How to Use Dynamic Input in AutoCAD

By Bill Fane

The F12 key turns Dynamic Input on and off in AutoCAD. When it is active, most command input and responses from the command line are repeated in the graphic area of the screen, close to the current cursor location.

Dynamic Input is supposed to increase efficiency because you don’t have to shift your focus between the command line and the current cursor location. On the other hand, many users find it too distracting to have everything dancing and flashing around the cursor, and it’s probably not good for your eyes to always be focused on the same point.

When Dynamic Input is on, coordinate values you enter from the keyboard are relative to the current location. When Dynamic Input is off, values are absolute relative to the drawing origin.

Don’t get in the habit of relying on Dynamic Input. Sometimes there simply isn’t room in the Dynamic Input tooltip to show as much information as you get at the command line.

The Dynamic Input tooltip doesn’t display options unless you press the down-arrow key. Pressing the up-arrow key displays previous input.

Dynamic Input menu
Choosing command options from the Dynamic Input menu.

Dynamic Input is great. It really is. But sometimes it fights with normal command input, and that can make things really confusing.