AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

Fix old, messy AutoCAD drawings

Ralph, a subscriber to my AutoCAD Tips Newsletter, sent me a drawing that he called “an embarrassment.” He wouldn’t explain the details of why he thought it was so bad, but wanted some advice about how to fix drawings that have been revised over many years.

Old system variables

Some of the issues could […]

Editing text with DDEDIT

Just the very name DDEDIT brings back old memories! Once upon a time, DD was used to indicate that the command opened a dialog box. Now, it seems that there are only 3 left — DDEDIT, DDVPOINT, and DDPTYPE — listed in the alphabetical list of command in AutoCAD’s Help.

But there is no long […]

Change the line spacing of Mtext

You can exactly specify the spacing between lines of Mtext. Here’s the procedure:

Select the Mtext object. Select the text by dragging across it. On the Text Editor tab, in the Paragraph panel, choose Line Spacing> More to open the Paragraph dialog box. Check the Paragraph Line Spacing check box. From the Line Spacing drop-down […]

Dimensioning basics, Part IV: Create accurate baseline and continued dimensions

Baseline and continued dimensions are linear dimensions that are based on an existing linear dimension:

Baseline: The second and subsequent dimensions all start at the same point as the existing dimension but end at a different point Continued: The second dimension starts at the end point of the existing dimension Create a baseline dimension

First, […]

Dimensioning basics, Part III: Create accurate dimensions for angles

Measuring angles can be challenging. Sometimes, two lines that create an angle don’t even intersect or intersect, but not at their endpoints. For this reason, specifying an accurate vertex for the angle is important.

To dimension an angle, start the DIMANGULAR command. You can get there in two ways:

Home tab> Annotation panel> Dimension drop-down […]

Dimensioning basics, Part II: Create accurate dimensions for circles and arcs

Arc and circle dimensions are not as common as linear dimensions (See Part I), but they are still often used. Here are the basics for getting accurate results.

Dimension a radius

To dimension the radius of a circle or an arc, follow these steps:

Go to Home tab> Annotation panel> Dimension drop-down menu> Radius. An […]

Dimensioning basics, Part I: Create an accurate linear dimension

Almost all drawings except schematics have dimensions. Obviously, the purpose of dimensions is to show accurate measurements. So what do you do to create accurate dimensions?

Create a dimension style

You should always use a customized dimension style for your dimensions. I have a tutorial, “Create an architectural dimension style,” which you’ll find useful even […]

Moving objects in front of — or behind — other objects: DRAWORDER

When you draw only simple objects, such as lines, rectangles and circles, it doesn’t make much difference which object is in front (on top) or in back (behind), because all objects are wireframes. You can see every object, unless one object is exactly on top of another–which isn’t considered a good practice.

But when you […]

Measure almost anything with the MEASUREGEOM command

The MEASUREGEOM command is fairly new (since AutoCAD 2010). It measures distance, radius, angle, area, and volume and replaces some older commands like AREA and DIST (although those commands still exist).

Choose Home tab> Utilities panel and then click the Measuregeom drop-down list. Then choose the option that you want to start the MEASUREGEOM command.


Move block attributes in an AutoCAD drawing

You can easily move block attributes so that they fit better in your AutoCAD drawing by grip-editing them.

Just follow these steps:

Select the block containing the attributes you want to move. You’ll see grips on each attribute. Click the grip of the attribute you want to move to make it hot (red). At the […]