Cheat Sheet

AutoCAD 2012 For Dummies

From AutoCAD 2012 For Dummies by David Byrnes

AutoCAD has grown more complex over the years, in part to keep up with the increasing complexity of the design and drafting processes that AutoCAD 2012 is intended to serve. It’s not enough just to draw nice-looking lines anymore. If you want to play CAD with the big boys and girls, you need to carefully organize the objects you draw, their properties, and the files in which they reside. This guide provides the basic information and tools for doing all these things, without putting a T-square through your computer screen in frustration.

AutoCAD 2012 Drawing Setup Roadmap

Drawing setup in AutoCAD 2012 can seem a little complicated before you get used to it. The following table lists ten fundamental AutoCAD setup commands in the order you probably use them, explains what they do, and tells you where to find them on the classic pull-down menu system as well as on the Ribbon and Application Menu. If you’d rather type than click, you can enter the full command name or its alias or keyboard shortcut (where available — shown in parentheses).

Ribbon / Application Menu Classic Menu Command Description
Model Space
1. Application menu→New→Drawing File→New NEW (Ctrl+N) Creates a new drawing based on a template drawing (DWT file)
2. Application menu→Drawing Utilities→Units Format→Units UNITS (UN) Specifies linear and angular units
3. None Format→Drawing Limits LIMITS Specifies working area
4. View tab→Navigate panel→Zoom drop-down flyout→Extents View→Zoom→Extents ZOOM (Z), Extents Zooms to drawing extents
5. None Tools→Drafting Settings DSETTINGS (DS) Specifies snap and grid spacings
6. Home tab→Properties panel→ Linetype drop-down→Other→Show Details→Global Scale Factor Format→ Linetype→Show Details→Global Scale Factor LTSCALE (LTS) Sets linetype scale
7. Home tab→Annotation slideout→ Dimension Style Format→Dimension Style DIMSTYLE (D) Sets dimension style
8. Application menu→Drawing Utilities→Drawing Properties File→Drawing Properties DWGPROPS Enters drawing informational properties
Paper Space
9. None Tools→Wizards→Create Layout LAYOUTWIZARD Creates a paper space layout
10.Application Menu→Save File→Save QSAVE (Ctrl+S) Saves the drawing

AutoCAD 2012’s Top Keyboard Shortcuts

Over AutoCAD’s 25-year existence, the one input method that’s remained constant is typing into the command line. Most experienced AutoCAD users find typing command aliases and entering Ctrl+key combinations to be the most efficient way of communicating with AutoCAD — and if you can find your way around a keyboard, you’ll probably find the same thing. The following table lists useful keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcut Command Purpose
Ctrl+S QSAVE Saves the drawing
Ctrl+O OPEN Displays the Select File dialog box
Ctrl+P PLOT Displays the Plot dialog box
Ctrl+Tab None Switches to the next open drawing
Ctrl+PgUp/Ctrl+PgDn None Switches to the previous/next tab in the current drawing
F1 HELP Displays AutoCAD’s Help in a Web browser window
F2 TEXTSCR Toggles the AutoCAD Text Window on and off
F3 OSNAP Toggles running object snap mode on and off
F7 GRID Toggles grid mode on and off
F8 ORTHO Toggles ortho mode on and off
F9 SNAP Toggles snap mode on and off
F10 POLAR Toggles polar mode on and off
F11 None Toggles object snap tracking on and off
F12 DYNMODE Toggles dynamic input mode on and off

AutoCAD 2012's Drawing Scale and Limits Chart: Feet and Inches

It's not a bad idea to set limits for your AutoCAD 2012 drawing. Limits in AutoCAD represent the rectangular working area that you'll draw in, which usually corresponds to the paper size. Setting limits correctly lets you display the drawing grid over your working area, use ZOOM All to display that working area, and plot your working area from model space. The following table sets out the dimensions in whole feet or feet and inches of work areas for different paper sizes at different drawing scales.

Drawing Scale 8-1/2" x 11" 11" x 17" 24" x 36" 30" x 42" 36" x 48"
1/16" = 1'–0" 136' x 176' 176' x 272' 384' x 576' 480' x 672' 576' x 768'
1/8" = 1'–0" 68' x 88' 88' x 136' 192' x 288' 240' x 336' 288' x 384'
1/4" = 1'–0" 34' x 44' 44' x 68' 96' x 144' 120' x 168' 144' x 192'
1/2" = 1'–0" 17' x 22' 22' x 34' 48' x 72' 60' x 84' 72' x 96'
3/4" = 1'–0" 11'–4" x 14'–8" 14'–8" x 22'–8" 32' x 48' 40' x 56' 48' x 64'
1" = 1'–0" 8'–6" x 11' 11' x 17' 24' x 36' 30' x 42' 36' x 48'
1-1/2" = 1'–0" 5'–8" x 7'–4" 7'–4" x 11'–4" 16' x 24' 20' x 28' 24' x 32'
3" = 1'–0" 2'–10" x 3'–8" 3'–8" x 5'–8" 8' x 12' 10' x 14' 12' x 16'

AutoCAD 2012’s Drawing Scale and Limits Charts: Millimeters

It’s not a bad idea to set limits for your AutoCAD drawing. The limits represent the rectangular working area that you’ll draw in, which usually corresponds to the paper size. Setting AutoCAD's limits correctly lets you display the drawing grid over your working area, use ZOOM All to display that working area, and plot your working area from model space. The following table sets out the dimensions in millimeters of work areas for different paper sizes at different drawing scales.

Drawing Scale 210 x 297 mm 297 x 420 mm 420 x 594 mm 594 x 841 mm 841 x 1,189 mm
1:200 42,000 x 59,400 mm 59,400 x 84,000 mm 84,000 x 118,800 mm 118,800 x 168,200 mm 168,200 x 237,800 mm
1:100 21,000 x 29,700 mm 29,700 x 42,000 mm 42,000 x 59,400 mm 59,400 x 84,100 mm 84,100 x 118,900 mm
1:50 10,500 x 14,850 mm 14,850 x 21,000 mm 21,000 x 29,700 mm 29,700 x 42,050 mm 42,050 x 59,450 mm
1:20 4,200 x 5,940 mm 5,940 x 8,400 mm 8,400 x 11,880 mm 11,880 x 16,820 mm 16,820 x 23,780 mm
1:10 2,100 x 2,970 mm 2,970 x 4,200 mm 4,200 x 5,940 mm 5,940 x 8,410 mm 8,410 x 11,890 mm
1:5 1,050 x 1,485 mm 1,485 x 2,100 mm 2,100 x 2,970 mm 2,970 x 4,205 mm 4,205 x 5,945 mm
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