Floating Windows in AutoCAD

December 15, 2022 Renu Muthoo

Do you have to copy objects or properties from one drawing into another? In my work, I have to create new datasets based on templates and other drawings in AutoCAD. For this purpose, it is necessary to have two drawings open simultaneously: the existing drawing that I reference and the new drawing that I am creating. I would tackle this situation by constantly switching between the windows from the Files tab bar, which makes the whole process cumbersome. So, when the floating windows feature was added in AutoCAD 2022, I was absolutely thrilled. Let me explain how this feature can be used to increase efficiency while creating a new drawing by copying portions and properties from an existing drawing. (You can also view my webcast where I discussed this topic and provided a demonstration in the AutoCAD software. Click here to view my on-demand webcast recording.)

  • Open both drawings. Note that they are listed in the Files tab bar, but only the currently active drawing is displayed in the drawing window.

Chart, radar chart

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  • Click, hold, and drag one of the drawing tabs out of the File Tabs bar as a new floating drawing window. Note how both drawings are displayed on the screen.
  • If you have a second monitor, you can easily drag the floating drawing onto that screen and have the two drawing files displayed on two separate screens side by side.
  • If you want to keep the drawing in the overlapping mode, then be aware that the currently active drawing will be on top.

Graphical user interface, diagram

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  • If you want to keep the floating window always on top, you can pin it. It ignores the active drawing and stays always on top of the main application window.

Graphical user interface, application

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  • The floating window has its own command line and dynamic input. Although the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, and Status bar are available in the main application window only, you can use them in the floating drawing window as well.
  • Once you are done working in the floating drawing, simply click and drag its title bar and drop it back into the Files tab bar.

This simple enhancement is quite impactful, and it has quickly become one of my favorites! I hope you will try this new feature - it might possibly become one of your favorites as well.

About the Author

Renu Muthoo

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Renu has worked with Autodesk products for the past 20 years with a main focus on design visualization software. Renu holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and started her career as an Instructional Designer/Author where she co-authored a number of Autodesk 3ds Max and AutoCAD books, some of which were translated into other languages for a wide audience reach. In her next role as a Technical Specialist at a 3D visualization company, Renu used 3ds Max in real-world scenarios on a daily basis. There, she developed customized 3D web planner solutions to create specialized 3D models with photorealistic texturing and lighting to produce high quality renderings.

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