Accelerator Keys

Accelerator Keys:

In addition to command aliases  AutoCAD provides a number of special Accelerator Keys.  Examples that you will be familiar with are the Function Keys such as F1 for AutoCAD’s HELP and F8 for Ortho ON and OFF. The distinction between Accelerator Keys and command Aliases is that whereas command Aliases are typed at the command line and must be completed by <enter> or [space-bar]; accelerator keys execute immediately without the need to press <enter>, Accelerator Keys also include some special key combinations such as Ctrl+chr.

AutoCAD accelerator keys are defined in the AutoCAD ACAD.MNU file in the section labeled ***ACCELERATORS.  The AutoCAD Help file Customization guide>>Custom Menus>>Accelerator Keys lists all of the available accelerator key combinations in particular those keys already defined by AutoCAD.  Custom functions can be assigned to all of these keys including (but not recommended) replacement of those already defined by AutoCAD.   

ACAD.MNU can be edited by the user to redefine or add to the built-in default accelerator keys.  Remember that after editing ACAD.MNU or ACLT.MNU it is necessary to MENULOAD the MNU file in order to activate the additions.  Later versions of AutoCAD provide a MENULOAD command to load supplementary menu files.  MYCADKEYS  supplies a file ACELLERATORS.MNU that redefines many available accelerator keys as lisp functions, such as #F7.  These lisp functions are separately defined in ACCELERATORS.LSP.  Exceptions to this principle are F1, F2, F8 and F10 that are disabled so that they will continue to operate with their default AutoCAD functions.

Because AutoCAD defines the Shift+function-key accelerators to provide the same effect as the function key by itself we able to use one option for AutoCAD and the other for custom functions.  After much experimentation MYCADKEYS retains the commonly used un-shifted F1, F2, F8, and F10 as standard AutoCAD shortcuts and redefines un-shifted F3, F4, F5, F6, F7 F9, F11 and F12 for MYCADKEYS use.  The “lost” AutoCAD functions are still available in the shifted version.

For generic commands Ctrl+character combinations can be used for object snaps such as Ctrl+C for “CENter”. instead of "C E N <enter>"

In addition to ACCELERATORS.LSP a second file MYACCELERATORS.LSP cann be edited to substitute a user's own custom definitions for the accelerator keys.  MYACCELERATORS.LSP could be loaded after ACCELERATORS.LSP thus replacing MYCADKEYS definitions with custom user definitions. 

Refer also to Installing MYCADKEYS for further instructions. In some older AutoCAD versions it was necessary to configure AutoCAD by checking (ticking) Tools>>Options>>User-preferences>>Windows-standard-accelerator-keys to enable use of Control key + character meanings for Osnaps within AutoCAD commands.


MYCADKEYS Accelerator keys:

(F means press character F or f)

F1                         MYCADKEYS HELP

F2                         Same as AutoCAD (Textpage)

F3                         Toggles MYCADKEYS Command- repeat ON and OFF

F4                         3DORBIT

F5                         REGENALL

F6                         Toggles MYCADKEYSI Edit Text mode ON and OFF

F7                         Toggles layer name length between 5chr, 12chr or OFF 

F8                         Same as AutoCAD (Ortho)

F9                         Toggles CLEANSCREEN ON and OFF

F10                       Same as AutoCAD (Polar ON/OFF)

F11                       Toggles TILEMODE ON and OFF

F12                       When Tilemode is OFF toggles Vport active or inactive

Default AutoCAD accelerator keys:

(F means press Function Key generally marked Fn)

Shift+F1                AutoCAD HELP

F2   or Shift+F2     Toggles between the AutoCAD drawing screen and the text screen

F3   or Shift+F3     Starts OSNAP command.

F4   or Shift+F4     Toggles TABMODE ON and OFF.

F5   or Shift+F5     Toggles ISOPLANE ON and OFF

F6   or Shift+F6     Toggles COORDS ON and OFF

F7   or Shift+F7     Toggles GRIDMODE ON and OFF 

F8   or Shift+F8     Toggles ORTHOMODE ON and OFF.

F9   or Shift+F9     Starts SNAPMODE command.

F10 or Shift+F10   Toggles Polar Tracking ON and OFF

F11 or Shift+F11   Toggles object snap tracking ON and OFF

F12 or Shift+F12   None

MYCADKEYS leaves the Ctrl+Shift+character keys as defined by AutoCAD. 

MYCADKEYS Ctrl+character shortcuts have the following meanings

Ctrl+#   aLong or diVide

Ctrl+A   Apparent


Ctrl+C   Center

Ctrl+D   noDe

Ctrl+E   End

Ctrl+F    From

Ctrl+G   general midpoint between two points

Ctrl+H   Hidden EXTension

Ctrl+I    Intersection

Ctrl+J    midpoint between two end points

Ctrl+K   kwik  END, MID, INT, CEN

Ctrl+Ll    paralleL

Ctrl+M  Mid

Ctrl+N  Nea     

Ctrl+O  nOn

Ctrl+P  Perpendicular

Ctrl+Q   Quadrant

Ctrl+R   not used

Ctrl+S   inSertion point

Ctrl+T  Tangental point

Ctrl+U  Until meet line


Ctrl+W not used

Ctrl+X  Xval     X value filtered from a point

Ctrl+Y  Yval     Y          “”

Ctrl+Z  Zval     Z          “”

On a keyboard with a number pad the following definitions may be usefully added to your accelerator keys.

Numpad 1 -  <90

Numpad 2 -  <270

Numpad 3 -  <315

Numpad 4 -  <180

Numpad 5 -  <@

Numpad 6 -  <0

Numpad 7 -  <135

Numpad 8 -  <90

Numpad 9 -  <45