AutoCAD Secrets Every User Should Know

AutoCAD Secrets Every User Should Know

CAD software is used in so many fields of design that it would be impossible to develop
extensive standards that apply to all of them. I’ve trained people who use AutoCAD to
design quilts, hearing aids, doll clothes, houses, barns, commercial buildings, M16s, submarine
hatches, and the myriad components of machinery. But there are some foundational
rules that represent a consensus among serious users of CAD. You’ll find exceptions
to these rules, of course, but think of them the way you think of the rules for dimensioning
drawings: You follow them if possible. The fact that a rule has rare exceptions doesn’t
reduce its value as a guide. You certainly follow the rules requiring you to drive on the
proper side of the road all the time—except when a dog darts out in front of you, or the
road is washed away by a flash flood, or you’re passing someone. So, here are some of my
rules for using AutoCAD.


Much of the material in this book was developed for the Advanced AutoCAD course at
Southern Maine Community College and then used in presentations at Autodesk University
over the past decade. The topics derive from the kinds of questions I’ve been asked
over the years by people who use AutoCAD every day.
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive book about AutoCAD. I’ve tried to identify
common problem areas and provide some advice on how to approach them. I’m also trying
to preserve some traditional knowledge that is often overlooked by users: knowledge
as simple as making proper centerlines, as arcane as using DOS to improve efficiency, as
exciting as programming, and as dramatic as 3D modeling. Here’s a brief review of what’s
covered in each chapter.

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