Four Practical and Simple Techniques to Achieve Instant CAD Productivity for Any Office

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As CAD companies tighten their budgets and become more competitive and innovative, many managers and drafters find themselves grasping for better ways to work more efficiently. Smarter firms do less muddling within menus by using quicker shortcuts and applying a few common sense CAD drafting tips. Today SimpleCAD explores 4 ways to improve your workflow.

Tips to get CAD drawings done quicker

Single key drawing commands provide a quick way to increase your drafing speed.

Pre-drawn libraries is a great way to achieve instant CAD productivity.

As firms continue to downsize there is more emphasis on how to streamline drafting productivity. Today SimpleCAD offers a few low cost tips for CAD companies looking to optimize the drafting and design process.

Below are 4 easy to follow CAD productivity tips that can be implemented right away.

1 - Use one key alias commands and optimize toolbars

The ACAD.PGP allows you to add simple command shortcuts to access drawing commands with minimal mouse movement and will dramatically improve your drafting speeds. This file can be easily edited with Notepad or other simple text only editor. The left column of the PGP file is the shortened command and the right is the actual system command. We encourage users to try and use 1 character aliases whenever possible. This allows the left hand to type just one character and the right hand to do the mouse movement.

Often many users may dig deep into pull-down menus when looking for a certain drawing command. This often slows down drafting time. Hidden toolbars may be turn on or moved into less obscure locations. By right-clicking on an existing toolbar CAD users can toggle on various per-configured icons that can be moved into side bars within the working area.

In more recent CAD versions, a ribbon interface consisting of tabs and panels may also be active. We find that many drafters will often get lost in the ribbon and may choose to turn the ribbon off altogether. Although the ribbon does provide certain advantages, it can always be turned off/on using the Ribbon and RibbonClose command. Alternatively the top menu can be toggled off/on using the Menubar command.

2 - Setup drawing templates

The best method of maintaining inner office drawing standards is to spend some time setting up CAD template. To do this we recommend dragging and dropping objects that you consider your office standard (such as dimension styles, line types and blocks) into an empty drawing. Then save the file as a drawing template (dwt file).

Multiple templates can also be created for different drawing prototypes. For example one could be setup a separate template for a floor plan and another for an electrical plan. When creating a new drawing, a template is chosen the new drawing is setup automatically using the appropriate defaults. Use the command Startup and set to 1 to allow users select templates.

3 - Reuse - don't redraw

Once an object has been drawn in CAD, ask yourself whether or not you might need this same drawing later. Complete libraries take some time to build. But the effort will be worth it.

"There are many SimpleCAD Blocks to help users get started" says Erik Zetterberg, director at "Pre-drawn libraries is a great way to achieve instant CAD productivity" Erik continues.

Creating your own library requires one to save it using a block manager or dragging it into a tool palette or folder and catalog them as you go. This way you can easily insert the block reference in your drawing by dragging back into a drawing at a later date.

4 - Use the SHIFT key to pick multiple items or enable/disable options

Certain keys such as the Shift key can really help increase your workflow. This key alone can force Ortho mode to be temporarily turned on. Holding down the Shift key can also disable or enable certain settings within a command. For example a Shift- RightClick will open the Object Snap Settings or a Shift and Spacebar will allow you to cycle though acquiring different snap points while selecting an object.

The SHIFT key also allows users to select multiple grips of a desired entity. Additionally a Shift + Left-Click will allow users to select objects by placing your cursor over them and holding the Shift key down while clicking your left mouse button. We recommend just experimenting using the Shift and various letter combinations to see the result.


Ultimately SimpleCAD's goal is to provide users with routine to make them faster and smarter. Their goal is to become the trusted place where CAD users worldwide can find solutions.

SimpleCAD offers CAD users even more ways of draw faster and more efficiently. Many of the add-ons and pre-drawn blocks we offer are less than $100. For those without CAD, SimpleCAD also offers alternatives for less than $500.

SimpleCAD also offers other various AutoCAD® books which are downloadable immediately after purchased. SimpleCAD has been actively serving the AutoCAD® industry for over 25 years and also offer CAD software for different drawing applications.

Please visit / email (at) simplecad (dot) com
or call them at 877-933-3929.

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Erik Zetterberg
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