It's true that customization is available, but that can lead to unnecessary complications in a busy environment.
If you adopt short cut key operation overall, you could find improvements in drafting speed of at least 25%.
To see a full list of available short cut keys find your PGP file. The location is listed in options, under the files tab. Or you can do a windows search including hidden files for *.pgp
Here is a quick selection to get you started
L Line command Draws individual line segments between specified points (Left mouse clicks). Push enter or return to finish. Usefully pushing right mouse during the line command undoes the last segment, which can be repeated right back to the beginning if required. Instead of using undo which undoes the complete line.
To draw a horizontal or vertical line, left click a starting point in the drawing area, turn ORTHO mode on to keep the line straight. Choose the direction of the line by moving your cursor to the start of the line, then up, down, left or right. Now type a value into your keyboard, followed by the enter key to accept.
You can repeat this process for other segments or simply push enter to finish your line.
Use the short cut Di for distance command to check the line s length.
Take care not create any unnecessary left clicks, as each will create a new segment.
Note that the values you type in here are referred to as "Units". Typically millimetres, but they can represent any value, for example metres. The issue only arises at the plotting or printing stage. By default Windows measures a printer paper size in mm's. So when plotting to scale there are no complications when mm's have been used as a unit.
However if a drawing unit is 1 metre, you have to take the desired plot scale, convert that to a decimal value and then multiply by 1000. Indeed it's important to seek advice and check that your resulting scale is absolutely, correct before depending on the results.
Co Copy command Copies an object using a base point for accuracy. Many commands require a selection of objects to be made and completed with the enter key or right mouse. They then go on to provide their individual command line instructions, which you must follow.
Understanding of base points is crucial. Whilst any left mouse click can define a base point, that will be of no use if you wish to place the copy in an accurate position.
So usually a base point on the object is used. For example the top right hand corner of a desk can be used as a base point to place the copy in the top left hand corner of a room, or more likely the intersection of 2 offset construction lines in space planning applications. Using a base point 50 units away from an object is a fast way of ensuring a gap for cables behind a desk.
Di Distance command from observation during In-House CAD training, most will CAD software users will use a linear dimension to check a distance. Also, particularly with drawings received from customers, the dimension style may not be set up correctly, meaning the text may be too small or too large to read. Di puts it's result on the command line and takes just 2 clicks instead of 3.
E Erase command. Again from observation most CAD software users select objects without going into a command first. This results in the appearance of blue grips. Then they push E or delete key.
The big problem with using grips for Erase though is that objects remain gripped during mouse zooms and pans. Indeed gripped objects can be moved off screen and out of sight, then accidentally deleted. If you want to avoid embarrassing calls from installers on-site, play it safe and use E for erase command. Just don't forget to push enter key to complete any selection of objects.
Ex Extend command Works the opposite way round, choose a boundary or boundaries first, push the enter key to complete your selection, then select lines at the end that will point to a selected boundary.
A right mouse click when prompted to select a boundary will result in an extension which finds the next available boundary. Often called Fast Extend.
F Fillet command Initially designed to create a curve between 2 lines. You can set a required radius by taking the radius option (Right mouse for popup menu to reflect command line options). Note the radius is limited to values that would not erase the lines, which would result in Radius too large errors.
Usefully radius can be set to Zero, which can be used to create right angled corners or acute angle connection between 2 lines drawn at angles.
Tr Trim command Very similar to Extend Select an object or objects to be used as cutting edge, push enter or right mouse to confirm your selection, then select objects to trim when prompted.
Pushing right mouse when prompted for select cutting edge results in a trim to the next available cutting edge. Sometimes referred to as Fast trim .
O Offset Creates a copy of an object at a specified distance, which can either be set by a value or by picking 2 points on screen. A common error is to ignore the prompt to Specify a point on side to offset . You must indicate with a left click anywhere on the side you wish the offset to appear.
If you follow the command line prompts carefully you can make repeated offsets with the same value, until you push enter to finish.
If you wish to change the offset value, you must restart the offset command and specify the new value.
REC Rectangle Beginners are often tempted to draw rectangles with 4 lines, when it s faster to draw a rectangle. Indeed it s simple to type in REC followed by enter, then 2 clicks on screen to create a rectangle between them.
A simple way to create rectangles to a specified size is to have dynamic mode on (function key F12 toggles dynamic mode on or off). Left click to start your rectangle, then move your cursor to see a rectangle being created. Dynamic mode will show 2 boxes which represent the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Note that values entered via your keyboard will appear in the blue box. However when using dynamic mode don t push enter to confirm a value, instead push Tab key so that the blue entry transfers to the other box. Now enter your vertical dimension value.
Pushing enter after the first blue box value will just enter the default value in the grey box.
XL Construction lines Infinite lines that can be used to line up objects. It s typically safer and more productive to use construction line s vertical or horizontal options. Creating a construction line through 2 points works easily, but that depends on the accuracy of the 2 points. That may be relevant if a wall has been surveyed for example and could create a significant error.
Construction line s Offset option can be very useful for planning. Not to be confused with the Offset command.
A construction line can be placed at a specified distance away for a line object. For example in factory layout planning, where the offset command would create many broken line offsets, due to wall columns, radiators, windows etc.
X Explode command In teaching this is one command where I do advocate gripping an object, then typing X to explode, because the result is simply more visible. A Block when clicked will show just one grip at a block s chosen insertion point. Once exploded however grips will show that the block has become separate objects.
It is possible to come across Nested blocks . That s blocks created in other blocks either by design or error. So a repeating this process may be necessary.