AutoCAD has many tools to help you as a designer. Some of these you may have already used. The properties command gives you a lot of information about an object you have selected and allows you change most of them. AutoCAD also has some commands used specifically for pulling information from objects.

Most of these commands can be accessed from the Home > Utilities tool panel. Here is a list of those commands (click on the icon for more information) :

The first one, **DISTANCE** (**DI**), is quite straight forward. It allows you to select two points on the screen and AutoCAD will tell you the total distance as well as the changes in X,Y & Z.

### Command: DI DIST

Specify first point: <SELECT ANY POINT>

Specify second point or [Multiple points]: <SELECT ANY POINT>

Distance = 12.5107, Angle in XY Plane = 25, Angle from XY Plane = 0

Delta X = 11.3228, Delta Y = 5.3208, Delta Z = 0.0000

MEASUREGEOM is used to for a few options, among them Radius which will measure the radius of a circle or arc. Enter the command and then choose radius from the list on the screen.

With Radius selected, just pick on any arc or circle to have the radius displayed.

AutoCAD is kind enough to give you both the radius and the diameter on the screen – and on the command line:

### Command: measuregeom

### Enter an option [Distance/Radius/Angle/ARea/Volume] <Distance>: R

### Select arc or circle: <SELECT THE OBJECT>

Radius = 3.3780

Diameter = 6.7559

You are left in the command and can select another option like Angle. Now you’re asked to select 2 lines and the screen will display the angle between them.

Volume measurements can be used on 3D objects or 2D objects (if you enter a height). You can either select and object or pick points.

**AREA** is a command that can be very useful. This can used to calculate square footage for floors, property lots, or even something like sheet metal parts. To use this command, you can type in **AREA** and see this on your command line:

### Command: AREA

<First point>/Object/Add/Subtract: O

Select objects:<SELECT AN OBJECT>

Area = 56.7498, Perimeter = 30.6775

The default option is to pick a point on the screen. This allows you to select the four corners of a room to find the total area in square drawing units (usually inches). You can pick as many points as you need and then press enter when you’re done. AutoCAD returns the area and the perimeter length. If you select the next option (object), you can select a circle, rectangle, polyline or some other closed object. You also have the option of adding to or subtracting from the initial area. You may need to find the carpeting area of a room, but exclude where you have tile. Or you may need to add several rooms together.

**MASS PROPERTIES** is an option for finding information about 3D solid objects. You can find out the total volume and from there calculate the weight based on volume. AutoCAD also figures out some important engineering figures for you such as the center of gravity for an object. This listing shows you all the information you can get from **MASSPROP**:

### Command: massprop

### Select objects: 1 found

### Select objects:

—————- SOLIDS —————-

### Mass: 12.0984

Volume: 12.0984

Bounding box: X: 1.8644 — 4.1304

Y: 16.1318 — 18.3978

Z: 0.0000 — 3.0000

Centroid: X: 2.9974

Y: 17.2648

Z: 1.5000

Moments of inertia: X: 3646.3725

Y: 148.8749

Z: 3722.6569

Products of inertia: XY: 626.0851

YZ: 313.3141

ZX: 54.3957

Radii of gyration: X: 17.3607

Y: 3.5079

Z: 17.5413

Principal moments and X-Y-Z directions about centroid:

Press ENTER to continue: <ENTER>

I: 12.9564 along [1.0000 0.0000 0.0000]
J: 12.9564 along [0.0000 1.0000 0.0000]
K: 7.7653 along [0.0000 0.0000 1.0000]

### Write analysis to a file? [Yes/No] <N>: n

This is a lot of information, so AutoCAD gives you the option of saving it to a file after it is displayed.

**LIST** is an inquiry that gives you some basic information about a command. This is usually the information that AutoCAD needs to know about it to keep track of it in its database. Here is a listing of a line:

### Command: LI LIST

Select objects: 1 found

### Select objects:

LINE Layer: “0”

Space: Model space

Color: 1 (red) Linetype: “BYLAYER”

Handle = 2fd

from point, X= 9.2042 Y= 13.5272 Z= 0.0000

to point, X= -2.1187 Y= 8.2064 Z= 0.0000

Length = 12.5107, Angle in XY Plane = 205

Delta X = -11.3228, Delta Y = -5.3208, Delta Z = 0.0000

Here are the properties (CTRL+1) for the same line:

Notice that you can get the same information, but also have the option of changing anything that you need to.

After List, the next option is **ID** POINT. This allows you to select anywhere on the screen and have AutoCAD return the X,Y&Z coordinates for that point. Here is a listing of ID POINT:

### Command: ID Specify point: <SELECT POINT>

X = 155′-2 1/2″ Y = 48′-9 3/16″ Z = 0′-0″

(You can also get this information by selecting a grip and looking at the status bar.)

**OTHER INQUIRY TOOLS:**

Time Displays the date and time statistics of a drawing. Type **TIME**.

Status Displays drawing statistics, modes, and extents. Type **STATUS**.

Set Variable Lists or changes the values of system variables. Type **SETVAR**.

TIME and STATUS are two inquiries that give you information about the system, as opposed to objects.

### Command: TIME

### Current time: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 6:00:11:671 PM

Times for this drawing:

Created: Sunday, April 28, 1996 10:11:02:620 AM

Last updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 1:24:52:328 AM

Total editing time: 0 days 12:00:49:244

Elapsed timer (on): 0 days 12:00:49:244

Next automatic save in: <no modifications yet>

You can see the current date, when you last saved and when AutoCAD will do its next automatic save. And yes, that file has been with me for 8 years.

### Command: STATUS

120 objects in Drawing1.dwg

Model space limits are X: 0.0000 Y: 0.0000 (Off)

X: 12.0000 Y: 9.0000

Model space uses X: -4.1963 Y: -0.2930 **Over

X: 52.2702 Y: 34.7170 **Over

Display shows X: -9.5333 Y: -7.2543

X: 68.2812 Y: 37.6074

Insertion base is X: 0.0000 Y: 0.0000 Z: 0.0000

Snap resolution is X: 0.5000 Y: 0.5000

Grid spacing is X: 0.5000 Y: 0.5000

Current space: Model space

Current layout: Model

Current layer: “TEXT”

Current color: BYLAYER — 3 (green)

Current linetype: BYLAYER — “Continuous”

Current lineweight: BYLAYER

Current elevation: 0.0000 thickness: 0.0000

Fill on Grid off Ortho off Qtext off Snap off Tablet off

Object snap modes: Center, Endpoint, Intersection, Midpoint, Quadrant,

Extension

Free dwg disk (C:) space: 2797.3 MBytes

Free temp disk (C:) space: 2797.3 MBytes

Free physical memory: 13.6 Mbytes (out of 509.8M).

Free swap file space: 752.0 Mbytes (out of 1246.3M).

As you can see, there is a lot of information here, not only about your drawing, but about the computer you are working on.

The last inquiry, SET VARIABLE (**SETVAR**), allows you to change any system variables, or if you like AutoCAD will list them for you. The details of this command are not covered in this lesson. You must be VERY careful when working with system variables. A brief overview is given in Lesson 4-8.