Hints for G etting S tarted With AutoCAD
in Drafting and Design
May: 2001, Marvin Bartel , inst., Goshen College

learning methods
  1. The F1 key is for Help.  Learn to use it.
  2. Look in the AutoCAD reference books in NC12.
  3. Ask others in the class if they can assist you when you have a question.
  4. Arrange to work together with others so you can assist each other.  NC12 is occupied by another class on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m.  NC12 is available afternoons, weekends, and Wednesday evenings for this class.  You may check out a key at Phys Plant.  Use other Computer labs any time you can get a computer.
  5. Class members are expected to assist each other in any way possible. Team participation is credited in the grading of this class.  You can see the critera at this link .
  6. Ask the instructor.  There are many ways most things can be done in AutoCAD.  Often the instructor can suggest another way to make it less time consuming.
  7. Call or e-mail when you are working outside of classtime.  Many issues can be explained in e-mail or on the phone.  Limit phone questions to time sensitive questions that another student is not able to assist you with.  Do not call after 10 p.m.
  8. Take notes when things are shown in class.  Practice immediately so you can do it.
helpful rules to follow and commands to use
  1. Enter all lines by an exact method using the keyboard, osnap, or snap.  Avoid a free mouse entry method for drafting.  None of the dimensions will be correct and lines will not actually meet at corners.
  2. Always watch the bottom of the screen.  It lists commands, coordinates, suggestions, and other timely and useful informatioin.
  3. From the solar system to a microscopic view, all computer drafting is done actual size no matter how large or small the subject is.  You create the scaled drawing when you print, or when it is placed in Paper Space, but not while drawing.
  4. Always be sure to have Model Space selected (bottom center of screen) while working on the drawing.  If Paper Space is selected, you can only work on the border and title block of the drawing.
  5. All commands are completed by using Enter or Carriage Return or the Space Bar or the Right mouse button. The most recent command is also repeated by any of these ways.
  6. If you make a mistake, use the UNDO or U command or the backup arrow button on the menu or use E for erase.
  7. A commen Zoom command is Z, W (type Z, spacebar, and W, spacebar) which allows you to draw a window around the parts you want to enlarge. To go back, use Z, P (zoom previous) or Z, A (zoom, all).  There are buttons in the top tool bar for this.
  8. If you forget to set the right layer to CURRENT while you are working, use MODIFY, PROPERTIES, to select and change anything you entered in the wrong layer.
  9. To make corrections on a line of text, type in the comamd: ddedit
  10. To change the size of a line of text, try using MODIFY, SCALE from the top menu.
  11. Try using M or the move button with the crossing arrows to move text or anything else if needed.
  12. Try using Offset to duplicate a line a certain distance from an existing line.
  13. F8 key forces Otho on or off. Ortho makes only vertical and horizontal lines. You can also click the buttons on the bottom of the screen to turn some things on and off.
  14. F9 key turns Snap on or off.  You set the snap to any interval.
  15. F7 turns Grid on and off.

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© Marvin Bartel, all rights reserved
Goshen College students may print this page for their own use. For permission to print, reproduce, or place this page on your site, e-mail: marvinpb@goshen.edu
Marvin Bartel, Ed.D., Professor of Art
Goshen College, 1700 South Main St., Goshen IN 46526
fax: 219-535-7660
this page updated: April 25, 2001

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