AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

Create a scaled PDF of your drawing

There are several ways to export a drawing to a PDF file–I have links to some other related tips below. But most don’t have a way for you to specify your scale, because they aren’t connected to the plotting process.

Instead, you can plot to a PC3 file that creates a PDF file. This method […]

Create a custom keyboard shortcut

Would you like to create a keyboard shortcut to your favorite command-option combination? For example, I would like a version of the COPY command that doesn’t repeat, that is, that ends after one copy operation. Here are the steps:

Enter cui to open the Customize User Interface dialog box. In the Command List pane, […]

AutoCAD Tutorial: Create a dynamic block of a door

Dynamic blocks are an amazing feature, but they can be complicated. This tutorial will teach you many techniques that you can use in your own blocks. The door will do the following:

Stretch to 3 sizes Flip left/right Flip in/out

This tutorial is updated for AutoCAD 2010 and 2011. Follow these steps:

In a new […]

Find the midpoint between two points, the center of a triangle, and other unusual points

Use AutoCAD’s calculator (originally the CAL command and then the QUICKCALC command) to find calculated points, such as the midpoint between two existing points or the center of a triangle. You usually use this command transparently, while drawing a line.

Use the object snap

There’s a shortcut to start a line (or specify any other […]

Use tool palettes to save and place user-defined hatch patterns

If you create user-defined hatches, which means that you specify the angle and spacing, you may want to save them for future use. You can easily do this using a tool palette.

First, create the user-defined hatch. In the Hatch and Gradient dialog box (or on the Hatch Creation tab in AutoCAD 2011), choose User-Defined […]

Switch to plan view when you change the UCS

When you create a new User Coordinate System (UCS) in AutoCAD, by default, your viewpoint doesn’t change. Here I used the 3 point option of the UCS command to create a new UCS.

Create a new UCS with the 3 point option

Sometimes, you may want to return to plan view in that new […]

Create a multi-page PDF from the Sheet Set Manager

I just finished teaching a 2-week AutoCAD class at the local University here (Maharishi University of Management). The course was part of the Sustainable Living undergraduate major program. It was a lot of fun and the students created amazing designs and fantastic drawings of those designs. Although the time was a little tight, they really […]

Create 3D shapes with the 3D command

AutoCAD’s surfaces have evolved over the years. First, you could add thickness to 2D objects. I’m not sure when that happened (let me know if you do), but it was in the mid-1980s, perhaps around Release 2.6. This is still the only type of 3D objects that AutoCAD LT can create.

Later (again, I’m not […]

Extract data from objects in AutoCAD 2008 and later

One of the new features in AutoCAD 2008 is data extraction. This might make you think of block attributes and data connectivity, but it combines features of both. It’s both simple and powerful.

You start with the new DATAEXTRACTION command, or by starting the TABLE command and choosing the From Object Data in the […]

Manage layers with LAYWALK

Do you need to know which objects are on which layers? Count your layers? Hide objects on other layers? Layer Walk (the LAYWALK) command does all this and more. It was once part of Express Tools, but has become part of core AutoCAD.

Layer Walk is quite a powerhouse and pulls together capabilities from several […]