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Accessing Libraries of Materials in AutoCAD 2008

AutoCAD 2008 comes with a large number of predefined materials that are organized into libraries. You can also build your own material library from the materials that you create and use for your 3D models. AutoCAD comes with two different sets of material libraries: one that's installed by default with AutoCAD and one you choose to install.

You can find the material libraries from the Tool Palettes Window (choose Tools --> Palettes --> Tool Palettes) by right-clicking the title bar when the palette isn't docked or the double grip bar at the top when it is docked. Select either Materials or Materials Library from the contextual menu to display palettes that contain material tools.

The Materials tool palette group on the Tool Palettes Window contains some basic materials that you might use on your 3D models, whereas the Materials Library palette group contains a larger number of materials that you can attach to 3D objects in your 3D models. To attach a material, click one of the tools or click a tab to switch between the available tool palettes in the selected group to select a different material. The material is added to the drawing and you're prompted to select the object you want to attach the material to.

You can create your own material tools on tool palettes if you want to reuse a material in other drawings. To reuse a material in another drawing, drag the preview swatch in the Materials palette to a tool palette on the Tool Palettes Window and drop the image when the black horizontal bar is displayed. For more information about customizing tool palettes, see the topic Tool Palettes in the AutoCAD help system. To locate the topic, display the Online Help system and click the Contents tab. On the Contents tab, choose User's Guide --> The User Interface.

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