October 31, 2017

ACA: Start Tab and New Drawing Files

This most likely applies to "plain" AutoCAD® and all verticals built on AutoCAD. The Start tab has been there for quite a few releases so far, but somehow I only figured the following out recently, so I thought I would document it here for anyone else who is unaware of it. I almost always start AutoCAD® Architecture from a desktop shortcut, and then start and leave open a blank, new drawing ("Drawing1"). This is an old habit - many releases back, settings would get lost if you closed the program in a "zero-doc" state (no open drawings), so I got in the habit of leaving the initial drawing that opened when starting the program from a shortcut (before the New/Start tab was added), as I like to save and close my working files manually, rather than relying on the program to prompt me to save any unsaved files if I were to close the program with working files open. (I have a lot of little habits like that - otherwise, I am perfectly normal.)

Anyway, now that the Start tab is there on startup, I usually create a new file from my default template, and had been using the Templates drop-down list to choose a template.
Here at home, the list of templates is pretty long, but the last template used has the initial highlight, making it semi-easy for me to select it again most of the time. At work, the list is much shorter, making it even easier to get the right one. I had been doing that for years, until I discovered that the Start Drawing rectangular area just above the Templates drop-down list is not just pretty graphics - it is a giant button, and will start a new drawing with the template assigned as the QNEW template in the Options dialog for the current AutoCAD Profile. That is the template I use for Drawing1 99.99% of the time anyway, so now I can save at least three to four seconds and a click every time I start the program by clicking on that button instead of using the drop-down list.

PS. Yes, I see the notification that I have three product updates. I checked, and they are for various versions of Revit®. I promise to download and install them soon.

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