AutoCAD 2002: No Experience Required

Overview

AutoCAD 2002: No Experience Required is your step-by-step introduction to the latest version of AutoCAD, the drafting and design program that has become the industry standard in architecture, landscaping, engineering, and construction. Inside, practical examples and straightforward explanations show you exactly what you need to know to ...
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Overview

AutoCAD 2002: No Experience Required is your step-by-step introduction to the latest version of AutoCAD, the drafting and design program that has become the industry standard in architecture, landscaping, engineering, and construction. Inside, practical examples and straightforward explanations show you exactly what you need to know to create, develop, and complete a sophisticated AutoCAD project.

Gain the AutoCAD Skills That Matter Most

  • Finding your way around AutoCAD
  • Understanding basic commands
  • Applying AutoCAD's coordinate systems
  • Setting up a drawing
  • Mastering drawing strategies
  • Accessing right-click context menus
  • Employing Polar and Object Snap Tracking
  • Setting up layers, colors, and linetypes
  • Using blocks and Wblocks
  • Dragging AutoCAD objects from one drawing to another
  • Generating elevations
  • Working with hatches and fills
  • Controlling text in a drawing
  • Dimensioning a drawing
  • Managing external references
  • Using layouts and printing an AutoCAD drawing
  • Sharing drawings on the Internet
  • Viewing 3D models dynamically with 3D Orbit
  • Rendering a 3D model
  • Setting up attributes
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
From "i-drop enabled" Publish to Web to the Block Attribute Manager, AutoCAD 2002 is full of new productivity and collaboration enhancements. But before you can take advantage of them, you need to learn the basics. AutoCAD's maturity hasn't made it much less intimidating to beginners -- some of whom may also be put off by 1,000-page reference books. AutoCAD 2002: No Experience Required offers a much gentler path up the learning curve.

David Frey starts by touring the AutoCAD interface, then showing how to set up a drawing and introducing AutoCAD's most commonly used commands. The book presents detailed coverage on drawing strategies, helping novices avoid mistakes that unnecessarily complicate their drawings -- and their lives. You'll find in-depth coverage of blocks, elevations, hatches and fills, controlling text, and dimensioning -- including AutoCAD 2002's dramatically improved associative dimensioning feature.

There's also a full chapter on AutoCAD 2002's features for use on intranets and the Internet, including a look at the AutoCAD Today window interface to company content, project information, files stored on the Web, and even the Autodesk Point A design portal. If you're just starting out with AutoCAD 2002, start here. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780782140163
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: No Experience Required Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 7.56 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Frey has been teaching AutoCAD to AEC design professionals, engineers, and high school students and teachers for nine years. His books for Sybex include two previous best-selling editions of AutoCAD: No Experience Required and AutoCAD 2000 Visual JumpStart. David holds a Master’s degree in architecture from UC Berkeley.
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Read an Excerpt

AutoCAD: 2002 No Experience Required


By David Frey

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7821-4016-5


Chapter One


Getting to Know AutoCAD

* Opening a new drawing

* Getting familiar with the AutoCAD Graphics window

* Modifying the display

* Calling up and arranging toolbars

Your introduction to AutoCAD begins with a tour of the features of the AutoCAD screen. In this chapter, you will also learn some tools to help you control the screen's appearance, and how to find and start commands. Starting up AutoCAD is the first task at hand.

Starting Up AutoCAD

If you have installed AutoCAD using the default settings for the location of the program files, start AutoCAD by selecting Programs -> AutoCAD 2002 -> AutoCAD 2002 from the Start menu. If you have customized your installation, find and select the AutoCAD 2002 icon to start the program.

The Startup dialog box has four buttons in the upper-left corner. The first two let you set up a new drawing and choose an existing drawing to revise or update. The second two use templates and wizards to initiate advanced setup routines.

The Startup Dialog Box

If AutoCAD has opened with the Startup dialog box sitting in front of the Auto- CAD Graphics window, your screen will look like Figure 1.1.

The Startup dialog box has four buttons in the upper-left corner. The first two let you set up a new drawing and choose an existing drawing to revise or update. The second two use templates and wizards to initiate advanced setup routines. The middle portion of the dialog box changes depending on which of the four buttons you choose. By beginning a new drawing, we can get past this dialog box to the AutoCAD Graphics window.


1. Click the Start from Scratch button, the second button from the left.
2. Select the English (feet and inches) radio button in the rectangular area titled Default Settings.
3. Click OK. The dialog box disappears, and your monitor displays the AutoCAD Graphics window, sometimes called the Graphical User Interface or GUI (look ahead to Figure 1.3).

The AutoCAD Today Window

If AutoCAD has opened with the AutoCAD Today window displayed, your screen will look like Figure 1.2. AutoCAD Today is a window interface that includes the options provided by the Startup dialog box, and also houses features for using AutoCAD with the Internet or an intra-office network. We'll look more closely at this feature in Chapter 15, Making the Internet Work for AutoCAD. For now we just need to get past it to view the AutoCAD Graphics window.


1. Move the cursor to the upper-right corner of the Today window.
2. Click the Close button. The Today window disappears and you see the full AutoCAD Graphics window. NOTE Until we get to Chapter 15, we will assume you will be using the Startup dialog box setup option.

Controlling the Way AutoCAD Starts Up

You can set AutoCAD to start up in any of three ways.


1. On the Menu bar click Tools -> Options.
2. In the Options dialog box, click the System tab to bring it forward.
3. Go to the General Options area and open the Startup drop-down list.
* If you want the Today window, click Show Today Startup Dialog.
* If you want the Startup dialog box, click Show Traditional Startup Dialog.
* If you want just the AutoCAD Graphics window to come up by itself, click Do Not Show a Startup Dialog.


4. Click Apply, and then click OK.

The next time you start up AutoCAD, your preference will be used.

Introduction to the AutoCAD Graphics Window

At the top of the Graphics window sits the title bar, the menu bar, and two toolbars.

The title bar is analogous to the title bar on any Windows program. It contains the program name (AutoCAD) and the title of the current drawing with its path. Below the title bar is the menu bar, where you will see the drop-down menus. Among the drop-down menus, the first two on the left and the last one on the right are Microsoft menus (meaning that they appear on most Windows applications). These Microsoft menus also contain a few commands specific to AutoCAD. The rest of the menus are AutoCAD menus. Below these menus is the Standard toolbar, which contains 30 command buttons. Several of these buttons will be familiar to Windows users; the rest are AutoCAD commands. Just below this toolbar is the Object Properties toolbar, which contains three command buttons and five drop-down lists.

The blank middle section of the screen is called the drawing area. Notice the movable crosshair cursor.

Notice the little box at the intersection of the two crosshair lines. This is one of several forms of the AutoCAD cursor. When you move the cursor off the drawing area, it changes to the standard Windows pointing arrow. As you begin using commands, it will take on other forms, depending on which step of a command you are in. There is also an icon with a double arrow in the lower-left corner of the drawing area. This is called the User Coordinate System icon and is used to indicate the positive direction for x and y coordinates. You won't need it for most of the chapters in this book, so you'll learn how to make it invisible in Chapter 3, Setting Up a Drawing. At the bottom of the drawing area, there are three tabs: a Model tab and two Layout tabs. These are used for switching between viewing modes and will be discussed in Chapter 13, Using Layouts to Set Up a Print. Our example shows no toolbars floating in the drawing area, but there are two docked toolbars on the left of the drawing area. Your screen may or may not have them, or they may be in a different position. If the toolbars are within the drawing area, they will have a colored title bar. For more specifics, see the section titled "Toolbars" later in this chapter.

Below the drawing area is the Command window.

The Command window is where you tell the program what to do, and where the program tells you what's going on. It's an important area and you will need to learn about how it works in detail. There should be three lines of text visible. If your screen has fewer than three lines showing, you will need to make another line or two visible. You'll learn how to do this later in this skill in the section titled "The Command Window."

Below the Command window is the Status bar.

On the left end of the Status bar, you'll see a coordinate readout window. In the middle there are eight readout buttons that indicate various drawing modes. It is important to learn about the coordinate system and most of these drawing aids (Snap, Grid, Ortho, and Osnap) early on as you learn to draw in AutoCAD. They will help you create neat and accurate drawings. Polar and Otrack are advanced drawing tools and will be introduced in Chapter 5, "Gaining Drawing Strategies: Part 2." Lwt stands for Lineweight and will be discussed in Chapter 14, "Printing an AutoCAD Drawing," in the discussion on plotting. The Model button is an advanced aid that will be covered in Chapter 13.

This has been a quick introduction to the various parts of the Graphics window. There are a couple of items I didn't mention which may be visible on your screen. You may have scroll bars below and to the right of the drawing area. And you may have a menu on the right side of the drawing area. Both of these features can be useful, but they may also be a hindrance and can take up precious space in the drawing area. They won't be of any use while working your way through this book, so I suggest that you remove them for now.

To temporarily remove these features, follow these steps:


1. From the menu bar, click Tools -> Options. The Options dialog box appears (shown in Figure 1.4). It has nine tabs across the top that act like tabs on file folders.
2. Click the Display tab. The display settings come up (Figure 1.5). Focus in on the rectangular area titled Window Elements. If you have scroll bars visible on the lower and right edges of the drawing area, the first check box, Display Scroll Bars in Drawing Window, should be selected.
3. Click the check box to remove the checkmark, as you will not be using the scroll bars. This turns off the scroll bars. Do the same for the second check box, named Display Screen Menu, to turn off the screen menu. Don't click the OK button yet.

Another display setting that you may want to change at this point controls the color of the cursor and the drawing area background. The illustrations in this book show a white background and black crosshair cursor, but you may prefer to have the colors reversed. To do this, follow these steps:


1. Click the Colors button in the bottom of the Window Elements of the Display tab in the Options dialog box. The AutoCAD Color Options dialog box comes up (Figure 1.6). In the middle of the dialog box, in the drop-down list titled Window Element, Model tab background should be visible. If it's not, open the drop-down list and select it.
2. Move to the Color drop-down list, which is below the Window Element drop-down list. If your drawing area background is currently white, a square followed by White will be displayed. Open the Color drop-down list. Scroll to the color Black (or the background color you want) and select it. The drawing area will now have that color, and the cursor color will change to white, as shown in the Model Tab preview window in the upper-left corner of the dialog box.
3. Click the Apply & Close button to close the AutoCAD Color Options dialog box.
4. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.

Your screen and crosshair cursor will take on their newly assigned colors.

TIP If you choose a color other than black as the Model tab background color, the color of the crosshair cursor remains the same as it was (black). To change the crosshair color, stay in the AutoCAD Color Options dialog box, open the Window Element drop-down list, and select Model tab pointer. Then select a color from the Color drop-down list.

The Command Window

Just below the drawing area is the Command window. This window is actually separate from the drawing area and behaves like a Microsoft Windows window; that is, you can drag it to a different place on the screen and resize it, although I don't recommend that you do this at first. If you currently have fewer than three lines of text in the window, you will need to increase its vertical size. To do this, move the cursor to the horizontal boundary between the drawing area and the Command window until it changes to an up-and-down arrow broken by two parallel horizontal lines.

Hold down the left mouse button and drag the cursor up by approximately the amount that one or two lines of text would take up, then release the mouse. You should get more lines of text showing, but you may have to try it a couple of times to get exactly three lines visible. When you close the program, the new settings will be saved, and it will be right the next time you start up AutoCAD.

TIP The number of lines of text in the Command window can also be set in the Options dialog box. Click Tools -> Options and activate the Display tab. In the Window Elements area, set the Text Lines in Command Line Window setting to 3. Then click the Apply button and the OK button.

The Command window is very important. It is here that you will give information to AutoCAD, and where AutoCAD will prompt you as to the next step in executing a command. It is a good practice to get into the habit of keeping one eye on it as you work on your drawing. Most errors are made from not watching it often enough.

Before you begin to draw, you should take a close look at the menus, toolbars, and keyboard controls.

NOTE In many cases, AutoCAD offers you a number of ways to start up commands: from drop-down menus, from the toolbars, or from the keyboard. When you get used to drawing with AutoCAD, you will learn some of the shortcuts available to start commands quickly, and you will find the way that is most comfortable for you.

Drop-Down Menus

The menu bar, just below the title bar (see Figure 1.2), consists of 11 words and an icon. Click any of these and you will find a drop-down menu. The icon on the left end, as the File and Edit options, are Microsoft menus that come with all Windows-compatible applications, although they are somewhat customized to work with AutoCAD. The menu associated with the icon contains commands to control the appearance and position of the drawing area. Commands in the File menu are for opening and saving new and existing drawing files, printing, exporting files to another application, choosing basic utility options, and exiting the application. The Edit menu contains the Undo and Redo commands, the Cut and Paste tools, and options for creating links between AutoCAD files and other files. The Help menu (the last menu on the right) works like all Windows help menus.

The other eight menus contain the most often-used AutoCAD commands. You will find that if you can master the logic of how the commands are organized by menu, it will be immensely helpful in finding the command you want. Here is a short description of each of the other AutoCAD drop-down menus:

View Contains tools for controlling the display of your drawing file.

Insert Has commands for placing drawings and images, or parts of them, inside other drawings.

Format Is where you'll find commands for setting up the general parameters for a new drawing.

Tools Contains special tools for use while you are working on the current drawing, such as those for finding how long a line is or for running a special macro.

Draw Holds the commands for putting new objects (like lines or circles) on the screen.

Dimension Is where you'll find commands for dimensioning a drawing.

Modify Has the commands for making changes to objects already existing in the drawing.

Window Has options for displaying currently open windows and lists currently open drawing files.

Toolbars

Just below the drop-down menus is the most extensive of the toolbars-the Standard toolbar.

The 30 icons don't appear as buttons until you put the pointer arrow on them, and then they are highlighted. They are arranged into 10 logical groups. The icons on the left half of the Standard toolbar are for commands used in all Windows-compatible applications, so you may be familiar with them. The icons on the right half of the Standard toolbar are AutoCAD commands that you will use during your regular drawing activities for a variety of tasks. These commands can do a number of things, including:


* Link up and communicate with other AutoCAD users through the Internet.
* Change the view or orientation of the drawing on the screen.
* Change the properties of an object, such as color or line-type.
* Borrow parts of a drawing to use in your current drawing.
* Force a line you are drawing to meet another line or geometric feature at specified points.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from AutoCAD: 2002 No Experience Required by David Frey Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Chapter 1: Getting to Know AutoCAD.

Chapter 2: Basic Commands to Get Started.

Chapter 3: Setting Up a Drawing.

Chapter 4: Gaining Drawing Strategies: Part 1.

Chapter 5: Gaining Drawing Strategies: Part 2.

Chapter 6: Using Layers to Organize Your Drawing.

Chapter 7: Grouping Objects into Blocks.

Chapter 8: Generating Elevations.

Chapter 9: Working with Hatches and Fills.

Chapter 10: Controlling Text in a Drawing.

Chapter 11: Dimensioning a Drawing.

Chapter 12: Managing External References.

Chapter 13: Using Layouts to Set Up a Print.

Chapter 14: Printing an AutoCAD Drawing.

Chapter 15: Making the Internet Work With AutoCAD.

Appendix A Look at Drawing in 3D.

Appendix B An Introduction to Attributes.

Glossary.

Index.

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