In one of my previous posts, I challenged you to use AutoCAD 2009 (or older) to modify a drawing in as few picks, clicks, and keystrokes as possible. The only change was the width (red dimensions) of the part.

You offered many great solutions including one that required only 18 picks, clicks, and keystrokes.

If you’ve seen any info on AutoCAD 2010, you’ve probably already guessed where I’m headed with this... Parametric constraints! AutoCAD 2010 enables you to apply geometric and dimensional constraints to your AutoCAD geometry. Let’s see how many picks, clicks, and keystrokes this design problem requires in AutoCAD 2010 if you apply geometric constraints. View video.

Pick (Select the new Parametric tab – 1)

Pick pick pick (Select all the objects and choose Autoconstrain – 3)

Pick pick pick (Select the Equal geometric constraint and each circle – 3)

Pick pick pick (Select the Equal geometric constraint and each arc – 3)

Pick (Turn off DYN. If you leave dynamic input on, when you enter a value in the next step, it applies to highlighted value, which is the length of the part – 1)

Pick pick 4 <enter> (pick the polyline and grip edit the horizontal line up – 4)

It looks like that took 15 clicks, picks, and keystrokes in AutoCAD 2010. That’s great, but it’s only 3 clicks faster than AutoCAD 2009, right? Well, what if I changed my mind about the design (that never happens). Now it needs to be 10 units wide? Since you’ve already constrained the part, it only takes 3 clicks to make the change. And, tomorrow, when I decide the width should be 4 units after all, you’re just 3 picks, clicks, and keyboard strokes away! And, yes, you can hide the constraint bars… choose Hide All on the Parametric tab.

How did we ever live without geometric constraints???