Six tips to make you more productive with AutoCAD

Here I have compiled six tips that can save you time and make you more productive with AutoCAD software. I have also compiled some command line and text related tips that you might be interested in.

Repeat command without pressing enter:

If you want to use a command multiple times and don’t want to press enter key again and again then you can use MULTIPLE command to keep command running in an infinite loop.

multiple command autocad

Type MULTIPLE on the command line, press Enter key and then enter the name of the command which you want to repeat for example type C for circle and press enter, now make a circle. Once your circle is completed AutoCAD will not exit circle command and it will be ready for making another circle. To exit this loop press ESC key.

Bring all annotations to front:

This command can save you lot of time by allowing you to bring all annotations on top of other overlapping drawing objects with a single command.

To bring all annotations like text, dimensions and leader lines to the front of every other drawing object type TEXTTOFRONT on command line press enter then select All from options.

texttofront command autocad

Searching named objects from the command line:

You can search named objects like blocks, layers or dimension styles directly from your command line and you can activate them too from the command line.

For turning on search feature type INPUTSEARCHOPTIONS on the command line and press enter. Now make sure “search content at command line” radio button is turned on.

Also turn on radio buttons of named objects from content type panel, for best results I recommend turning on all radio buttons from content type panel. See image below for reference

productive with AutoCAD

Once you are done click OK to close the window. Now type the name of any named object on the command line and it will appear among the results, click on the name of the object to activate or make it current.

Related: Six useful AutoCAD command line tips

Clean up drawing area:

If you want maximum working area from AutoCAD you can turn off the ribbon and other clutter from your AutoCAD window by pressing CTRL + 0 on the keyboard. You can also hide command line by pressing CTRL+9 to get maximum space.

To bring back ribbons press CTRL + 0 again and for command line press CTRL + 9 again.

Toggle object between model space and paper space:

If you want to move an object to and from model space to paper space then this command is for you. This command can only be activated in layout view and it automatically adjusts scale of the object to the scale of target space (model space or paper space).

Open layout view and double click inside your viewport to activate model view. Now type CHSPACE on the command line and press enter, select object(s) that you want to move to paper space and press enter again. Your selected objects are now in paper space.

productive with AutoCAD

Similarly to move the object in paper space to model space double click outside viewport to activate paper space then activate command CHSPACE and select object on paper space then press enter. Your objects will move to model space and the scale of the object will also be maintained.

Calculation directly on the command line:

You can enter expressions on the command line to make calculations directly to find dimensions of geometry and you don’t need to open calculator separately for making tedious calculations every time.

As an example, I will make a circle with radius equal to 2/3*radius of another arc from geometry.

Start circle command then type ‘CAL on the command line and press enter (make sure you add an apostrophe before CAL). Your command line will now show following prompt.

cal command autocad

Enter an expression 2/3*rad and press enter then click on arc or circle from geometry to pick the value of rad for expression mentioned above. Your circle will be created with the radius equal to 2/3 multiplied by the radius of arc or circle you selected from drawing.

Suppose radius of selected circle or arc is 6 units then the final circle will have a radius of 4 units which is equal to 2/3 X 6.

You can also enter simple expressions like 3*pi or 4/3*5 which does not contain any variable.

Apart from these productivity tips, you can also have a look at this awesome post from Brandon of CADintensions where he has shared his insights into time-saving and productivity tips.

Do you have a time-saving or productivity tip that you often use? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author:

I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce. I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.


  1. Shada July 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    These are good tips helped me more in my work
    Please, could you publish a lesson explain the usage of view and scale commands, I do not know how to use those commands properly
    Thank you

    • Jaiprakash Pandey July 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Sure, I will try to add an article soon.

  2. ezcamper April 15, 2017 at 5:10 am - Reply

    You might also want to reference the geometric snap shortcuts. Here is the help link:

    My favorite back in R14, was MEE.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey April 15, 2017 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion, will try to add these in the relevant article.

  3. Steve Miller November 28, 2016 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    These are good tips. I have read others in the booklet “An AutoCAD Professor’s Notes” I got off of the Interweb.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey November 28, 2016 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      thanks steve

  4. David_King November 19, 2016 at 12:56 am - Reply

    Very useful tips. Thank you. I have used the MULTIPLE command before but only as a sub-command. I am looking forward to using it as you have described.

    A quick tip to offer up is the extended use of the space bar. Not too many people are aware of all the commands you can implement via the space bar. Simply select an object, click on one of the blue grips that you want to use as a base point and then tap the space bar. From there you can Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, or Mirror with each tap of the space bar. You can even Copy as a sub-command of either of the five commands. Enjoy.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey November 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing the Quick tip David

  5. Amaar shahid November 18, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Good tips …..

    • Jaiprakash Pandey November 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Amaar

  6. Anonymous February 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    thank for lecture Its realy some thing to me .
    by the way how I can master autocad by using only keyboard?

  7. landmeter lieven January 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    First one is new to me but is going to make my day more productive. Thanks

    • Jaiprakash Pandey February 1, 2016 at 12:14 am - Reply


  8. Lester D. James January 27, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

    I felt it necessary to mention the difference in the way AutoCAD and Excel evaluate expressions.
    WHERE an AutoCAD expression is (+ 2 2)
    AN Excel expression would be (SUM 2 2)

  9. Lester D. James January 27, 2016 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Most people don’t realize that AutoCAD can perform command line calculations even without typing the apostrophe and “calc”. The format is…
    (Expression value value) and looks like this…
    (+ 2 2) which returns the value 4. This method works very similar to how formulas are used in Excel. For example… (+ (* 2 2) 1) yields 5. Also the expression (* (+ 2 2) 2) yields 8, as the inner parentheses are evaluated first.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey January 27, 2016 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Thanks james for sharing this, its lisp routine which you are mentioning here and it does accept it directly from command line

  10. Anonymous January 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Its really informativ for me..good work

    • Jaiprakash Pandey January 26, 2016 at 11:25 pm - Reply


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