AutoCAD For Dummies
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AutoCAD For Dummies

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The bestselling AutoCAD book revised and updated!
It takes some practice to get handy with AutoCAD and it doesn't hurt to have a good guide by your side to help get you through the rough spots. Updated to cover AutoCAD releases through the 2017 version, this new edition of AutoCAD For Dummies is an ideal companion when you're learning the basics of the popular software. Written by a former engineer and AutoCAD teacher, the book walks you through the basics of setting up projects and making simple drawings all the way up to creating 3D models.


Beginning with an overview of the AutoCAD interface, drawing tools, and ways to adjust your view of your work, AutoCAD For Dummies offers easy-to-follow guidance on using straight and curved lines to manage properties, object selection, and creating layouts. Next, it shows you how to use advanced AutoCAD tools, including Blocks, Arrays, Xrefs, and Parametrics. Finally, you'll find out how to move your work in to the wonderful world of 3D modeling.




Create an AutoCAD project from the ground up
Make and edit basic drawings starting with straight lines and curves
Jump into advanced drawing with 3D modeling
Find quick answers to your AutoCAD questions


It's true that AutoCAD is tough, but with the friendly instruction in this hands-on guide, you'll find everything you need to start creating marvelous models without losing your cool.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 187 x 231 x 26mm | 992g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 17th Edition
  • 1119255791
  • 9781119255796
  • 70,117

Back cover copy

Create an AutoCAD project from the ground up Make basic drawings starting with straight lines and curves Jump into advanced drawing with 3D modeling

Here's the easy way to learn AutoCAD

AutoCAD may be complex, but this book is not! This expert author shows you how to navigate the interface, set up a project, create drawings, manage properties, and enhance your designs with text and dimensions. Once you master the basics, he'll guide you through advanced tools such as blocks, arrays, and xrefs, all the way to 3D modeling.

Inside... How to start a drawing Methods of viewing work All about lines and curves Tools for editing drawings Techniques for adding text Pointers on plotting Help handling parametrics Steps for 3D modeling Useful system variables
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Table of contents

INTRODUCTION 1


About This Book 2


Foolish Assumptions 3


Conventions Used in This Book 3


Using the command line .3


Using aliases 4


Icons Used in This Book 4


Beyond the Book 5


Where to Go from Here 6


PART 1: GETTING STARTED WITH AUTOCAD 7


CHAPTER 1: Introducing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 9


Launching AutoCAD 10


Drawing in AutoCAD 11


Understanding Pixels and Vectors 14


The Cartesian Coordinate System 15


The Importance of Being DWG 16


CHAPTER 2: The Grand Tour of AutoCAD 19


Looking at AutoCAD s Drawing Screen 20


For your information 23


Making choices from the Application menu 24


Unraveling the Ribbon 26


Getting with the Program 29


Looking for Mr Status Bar 30


Using Dynamic Input 30


Let your fingers do the talking: The command line 31


The key(board) to AutoCAD success 32


Keeping tabs on palettes 36


Down the main stretch: The drawing area 36


Fun with F1 37


CHAPTER 3: A Lap around the CAD Track 39


A Simple Setup 40


Drawing a (Base) Plate 45


Taking a Closer Look with Zoom and Pan 54


Modifying to Make It Merrier 55


Crossing your hatches 55


Now that s a stretch 56


Table of Contents iii


Following the Plot 59


Plotting the drawing 59


Today s layer forecast: Freezing 62


CHAPTER 4: Setup for Success 63


A Setup Roadmap 64


Choosing your units 64


Weighing up your scales 67


Thinking about paper 70


Defending your border 70


A Template for Success 71


Making the Most of Model Space 73


Setting your units 74


Making the drawing area snap-py (and grid-dy) 75


Setting linetype and dimension scales 77


Entering drawing properties 79


Making Templates Your Own 80


CHAPTER 5: A Zoom with a View 85


Zooming and Panning with Glass and Hand 86


The wheel deal 86


Navigating a drawing 87


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom 88


A View by Any Other Name 90


Degenerating and Regenerating 93


PART 2: LET THERE BE LINES 95


CHAPTER 6: Along the Straight and Narrow 97


Drawing for Success 98


Introducing the Straight-Line Drawing Commands 99


Drawing Lines and Polylines 100


Toeing the line 102


Connecting the lines with polyline 102


Squaring Off with Rectangles .107


Choosing Sides with POLygon 108


CHAPTER 7: Dangerous Curves Ahead 111


(Throwing) Curves 111


Going Full Circle 112


Arc-y-ology 114


Solar Ellipses 115


Splines: Sketchy, Sinuous Curves 117


Donuts: Circles with a Difference 119


Revision Clouds on the Horizon 120


Scoring Points 122


CHAPTER 8: Preciseliness Is Next to CADliness 125


Controlling Precision 126


Understanding the AutoCAD Coordinate Systems 129


Keyboard capers: coordinate input 129


Introducing user coordinate systems 130


Drawing by numbers 131


Grabbing an Object and Making It Snappy 133


Grabbing points with object snap overrides 133


Snap goes the cursor 136


Running with object snaps 137


Other Practical Precision Procedures 139


CHAPTER 9: Manage Your Properties 143


Using Properties with Objects 144


Using the ByLayer approach 144


Changing properties 146


Working with Layers 148


Accumulating properties 150


Creating new layers 151


Manipulating layers 157


Scaling an object s line type 160


Using Named Objects 161


Using AutoCAD Design Center 162


CHAPTER 10: Grabbing Onto Object Selection 165


Commanding and Selecting 166


Command-first editing 166


Selection-first editing 166


Direct-object manipulation 166


Choosing an editing style 167


Selecting Objects 168


One-by-one selection 169


Selection boxes left and right 169


Tying up object selection 170


Perfecting Selecting 171


AutoCAD Groupies 175


Object Selection: Now You See It 175


CHAPTER 11: Edit for Credit 177


Assembling Your AutoCAD Toolkit 177


The Big Three: Move, COpy, and Stretch 179


Base points and displacements 179


Move 181


COpy 182


Copy between drawings 183


Stretch 183


More Manipulations 187


Mirror, mirror on the monitor 187


ROtate 189


SCale 190


-ARray 191


Offset 192


Slicing, Dicing, and Splicing 194


TRim and EXtend 194


BReak 196


Fillet, CHAmfer, and BLEND 197


Join 200


Other editing commands 201


Getting a Grip 203


When Editing Goes Bad 205


CHAPTER 12: Planning for Paper 207


Setting Up a Layout in Paper Space 210


The layout two-step 210


Put it on my tabs 212


Any Old Viewport in a Layout 214


Up and down the detail viewport scales 214


Keeping track of where you re at .216


Practice Makes Perfect 217


Clever Paper Space Tricks 217


PART 3: IF DRAWINGS COULD TALK 219


CHAPTER 13: Text with Character 221


Getting Ready to Write 222


Creating Simply Stylish Text 224


Font follies 225


Get in style 226


Taking Your Text to New Heights 228


Plotted text height 228


Calculating non-annotative AutoCAD text height 228


Entering Text 229


Using the Same Old Line 230


Saying More in Multiline Text 233


Making it with mText 233


mText dons a mask 236


Insert Field 237


Doing a number on your mText lists 237


Line up in columns now! 240


Modifying mText 241


Turning On Annotative Objects 242


Gather Round the Tables 245


Tables have style, too 245


Creating and editing tables 247


Take Me to Your Leader 249


Electing a leader 250


Multi options for multileaders 252


CHAPTER 14: Entering New Dimensions 253


Adding Dimensions to a Drawing 254


A Field Guide to Dimensions 256


Self-centered 259


Quick, dimension! 259


And now for the easy way 260


Where, oh where, do my dimensions go? 261


The Latest Styles in Dimensioning 262


Creating dimension styles 265


Adjusting style settings 268


Changing styles 271


Scaling Dimensions for Output 271


Editing Dimensions 274


Editing dimension geometry 274


Editing dimension text 276


Controlling and editing dimension associativity 277


And the Correct Layer Is . 278


CHAPTER 15: Down the Hatch! 279


Creating a Hatch 279


Using the Hatches Tab 283


Scaling Hatches 286


Scaling the easy way 286


Annotative versus non-annotative 287


Pushing the Boundaries of Hatch 288


Adding style 288


Hatches from scratch 289


Editing Hatch Objects 291


CHAPTER 16: The Plot Thickens 293


You Say Printing, I Say Plotting 294


The Plot Quickens 294


Plotting success in 16 steps 294


Getting with the system 298


Configuring your printer 299


Preview one, two 301


Instead of fit, scale it 301


Plotting the Layout of the Land 303


Plotting Lineweights and Colors 305


Plotting with style 305


Plotting through thick and thin 310


Plotting in color 314


It s a (Page) Setup! 315


Continuing the Plot Dialog 316


The Plot Sickens 319


PART 4: ADVANCING WITH AUTOCAD 321


CHAPTER 17: The ABCs of Blocks 323


Rocking with Blocks 324


Creating Block Definitions 326


Inserting Blocks 330


Attributes: Fill-in-the-Blank Blocks 333


Creating attribute definitions 334


Defining blocks that contain attribute definitions 336


Inserting blocks that contain attribute definitions 337


Editing attribute values 337


Extracting data 338


Exploding Blocks 338


Purging Unused Block Definitions 339


CHAPTER 18: Everything from Arrays to Xrefs 341


Arraying Associatively 343


Comparing the old and new ARray commands 344


Hip, hip, array! 345


Associatively editing 351


Going External 352


Becoming attached to your xrefs 354


Layer-palooza 356


Creating and editing an external reference file 356


Forging an xref path 357


Managing xrefs 359


Blocks, Xrefs, and Drawing Organization 361


Mastering the Raster 362


Attaching a raster image 363


Maintaining your image 364


You Say PDF, I Say DWF 365


Theme and Variations: Dynamic Blocks 367


Now you see it 367


Lights! Parameters! Actions! .371


Manipulating dynamic blocks 373


CHAPTER 19: Call the Parametrics! 375


Maintaining Design Intent 376


Defining terms 378


Forget about drawing with precision! 379


Constrain yourself 379


Understanding Geometric Constraints 380


Applying a little more constraint 381


Using inferred constraints 386


You AutoConstrain yourself! 387


Understanding Dimensional Constraints 388


Practice a little constraint 389


Making your drawing even smarter 392


Using the Parameters Manager .394


Dimensions or constraints? Have it both ways! 396


Lunchtime! 399


CHAPTER 20: Drawing on the Internet 401


The Internet and AutoCAD: An Overview 402


You send me 402


Prepare it with eTransmit 402


Rapid eTransmit 403


FTP for you and me 405


Increasing cloudiness 405


Bad reception? 406


Help from the Reference Manager 406


The Drawing Protection Racket 408


Outgoing! 408


Autodesk Weather Forecast: Increasing Cloud 409


Your head planted firmly in the cloud 410


Cloudy with a Shower of DWGs: A 360 411


The optional extras 413


Sharing and collaborating 413


Sender, we have a problem! 414


Free AutoCAD! 414


PART 5: ON A 3D SPREE 419


CHAPTER 21: It s a 3D World After All 421


The 3.5 Kinds of 3D Digital Models 422


Tools of the 3D Trade 423


Warp speed ahead 424


Entering the third dimension 425


Untying the Ribbon and opening some palettes 426


Modeling from Above 427


Using 3D coordinate input 428


Using point filters 428


Object snaps and object snap tracking 429


Changing Planes 429


Displaying the UCS icon 430


Adjusting the UCS 430


Navigating the 3D Waters 435


Orbit a go-go 436


Taking a spin around the cube 437


Grabbing the SteeringWheels 438


Visualizing 3D Objects 439


On a Render Bender 441


CHAPTER 22: From Drawings to Models 443


Is 3D for Me? 444


Getting Your 3D Bearings 445


Creating a better 3D template 445


Seeing the world from new viewpoints 450


From Drawing to Modeling in 3D 451


Drawing basic 3D objects 452


Gaining a solid foundation 453


Drawing solid primitives 454


Adding the Third Dimension to 2D Objects 455


Adding thickness to a 2D object 455


Extruding open and closed objects 455


Pressing and pulling closed boundaries 456


Lofting open and closed objects 457


Sweeping open and closed objects along a path 457


Revolving open or closed objects around an axis 458


Modifying 3D Objects 459


Selecting subobjects 459


Working with gizmos 459


More 3D variants of 2D commands 460


Editing solids 461


CHAPTER 23: It s Showtime! 465


Get the 2D Out of Here! 466


A different point of view 470


Additional 3D tricks 471


AutoCAD s top model 472


Visualizing the Digital World 474


Adding Lighting 474


Default lighting 475


User-defined lights 475


Sunlight 478


Creating and Applying Materials 479


Defining a Background 481


Rendering a 3D Model 483


CHAPTER 24: AutoCAD Plays Well with Others 485


Get Out of Here! 485


Things that go BMP in the night 486


Vectoring in on WMF 487


And now here are the lumpy bits 488


PDF 489


What the DWF? 489


3D Print 490


But wait! There s more! 490


Open Up and Let Me In! 491


Editing other drawing file formats 491


PDF editing 491


Translation, Please! 492


PART 6: THE PART OF TENS 495


CHAPTER 25: Ten AutoCAD Resources 497


Autodesk Feedback Community 497


Autodesk Discussion Groups 498


Autodesk s Own Bloggers 498


Autodesk University 498


Autodesk Channel on YouTube 499


World Wide (CAD) Web 499


Your Local Authorized Training Center 499


Your Local User Group 500


Autodesk User Groups International 500


Books 500


CHAPTER 26: Ten System Variables to Make Your AutoCAD Life Easier 501


APERTURE 502


DIMASSOC 502


MENUBAR 503


MIRRTEXT 503


OSNAPZ 504


PICKBOX 504


REMEMBERFOLDERS 504


ROLLOVERTIPS 505


TOOLTIPS 505


VISRETAIN 505


And the Bonus Round 506


CHAPTER 27: Ten AutoCAD Secrets .507


Sheet Sets 507


Custom Tool Palettes 508


Ribbon Customization 508


Macro Recorder 508


Programming Languages 508


Vertical Versions 509


Language Packs 509


Multiple Projects or Clients 509


Data Extraction and Linking 510


Untying the Ribbon 510


INDEX 511
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About Bill Fane

Bill Fane is a retired professional engineer and mechanical design instructor. He has taught classes on AutoCAD and other design tools, and contributes regularly to Cadalyst magazine.
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