Commandline Interpretation

Command-line interpretation:

Prompt symbology:

REGULAR CAPITALS – indicate a Generic AutoCAD command.   Refer to AutoCAD Help file.

Command:                italics - AutoCAD command prompt.

Select option:             Command advice to operator

$, %,                            bold    User input.

< >                         <enter>

><                          >spacebar<

[ ]                              [spacebar]

<[]>                        [spacebar] or <enter>

<[enter]>                [spacebar] or <enter>

:>                            Tab key

<:                            back-space

<<                           Left mouse click

>>                           Right mouse click

AOK =  Any Other Key

Crossing/Last/Window:   AutoCAD or MYCADKEYS prompt. e.g. For Erase command For each Capital letter there will be a corresponding shortcut e.g. EC, EL, EW.

[blkname                  Default value

<SELECT>                  For brevity <SELECT> indicates the full MYCADKEYSI object selection prompt:

=by property/*/All/Block/Crossing/Dialog/Entlst/Fen/Grp/Just-bfr/Last/New/Over(WP) /Prev /Under(CP)/Visible/Window/eXcl/+add/-rem     <<add/remove>>/[done]:/ALTMENU:>

(ALTMENU:> appears only when relevant).

AutoCAD dialogue            Generic AutoCAD dialogue box will appear.

RENDER                        Standard AutoCAD command (usually a dialogue box.)

-RENDER                       AutoCAD Command-line: version.

+   (plus sign)                MYCADKEYS version of RENDER and related commands

Scale                            MYCADKEYS command

`     (back quote)             Prefix MYCADKEYS shortcut with ` to use Generic AutoCAD command eg  `A  =   AutoCAD ARRAY or start MYCADKEYS command then press ` for the same effect.   

Multiple & Repeated commands:

Repeated commands:

All commands (including MYCADKEYS commands) may, after completion, be repeated by pressing <enter> at the Command: prompt. 

Repeating commands:

With some AutoCAD and MYCADKEYS commands it is possible to have the command repeat continuously (without pressing <enter> ) until terminated by pressing <enter>, thus avoiding the need to restart the command, each time it is used.  AutoCAD’s text editing dialogue box is a good example of this.  It keeps prompting for new bits of text to edit until deliberately terminated.  With MYCADKEYS commands a similar effect can be achieved by turning a “Command Repeat” switch ON.  Most MYCADKEYS commands will then repeat until “Command Repeat” is turned OFF.  See “$ $witches” for further information.  

For “Repeated” and “Repeating” commands each command operation is entirely separate, using different objects and parameters.

Multiple (M) commands:

Some commands can continuously produce similar results from the same source object or the same result from different source objects. AutoCAD Copy Multiple is a good example of this.  The same source object(s) are copied using the same “from” point continually to different “to” points until terminated by <enter>.  MYCADKEYS provides an easier to use version: CM Copy Multiple.

MYCADKEYS combines the Multiple concept with some other commands also.  A good example is when rotating separate objects (individually) through the same angle: RM Rotate Multiple.  By picking objects in sequence each is rotated about its pick-point the same (given) angle.  (Very handy for correcting the rotation of text when a drawing plot rotation is changed).  (See also DEF & DEF2 Dimension Edit Fix for correcting dimension text rotation and location)

RM#     (or RM for short)           Rotate Multiple (same given rotation for each)

RM45   Rotate 45deg.               Rotate Multiple (45deg.for each)  (other angles include 90 & 180deg)

Composite commands:

CR       Copy Rotate                Deprecated AutoCAD command   Use C<enter>R

MR       Move Rotate               Deprecated AutoCAD command  Use M<enter>R

It is possible to CR and MR without clashing with object selection options such as CL Copy Last since R and M, fortuitously, are not used as select object codes.

An automatic Copy Edit function is available but this is handled by turning ON the text EDIT switch $E.  CE would conflict with Copy Entlast. (look it up – very useful).  CM with Edit ON is very useful for placing door numbers etc.

(Compare with TI Text Incrementing).


 ($ or 4)

            $Tilemode ON OFF

            $Modelspace / Paperspace

            $Repeat mode ON/OFF

            $Editext mode ON/OFF

Clashes with AutoCAD:

The only known clashes between AutoCAD and MYCADKEYS option key letters occur when drawing Polylines.  MYCADKEYS uses the following:

B             Bulge     replaces ‘A’ Arc-mode

L             Line       returns to Line-mode

H            Home    replaces ‘C’ Close in both Line and Pline

Typical command prompts:

Because of MYCADKEYS' greatly enhanced command functionality there is an inevitable increase in the number of things that you can do and thus an increase in command options.   These options are displayed in a command prompt when a command shortcut is executed e.g.

Command:V (View) <enter> produces the prompt:

Command:  `Ddview/?/3d/-delete/Current/Extent/.....etc.

As with AutoCAD, the prompt indicates the next user action.  Explanatory notes or other options relating to the command are shown on the one or two prompt lines above.  Often a fuller description may be obtained by scrolling back a few lines or by viewing the text-screen (F2).

Actions in response to a prompt:

Responses may be of the following types:

  • Select objects.
  • Pick or enter a point.
  • Supply a value or name.
  • Accept a default value or name.
  • Select a command option. 

Multiple default options:

MYCADKEYS often provides more than one default value.  When multiple options are available they may be accepted by pressing [spacebar], <enter>, tab:>, or <:backspace as indicated in the prompt.  The [spacebar] is the most easily accessed and thus is used for the most common choice. 

Right mouse button used for pointing:

Both left and right mouse buttons are used for pointing.  The right mouse button is often used to select sub-entities within blocks and thus may not be available as an alternative to pressing the <enter> key as found in AutoCAD.

Dynamic dialogue commands:

Command names for commands using dynamic dialogues have become quite confusing from AutoCAD version to version.  When Autodesk first began to introduce dynamic dialogues there was often both a dialogue and a command line version of the same command; in which case the dialogue version was distinguished by a DD prefix e.g. INSERT and DDINSERT.  Later as dialogues became the standard the simple command name replaced the DD command e.g. INSERT now starts the dialogue version. Command names prefixed with a dash e.g. –INSERT starts the command line version.  Some DD named commands still work but are progressively being dropped.  Although several are still available, only a very few are listed in AutoCAD Command help file. 

For greater speed, flexibility and efficiency MYCADKEYS uses the command line versions of commands but the dialogue (AutoCAD default) option is always available by prefixing the shortcut code with “`” (back-quote). 

Complex command concepts handled with ease:

MYCADKEYS aliases manage complex command concepts with ease.  A good example is that one of the most common activities after creating objects is to change them in some way.  The CHANGE command is quite extensive as you have to nominate what property to change as well as select the objects to change.  Options include: Change: Point, Color, Elevation, Layer, Line-type, Line-type scale, Line-weight, and Thickness.  To these, MYCADKEYS adds GF layer-name-Field, GL Length, GM Mline-edit, GP Properties, GR Radius, GT Text, G* match-*properties, GX eXtrusion and GW Width and several other developments of these. 

Some commands may have further sub-options, particularly Text, such as GTA chanGe Text Alignment, GTC Characters, GTT Text, GTK breaK, GTL Lower (case), GTU Upper (case), GTR Rotation, GTS Size, GT$ $tyle, GTW sWap, etc.   GTL and GTU are particularly helpful if the wrong case has been accidentally typed.

MYCADKEYS commands are model/paper-space sensitive and execute the appropriate command depending upon whether modelspace or paperspace is active e.g. W incorporates the commands of:  Mview, Workzone, Mvsetup, Vplayer, Vclip.

Shift keys:

To further reduce keystrokes; within MYCADKEYS functions the un-shifted version of many keys may optionally be used as an alternative to the shifted version e.g. 4 = $, 5 = %, 8 = *,  \ = |,   = = +,  / = ?, ` = ~  (these may vary slightly with non-US keyboards as do the locations of some keys).

Keyboard variations:

While most countries use a standard US keyboard layout, with $ symbols, England has not yet managed to let go of the British pound £, and now of course we have a Euro symbol to cope with.  This one currency difference can have several repercussions over the keyboard.

The English keyboard places the £ at Shift3 whereas most other countries have # at Shift3.  To re-accommodate the # symbol @, ~, “and ‘ have been moved.  An additional character ¬ appears where ~ is normally found.  You may find other minor changes on your keyboard.

In normal use none of these differences will have any affect once you know where each character is except that pressing a lower case number as a quick alternative to its shifted version may have an unintended result.  At the moment there is no simple solution to this other than correctly pressing Shift when required or requesting the author of MYCADKEYS for a custom program adjustment.

In a future release a substitution table will be provided to allow you to program MYCADKEYS to your own keyboard.