There is a point where you become familiar enough with an application that you no longer feel like a beginner, but want to make that transition towards being an intermediate or even advanced user. You feel you need to really start understanding the features, not just know the shortcuts, but know how to and when to use a feature and apply its options.

Take for example AutoCAD’s line feature. It is the most fundamental feature, existing within every drawing in existence. The line command has options, using these options efficiently takes you from beginner to power user.

With the line command you can…

  1. Use the right-click UNDO, commandline U, or keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Z to undo steps WHILE you are drawing lines. Don’t exit the command because if you do UNDO undoes the entire sequence
  2. After creating at least two segments use the right-click Close or commandline C to close the sequence, connecting the last point picked to the first point picked during the active sequence.
  3. Lines can be drawing with 3D Coordinates

Grips add additional features to modify the line. Throw this together with Dynamic Input and it’s easy to make adjustments to the line.

The default action of picking a grip (aka making it hot) is Stretch. With Stretch, you can select a new position for the end of the line by picking a point in the drawing window. Using Dynamic Input enter in the desired length, change of length, angle, and change of angle to make specific geometric adjustments.

If you hover over the grip before immediately picking the grip the menu allows for the selection of stretch or lengthen. Lengthen is used to adjust the length of the line without changing its angle. With the grip hot pressing Ctrl toggles between Stretch and Lengthen.