May 30, 2024

AutoCAD Basic Tutorial for Beginners - Part 1 of 3

Published May 23, 2023, 5:20 p.m. by Courtney

In this autocad tutorial for beginners, you will learn the basics of how to use autocad and create your first 2D drawing.

autocad is a computer-aided design (CAD) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting. autocad is used by architects, engineers, drafters, designers, and other professionals to create 2D and 3D drawings.

In this autocad tutorial, you will learn the basics of how to use autocad and create your first 2D drawing. We will start by learning how to navigate the user interface, then we will move on to learning how to draw basic shapes. Finally, we will learn how to print our drawings.

Navigating the User Interface

The first thing you need to do when starting autocad is to become familiar with the user interface. The user interface is the collection of menus, toolbars, and palettes that you use to interact with autocad.

The main components of the autocad user interface are the ribbon, the command line, and the drawing area.

The ribbon is the toolbar that runs across the top of the autocad window. It contains commands for creating and modifying objects, setting up your drawing, and more.

The command line is located at the bottom of the autocad window. It is used to enter commands, as well as to display information about your drawing.

The drawing area is where you create your drawings. It is the blank canvas where you will add lines, shapes, and text.

Creating Your First Drawing

Now that you are familiar with the autocad user interface, it's time to create your first drawing!

We will start by creating a simple line drawing. First, make sure you are in the right workspace by clicking the icon in the top-left corner of the autocad window. Then, click the "Line" button on the ribbon.

Now, click anywhere in the drawing area to start drawing your line. Click again to end the line. You can also type in a precise length for your line by typing in a number after you click the "Line" button.

You can continue drawing lines by clicking the "Line" button again or by pressing the Enter key on your keyboard. To stop drawing lines, press the Esc key on your keyboard.

Modifying Objects

Once you have created some objects, you may want to modify them. For example, you may want to move an object to a different location, or change its size.

To move an object, click the "Move" button on the ribbon. Then, click on the object you want to move and drag it to its new location. You can also type in a precise distance to move the object by typing in a number after you click the "Move" button.

To change the size of an object, click the "Scale" button on the ribbon. Then, click on the object you want to scale and drag it to its new size. You can also type in a precise scale factor by typing in a number after you click the "Scale" button.

Printing Your Drawing

Once you have finished creating your drawing, you may want to print it. To print your drawing, click the "Print" button on the ribbon. This will open the print dialog box.

In the print dialog box, you can select the printer you want to use, the paper size, and other options. When you are finished, click the "Print" button to print your drawing.

You may also like to read about:

hello and welcome to source cad

in this three-part video series

i will

introduce you to autocad software so

this tutorial series is for a complete

beginner in autocad who has absolutely

no knowledge of this software whatsoever

so in this autocad beginner series of

videos i will start with the basics and

i'll introduce you with the user

interface and

setting units

and working with commands then later on

we'll move to making basic drawings

using draw and modify tools and then

we'll learn about tools that let you

make precise drawings like object snaps

further we'll move into

some drawing management tools like


then we'll talk about blocks which are

symbols in autocad and then we'll talk

about making dimensions and finally

we'll print our drawing so all these

things in just this three part autocad

tutorial for beginner series so let's

get started


so in this first part we'll learn about

making the basic drawing now when you

start autocad for the very first time

this is how your interface is going to

look like it also depends on the

software which you are using and its

version autocad as of now comes in two

different variants it has autocad

complete version which is called

autodesk autocad 2020 in this case

because it's the 2020 version which i'm

using and the second one is autodesk

autocad lt the lt version is the lighter

version of autocad

which has limited set of features

although all the basic features are

similar in both the softwares is still

some advanced features like 3d tools and

sheet sets are not available in autocad

lt apart from that

everything is same for autocad as well

as autocad lte including the user


now i am using autocad for windows here

but if you are a mac user you will find

the user interface little different

although functionally they are exactly

the same the tools commands and

everything is exactly the same they'll

work in a similar way

but the user interface will be different

and you may have to figure out the place

where some of these tools are in the mac

environment but if you're using windows

well you're good to go with this

tutorial now this is the start screen of

autocad software and to start a new

drawing all you need to do is just

select the start drawing

box here

and it will start a new tab

so now here we have different parts of

the autocad software

the first one is application button on

the top left which has all the

frequently used tools the quick access

toolbar again similar set of tools

on quick access toolbar then we have the

tabs and the ribbon area on this ribbon

area we have tabs like home insert

annotate parametric and so on and on

these tabs we have the panels and on

these panels we have the tools and

commands to activate any command all you

need to do is just click on its icon and

the command will start also you can use

the command alias which is also called

the shortcut for the command for example

if you want to start line command you

can just click here or you can use its

command alias l so you can just type l

press enter to start the line command

now this is the drawing area on which

everything is actually drawn in autocad

and then we have right beneath this

drawing area the command bar or the

command line or the command palette

whatever you want to call it

and finally we have the status bar

toggles right here these are status bar

toggles help us in making precise

drawings in articad we'll talk about

that also


let's first make our very first drawing

quickly for that i'll go to line tool

and i'll just left click

now when you do that you'll notice that

your cursor will look like this two

intersecting lines this type of cursor

is called point selection cursor

also right next to cursor you'll see

this kind of tool tip now if you have

this kind of tool tape that's fine this

is called dynamic input tooltip if you

don't that's also fine you can bring it

using f12 function key so press f12 if

you don't have it and if you have it

don't press f12 key now in this case i


not use this dynamic input so i'm gonna

press f12 just to make it disappear

and now we have this empty cursor

now we need to start with the first

point as you can see here on the command

line the instruction is clear you need

to specify first point so click at a

point and that's going to be your first

point now click again and that will be

the second point click again third point

click again fourth point all right

and here we have the very first drawing

once you have finished making your

drawing press enter to exit from the


because after making line your command

will still remain active

so now let's talk about the navigation


so here we have the simple triangle now

if you want to navigate in your drawing

if you want to move this triangle around

then you can do that

using your middle mouse wheel so

inaudible to use a three button mouse

the left click right click in the middle

mouse wheel these buttons should be

there and to move this drawing all you

need to do is press and hold the middle

mouse wheel when you do that your cursor

will change to this hand icon


move your mouse and the whole drawing

will move along with it

don't let go your mouse just move it

like this

now let go your mouse wheel and if you

move it only your cursor will move now

now if you move your cursor to any point

and then rotate your mouse wheel it will

zoom in your drawing in the opposite

direction it will zoom out also the

point where you put your cursor will

become the point

which will be zoomed in or zoomed out

to select anything in your drawing all

you need to do is just click on it and

that object will be selected

to deselect anything press escape key

and it will deselect your selection or

it will just remove everything from your

selection set

also to exit any command you can press

escape key and you can press escape key

couple of times it won't make any


now before moving on i'm going to make

another drawing here i'll just make a

circle so i'll go to circle i'll click

at a point and i'll click at another


so now we have a triangle and a circle

so if you want to select anything in

autocad as i mentioned earlier you can

select it using this left click so hover

your cursor over the boundary and left

click it will be selected that's easy

but if you have a lot of objects in your

drawing and if you want to make that

kind of selection then you can use the

windows so

click at a point and let go your cursor

then move

your mouse to the right and you're gonna

get this window this window this solid

window is called selection window and

everything which is completely inside

this window will be selected

in this case the circle is selected as

it is completely inside this window

now if i click here and i'll move to

this side i'm gonna get this window

which is the solid window and everything

which is inside the window will be

selected now the second window is

crossing window and

for this click let go your cursor don't

click and hold your cursor just click

and let go

now move your mouse to the left and

you're gonna get this dashed window

which is also called the crossing window

in this case any object which even

touches the boundary of this crossing

window will be selected so in this case

the circle and two lines of the triangle

they are simply touching it they're not

completely inside and if you click

they'll still be selected like this so

i'll press escape to get rid of this

selection and then we have the third

kind of selection set which is called

the lasso selection so press and hold

your left click now move your mouse and

you're gonna get this kind of lasso

selection so if you press and hold

you'll get this lasso selection if you

press your left click let go you'll get

this window selection that's it now

let's move to the units and for that

i'll delete this drawing so i'll make

the window

and delete

so before you begin any drawing the

first and the basic thing that you would

want to do is set the proper units

to set the unit

type un and if you type anything

in autocad it will always type that in

the command line you don't actually need

to click here in the command line and

then type anything you just need to

start typing and it will type the

commands directly here on the command

line so i've got unit so u n i'll press

enter and the drawing units window will

pop up

now here we have the unit option it is

right now set to millimeters i'll change

it to inches you can select from any of

these units and if you don't want any of

these units then you can also select

unit less which will not select any kind

of unit for this but in this case i will

select inches for the unit

now for the length type you can select

decimal if you want it in this kind of

format in the decimal format so in this

decimal format if you type 4 it will be

4 inches if you type 5 it will be 5 if

you type 12 it will be 12 inches and so

on but if you want a proper fit and inch

format you can select architectural and

now you'll get your output in the form

of feet and inches and now in this case

if you type 4 it will be 4 inches if you

type 5 it will be 5 inches but if you

type 12 it will now change to 1 feet

which is obviously equal to 12 inches so

you can directly type the inch value or

you can also type the feet values in

this architectural format so for now

i'll go to decimal i'll click on ok

and now we're using inches as our unit

now let's talk about making the first

set of drawing and we'll do that using

line tool


you can click here to select the line

command or you can also use its command

alias l

so i'll type l and press enter to start

the line command

now we need to start from a point as you

can see here the instruction says you

need to start from point so i'll just

click here and now

i'll move my cursor to the right

when you do that

autocad will show you this tooltip on

which you'll see the approximate length

of the line in this case it's

1719.8058 unit so that's pretty big

let's make a line of length 100 units so

i'm going to type 100

and press enter

and we'll have a line of length 100 unit

which is pretty tiny here so let's zoom

in and i'll pan my drawing to bring it

at the center and here it is it's 100

unit now i'll move it to the top and we

have this green tracking vector which

indicates that this line is perfectly


then i'll type 50 and enter and we have

the second line of length 50 then you

can again go to the left side or any

other direction which you want type in

the value for example maybe 120

and enter

and you can even align it in any

direction if you want so i'm gonna align

it here i'll type 60 enter and so on so

you can keep on making your lines by

entering the proper distances and it

will just make your line that way

also in this case if you want to add

angle values then that also you can do

pretty easily so in this case let's just

make another line of length hundred so

i'm going to go to 100 and enter now

this length is again 100 and now from

here i want it to incline

at an angle of exactly 30 degrees so now

instead of typing 3 0 30 i'm gonna type

this angle sign now this angle sign is

on your keyboard it's right next to the

m key so just press shift key press and

hold shift key and then press the angle

sign key and it will add the angle sign

now type in 30 and press enter

and autocad will now take this value as

angle not as distance so

if you move your cursor now you're going

to see angle override here which is now

set to 30 unit so if you now move your

cursor the length will change here but

not the angle so all you need to do is

now type in the length so maybe i'll

type 50 enter and here it is so now the

length of this line is 50 and it is

inclined to an angle of 30 degrees with

respect to

positive side of x-axis now to exit the

command press enter key

and this was the line tool

now in this case i specified the angle

right here using the line command but

there is an option that can help you do

this pretty easily as well so for that

i'll once again go to line tool and now

on the status bar i have this option

here called polar tracking now this

polar tracking will help you

specify any angle that you want so

i'm gonna now click on this arrow which

is right next to polar tracking and the

angle currently set is 90 degrees i'll

change it to 30 multiples so 30 60 90

120 and so on

now i'll click at a point and i'll move

my cursor to the right and you can see

that i have an angle

this green line at an angle of 0 degrees

now if i move it in any direction it

will show the green tracking line at the

interval of 30 degrees so we have it at

30 then 60 then 90 then 120 and so on so

this will also help you in making lines

at any particular angle so here also

your line is kind of logged to 60

degrees and all you need to do is just

type in the length

so 60 enter and enter so the angle is 60

and so is the length

to return it back to normal i'll change

it back to 90. now if you have selected

the angles make sure you also keep this

active so this is active as you can see

it's blue in color but if you click on

it again it will be deactivated like

this and the activated status bar option

look like this so make sure it is active

if you want to use it

now you can also force your lines to 90

degree angles or the multiple of 90s

using this tool this is auto mode if you

select this autocad will only let you

make your drawings at the multiples of

90 degrees so now

if i click here i will be able to make

line here

horizontal or vertical

i won't be able to make my line in any

other direction so look at this no

matter where my cursor is i'll still end

up with horizontal or vertical lines

just because of ortho mode

so i'll switch back to polar tracking

and the ortho mode will automatically

disable now let's talk about another


which can help you make drawings again

pretty easily and that is dynamic input


if i go to line command and if i start

it you'll notice that i only have the

cursor here but if you press f12

function key you'll end up with these

extra tool tips now this is the dynamic

input feature and right now on my status

bar i have it here so you can just click

here to activate or deactivate it or you

can also use its function key f12 so now

i've deactivated it's no longer visible

now if you don't have this kind of

feature on your status bar then go to

customization this three dash line and

activate dynamic input so this should be

checked if it is checked the dynamic

input will show up here and then you can

activate it

once active you'll have it like this now

click at a point and this time you'll

have the length as well as angle and you

can directly type in the values so in

this case maybe let's make a line of

length 200 so i'll type 200

and i'll press tab key

now the length will be locked and you

can add the angle value so

let's type 45 for the angle and i'll

press enter and there we have it so 200

length and the angle is 45 in a similar

way you can just keep on making lines

with the proper angles and the length

and you have the visual reference as

well so this one is pretty handy tool if

you want to use it for making your

drawing so again 150 now this angle is

maybe let's make it 30 and enter and so


to exit this once again i'll press enter

so these are the basic modes of making

drawing in autocad

in the next video we'll talk about

other draw and modify tools

and we'll make a very simple drawing

using those draw and modify tools




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