Learning AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT is a bit like trying to decide
which came first—the chicken or the egg. On one hand, you
need to know the basics before you can start drawing. On the other
hand, understanding the basics can be very difficult if you haven’t
had the experience of drawing something. In this Quick Start chapter,
you resolve this problem by drawing, dimensioning, and printing a
simple window in AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.
AutoCAD is a very powerful 2D drafting application,
but behind the user interface (toolbars, pull-down
menus, and drawing window) lie the capabilities of
navigating and creating 3D models and generating
presentation-quality images from 3D models to share
with your clients. Before you begin navigating or creating
your own 3D models from 3D solids or surfaces or using
materials and user-defined lights to generate a photoreal-
istic rendering of a 3D model, you must become familiar
with how AutoCAD’s user interface works in 3D.
As with all good Windows programs — and AutoCAD is a very good
Windows program — you can make your drawings appear on-screen in
For a start, there’s the . . . er, Start button, the one that Mick and the Rolling
Stones sang about way back when Bill Gates launched Windows 95 on an
unsuspecting world. To get to AutoCAD 2007 (or AutoCAD LT 2007), you click
Start➪Programs➪Autodesk➪AutoCAD 2007➪AutoCAD 2007. (You can tell
you’re at the end of the line because the last AutoCAD 2007 has a unique pro-
gram icon rather than a generic folder icon beside it.
This book isn’t release-specific, although AutoCAD 2007 is used throughout for the
graphics. Many offices don’t upgrade immediately to new releases, and I understand why.
Upgrades cost money and take time, and the law of unintended consequences often kicks
in at exactly the wrong time. Most of the material in this book applies to any release of
AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT. Where it doesn’t, I make that clear. The most obvious distinc-
tion occurs in Chapter 3, “Customizing AutoCAD’s Interface,” because of the introduction
of the Customizable User Interface in AutoCAD 2006....
Welcome to the AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD LT 2007 Bible. Whether you use AutoCAD or
AutoCAD LT, you’ll find complete explanations of all of the powerful features that you
need to know to design and draw anything. This book is designed to be your comprehensive
guide to both the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT programs.
This book covers every significant AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT feature. If you’re a beginning
user, you’ll find everything you need to start out; if you’re already using AutoCAD or AutoCAD
LT regularly, the book covers advanced material as well.
Mastering AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD LT 2008
. As many readers have already discovered,
this book is a unique blend of tutorial and reference that includes everything you need to get
started and stay ahead with AutoCAD. With this edition, you get coverage of the latest features of
both AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD LT 2008, plus the latest information on new features.
If you’re new to AutoCAD and still trying to figure out the basics, then put down this
book and find a nice AutoCAD primer. You won’t be happy here. To truly benefit from
this book, you need a sound understanding of AutoCAD, and you need to have mastered
James Wedding, P.E., spent nearly a decade in the Dallas/Fort Worth land develop-
ment industry before partnering with Engineered Efficiency (EE) in February 2006. A
graduate of Texas Tech with a BSCE in 1997, he worked as a design engineer focused on
private development. His design experience includes small commercial to multiphase
single-family and master planned communities.
Figure 1.1, shown earlier in this chapter, shows a typical layout of the AutoCAD program window. Along the top is the menu bar, and just below that are the Workspaces and Standard Annotation toolbars. At the bottom are the Command window and the status bar. To the right is the Dashboard. The drawing area occupies the rest of the screen. AutoCAD calls the window layout a workspace; you can save and recall a workspace at any time using the Workspaces toolbar. The workspace in Figure 1.1 is called the 2D Drafting & Annotation workspace....