Tip 1018: Use the split screen feature to speed up copying and moving tasks

When you find yourself doing lots of panning and zooming, you may be able to save time by splitting your screen into two or more panes.  I was in this situation today when I was transferring details from a group of sheet-type layouts to a detail library.  One of the shortcomings of working on a computer is the limited amount of area you can see at one time–even if you have a large monitor and/or a two-monitor system.  This leads to a lot of panning and zooming.  Excessive panning and zooming can lead to headaches!  And dizziness.  Not to mention lost time.

There are two basic ways to use the split screen in AutoCAD.  The first is when you have only one file open, and you want to have a close-up view of two separate areas.  In this case you use the Viewport tool.  In the ribbon, go View tab/Viewports panel/Two: vertical, for example.  This gives you a view like this:

A split screen using the Viewport command

To activate a pane, just click once inside it.  You can move or copy objects from one pane to the other very easily using the AutoCAD Copy or Move command.  Just remember to set the base point in the “source” pane, then click once in the “destination” pane to activate it, then click to set the destination point (AutoCAD calls this the “second point”) in the second pane.

The second method is to split the screen to show two DWG files at the same time.  To do this, open the two files, and close all other files.  Then in the ribbon, go View tab/ Windows panel/Tile Vertically.  The screen will look something like this example:

Looking at two DWG files using tiling

You can tile the windows horizontally by choosing the Tile Horizontally button.

In this second method, unlike the first method, you cannot copy or move between the two panes.  You can, however, use the Windows clipboard, or the Copyclip or Cutclip and Pasteclip commands, to move or copy objects between the two panes.  The shortcut keys are:

  • Cntl-C to Copy to clipboard
  • Cntl-X to Cut and add to clipboard
  • Cntl-V to Paste from clipboard

You can also open three or more panes on your screen using either the first or second method.  Just chose the appropriate button from the list.

So give your eyes a break.  When you zoom in and zoom out until you are totally zoomed out, use the split screen feature.  Things will pan out much better.

Keep on CADDing!  🙂