The Ribbon looks cool but the Keyboard is faster

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.

AutoCAD, Keyboard, Alias, Shortcut

Keyboard Quick Keys and Toggle Switches

AutoCAD Keyboard Quick Keys, Toggle Switches

Command Aliases

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)

Command Alias, Autocomplete

The command prompt will ask which file to edit, type ACAD.PGP then press ENTER

Command Alias, Autocomplete

Command Alias, ACAD.PGP

This file lists all current command aliases, for example,

Command Alias


Typing command names in at the command prompt will cause the autocomplete window to display offering to automatically finish the word you are typing

Command Alias, Autocomplete

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

Command Alias Command Prompts

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

Keyboard Shortcuts, Access Keys, Underline

Simply pressing the Right Mouse Button displays the following Menu;

Right Mouse Button Menu, Quick Access Keys

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;

Command Prompts Right Mouse Button Menu

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

Right Mouse Button Click, 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;

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