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AutoCAD for Dummies, 17th Edition

The bestselling AutoCAD book?revised and updated! It takes some practice to get handy with AutoCAD?and it doesn't hurt to have a good guide by your side to help get you through the rough spots. Updated to cover AutoCAD releases through the 2017 version, this new edition of AutoCAD For Dummies is an ideal companion when you're learning the basics of the popular software. Written by a former engineer and AutoCAD teacher, the book walks you through the basics of setting up projects and making simple drawings all the way up to creating 3D models. Beginning with an overview of the AutoCAD interface, drawing tools, and ways to adjust your view of your work, AutoCAD For Dummies offers easy-to-follow guidance on using straight and curved lines to manage properties, object selection, and creating layouts. Next, it shows you how to use advanced AutoCAD tools, including Blocks, Arrays, Xrefs, and Parametrics. Finally, you'll find out how to move your work in to the wonderful world of 3D modeling. Create an AutoCAD project from the ground up Make and edit basic drawings starting with straight lines and curves Jump into advanced drawing with 3D modeling Find quick answers to your AutoCAD questions It's true that AutoCAD is tough, but with the friendly instruction in this hands-on guide, you'll find everything you need to start creating marvelous models?without losing your cool.
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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 1 About This Book 2 Foolish Assumptions 3 Conventions Used in This Book 3 Using the command line .3 Using aliases 4 Icons Used in This Book 4 Beyond the Book 5 Where to Go from Here 6 PART 1: GETTING STARTED WITH AUTOCAD 7 CHAPTER 1: Introducing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 9 Launching AutoCAD 10 Drawing in AutoCAD 11 Understanding Pixels and Vectors 14 The Cartesian Coordinate System 15 The Importance of Being DWG 16 CHAPTER 2: The Grand Tour of AutoCAD 19 Looking at AutoCAD's Drawing Screen 20 For your information 23 Making choices from the Application menu 24 Unraveling the Ribbon 26 Getting with the Program 29 Looking for Mr Status Bar 30 Using Dynamic Input 30 Let your fingers do the talking: The command line 31 The key(board) to AutoCAD success 32 Keeping tabs on palettes 36 Down the main stretch: The drawing area 36 Fun with F1 37 CHAPTER 3: A Lap around the CAD Track 39 A Simple Setup 40 Drawing a (Base) Plate 45 Taking a Closer Look with Zoom and Pan 54 Modifying to Make It Merrier 55 Crossing your hatches 55 Now that's a stretch 56 Table of Contents iii Following the Plot 59 Plotting the drawing 59 Today's layer forecast: Freezing 62 CHAPTER 4: Setup for Success 63 A Setup Roadmap 64 Choosing your units 64 Weighing up your scales 67 Thinking about paper 70 Defending your border 70 A Template for Success 71 Making the Most of Model Space 73 Setting your units 74 Making the drawing area snap-py (and grid-dy) 75 Setting linetype and dimension scales 77 Entering drawing properties 79 Making Templates Your Own 80 CHAPTER 5: A Zoom with a View 85 Zooming and Panning with Glass and Hand 86 The wheel deal 86 Navigating a drawing 87 Zoom, Zoom, Zoom 88 A View by Any Other Name 90 Degenerating and Regenerating 93 PART 2: LET THERE BE LINES 95 CHAPTER 6: Along the Straight and Narrow 97 Drawing for Success 98 Introducing the Straight-Line Drawing Commands 99 Drawing Lines and Polylines 100 Toeing the line 102 Connecting the lines with polyline 102 Squaring Off with Rectangles .107 Choosing Sides with POLygon 108 CHAPTER 7: Dangerous Curves Ahead 111 (Throwing) Curves 111 Going Full Circle 112 Arc-y-ology 114 Solar Ellipses 115 Splines: Sketchy, Sinuous Curves 117 Donuts: Circles with a Difference 119 Revision Clouds on the Horizon 120 Scoring Points 122 CHAPTER 8: Preciseliness Is Next to CADliness 125 Controlling Precision 126 Understanding the AutoCAD Coordinate Systems 129 Keyboard capers: coordinate input 129 Introducing user coordinate systems 130 Drawing by numbers 131 Grabbing an Object and Making It Snappy 133 Grabbing points with object snap overrides 133 Snap goes the cursor 136 Running with object snaps 137 Other Practical Precision Procedures 139 CHAPTER 9: Manage Your Properties 143 Using Properties with Objects 144 Using the ByLayer approach 144 Changing properties 146 Working with Layers 148 Accumulating properties 150 Creating new layers 151 Manipulating layers 157 Scaling an object's line type 160 Using Named Objects 161 Using AutoCAD Design Center 162 CHAPTER 10: Grabbing Onto Object Selection 165 Commanding and Selecting 166 Command-first editing 166 Selection-first editing 166 Direct-object manipulation 166 Choosing an editing style 167 Selecting Objects 168 One-by-one selection 169 Selection boxes left and right 169 Tying up object selection 170 Perfecting Selecting 171 AutoCAD Groupies 175 Object Selection: Now You See It 175 CHAPTER 11: Edit for Credit 177 Assembling Your AutoCAD Toolkit 177 The Big Three: Move, COpy, and Stretch 179 Base points and displacements 179 Move 181 COpy 182 Copy between drawings 183 Stretch 183 More Manipulations 187 Mirror, mirror on the monitor 187 ROtate 189 SCale 190 -ARray 191 Offset 192 Slicing, Dicing, and Splicing 194 TRim and EXtend 194 BReak 196 Fillet, CHAmfer, and BLEND 197 Join 200 Other editing commands 201 Getting a Grip 203 When Editing Goes Bad 205 CHAPTER 12: Planning for Paper 207 Setting Up a Layout in Paper Space 210 The layout two-step 210 Put it on my tabs 212 Any Old Viewport in a Layout 214 Up and down the detail viewport scales 214 Keeping track of where you're at .216 Practice Makes Perfect 217 Clever Paper Space Tricks 217 PART 3: IF DRAWINGS COULD TALK 219 CHAPTER 13: Text with Character 221 Getting Ready to Write 222 Creating Simply Stylish Text 224 Font follies 225 Get in style 226 Taking Your Text to New Heights 228 Plotted text height 228 Calculating non-annotative AutoCAD text height 228 Entering Text 229 Using the Same Old Line 230 Saying More in Multiline Text 233 Making it with mText 233 mText dons a mask 236 Insert Field 237 Doing a number on your mText lists 237 Line up in columns  now! 240 Modifying mText 241 Turning On Annotative Objects 242 Gather Round the Tables 245 Tables have style, too 245 Creating and editing tables 247 Take Me to Your Leader 249 Electing a leader 250 Multi options for multileaders 252 CHAPTER 14: Entering New Dimensions 253 Adding Dimensions to a Drawing 254 A Field Guide to Dimensions 256 Self-centered 259 Quick, dimension! 259 And now for the easy way 260 Where, oh where, do my dimensions go? 261 The Latest Styles in Dimensioning 262 Creating dimension styles 265 Adjusting style settings 268 Changing styles 271 Scaling Dimensions for Output 271 Editing Dimensions 274 Editing dimension geometry 274 Editing dimension text 276 Controlling and editing dimension associativity 277 And the Correct Layer Is . 278 CHAPTER 15: Down the Hatch! 279 Creating a Hatch 279 Using the Hatches Tab 283 Scaling Hatches 286 Scaling the easy way 286 Annotative versus non-annotative 287 Pushing the Boundaries of Hatch 288 Adding style 288 Hatches from scratch 289 Editing Hatch Objects 291 CHAPTER 16: The Plot Thickens 293 You Say "Printing," I Say "Plotting" 294 The Plot Quickens 294 Plotting success in 16 steps 294 Getting with the system 298 Configuring your printer 299 Preview one, two 301 Instead of fit, scale it 301 Plotting the Layout of the Land 303 Plotting Lineweights and Colors 305 Plotting with style 305 Plotting through thick and thin 310 Plotting in color 314 It's a (Page) Setup! 315 Continuing the Plot Dialog 316 The Plot Sickens 319 PART 4: ADVANCING WITH AUTOCAD 321 CHAPTER 17: The ABCs of Blocks 323 Rocking with Blocks 324 Creating Block Definitions 326 Inserting Blocks 330 Attributes: Fill-in-the-Blank Blocks 333 Creating attribute definitions 334 Defining blocks that contain attribute definitions 336 Inserting blocks that contain attribute definitions 337 Editing attribute values 337 Extracting data 338 Exploding Blocks 338 Purging Unused Block Definitions 339 CHAPTER 18: Everything from Arrays to Xrefs 341 Arraying Associatively 343 Comparing the old and new ARray commands 344 Hip, hip, array! 345 Associatively editing 351 Going External 352 Becoming attached to your xrefs 354 Layer-palooza 356 Creating and editing an external reference file 356 Forging an xref path 357 Managing xrefs 359 Blocks, Xrefs, and Drawing Organization 361 Mastering the Raster 362 Attaching a raster image 363 Maintaining your image 364 You Say PDF, I Say DWF 365 Theme and Variations: Dynamic Blocks 367 Now you see it 367 Lights! Parameters! Actions! .371 Manipulating dynamic blocks 373 CHAPTER 19: Call the Parametrics! 375 Maintaining Design Intent 376 Defining terms 378 Forget about drawing with precision! 379 Constrain yourself 379 Understanding Geometric Constraints 380 Applying a little more constraint 381 Using inferred constraints 386 You AutoConstrain yourself! 387 Understanding Dimensional Constraints 388 Practice a little constraint 389 Making your drawing even smarter 392 Using the Parameters Manager .394 Dimensions or constraints? Have it both ways! 396 Lunchtime! 399 CHAPTER 20: Drawing on the Internet 401 The Internet and AutoCAD: An Overview 402 You send me 402 Prepare it with eTransmit 402 Rapid eTransmit 403 FTP for you and me 405 Increasing cloudiness 405 Bad reception? 406 Help from the Reference Manager 406 The Drawing Protection Racket 408 Outgoing! 408 Autodesk Weather Forecast: Increasing Cloud 409 Your head planted firmly in the cloud 410 Cloudy with a Shower of DWGs: A 360 411 The optional extras 413 Sharing and collaborating 413 Sender, we have a problem! 414 Free AutoCAD! 414 PART 5: ON A 3D SPREE 419 CHAPTER 21: It's a 3D World After All 421 The 3.5 Kinds of 3D Digital Models 422 Tools of the 3D Trade 423 Warp speed ahead 424 Entering the third dimension 425 Untying the Ribbon and opening some palettes 426 Modeling from Above 427 Using 3D coordinate input 428 Using point filters 428 Object snaps and object snap tracking 429 Changing Planes 429 Displaying the UCS icon 430 Adjusting the UCS 430 Navigating the 3D Waters 435 Orbit a go-go 436 Taking a spin around the cube 437 Grabbing the SteeringWheels 438 Visualizing 3D Objects 439 On a Render Bender 441 CHAPTER 22: From Drawings to Models 443 Is 3D for Me? 444 Getting Your 3D Bearings 445 Creating a better 3D template 445 Seeing the world from new viewpoints 450 From Drawing to Modeling in 3D 451 Drawing basic 3D objects 452 Gaining a solid foundation 453 Drawing solid primitives 454 Adding the Third Dimension to 2D Objects 455 Adding thickness to a 2D object 455 Extruding open and closed objects 455 Pressing and pulling closed boundaries 456 Lofting open and closed objects 457 Sweeping open and closed objects along a path 457 Revolving open or closed objects around an axis 458 Modifying 3D Objects 459 Selecting subobjects 459 Working with gizmos 459 More 3D variants of 2D commands 460 Editing solids 461 CHAPTER 23: It's Showtime! 465 Get the 2D Out of Here! 466 A different point of view 470 Additional 3D tricks 471 AutoCAD's top model 472 Visualizing the Digital World 474 Adding Lighting 474 Default lighting 475 User-defined lights 475 Sunlight 478 Creating and Applying Materials 479 Defining a Background 481 Rendering a 3D Model 483 CHAPTER 24: AutoCAD Plays Well with Others 485 Get Out of Here! 485 Things that go BMP in the night 486 Vectoring in on WMF 487 And now here are the lumpy bits 488 PDF 489 What the DWF? 489 3D Print 490 But wait! There's more! 490 Open Up and Let Me In! 491 Editing other drawing file formats 491 PDF editing 491 Translation, Please! 492 PART 6: THE PART OF TENS 495 CHAPTER 25: Ten AutoCAD Resources 497 Autodesk Feedback Community 497 Autodesk Discussion Groups 498 Autodesk's Own Bloggers 498 Autodesk University 498 Autodesk Channel on YouTube 499 World Wide (CAD) Web 499 Your Local Authorized Training Center 499 Your Local User Group 500 Autodesk User Groups International 500 Books 500 CHAPTER 26: Ten System Variables to Make Your AutoCAD Life Easier 501 APERTURE 502 DIMASSOC 502 MENUBAR 503 MIRRTEXT 503 OSNAPZ 504 PICKBOX 504 REMEMBERFOLDERS 504 ROLLOVERTIPS 505 TOOLTIPS 505 VISRETAIN 505 And the Bonus Round 506 CHAPTER 27: Ten AutoCAD Secrets .507 Sheet Sets 507 Custom Tool Palettes 508 Ribbon Customization 508 Macro Recorder 508 Programming Languages 508 Vertical Versions 509 Language Packs 509 Multiple Projects or Clients 509 Data Extraction and Linking 510 Untying the Ribbon 510 INDEX 511

About the Author

Bill Fane is a retired professional engineer and mechanical design instructor. He has taught classes on AutoCAD and other design tools, and contributes regularly to Cadalyst magazine.

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