Late last month, Microsoft announced it is selling approximately seven copies of Windows 7 every second. This is good news for architectural, engineering and construction firms looking to work faster and more efficiently through AutoCAD LT 2011 and Windows 7 compatibility. For folks who have already updated to AutoCAD LT 2011 and Windows 7, here are seven tips for making the most of their smart upgrade. For CAD managers who haven’t yet upgraded to AutoCAD LT 2011, the leading 2D design and documentation platform, these tips will entice them to enter the next generation of design and drafting technology today.

The Windows 7 Professional operating system is designed to meet business needs by delivering better performance and efficiency, as well as safeguarding your work.  Here are seven tips for using features in Windows 7 to speed up everyday tasks in AutoCAD LT 2011.

Step 1

1. Use thumbnail previews to navigate between open DWG files
Quickly locate and switch between open AutoCAD LT 2011 drawing files by hovering your cursor over the taskbar icon to display thumbnail images of each open drawing. Switch between drawings by clicking on thumbnails, or use the red X to quickly close a file from the thumbnail.

2. Locate recent files with jump lists
Right-click on a program icon in the taskbar to display a jump list of your ten most recently-opened files. Open an item on the list simply by clicking on it, or drag-and-drop files to attach them to e-mails or copy them to a different folder. Use the pushpin icon to make sure that important files always stay on the list. Jump lists are also available for your frequently-used programs in the Start menu.

Step 3

3. Pin your favorite programs for easy access
Pin AutoCAD LT and other programs you use on a regular basis to the taskbar with the option in the right-click menu,  and launch them with a single click.

You can also store favorite programs on the Start menu. While your most frequently-used programs will show up there automatically, you can keep them there permanently by right-clicking on the program and selecting “Pin to Start Menu.”

4. Quickly resize program windows with Snap
Use Snap to display two programs side by side on your screen, without overlap, simply by dragging one window to the left of the screen and the other to the right. Easily reference your email, spreadsheet, or other program while working in AutoCAD LT 2011. Drag a single program to the top of the screen to have it fill your entire display.

5. Find files faster with Instant Search
Search is faster in Windows 7—libraries and other popular file locations are indexed so results appear as soon as you type in the first few letters of your keyword, whether in the Start menu or in the search box available in every Windows Explorer window. To make your search even more efficient, matching files and folders are grouped by category, and keywords are highlighted to make the list even easier to scan. Filter your results by type, date, size, or author to further narrow your search.

Step 7

6. Safeguard your work with Backup and Restore
No matter how much care you take with your files, accidents can happen—drives can fail, files can become corrupted, and “copy” can even become “delete.” That’s when you need Windows Backup to store copies of your important files on an external drive and update them periodically so they’re as current as possible.

When you need to retrieve a file, the Restore function lets you select the entire backup file or specific files and folders. You can even specify whether to restore files to their original location or a new one.

7. Manage default printers with Location Aware Printing
When you run AutoCAD LT on a laptop, you can take your computer with you, but chances are you leave your printer behind. With Location Aware Printing, you can set a different default printer for every network you connect to. Then, when you change networks, Windows automatically sends documents to the correct printer.