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    by John Flanagan

    Learning a sophisticated application such as AutoCAD can be daunting to the complete novice. To assist the AutoCAD learning curve, I have listed some familiar key terms.

    Print the list and keep it on your desk as a handy reference.

     AutoCAD Terminology

    Absolute Coordinates

    A way of inputting points based on AutoCAD's origin.


    This is the default template that automatically loads whenever you start a drawing session. It can be customized.

    Associated Dimensioning

    Dimensions that are associated with specific points will update as that point is moved.

    Backup file

    AutoCAD can be set to automatically backup your drawing and save it.


    A pre-drawn image you can insert in your drawing to save time and make your file size smaller.

    Clean Screen

    A display setting that gives you maximum drawing space.


    This is your cursor when it is in the drawing space.


    Your cursor will change depending on what function it is performing in the program.


    An AutoCAD drawing file is actually one large database containing all the information needed to reproduce the objects when the file is opened. Info for layers and linetypes, etc. is stored in this manner.

    Dialog box

    AutoCAD uses a large number of dialog boxes to get information from you. You must know how input the information that it asks for.

    Drawing Template File

    This is a file that contains preset values for frequently used settings. AKA a prototype drawing. The file extension is DWT.


    The outer boundaries of the objects you have drawn.


    This is pattern of dots displayed on the screen to guide you. It can be toggled on and off by pressing the F7 key.


    Small 'handles' on objects that allow for quick editing.


    All objects are drawn on a layer. You can group objects (such as electrical) on a single layer and organize your drawing.


1 comment

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    Permanently deleted user

    I'd like to have a regular, running copy of this list to stay up on all of the CAD commands.

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