Turning On AutoCAD LT For The First Time

in this section we will look at AutoCAD for the very first time if you’ve cheated and have already peeked at it that’s okay don’t worry it’s probably even a good idea but if you’ve used AutoCAD once or twice then you might not even want to go through this section before either I’m just going to point out some of the key features and areas on the user interface of AutoCAD so you want to create some brand-new fantastic design with AutoCAD that’s great the very first step is an obvious one you need to turn it on if you haven’t installed the software yet please refer to the section in this video series that discusses that process one thing that you’re going to find commonplace in AutoCAD is that there will always be multiple ways of doing anything from just drawing a line saving a file I mean racing something or from closing AutoCAD all together well that’s also true when it comes to turning it on so to start AutoCAD either double-click the AutoCAD icon that’s on your desktop which is typically how I do it or you can go to your Start button on your desktop the all programs Autodesk AutoCAD and then click on the AutoCAD icon either way you’re going to get to where you want to go another thing you can do is to browse to an AutoCAD file which ends in a dot DWG in Windows Explorer double click it and it will open up the file and open up AutoCAD so as you can see there are a lot of ways to open up AutoCAD so when you open up AutoCAD for the very first time you’re going to see a splash screen and then you’re going to see what’s called the welcome screen that’s this right here it has a lot of different areas in it and we’re going to talk about it a little bit later on you can close that if you want and you don’t ever have to see it again otherwise it can come up every time it’s up to you throughout this video I’m going to use a term out of the box when I say something is out of the box I’m referring to the default settings of AutoCAD so out of the box AutoCAD will open the defaul template file when you turn on AutoCAD that’s this file right here see all these grids and lines you’re actually inside an AutoCAD file so you can start drawing right away like with the line command and you can just start drawing lines making any shape that you would like you can even add some circles rectangle and you can just go right ahead and start dimensioning these shapes there you go if you don’t want to star working in this file that pops right up you can open up another file to work on we’ll go into that in greater detail later on but I wanted to give you a run-through of everything so that it will make more sense to you when we detail it out so let’s take a look around the interface here so that you can familiarize yourself what everything looks like what the areas do what the terms are that we’re going to be used for them so this big open area on your screen right here is called the drawing area this is where you’re drawing objects will go as you move the mouse around the crosshair moves left right it goes left and right up and down diagonal in a circle etc when you move into the interface area the crosshairs turn into an arrow that’s up here there your interface area in this area which you’re going to interface with the software has different sub areas and different names for them all this big red a design up here is called the application menu think of it as an old file button and pull down menus that software used to have so the application button if you just left click on it it’ll bring up a lot of different options for you this application button is where you go to open files close them save them print along with some other options and we’ll talk about some of those later on just to the right of the application menu this is called the couette queue UAT that stands for quick access toolbar we have quick access to some tools but we have new open save save as plot we have undo and redo and this here controls our workspace we’ll talk about that later on the main interface tool is the drawing are because that’s where your drawing is going to take place but the main tool for entering commands is the ribbon and that’s this right here it’s the ribbon that spans across your screen the ribbon is a tabbed area that contains panels within each tab each panel has a themed set of commands in them switching tabs will activate different panels and if you click on the command icon so that will execute the commands if we go to here the Home tab and left-click on it that brings up our main tools that we’re going to use a majority of the time these are for 2d drafting and little bit of text a little bit of block manipulation are layers grouping and other utilities the insert tab has commands in them that will bring other objects into our file annotate is where you’ll have all of your controls for your text your dimensions your liters tables and other tools layout controls different sections the way you layout your drawing so if any of these commands that you want to get to you just click on the appropriate tab find the command like the line command here which is in the draw panel left click on it and that will start the line command now I can draw a line when you’re in the middle of a command you can get out of it in a couple of different ways one is to press the escape key the Escape key is nice and easy and straightforward if you hit that it will unselect anything you’ve selected it will cancel any command that you’re in no matter where you’re at in that command so you’ll use the Escape key quite often but if I draw a line and I press ENTER I get this menu and I can hit enter and it will act like I’m cancelling out the command I started another command again as an example press Enter I can hit cancel or go to some of these other objects now if I’m drawing another line or any command for that matter and I hit the enter key that will cancel my command as well so there are a lot of different ways to do everything so that’s why I wanted to go over this stuff with you another way to execute commands in AutoCAD is through what’s called the command line it’s found at the bottom of the screen that’s this right here when you put your mouse over it it will highlight let you know that you are selecting it you can directly input commands right into it by typing on the command line like the word line now you notice here as well that as I started typing it also popped up right by my cursor well this is called dynamic input the dynamic input is sort of lik a smaller condensed version of the command line what’s nice about it is that it gives me the visual information that I need from my command line right at my crosshairs so I don’t have to stop looking at the center of this circle and move down to the bottom of my screen to read the command line didn’t look bac up it kind of helps but you can turn that off if you’d like you come dow here to the status bar area and if I click this icon right here it looks like a plus sign with a rectangle on the bottom or I can press the f12 button so now when I start typing the line command it comes in on the command line and I get this pop-up of commands that have the word line in them that’s part of autocad’s command line autocomplete so it automatically completes some of your words for you and it propagates a list up here or you can get to some of your commands but we’ll talk a little bit more about the command line later on in more detail toolbars in the pulldown menus were standard operating procedure in AutoCAD up until the ribbon was added back in release 2009 they’re still there and can be turned on at any time if you’ve used AutoCAD prior to the release 2009 you might want to turn those back on it might help you be more familiar with it you can always switch your workspace environments to the AutoCAD classic mod and that’s up here click on this little arrow here and if you select AutoCAD classic the ribbon goes away and it will also open up tool pilots and it will also bring in some toolbars you have your classic toolbars and some other command and the command line is down at the bottom of the screen stretching all the way across back and forth now if you’re much more comfortable working this way then go right ahead however I suggest you don’t I found it to be much more efficient to use the ribbon and use the keyboard as your primary source of input here’s one reason why there are some tools over here these are your basic line commands and polygons rectangles arcs circles etc I want to use them I can I come over here I click on them and it works just the same way that starts the line command and I’ve drawn my line but then I have modification tools over here on this toolbar I can come over here and click on any of the commands like the erase command and start erasing if you don’t want to work in this and you want to put it back just come right back up here to the quick access toolbar click on the box and click on the drafting and annotation tab I suggest that this is how you work this is how I’m going to be working throughout the video you’ll have an easier time following along because I show you where to go in the ribbon to find the commands I’ll even show you some tips and some tricks on how to find commands that are lost or that you can’t find now that’ kind of just the basic overview of what everything is and all these things that we talked about here we will cover in greater detail later on

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