This chapter examines some of AutoCAD’s basic functions. You will get the chance to practice with the drawing editor by building a simple drawing to use in later exercises. You’ll learn how to give input to AutoCAD, interpret prompts, and get help when you need it. This chapter also covers the use of coordinate systems to give AutoCAD exact measurements for objects. You’ll see how to select objects you’ve drawn, and how to specify base points for moving and copying.
If you’re not a beginning AutoCAD user, you might want to move on to the more complex material. You can use the files supplied on the companion CD-ROM of this book to continue the tutorials at that point.
Getting to Know the Draw Toolbar
Your first task in learning how to draw in AutoCAD is to try and draw a line. But before you begin drawing, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the toolbar you’ll be using more than any other to create objects with AutoCAD: the Draw toolbar.
1. Start AutoCAD just as you did in the first chapter, by clicking Start >- Programs >- AutoCAD 2000 >- AutoCAD 2000:
2. When the Startup Drawing wizard appears, click the Cancel button. You’ll learn about setting up a’ drawing later.
3. In the AutoCAD window, move the arrow cursor to the top icon in the Draw toolbar, and rest it there so that the tool tip appears.
4. Slowly move the arrow cursor downward over the other tools in the Draw toolbar, and read each tool tip.
In most cases, you’ll be able to guess what each tool does by looking at its icon. The icon with an arc, for instance, indicates that the tool draws arcs; the one with the ellipse shows that the tool draws ellipses; and so on. For further clarification, the tool tip gives you the name of the tool. In addition, the status bar at the bottom of the AutoCAD Window gives you information about a tool. For example, if you point to the Arc icon just beloved the Rectangle icon, the status bar reads Creates an Account you the actual AutoCAD command name: Arc. This command is that you type in the Command window to invoke the Arc tool. You also use this. word if you are writing a macro or creating your own custom tools.
It will aid you in navigating the two main toolbars, Draw and Modify. You’ll get experience with many of AutoCAD’s tools as you work through this book.
clicking a tool issues a command. Some tools allow click it and dragging, which opens . A fly out offers further options for that tool. You can identify fly out tools by a small triangle located in the lower-right comer of the tool.
1. Click and drag the Distance tool on the Standard toolbar, A fly out appears with a set of tools. As you can see, there are a number of additional tools for gathering information about your drawing.
2. Move the cursor down the fly out to the second-to-last tool, until the tool tip reads “List”; then let go of the mouse button. Notice that the icon representing the Distance tool now changes and becomes the icon from the fly out that represents List. By releasing the mouse, you’ve also issued the List command. This command lists the properties of an object.
3. Press the Esc key twice to exit the List command.