My apologies for the melodramatic post title, but there’s a Dynamic Input issue in the discussion groups that I’d like to see go away. Whenever someone complains that numeric entry isn’t behaving the way they expect it to, the first suggestion is always “Turn Dynamic Input off.” But this is AutoCAD! There’s almost always a way to get it to adapt to your workflow! You don’t have to turn features off! At least, not before you understand all your options, so you’re at least making an informed decision.
When Pointer Input is turned on (DYNMODE = 1), you get a mini command line next to the cursor, where you see what you type, whether there’s a command active or a grip selected or not.
If Dimension Input is turned on (DYNMODE = 2), you don’t get the preview next to the cursor anymore. Instead, you get dimensions next to a selected object (showing length, angle, change in length or angle, etc.) where you can enter new values to change the size of the object. You can also press TAB to cycle through the available dimension fields. In the first image below, the active field is “change in length,” and the second is “total length.”
You can also turn them both on, by checking both boxes in the Dynamic Input settings dialog, or by setting DYNMODE to 3. In that case, you get dimension input when it’s available and pointer input when it’s not.
Dimension input is usually the source of the complaints, mainly because you can’t use it to enter the change in value of a block parameter, only the total value. If that bothers you, though, just turn the dimension part of the input off – don’t scrap pointer input until you’re really sure you don’t want it. Personally, there have been times when I’ve turned dimension input off, but I’d hate to have to draft without the heads-up display of the pointer input.