Now you see it… Now you don’t!


In AutoCAD 2012, Autodesk added some dynamic preview capabilities to some of their software that allow you see the final results before applying the settings to the command, eliminating the unnecessary Undo’s and repeated steps during a design process or testing. Some of these commands included:  FILLET, CHAMFER, BLEND, JOIN and ARRAY as well as some 3D functionality to the UCS as well as some commands associated with SOLID and SURFACE LOFTS, (i.e. SURFBLEND, SURFPATCH, SURFFILLET, FILLETEDGE, CHAMFEREDGE, and LOFT) which also allows you to display the preview results with transparency to easily distinguish it from the completed objects. [Note: You can control the transparency level with the PREVIEWCREATIONTRANSPARENCY variable.] Autodesk has also added new model documentation workflows with preview capabilities with its Automated Drawing Views Commands.

Well, it doesn’t stop there. Autodesk has continued the Dynamic Display Previews in AutoCAD 2013 as well, and has managed to make it even more user friendly than ever before. In this latest version, they have included the OFFSET command preview that allows you to see the final results of the offset before applying. The new preview capability that really sets this version apart is the In-Canvas Property Preview.

Now you can dynamically preview changes to object properties before applying them. For example, if you select objects and then use the Properties palette to change the color, the selected objects dynamically change color as you pass the cursor over each color in the list or within the Select Color dialog box. This functionally also is extended through the Ribbon Panels (i.e. Layers, Properties… and so on.)

Select the objectHover your cursor over new property

In addition to Color, Layer, Line type, and Line weight, Object transparency is also dynamically applied as you change the transparency.

Dynamic Transparency Preview

You can set the property preview behavior using the Property Preview option on the Selection tab of the Options dialog.

I hope these new features save you a lot of Design and Editing time in the future. Enjoy.

Isaac is the go-to guy for the AutoCAD skills that lie at the foundation of AEC software tools and increased productivity. And you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows more than he does about how to be more efficient in AutoCAD. Isaac can present best strategies and tips for productivity because he understands his audience and what they do. He has a high number of repeat customers who like his dynamic style and keep returning to learn more from him.