AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015: No Experience Required: Autodesk Official Press
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More About This Title AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015: No Experience Required: Autodesk Official Press


Learn AutoCAD by example with this tutorial-based guide from Autodesk Official Press

Whether you are just starting out or an experienced user wanting to brush up on your skills, this Autodesk Official Press book provides you with concise explanations, focused examples, and step-by-step instructions through a hands-on tutorial project that runs throughout the book. As you progress through the project, the book introduces you to the Microsoft Windows-based AutoCAD interface and then guides you through basic commands and creating drawings. A downloadable file is available from the website so that you can compare your work to the author's, and if necessary, start fresh with an intact drawing. Once you've completed the project, you will have proficiency in AutoCAD skills including:

  • Grouping, elevations, and hatches
  • Using text in drawings
  • Dimensioning
  • External references
  • Layouts and printing
  • Using 3D

Author Donnie Gladfelter (aka "The CAD Geek"), is a top-rated trainer at CADD Microsystems and has worked with the Autodesk development team to help shape the product features. He is an AutoCAD Mentor All Star and has been a popular speaker at Autodesk University for more than seven years.


Donnie Gladfelter is a highly visible and respected thought leader in the CAD community. While perhaps best known for his CAD Geek blog (, which gets more than 10,000 visitors per month, Donnie is also a columnist for AUGIWorld Magazine, a top-rated speaker at Autodesk University and other industry events, and a trainer at CADD Microsystems, a large Autodesk Training Center and reseller. He has worked with the development team at Autodesk to help share future versions of AutoCAD, and the company often features him in their popular “Ask the Expert” series.


Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Getting to Know AutoCAD for Windows 1

Starting AutoCAD for Windows 2

Exploring the User Interface 2

Using the New Tab 3

Introducing Workspaces 5

Exploring the Drafting & Annotation Workspace 6

Putting the User Interface to Work 10

Using the Ribbon 12

Using File Tabs to Manage Drawings 15

Working in the Command-Line Interface 17

Understanding the Status Bar 20

Using the Application Menu 22

Using the Keyboard 27

Using the Mouse 28

If You Would Like More Practice… 29

Are You Experienced? 30

Chapter 2 Learning Basic Commands to Get Started 31

Using the Line Tool 31

Using Coordinates 37

Using Relative Coordinates 41

Using the Direct Distance Method 44

Drawing the Shape 44

Using Relative Cartesian Coordinates 45

Erasing Lines 46

Using Relative Polar Coordinates 47

Using Direct Input 47

Using the Offset Command 49

Using the Fillet Command 52

Completing the Shape 56

Offsetting Lines to Mark an Opening 56

Extending Lines 57

Trimming Lines 59

If You Would Like More Practice… 62

Are You Experienced? 63

Chapter 3 Setting Up a Drawing 65

Setting Up the Drawing Units 66

Setting Up the Drawing Size 71

Using the Grid 72

Setting Up Drawing Limits 76

Drawing with Grid and Snap 79

Taking a Closer Look at Dynamic Input 82

Saving Your Work 85

Saving Drawings to Your Hard Drive or Network Drive 86

Saving Drawings to Autodesk 360 Storage 89

Understanding AutoCAD Units 91

Exploring Options for Linear Units 92

Exploring Options for Angular Units 93

Are You Experienced? 94

Chapter 4 Developing Drawing Strategies: Part 1 95

Laying Out the Walls 96

Creating Polylines from Existing Objects 97

Creating and Editing Polylines 100

Creating the Exterior Wall Lines 102

Creating the Interior Walls 106

Cutting Openings in the Walls 120

Creating Doors 130

Drawing Swinging Doors 131

Copying Objects 142

Mirroring Objects 144

Scaling the Bathroom Door 149

Drawing a Sliding Glass Door 151

Drawing the Bifold Doors 162

Reviewing Drawing Strategies Used in This Chapter 168

If You Would Like More Practice… 169

An Alternative Sliding Glass Door 169

An Addition to the Cabin 170

Three Views of a Block 171

Are You Experienced? 173

Chapter 5 Developing Drawing Strategies: Part 2 175

Starting and Running Commands 175

Drawing the Thresholds 178

Drawing the Front Threshold 179

Drawing the Back Threshold 184

Drawing the Decks and Stairs 186

Drawing the Front Deck 186

Drawing the Deck Posts 190

Drawing the Stairs 195

Mirroring the Post and Railing 197

Drawing the Back Deck and Stairs 201

Using Point Filters to Finish the Deck 206

Laying Out the Kitchen 210

Drawing the Counter 211

Drawing the Stove and Refrigerator 216

Completing the Stove with Parametrics 218

Drawing the Kitchen Sink 233

Constructing the Bathroom 236

Setting Running Object Snaps 237

Drawing a Shower Unit 239

Drawing the Bathroom Sink and Mirror 241

Positioning the Toilet and Shelves 245

Drawing the Hot Tub 249

If You Would Like More Practice… 252

Drawing the Cabin Again 252

Drawing Something Else 253

Drawing Furniture for the Cabin 253

Drawing a Gasket 254

Drawing a Parking Lot 256

Are You Experienced? 258

Chapter 6 Using Layers to Organize Your Drawing 259

Using Layers as an Organizing Tool 260

Setting Up Layers 262

Assigning Linetypes to Layers 274

Assigning Objects to Layers 279

Turning Off and Freezing Layers 295

Drawing the Headers 299

Drawing the Roof 303

Setting a Linetype Scale Factor 309

Drawing the Ridgeline 312

Using the Layer Walk Tool 313

Setting Properties of Layers and Objects 316

Assigning a Color or a Linetype to an Object Instead of a Layer 316

Making a Color or a Linetype Current 317

Using the Action Recorder 317

If You Would Like More Practice… 321

Creating a Layer State 321

Setting Up Layers for Your Trade or Profession 325

Are You Experienced? 326

Chapter 7 Combining Objects into Blocks 327

Making a Block for a Door 328

Inserting the Door Block 336

Understanding and Using Groups 341

Finding Blocks in a Drawing 344

Using Grips to Detect a Block 344

Using the LIST Command to Detect a Block 345

Using the Properties Palette to Examine a Block 347

Creating a Window Block 348

Inserting the Window Block 353

Rotating a Block during Insertion 354

Using Snap Tracking to Set the Insertion Point 357

Changing a Block’s Scale Factor by Using Object Properties 360

Finishing the Windows 362

Revising a Block 366

Sharing Information between Drawings 369

Copying Objects between Drawings 369

Using the AutoCAD DesignCenter 371

Using Other Ways to Share Information between Drawings 377

If You Would Like More Practice… 385

Are You Experienced? 387

Chapter 8 Controlling Text in a Drawing 389

Setting Up Text Styles 390

Determining the Text and Drawing Scales 391

Defining a Text Style for View Titles 392

Placing Titles of Views in the Drawing 397

Using Annotative Text 401

Defining an Annotative Text Style 402

Placing Room Labels in the Floor Plan 404

Using Text in a Grid 417

Creating a Border and Title Block 428

Using Multiline Text 446

Finishing the Title Block 446

Using Mtext for General Notes 450

Using the Spell-Check Feature 459

Exploring Other Aspects of Multiline Text 463

If You Would Like More Practice… 468

Are You Experienced? 470

Chapter 9 Using Dynamic Blocks and Tables 471

Using Attributes for a Grid 472

Defining Blocks with Attributes 477

Inserting Blocks with Attributes 479

Editing Attribute Text 482

Setting Up Multiple Attributes in a Block 483

Defining a Block with Multiple Attributes 488

Calculating Areas 490

Inserting the Room Information Block 494

Editing Attributes 499

Controlling the Visibility of Attributes 503

Exploring Other Uses for Attributes 507

Creating a Dynamic Block 507

Setting Up Parameters and Actions 509

Fine-Tuning the Dynamic Block with the Properties Palette 513

Inserting a Dynamic Block 517

Creating a Table 524

Defining a Table Style 524

Designing a Table 528

Adding Formulas to a Table 532

Creating Tables from Attributes 537

Modifying the Table Display 542

If You Would Like More Practice… 544

Are You Experienced? 545

Chapter 10 Generating Elevations 547

Drawing the South Elevation 548

Creating the South Elevation 549

Setting Up Lines for the Heights 551

Using Construction Lines to Project Elevation Points 553

Copying Objects by Using Grips 554

Trimming Lines in the Elevation 557

Assigning Elevation Layers 563

Drawing the Decks in Elevation 565

Generating the Other Elevations 583

Making the Opposite Elevation 583

Revising the New South Elevation 586

Making the Front and Back Elevations 593

Considering Drawing Scale Issues 604

Drawing Interior Elevations 605

If You Would Like More Practice… 606

Are You Experienced? 607

Chapter 11 Working with Hatches, Gradients, and Tool Palet tes 609

Hatching the South Elevation 610

Looking at Hatch Patterns 614

Hatching the Rest of the South Elevation 616

Using Hatches in the Floor Plan 629

Creating the User-Defined Hatch Pattern 630

Controlling the Origin of the Hatch Pattern 632

Finishing the Hatches for the Floors 634

Modifying the Shape of Hatch Patterns 637

Creating and Managing Tool Palettes 639

Creating a New Tool Palette 639

Setting Up a Palette for Hatches 642

Creating a Palette for Commands 644

If You Would Like More Practice… 646

Creating the Hatch Patterns for the Other Elevations 647

Are You Experienced? 648

Chapter 12 Dimensioning a Drawing 649

Introducing Dimension Styles 649

Preparing for Dimensioning 650

Creating a Text Style for Dimensions 652

Making a New Dimension Style 653

Setting Up the Primary Units Tab (Architectural) 658

Setting Up the Primary Units Tab (Metric) 660

Completing the Dimension Style Setup 661

Exploring the Alternate Units and Tolerances Tabs 664

Placing Dimensions on the Drawing 666

Placing Horizontal Dimensions 666

Using the Dimension Continue Command 668

Using the Dimension Baseline Command 671

Setting Up Vertical Dimensions 673

Finishing the Dimensions 676

Using Other Types of Dimensions 677

Using Radial Dimensions 678

Adding a Diameter Dimension 679

Adding an Arc Length 680

Setting Up Parent and Child Dimensioning Styles 681

Using Aligned and Angular Dimensions 684

Using Leader Lines 686

Modifying Dimensions 692

Editing Dimension Text Content 693

Moving Dimensions 696

Adjusting Space between Stacked Dimensions 698

Using Dimension Overrides 700

Dimensioning Short Distances 701

If You Would Like More Practice… 705

Dimensioning the Garage Addition 705

Dimensioning to a Centerline 706

Practicing on Your Own 710

Are You Experienced? 711

Chapter 13 Managing External References 713

Drawing a Site Plan 714

Using Surveyor’s Units 715

Drawing the Driveway 719

Setting Up an External Reference 727

Using the External References Palette 727

Organizing the Drawing Objects 733

Moving and Rotating an Xref 735

Modifying an Xref Drawing 736

Modifying an Xref by Making It the Current Drawing 736

Modifying an Xref from within the Host Drawing 740

Adding an Image to a Drawing 745

Putting Xrefs to Use 749

Exploring Additional Xref Features 751

Setting the Xref Path 751

Changing Path Types 754

Binding Xrefs 755

Exploring on Your Own 758

If You Would Like More Practice… 759

Building Architectural References 759

Comparing Reference Types 760

Are You Experienced? 760

Chapter 14 Using Layouts to Set Up a Print 761

Preparing the Title Block 762

Creating the Title Block Drawing 762

Sizing and Cleaning Up the Title Block 765

Defining the Title Block Attributes 767

Setting Up a Sheet Template 772

Finishing the Sheet Template 778

Creating Plan Sheets 781

Creating the Cover Sheet 781

Generating Floor Plan Sheets 783

Composing the Floor Plan Sheets 788

Creating Elevation Sheets 793

Composing the South Elevation 794

Composing the Other Elevations 795

Using Sheet Set Manager 798

Creating a New Sheet Set 798

Adding Drawings to a Sheet Set 802

Defining Sheet Properties 804

If You Would Like More Practice… 808

Are You Experienced? 809

Chapter 15 Printing a Drawing 811

Using the Plot Dialog Box 812

Assigning Lineweights to a Drawing 817

Assigning Lineweights to Layers 818

Updating Xref Layer Definitions 824

Plotting from Model Space 827

Configuring the Plot 827

Previewing a Print 829

Plotting a Drawing Using Layouts 832

Publishing a Single Layout 832

Publishing Multiple Layouts 834

Publishing with Sheet Set Manager 837

A Few Words about Plot Styles 839

Introducing Plot Style Table Files 840

Understanding How Plot-Style Table Files Are Organized 841

Going Forward 845

If You Would Like More Practice… 845

Are You Experienced? 846

Chapter 16 Creating 3D Geometry 847

Modeling in 3D 848

Setting Up the 3D Workspace and Environment 848

Making the Walls 854

Creating the Door and Window Block-Outs 858

Moving and Rotating in 3D 863

Using the First Right-Hand Rule 864

Cutting the Openings 868

Creating the Floor, Foundation, and Thresholds 870

Creating the Foundation and Supports 873

Building the Windows 874

Navigating with the ViewCube 890

Adding the Sliding Door 893

Building the Decks 897

Putting a Roof on the Cabin 916

Getting Further Directions in 3D 930

Using Other Solid-Modeling Tools 930

Using Mesh-Modeling Tools 933

Using Surface-Modeling Tools 935

If You Would Like More Practice… 937

Are You Experienced? 937

Chapter 17 Rendering and Materials 939

Creating Cameras to Reproduce Views 940

Using the Loft Tool 940

Creating the Cameras 945

Creating a Lighting Scheme 950

Creating a Light Source 950

Enabling Shadows 954

Creating the First Render 956

Controlling the Background of the Rendering 960

Adding Materials 964

Adjusting the Material Mapping 969

Rendering to a File 974

If You Would Like More Practice… 978

Are You Experienced? 979

Index 981