Does F1 really help in AutoCAD?

by Jeff Weber
(Vincennes Indiana, USA)

AutoCAD Customize User Interface dialogue box

AutoCAD Customize User Interface dialogue box

Does F1 really help in AutoCAD? Have you ever been just cruising along in a drawing; you know in a groove making great progress but you issue the wrong command and hit ESC?


No big deal right?

But if you are like me and hit ESC a couple of times, you may soon realize that you've been hitting F1 3 or four times!

Now I have several “help” screens to close.


To save myself a little irritation I re-assign the F1 key.

Here is how it is done:

1. Enter CUI in the command line. (CUI = Customize User interface)

You can also right click in any “empty” area next to a toolbar.

Then select Customize from the short cut menu.

2. Expand the Keyboard Shortcuts and then Shortcut Keys.

This is found under the “Customization in ALL CUI Files” windowpane.

3. Now go down to the command list pane and scroll down until you find CANCEL.

This pane is located in the bottom left hand corner.

4. Drag the CANCEL command up into the Shortcut Keys menu.

5. Now select CANCEL in the Shortcut keys menu and its properties will be displayed in the lower right hand pane.

This is the appropriately named “Properties” pane.

6. Pick in the Keys box and the three little dots appear (ellipses) select them to assign a key.

At this point a dialogue box will appear prompting you to “Press a new shortcut key:”

7. Press the F1 key to assign.

AutoCAD will also let you know if this key is currently assigned to another command.

8. Pick OK and apply to complete.

Now your F1 key acts just like your ESC key, which is what you were trying to do in the first place.

This procedure works for any keyboard shortcut that you want to apply.

For instance, I have CTRL+R set to toggle between view ports when I am using a model space paper space drawing.

So, if you have a command that you use often and want to assign a short cut key, try using the above process.

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Jun 22, 2011
Yeah, But...
by: Mark

I have also done this several times. However, for some reason I seemed to lose my key assignment every year or so, by which time I'd forgotten this neat trick.

I ran across a list of various solutions, which included slipping a paperclip under the key to disable it, so I decided to give that a try instead. The key popped off my keyboard in the process, and won't reattach, but I rarely miss it...

May 20, 2016
My Rookie move!
by: Anonymous

I just popped my F1 key out and stuck it in my desk drawer because of being tired of clicking it by mistake. But this idea is a lot smarter.

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