In the last lesson you saw that manipulators snap to certain locations when you drag them, and in this lesson you’ll learn how to customize the snap. You’ll also learn how to customize the Mini-Toolbar.
If you applied the extrude command from the last lesson, delete the extrusion, but keep the sketch. Otherwise, cancel the operation by typing the escape key. By the way, as you know typing the escape key terminates almost any command, and you’ll find that you use the escape key quite often. So I use a 5 button mouse, which is a standard 3 button mouse with 2 thumb buttons, and I program 1 of the thumb buttons to evoke the escape key. If you do this you’ll find that it will help speed your work.
Now I want to show you the setting that controls the incremental steps that occur when you use manipulators. Click the Tools tab. As you know the Application Option settings control the Inventor Program. We want to change the setting that controls the incremental steps in the Mini-Toolbar, so you might expect the setting to be in the Application Options, but it’s actually in the Document Settings. If you can’t find a setting in the Application Options, look in the Document Settings. The difference between the Application Options and the Document Settings is Document Settings only control the current document. So the setting you’re about to set only controls this document.
If you want to control the setting on all documents you’ll need to create a template, which is covered in detail later in the course. Open the Document Settings, and then click the Modeling tab. In the 3D Snap Spacing section you can see that the Distance Snap is set to 1/16th of an inch, and the angle is 5-degrees. As I said, the default settings in this dialog box are controlled by the template that created the file, so if you change these values it will only affect this document. You have to modify the template or create a new one in order to change the default values.
Now let’s take a closer look at the Mini-Toolbar. Close this dialog box. Click the Model tab, and then evoke the Extrude command. When you move your pointer away from the toolbar the settings fade, and when you move your pointer they reappear. This is called Auto Fade. Personally I don’t like settings fading in an out so I turn off this feature. To do this, click the down arrow on Options, and then uncheck the Auto Fade option. Now the settings are on, no matter where your pointer is.
Another thing you may consider is pinning the toolbar to a specific location. Since you only use the Mini-Toolbar on some of the commands, you might consider pinning it to the upper left corner of the graphics area. This way the command settings for all commands are performed in a single location. If you want to try using this method, open the Options list, and then check the Pin Mini-Toolbar Position option. Now drag the toolbar to the top left corner of the graphics area. When the Mini-Toolbar is pinned like this, it will be at this location for any command that uses it. So you don’t have to move it for every command. The benefit of having the toolbar in the upper left corner is anytime you evoke a command you know to go to the upper left corner to set settings for the command. This applies to commands that use the Mini-Toolbar and commands that don’t.