1. ABSOLUTE CO-ORDINATES – Using this method, you enter the points as they relate to the origin of the WCS. To enter a point just enter in the exact point as X,Y.  A way of inputting points based on AutoCAD’s origin.
  2. RELATIVE CO-ORDINATES – This allows you to enter points in relation to the first point you have entered. After you’ve entered one point, the next would be entered as @X,Y. This means that AutoCAD will draw a line from the first point to another point X units over and Y units up relative to the previous point.
  3. POLAR CO-ORDINATES – You would use this system if you know that you want to draw a line a certain distance at a particular angle. You would enter this as @D<A. In this case, D is the distance and A is the angle. Example: @10<90 will draw a line 10 units straight up from the first point.
    1. The three ways of entering coordinates shown above are the ONLY way AutoCAD accepts keyboard input.  Remember that X is always before Y (alphabetical). Don’t forget the ‘@’ symbol when you are entering relative points. Any typing error or omission will give you results you don’t want. If you make a mistake and need to see what you typed, press F2 to bring up the text screen and check your typing. (press F2 to get back to your drawing.)
  4. Application Button – This button displays commands for printing, saving, drawing utilities and other non-drawing tools.
  5. Quick Access Toolbar – This is for quick access to common commands like New, Open, Save, Plot
  6. Filename – The name of the current file you are working on.
  7. Search Bar – Search for text in your drawing or search the help files.
  8. Ribbon – The Ribbon runs across the top of the drawing space and contains panels – each panel has a group of associated tools. Switch to different panels by clicking on the tabs at the top of the ribbon.  The Ribbon has most of the commands/tools that you will use while you are working.
  9. Tabs – A series of Tabs make up the Ribbon (Home, Insert, Manage, etc) and organize the Tools into common groups.
  10. Panels – Contain a group of tools
  11. Tools – These are the icons that start the commands you use to draw, modify, etc.
  12. Tool Tip – If you hover your mouse over a tool, a tool tip will appear to give you more information.  Hold it longer for more info.
  13. Drawing Space – These is where you draw your designs.
  14. Command line – When you type a command, you will see it here. AutoCAD uses this space to ‘prompt’ you for information. It will give you a lot of information and tell you where you are in the command. Watch this line while learning.
  15. Status bar – This allows to see and change different modes of drawing such as Ortho, Osnaps, Grid, Otrack, etc. You can right click this area to toggle between icons and text for this area.
  16. Icons, Keystrokes and Menus
    1. There are many ways to do things in most Windows programs. AutoCAD is no exception. Everyone will develop a way that works best for him or her. In this course, we will primarily be working with the keystroke commands. The reason for this is because they will work in most AutoCAD versions (including DOS versions), and in some other CAD programs. The icons work well, but as you will see, icons can be placed anywhere on the screen and can be difficult to find quickly. You may be working on another employee’s computer that is set up differently than what you’re used to. The pull-down menus will access almost all commands, but are a slower way of doing things.  Icons in AutoCAD 2010 are found on the ribbon, divided into panels – just click on the appropriate tab to open the panel you need.
    2. Example: If you want to draw a line, you can do it a few ways:
      1. At the command line type: LINE (or) L and press the ENTER key.
      2. Select the line icon from the DRAW Panel.
      3. Another way is to Right-Click on the drawing space and choose “Recent Input” from the menu. This will give a list of the most recent commands that you have used.
      4. All three approaches will do the same thing: prepare AutoCAD to draw a line where you tell it.
  1. Acad.dwt– This is the default template that automatically loads whenever you start a drawing session. It can be customized to suit your needs.
  2. Backup file– AutoCAD can be set to automatically backup your drawing and save it. This is a safeguard in case your file gets corrupted. It is saved with a .BAK extension
  3. Block– A pre-drawn image you can insert in your drawing to save time and make your file size smaller.
  4. Clean Screen– A display setting that gives you maximum drawing space.
  5. Crosshairs– This is your cursor when it is in the drawing space.
  6. Cursor– Your cursor will change depending on what function it is performing in the program.
  7. Drawing template file– This is a file that contains preset values for frequently used settings. AKA a prototype drawing. The file extension is DWT.
  8. Extents– The outer boundaries of the objects you have drawn.
  9. Grid– This is pattern of dots displayed on the screen to guide you. It can be toggled on and off by pressing the F7 key.
  10. Grips– Small ‘handles’ on objects that allow for quick editing.
  11. Layer– All objects are drawn on a layer. You can group objects (such as electrical) on a single layer and organize your drawing.
  12. Layout Tabs More Info– A space used for plotting your drawings (formerly called Paper Space).
  13. Linetype– All objects are drawn with a particular linetype. Examples would be solid, center, dashed, etc.
  14. Model space– The drawing space where you ‘model’ the objects.
  15. Modify– A generic term used for changing your objects
  16. Object– Any item that is in the AutoCAD database. Also known as an entity.
  17. Origin– The (0,0) point of your current coordinate system.
  18. Ortho mode– This is a drawing mode that allows you to draw only perpendicular lines. It is toggled on and off by pressing the F8 key.
  19. Orthographic Projection– A standard drawing method that shows 2 or more views of the same part.
  20. Osnap – Object Snap- This is a method of ‘snapping’ to certain, precise points on an object.
  21. Pan– To move around the drawing by dragging the drawing area around your screen. (Holding the scroll button down on your mouse)
  22. Panel– A grouping of commands on the ribbon
  23. Path– The specific folder where AutoCAD looks for, or saves files.
  24. Pick– To select an object by ‘left-clicking’ on it.
  25. Plot– Also known as print. To make a hard copy of your drawing.
  26. Property– Any specific characteristic of an object such as layer, scale, linetype, start point, etc.
  27. Section View– A drawing that represents a cross section of a part or assembly.
  28. Selection set– The current group of objects selected for modifying.
  29. Snap– This is a drawing mode that allows you to snap your cursor to precise points laid out in a grid pattern. Toggle with the F9 key.
  30. Styles– Formatting that defines the look of text, dimensions, etc.
  31. Units More Info– The basic drawing unit set for your drawing. For example, you can use inches or millimeters depending on your needs. You can also set the precision you want displayed, such nearest 1/4″, 1/2″ 1/64″, etc.
  32. User coordinate system (UCS)
  33. World Coordinate System (WCS)
  34. View– A particular area of your drawing.
  35. Viewport– A separate ‘window’ on your drawing. You may have more than one viewport visible to see different areas of your drawing at the same time.
  36. Wizard  More Info– An easy step-by-step instruction set to help you set-up certain aspects of your drawing.
  37. World Coordinate System (WCS)- This is the common X-Y coordinate system that is the default. If it is modified, it becomes a User Coordinate System (UCS)
  38. Zoom– To view either a smaller section of your drawing (zoom in) or a larger section (zoom out)


Command Keystroke Icon Location Result
Line Line / L Home > LIne Draw a straight line segment from one point to the next
Circle Circle / C Home> Circle > Center, Radius Draws a circle based on a center point and radius.
Erase Erase / E Modify > Erase Erases an object.
Arc Arc / E Draw > Arc > Center, Start, End Draws an arc based on a center point and 2 endpoints
Print Print / Plot CTRL+P Quick Access Toolbar > Print Enables the Print/Plot Configuration Dialog Box
Undo U / CTRL+Z Quick Access Toolbar> Undo Undoes the last command.
  1. Drafting technician
    1. Associate degree in drafting tech. from a technical or comment college and at least one year drafting experience
  2. Designer
    1. A person with drafting and design experience and training who works on product designs
  3. Engineer
    1. A person who had at least a four-year degree in an engineering specialty such as mechanical, electrical architectural, or nuclear engineering.
  4. Junior drafter
    1. Have good manual drafting and CAD skills. Requires at least one year of high school drafting & associate degree in drafting tech. From a technical or community college.
  5. Rough sketches
    1. Sketches drawn with jagged lines. Their primary purpose is to express thoughts quickly.  Drawn carefully. Show good proportion & excellent line values. They are based on a rough sketch that has captured a general idea
  6. Technical drawings
    1. Set of accurate drawings that describe the exact size and shape of an object or product.
  7. Working drawings
    1. A complete drawing or set of drawings prepared so that the object represented can be built without additional information.
  8. Prototype
    1. A function model of a product that allows engineers to test and analyze it before it goes into full production.
  9. Blueprints
    1. A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing, documenting an architecture or an engineering design, using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets.
  10. Architect
    1. They design buildings and structures.
  11. Cartographer
    1. Is somebody who makes and works with maps
  12. Civil engineer
    1. Work with structural design and construction material, soil and water resources, environmental concerns, and transportation system design. Engineer all government projects.
  13. Schematics
    1. An electrical diagram that shows the electrical connection and function of a circuit by mean of standard graphical symbols. It shows them without any regard to the actual physical size shape or location of the electrical devices or parts that make up the circuit
  14. Sketching
    1. A way to express ideas pictorially
  15. Line
    1. A length that travels from point A to B
  16. CAD
    1. Computer aided drafting software program and integrates design
  17. Grid
    1. A horizontal and vertical pattern of dots spaced at regular preset intervals
  18. Zoom
    1. Makes object appear larger or smaller
  19. Front view
    1. A view that shows that true width and height of an object but not the depth
  20. Mechanical drawings
    1. A drawing made with percision and drawing instruments
  21. Orthographic projection (height, width, depth)
    1. All lines transfer to each view an object
  22. Perspective drawing
    1. Technique of representing objects so that they appear progressively smaller as they are father away.
  23. Isometric drawing
    1. Drawing prepared so that the front edge (and the edge parallel to it) will appear vertical (item looks 3D).  A 2D representation of a 3D object.
  24. Ellipse
    1. A geometric form resembling a circle viewed at an angle
  25. Oblique pictorial drawings
    1. Sketch in which the height and width are shown in their true size (with axes at 90 degrees to each other) but in which the depth can be drawn at any angle
  26. Hidden lines
    1. Dashed lines that show the hidden part of an object
  27. Parallel lines
    1. Two lines that never touch
  28. Fillet
    1. A rounded inside corner on a casting. Formed by gluing on performed leather or wooden strips
  29. Ortho
    1. In CAD, a feature that restrict crosshairs movement to either vertical or horizontal directions
  30. Offset (icon)
    1. Tool that allows to make a copy of a line, a set distance away.
  31. Architect’s scale
    1. Full size scale of inches divided into sixteen. it also has reduced size scales in which inches of fractions of an inches
  32. Hexagon
    1. Six sided figure
  33. Diameter
    1. Distance across a circle through it’s center
  34. Radius
    1. Distance from center of a circle to a point on the circle
  35. Right angle
    1. Angle with the measure equal to 90 degrees
  36. Acute angle
    1. Angle between 0-90 degrees
  37. Obtuse angle
    1. Angle greater than 90 degrees
  38. Equilateral triangle
    1. A triangle that has all equal sides
  39. Supplementary angle
    1. Angles equal to 180
  40. Isosceles triangle
    1. Only 2 equal sizes
  41. Two-point perspective
    1. Perspective dewing with 2 vanishing points
  42. Vanishing points
    1. A point on the horizon where the line keeps going
  43. Absolute coordinates
    1. X,Y
  44. Relative coordinates
    1. @X,Y
  45. Polar coordinates
    1. @X<Y
  46. Viewport
    1. A separate ‘window’ on your drawing is called a…
  47. Trim
    1. Shortens objects to a selected cutting edge.
  48. Extend
    1. Lengthens objects to a selected boundary edge.
  49. Offset
    1. Creates a parallel object by a set distance.
  50. Crossing (Right to left selection)
    1. Selects any object that crosses the boundary or is inside it.
  51. Window (Left to right selection)
    1. Selects any object that is inside it.
  52. Move
    1. Relocates an object or objects.
  53. Copy
    1. Duplicates an object or objects one or more times.
  54. Stretch
    1. Stretches an object after you have selected a portion of it.
  55. Fillet
    1. Creates a round (or square) corner between two lines.
  56. Chamfer
    1. Creates an angled corner between two lines.
  57. Array
    1. Creates a repeating pattern of the selected objects.
  58. Layer
    1. Command used to the Layer and Linetype property dialog box.
  59. Scale
    1. Proportionately resizes objects.
  60. Zoom/Extents
    1. This option will display all the graphics that are contained in the drawing with the largest image possible.
  61. Pan
    1. Type this command and a hand will appear on the screen. Left click and hold to move around your drawing.
  62. Block
    1. Creates a block from separate entities (internal to current drawing).
  63. Wblock
    1. Creates a block and writes it to a file (external).
  64. Hatch
    1. Covers an area with a predefined pattern.
  65. Pline
    1. Creates a polyline of arcs and/or lines.
  66. Pedit
    1. Edits polyline objects.
  67. Explode
    1. Separates objects into individual components.
  68. Acad.dwt
    1. This is the default template that automatically loads whenever you start a drawing session.  It can be customized.
  69. Model space
    1. The drawing space where most drawing is done.
  70. Osnap – Object Snap
    1. This is a method of attaching to certain, precise points on an object. (end, mid, cen, per, tan, etc.) Toggle F3
  71. Paper space
    1. An optional area used for plotting your drawings.
  72. Plot
    1. Known to everyone else as print.  To make a hard copy of your drawing based on Windows Printers that are available.
  73. Units
    1. The basic drawing increment set for your drawing.  For example, you can use inches or millimeters depending on your needs.  You can also set the precision you want displayed, such nearest 1/4″, 1/2″ 1/64″, etc.
  74. Assembly Drawing
    1. A drawing that shows how part or all of a machine or structure is put together.
  75. Broken-out Section
    1. A small part of a view that is sectioned to show some inside detail.
  76. Detail Drawing
    1. A drawing that gives all of the information necessary to construct some part or part a larger structure.
  77. Face
    1. A plane surface of an object. A process that produces a finish on a surface perpendicular to a centerline of rotation.
  78. Full Section
    1. A sectional view obtained by passing a cutting plane completely through an object.
  79. Icon
    1. A small picture that is a symbol used to select a CAD/Computer tool.
  80. Isometric Drawing
    1. A type of drawing in which the lower edges are drawn at 30 degrees from a horizontal, all vertical edges are perpendicular to horizontal.
  81. Layer
    1. An electronic sheet of paper that allows different parts of a drawing to be visible or invisible, colored, or of different linetype.
  82. Leader          
    1. A thin solid line that is drawn from some note to its detail on an object.
  83. Object Snap
    1. A feature in CAD programs that allows the user to automatically jump to specific points on an object.
  84. One-point perspective
    1. A type of perspective drawing that has one vanishing point.
  85. Ortho
    1. A feature in CAD programs that restricts the placement of lines to vertical or horizontal.
  86. Perspective
    1. A technique of drawing that shows the parts of an object that are closer to the viewer larger and parts that are further away smaller.
  87. Plan view
    1. A  top view in an Architectural Drawing.
  88. Quadrilateral
    1. A geometric shape having four sides.
  89. Section
    1. A cutaway view of an object.
  90. Working Drawing
    1. A complete drawing or series of drawings that have been prepared to provide all of the information necessary to build the product.