AutoCAD 101 – Intro

I will kick things off with a post that is near and dear to me – especially at the present time, as I am dealing with this issue every day. This post may seem out of character for many that are unfamiliar with AutoCAD, but it really falls in line with the premise of this blog – “There are better ways of doing things”… (and often, it is just doing things right from the beginning). This will be the first in a series on AutoCAD basics and some rules and guidelines to follow that will make the process of working with AutoCAD more efficient for editing and updating for all users (editing and updating are two distinct processes for this series).

I know and have a lot of respect for many professionals in the engineering and architectural world that work with AutoCAD everyday and most of those that don’t are using Revit. I have been using AutoCAD since version 3.? (it’s been awhile – 1984) and have used almost every version over the years. It continues to amaze and sometimes frustrate me how so many people that are professional architects, engineers, designers and especially the daily CADD drafter, still mis-use or (mis-understand) the product. By mis-use, I mean they have still not learned, refused to learn or just don’t care about some basic concepts. Taking the more positive approach, I think that many believe they know enough to do their job and do not have the time or energy to invest in additional learning. Well I am going to make it easy for those who are at least interested in stepping up their efficiency and the quality of what they produce. I will be spreading out over multiple posts some critical basics for AutoCAD use that can be taken in pretty quickly and put in to practice right away.

Below are the topics I will be covering, Future posts will dive in to more detail.

  • Layer Usage:  General Efficient usage and standards. Layers offer lots of control if used properly.
  • Layer 0:  This is a crucial layer that should never be frozen, or modified.
  • Layer Defpoints:  This is another crucial layer that should never be frozen, or modified.
  • Blocks:  Do NOT explode, and use more in lieu of copying around line work.
    • Creation:
    • Usage:
  • Lines and Polylines:  When to use one or the other. editing, joining, etc…
  • Standard Styles:
    • Don’t use them!  This covers the built-in AutoCAD styles for dimensions and text which are basically “samples” to go by or at best starters, but your not supposed to use them as YOUR standard.  It creates issues for you and others.
  • Text Usage:
    • Alignment – There are more options than “Top-Left”.
    • Styles – Remember to not use the “Standard” styles – make a company standard.
    • Size – It does really matter.

In the future posts, we will get in to how to use the above, the why and the importance of the why.  If you want to control efficiency and quality, it is important to get it right.


Leave a Reply