Cheat Sheet

AutoCAD For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From AutoCAD For Dummies, 17th Edition

By Bill Fane

It’s not enough to draw nice-looking lines anymore. If you want to compete in the AutoCAD realm, you need to carefully organize the objects you draw, their properties, and the files in which they reside. This guide provides basic information and tools for accomplishing these things, without putting a T-square through your computer screen in frustration.

AutoCAD 2017 Drawing Setup Roadmap

AutoCAD 2017’s drawing setup can seem complicated at first. This table lists the fundamental setup commands you should use to set up your drawings, what they do, and various ways to find them.

Ribbon or Application Menu Command / Keyboard Description Your Action
Model Space
Step 1: Application menu→New Drawing NEW / Ctrl+N Opens the Select Template file dialog box Choose imperial (acad.dwt) or metric (adadiso.dwt).
Step 2: Quick Access toolbar→Save QSAVE / Ctrl+S Opens the Save Drawing As file dialog box Specify a suitable name.
Step 3: Application menu→Drawing Utilities→Units UNITS / UN Opens the Drawing Units dialog box Specify suitable settings
Step 4: Right-click the status bar icon for Snap, Grid, Object Snap, Polar, or Object Snap Tracking DSETTINGS / DS Opens the Drafting Settings dialog box Click each dialog box tab to specify suitable settings for Snap, Grid, and so on.
Step 5: View tab→Palettes tab→Properties LTSCALE / LTS Opens the Properties palette Specify a suitable linetype scale.
Step 6: Annotate panel→Dimension tab→Flyout DIMSTYLE / DIMSTY Opens the Dimension Style Manager dialog box Specify suitable values for dimensions.
Step 7: Annotate panel→Text tab→Flyout STYLE / ST Opens the Text Style dialog box Specify suitable values for text parameters.
Step 8: Application menu→Drawing Utilities→Drawing Properties DWGPROPS / DWG Opens the Drawing Properties dialog box Enter appropriate values.
Paper Space Layouts
Step 9: Right-click each Layout tab→Page Setup PAGESETUPMANAGER / PAGE Opens the Page Setup Manager dialog box Enter suitable values for paper size, plotter configuration, and so on.
Model Space      
Step 10: Quick Access toolbar→Save QSAVE / Ctrl+S Opens the Save Drawing As file dialog box Switch File of Type to Template and specify a suitable name.

After you complete the preceding steps, you’ll never need to repeat this sequence again for this particular setup. Simply start new files from the template you saved in Step 10 and you are good to go.

 

Top Keyboard Shortcuts in AutoCAD 2017

Since AutoCAD came into being more than 25 years ago, the one input method that’s remained constant is typing into the command line. This table lists useful keyboard shortcuts for AutoCAD 2017.

Keypress Command Description
F1 HELP Calls for Help screen
F2 TEXTSCR Toggles the Text screen display
F3 OSNAP Toggles Object Snap mode
F4 3DOSNAP Toggles 3D Object Snap mode
F5 ISOPLANE Toggles Isoplane mode
F6 3DOSNAP Toggles 3D Snap to Plane mode
F7 GRIDMODE Toggles Grid mode
F8 ORTHO Toggles Ortho mode
F9 SNAP Toggles Snap mode
F10 POLAR Toggles Polar mode
F11 OTRACK Toggles Object Track mode
F12 DYNMODE Toggles Dynamic Input mode
Ctrl+Save QSAVE Saves the drawing
Ctrl+Open OPEN Displays the Select File dialog box
Ctrl+P PLOT Displays the Plot dialog box
Ctrl+Tab   Switches to the next open drawing
Ctrl+PgUp   Switches to the next tab in the current drawing
Ctrl+PgDn   Switches to the previous tab in the current drawing

 

AutoCAD 2017’s Drawing Scale and Limits in Feet and Inches

In AutoCAD, setting limits correctly lets you display the drawing grid over your working area, among other things. This table lists the dimensions for different paper sizes at different drawing scales in AutoCAD 2017.

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AutoCAD 2017’s Drawing Scale and Limits in Millimeters

If you prefer to work in millimeters when using AutoCAD 2017, you still want to set your limits correctly. This allows you to display the drawing grid over your working area, among other things. Here are the dimensions for different paper sizes at different drawing scales.

AutoCad drawing scale and paper dimensions chart.