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CAD Basics 1

Video Length:  1:08
Friday, 31 January 2014
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This webinar provides a step-by-step guide for designers who are new to CAD and those who would like another perspective on drawing setup and organization.

Webinar Content

Note: The following catalog of content in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS).

0:00 – 5:40: Intro, TOC, Resources


5:41 – 7:55: Quick Overview of F/X CAD Interface

     Locations/identifications of:

  • Model Space (6:01)
  • Coordinates System (6:03)
  • Properties Palette (6:15)
  • AutoCAD Command: Line (6:20)
  • Layout Tabs (6:31)
  • Paper Space (6:34)
  • Toolbars (floating, docking, locking) (6:52)
  • Windows palettes vs. commands vs. docking (7:20)


7:55 – 11:20: Accessing AutoCAD Help/Support (F1 Key to Access Autodesk Help site)


10:04 – 11:29: Explanation of a Command on Autodesk Help Site: Example

  • Example of running a command: Fillet (10:32)
  • Options in Command: line (10:43)
  • Rounded edges/radius (10:45)


11:30 – 25:19: “Cleaning” Consultant Drawings (Multidiscipline Companies, Changing Drawing Details to Meet User’s AutoCAD Standards, File Management, Cleaning Techniques)

Note: The following steps to "clean" a drawing can now be accomplished automatically with the help of the Land F/X Nuke tool. Select the Nuke option from the F/X Admin menu, or type NUKE into the Command line, when you import a consultant's drawing. Then follow the steps outlined in our NUKE Power Tip.
  • Quarantining a file (12:49)
  • External references (XREFS) (15:10)
  • Detaching an XREF (15:30)
  • BatchMan Standard Actions functions (15:53):
    • Using All ByLayer (15:53)
    • Purge + Audit (purging out any unnecessary layer files, XREFs, blocks, etc. (17:00)
  • PRG (Purge) command (18:55)
  • LayIso and LayFreeze commands (19:33)
    • Isolating a layer with LayIso (Layer Isolate) command (19:40)
    • Un-isolating a layer with LayUnIso (Layer Unisolate) command (19:50)
  • Correcting proxy errors and bad cursor (20:20)
    • Cutting and pasting into a new drawing with PasteOrig command (20:20)
    • Working with proxies using the WBlock (Write Block) command (21:25)

 Question: Do I have to repeat the quarantine-clean process each time I receive an update? Answer: Sadly, yes. (23:02)            

  • The importance of quarantining and cleaning each file (23:50)


25:20 – 37:30: Working With Drawing Units

  • WHY drawing units are important (25:50)
  •  Inspecting a drawing’s units with …
    • Units command (26:30)
    • Formats > Unit (26:45)          
  • Drawing Units Standards:
    • Type of unit (Architectural, Decimal, etc.) (27:30)
    • Insertion Scale (28:40)
      • Decimal feet/inches (28:52)
      • Architectural units (30:40) 
    • Converting a drawing from Architectural to Decimal units:
      • Scale command, specifying base point and scale factor (33:05)
      • Unitless (drawing with undefined units) (35:35)
  • Precision (to which decimal point would you like AutoCAD to be precise?) (30:45)

37:31 – 49:53: AutoCAD Layers

  • WHY AutoCAD layers are useful (38:00)                       
  • Layer command / Layers Menu (39:01)
    • Filters (40:25)
    • Searching for a layer with Layers search box (41:00)
    • Finding out the layer an object is on, the object’s settings, and the object’s line type using the XLIST command (41:48)
    • Layer categories (43:55)
      • Status (making a layer active) (44:00)
        • Matching one object’s properties to another’s, including layer, using the MatchProp command (45:00)
        • Dragging an object onto another layer (45:10)
    • Name (45:25)
    • On, Freeze, Lock, Color, Linetype, Lineweight, Transparency, Plot Style (45:56)
    • Plotting (46:15)
    • New VP (Viewport) Freeze (46:30)
    • Description (45:40)
  • Creating a new layer (45:41)

49:54 – 1:01:00 External References (XREFs)

  • XREF command / XREF File Manager (50:33)
    • Selecting different types of items (DWG, Image, DWF, DGN, PDF, Point Cloud) to attach to drawing (50:50)
    • Using the Refresh option to update/reload external references (XREFs) (51:05)
    • Options possible with edited XRefs: Open, Attach, Unload, Reload, Detach, Bind (to a drawing), XREF Type, Path(52:00)
    • XREF Details (Status, Size, Type, Date, Found At (location of XREF file), Saved Path (52:53)
      • Using Saved Path to find an XREF that has been lost from a drawing (53:07)
    • Detaching an XREF from a drawing (53:20)
  • How to bring/import XREFs into a drawing (54:00)
    • Selecting an XREF (55:00)
    • Attach External Reference dialog box (55:20)
      • Dialog box functions/options: Preview, Reference Type (Attachment/Overlay), Scale, Insertion Point, Path Type, RotationBlock Unit (55:24)
        • Relative Path (Path Type) (55:17)
    • Unloading and reloading XREFs (1:00:13)
    • Regenerating drawings to correct draw order and resolution using Regen (Regenerate) and ReAll (Regenerate All) commands (1:00:40)


Question: Difference between a Full Path and a Relative Path (1:01:30)


  • Explanation of Full Path (only use it if you absolutely have to) (1:02:00)
  • Explanation of Relative Path (1:02:33)

Question: What is the best way to combine a base file in feet with one in architectural units?

Answer: Defer to your office’s (or the prime’s) standards in converting one or the other to the correct increments using Scale. (1:04:25)


1:05:20 – 1:07:20 How to Attach an Image to a Drawing

  • Correcting the scale of an imported image using the PLINE (Poly Line) Scale commands (1:06:40)

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