AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT allow you to issue commands via the Ribbon by selecting ICONS within GROUPS laid out on TABS. Sometimes you will have to click several places to navigate to the icon you require.
With practice, using the keyboard to issue commands can be a much faster method of communicating with AutoCAD.
Keyboard Quick Keys and Toggle Switches
Command Aliases are shortened command names typed in at the command prompt as an alternative to navigating to the command icon in the ribbon.
An example of a command alias is L and it starts the LINE command.
A list of all defined command aliases can be found in a text file named ACAD.PGP
Access the ACAD.PGP by typing the following at the command prompt
AI_E (the command AI_EDITCUSTFILE will autocomplete) then press the SPACEBAR (same as ENTER)
The command prompt will ask which file to edit, type ACAD.PGP then press ENTER
This file lists all current command aliases, for example,
Typing command names in at the command prompt will cause the autocomplete window to display offering to automatically finish the word you are typing
Press the SPACEBAR to issue the command
Respond to Command Prompts
Commands issued often have options or choices for you to make, these options display inside the square brackets [ ] Use the Blue coloured Capitalized letter as a keyboard quick key
For example, to Zoom to the Extents of a drawing file;
Press Z, then SPACEBAR, then E, then SPACEBAR.
Right Mouse Button Menu
Right Mouse Button Menus can be very useful when Windows Ease of Access Center has Underline Keyboard shortcuts and access keys turned ON
Windows Start Menu > Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use > Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys = Ticked
Simply pressing the Right Mouse Button displays the following Menu;
Notice the R in Repeat Zoom is Underlined
Press R to Repeat the last issued command (ZOOM)
Some commands have quick keyboard keys indicated by the Underscore
Eg RMB Click, then Q starts the Quick Select tool
By pressing the Right Mouse Button when a command is running a menu displays with the command prompt options available;
Again, select the Blue Coloured Capitalized letter will select that option or choice.
Use the Key combination SHIFT + RMB or CTRL + RMB when a command is running displays the Snap Overrides Menu
Notice the k in Temporary track point is Underlined
Press k to start this SNAP option
All Snap Overrides have quick keyboard keys indicated by the Underscore
Eg press L, then SPACEBAR, SHIFT+RMB Click, then E, use OSNAP (set to Endpoint) to select the end point on existing geometry for the first point of the line, SHIFT+RMB Click, then M, use OSNAP (set to Midpoint) to select the midpoint on existing geometry for the second point of the line, etc.
Download a comprehensive ‘cheat sheet’ of AutoCAD keyboard shortcuts, Quick Keys and Command Aliases here;