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CCAD's AutoCAD Tutorials

AutoCAD Palettes

AutoCAD includes several palette windows, also called utility windows or floating palettes, that provide access to several commands, tools or information about a particular function. A dialog box is another type of window that gathers information for a specific command. You cannot continue working until the dialog box has been closed. For instance, the OPEN command uses a dialog box.

The Palettes panel of the View tab contains buttons to toggle the display of palettes. Palettes can float on top of the drawing area, be moved to a second screen, resized horizontally and vertically, docked along the edge of the drawing area, set to auto-hide, anchored on the left or right side of the drawing area and be minimized to icons.

All palettes include a Close button, an Auto-hide toggle and a Properties button. Although the Properties button includes Move and Size options it is easier to click and hold the title bar to move a palette and click and drag an edge to resize. If the Allow Docking option is selected, dragging the palette to the edge of the drawing area results in a fixed position palette and a smaller drawing area. An Anchored palette is fixed to the left or right side of the drawing area and automatically collapses when not in use. It activates or expands when you move your cursor over the title bar. You can stack several anchored palettes along one side of the drawing area. Anchored palettes can be represented as text (the default) or icons by right-clicking and selecting Icons only. I like the icons mode as it minimizes accidental activation.

Common Palettes in AutoCAD 2013

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