Your first task in learning how to draw in AutoCAD 2018 software is simply to draw a line.
Since AutoCAD 2018 is designed as a precision drawing tool, you’ll be introduced to methods that allow you to input exact distances.
But before you begin drawing, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the features that you’ll be using more than any other to create objects with AutoCAD: the Draw and Modify panels.
Try these steps: 1. Start AutoCAD just as you did in Chapter 1, “Exploring the Interface,” by choosing Start ➢ All Programs ➢ Autodesk ➢ AutoCAD 2018 ➢ AutoCAD 2018. 2. Click the Templates drop-down arrowhead in the Dashboard and select acad.dwt (see Figure 1).
Metric users should use the acadiso.dwt template.
You could also click the Start Drawing icon, but we ask you to use the acad.dwt or acadiso.dwt template to ensure that you are set up with the same defaults as in this exercise.
- Make sure that you are in the Drafting & Annotation workspace. Click the Workspace Switching tool in the status bar, and select Drafting & Annotation.
- Move the arrow cursor to the Line tool in the Home tab’s Draw panel at the far upper-left portion of the AutoCAD window, and rest it there so that the tooltip appears. As you hold the cursor over the tool, first one tooltip appears and then another (see Figure 2.2)
5. Slowly move the arrow cursor to the right over the other tools in the Home tab’s Draw panel, and read each tooltip.
In most cases, you’ll be able to guess what each tool does by looking at its icon.
The icon with an arc, for instance, indicates that the tool draws arcs; the one with the ellipse signifies that the tool draws ellipses; and so on.
If you hover over the tool, you’ll see the tool tip name and the keyboard command associated with the tool. Hold the cursor for a bit longer, and a cue card appears that gives a brief explanation of how to use the tool.
You see several tools in the Home tab’s Draw and Modify panels. In autocad formats if you saw that if you click the arrow in a panel’s title bar, the panel expands to reveal more tools (see Figure 2.3).
Once you’ve selected a tool from the expanded Draw or Modify panel, the expanded panel closes. If you want to keep the expanded panel open, click the pushpin icon at the left end of the expanded panel’s title bar.
Starting Your First Drawing In Chapter 1, you looked at a preexisting sample drawing.
This time, you’ll begin to draw your own drawing by creating a door that will be used in later exercises.
First, though, you must learn how to tell AutoCAD what you want, and, even more important, you must understand what AutoCAD wants from you.
You’ll start by setting the size of the work area, known as the drawing limits.
These limits aren’t fixed in any way, and you aren’t forced to stay within the bounds of the drawing limits unless the Limits command’s ON/OFF option is turned on.
But limits can help to establish a starting area from which you can expand your drawing.
You currently have a new blank file, but it’s a little difficult to tell the size of your drawing area. Let’s set up the work area so that you have a better idea of the space with which you’re working:
- Enter Limits↵.
- At the Specify lower left corner or [ON/OFF] : prompt, press ↵.
- At the Specify upper right corner : prompt, press ↵ to accept the default of 12.0000,9.0000. Metric users should enter 40,30↵.
- Type Z↵ A↵ for the Zoom All command. You can also select Zoom All from the Zoom flyout on the Navigation bar.
- Metric users do the following: Open the Application menu and choose Drawing Utilities ➢ Units or enter Units↵. In the Units dialog box, select Centimeters from the Insertion Scale panel’s drop-down list and click OK. See “Inserted Drawings Not to Scale?” “Managing and Sharing Your Drawings,” for more on the Insertion Scale setting
- step 4, the All option of the Zoom command uses the limits you set up in steps 2 and 3 to determine the display area.
In a drawing that contains objects, the Zoom tool’s All option displays the limits plus the area occupied by the objects in the drawing if they happen to fall outside the limits. Now give your file a unique name:
- Choose Save As from the Application menu or type Saveas↵ to open the Save Drawing As dialog box.
- Type Door. As you type, the name appears in the File Name text box.
- Save your file in the My Documents folder or, if you prefer, save it in another folder of your choosing. Just remember where you put it because you’ll use it later.
- Click Save. You now have a file called Door.dwg, located in the My Documents folder. Of course, your drawing doesn’t contain anything yet. You’ll take care of that next.
Now you can start to do drawing process.
To begin a drawing, follow these steps:
- Click the Line tool on the Home tab’s Draw panel or type L↵. You’ve just issued the Line command.
- AutoCAD responds in two ways. First, you see the message Specify the first point: in the Command prompt, asking you to select a point to begin your line.
- Also, the cursor changes its appearance; it no longer has a square in the crosshairs.
- This is a clue telling you to pick a point to start a line.
- Using the left mouse button, select a point on the screen just a little to the left and below the center of the drawing area (see Figure 2.4).
- After you select the point, AutoCAD changes the prompt to this: Specify next point or [Undo]:
- Move the cursor to a location directly to the left or right of the point you clicked, and you’ll see a dashed horizontal line appear along with a different message at the cursor.
This action also occurs when you point directly up or down. Your cursor seems to jump to a horizontal or vertical position.
This feature is called Polar Tracking. Like a T square or triangle, it helps to restrict your line to an exact horizontal or vertical direction.
This feature is called Polar Tracking. Like a T square or triangle, it helps to restrict your line to an exact horizontal or vertical direction. You can turn Polar Tracking on or off by clicking the Polar Tracking tool in the status bar.
- Continue with the Line command. Move the cursor to a point below and to the right of the first point you selected and click again.
- If the line you drew isn’t the exact length you want, you can back up during the Line command and change it. To do this, type U↵. The line you drew previously rubber-bands as if you hadn’t selected the second point to fix its length.
- Right-click and select Enter. This terminates the Line command. The Undo and Redo tools in the Quick Access toolbar offer Undo and Redo drop-down lists from which you can select the exact command you want to undo or redo. See the sidebar “Getting Out of Trouble” later in this chapter for more information.
You’ve just drawn, and then undrawn, a line of an arbitrary length.
In step 6 of the previous exercise, you were asked to terminate the Line command.
If you happen to forget that a command is still active, two onscreen clues can remind you of the status of AutoCAD.
If you don’t see the words Type a Command in the Command window, a command is still active.
Also, the cursor is the plain crosshair without the box at its intersection. Many tools will display a small icon or badge next to the cursor. The badge will be similar to the tool’s icon in most cases.
A red X appears when you hover over an object while using the Erase tool. A question mark appears when you use the Measure, ID, or List tool.
From now on, we’ll refer to the crosshair cursor without the small box as the Point Selection mode of the cursor. Figure 2.5 shows all the modes of the drawing cursor.