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Stunning New Feature in AutoCAD 2009: Steeringwheels

written by: Suvo • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 3/8/2010

Most of the view navigation tools like pan, zoom, rotate etc. are clubbed together in AutoCAD 2009 and placed to steering wheels. I am sure, once you see it; you will be loving it.

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    What is steering wheels?

    Most of the commonly used navigation tools could easily be accessed from steering wheels. It looks like a wheel with many sectors, each sector is used for individual tools like pan, zoom etc. Typically a steering wheel looks like below:

    steering wheels in autocad 2009 

    However, you have options in AutoCAD 2009 to change the looks of it. For using any of the tools, you need to click on that sector, it will be highlighted.

    How to use steering wheels?

    To see the effect of steering wheels you should switched to 3D modeling workspaces:

    AutoCAD menu browser>tools> workspaces>3D modeling

    To bring steering wheels on the screen you should follow:

    AutoCAD menu browser> view> steering wheels

    Once the steering wheels appears on screen, you click on the required sector of the wheel; you have to hold the mouse button on the required sector for most of the cases until the action is over.

    Center: Click on this sector of the wheel, hold it and drag the cursor to a point on the model, this point will act as a pivot for zoom, orbit and other view navigation operation.

    Zoom: Click on the zoom wedge and hold it. Drag the mouse to zoom in and zoom out. Once you have achieved the required degree of zoom, release the mouse button.

    Pan: Click on the pan wedge, hold the mouse button and move the cursor to pan the model in different directions. Release the mouse button afterwards.

    Orbit: Click on this sector to rotate the model with respect to the pivot (center) point, you have just set.

    Walk: This tool will show the views as you walk to a direction. If you click on this wedge, hold it and run your cursor to a particular direction, you will be seeing the views as if you are walking toward that direction.

    Look: to see what surroundings are there your model, this button is used. Click and hold the left mouse button to the look wedge, now by moving cursor around, you can see the surroundings.

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    How to control the appearance of the steering wheels?

    The wheels are available in two modes for 3D, full and mini. In mini wheels, the descriptions of the sectors appear only when mouse cursor reaches to a particular sector. Apart from there this, there are no functional change exists between mini and full wheels.

    One more version of full wheel you can opt for, that is basic. Here some of the wedges are available.

    You can change the size and opacity of the wheel from wheel settings.

    All these appearance controls can be accessed by right clicking at the steering wheel and selecting the options afterwards.