Imagine AutoCAD without a command line.
Before you cry “I can’t live without it” imagine preferring AutoCAD without a command line.
How could that work?
Dynamic Input is a group of features that combine to allow life without the command line to be possible, even preferable.
Pointer Input: Allows you to key commands “into the pointer” which displays a small “pop-up” replacing the cursor until the command entry is finished. This allows keyboard commands previously entered on the command line to be entered “on the fly”. If you always typed L for line entering it will cause “L” to display in a pop-up and as soon as you hit Enter the Line command will begin.You’ll have to learn not to look down for the command line, its wherever your cursor last was but thats where you were looking already - heads up.
Dimension Input: Allows direct entry of dimensions at the cursor or on dynamic object dimensions during grip editing. The value entered is displayed, and can be edited, in a pop-up at the cursor location. Again, no looking at the down command line to see what you are entering.
Dynamic Prompts: These display at the cursor location replacing the valuable role command line prompts had in leading you through command sequence. One of the first things any AutoCAD user learns is “Read the command line prompts” and now they are displayed where you are working, where are looking. Along with prompts the command line often presented a range of options for each stage in a given command. The default option is now presented as a dynamic prompt and pressing the keyboard “Down arrow” will present a pick list of all the other appropriate options. Its clean and I find easier to use than the long text string with caps that it replaces.
While your head is up designing you’ll find a range of new grips on the AutoCAD objects. ADT users have seen some of these on AEC objects in 2004/5 but now AutoCAD objects allow much more control using grips and direct dimension input. Its hard to convey this new environment with words and images so I’ve recorded a short video capture showing some of the new interface in action.
View/download AutoCAD 2006 Dynamic Input.wmv (438.5K)
Wmv may require the free TechSmith Screen Capture Codec if not already installed on your system
So is the Command Line gone forever? That is still up to you as its only a click to get it back.
For the vast majority of the time I have found no need to display it – Heads up, you win!