.0000 (Off) X: 12.0000 Y: 9.0000 Model space uses X: -4.1963 Y: -0.2930 **Over X: 52.2702 Y: 34.7170 **Over Display shows X: -9.5333 Y: -7.2543 X: 68.2812 Y: 37.6074 Insertion base is X: 0.0000 Y: 0.0000 Z: 0.0000 Snap resolution is X: 0.5000 Y: 0.5000 Grid spacing is X: 0.5000 Y: 0.5000 Current space: Model space Current layout: Model Current layer: "TEXT" Current color: BYLAYER -- 3 (green) Current linetype: BYLAYER -- "Continuous" Current lineweight: BYLAYER Current elevation: 0.0000 thickness: 0.0000 Fill on Grid off Ortho off Qtext off Snap off Tablet off Object snap modes: Center, Endpoint, Intersection, Midpoint, Quadrant, Extension Free dwg disk (C:) space: 2797.3 MBytes Free temp disk (C:) space: 2797.3 MBytes Free physical memory: 13.6 Mbytes (out of 509.8M). Free swap file space: 752.0 Mbytes (out of 1246.3M).

As you can see, there is a lot of information here, not only about your drawing, but about the computer you are working on.

The last inquiry, SET VARIABLE (SETVAR), allows you to change any system variables, or if you like AutoCAD will list them for you. The details of this command are not covered in this lesson. You must be VERY careful when working with system variables. A brief overview is given in Lesson 4-8

CONTINUE TO THE NEXT LESSON - 4-7 >