AutoCAD 2009 – The Prequel Part 2 – Status Bar Left

Enough of linking to other peoples’ observations about AutoCAD 2009, here are some of mine. There is a lot I don’t like about AutoCAD 2009, and I will be covering that side of things in more detail once I have the shipping product to play with and I’m certain that the bad stuff is still there. This post is about the mostly good stuff that will definitely appear in the finished product.

AutoCAD 2009 is all about the user interface, but it’s not all about the Ribbon. There are other interface changes too, and some of them are quite welcome.

Let’s have a look at the left side of the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen. The buttons have changed from the traditional text labels to incomprehensible icons, at least until you get the hang of what they all mean. Don’t get too outraged about that, because thankfully Autodesk has allowed you to easily switch back to text labels with a couple of clicks. If you prefer to put the effort into getting used to what is the standard interface, hovering over each icon in turn will reveal a tooltip that deciphers the hieroglyphic for you.

What else is new down there? A handy way of controlling running object snaps, for one thing. Right-click on the osnap icon and you are presented with a menu that shows you what running osnaps are on and allows you to turn one of them on or off. It’s unfortunate that the menu then vanishes before giving you the chance to make more changes. It would have been nice to allow multiple changes, perhaps by holding down the Shift key or similar. It would also have been nice to have Clear All and Set All options on that menu.

This animation shows the following:

  1. The new-look status bar icons.
  2. Right-clicking on the object snap icon reveals the handy osnap menu.
  3. The boxes show which running osnaps are currently turned on.
  4. As in earlier releases, on any status bar right-click menu there is a Display item, allowing you to control the visibility of the status bar items. Note that Quick Properties is now on the list.
  5. By turning off the Use Icons item, the icons transform to text.

My next post on AutoCAD 2009 will cover what’s new on the other side of the status bar.

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