After covering the basics of AutoCAD, this guide can help CAD enthusiasts to start interacting with the program and using the basic commands and operations in a two-dimensional space. The three-dimensional design will be covered after finishing the beginners’ guide

- 1 AutoCAD user interface
- 2 Orientation of objects in AutoCAD
- 3 Basic Modify operations
- 4 Annotations and dimensions
## AutoCAD user interface
Once the program is open, it’s time to create a New project. Depending on the computer’s capacity, initiating the program could take a few minutes. To start a new project, click on “New” on the left side panel, and the program will show its main working space where the design process takes place. This new space contains a set of basic tools and features to start designing, these are:
The Quick Access Toolbarcontains all the basic icons, such as opening, creating, and saving files. It’s easy toand it can be customized. The ribboncontains a variety of tools arranged in Tabs, to compact the interface. The Command Bar isa search tool for users to find commands by typing them manually. It lists commands and offers information about each with additional tips

 Setting the workspace
 The Viewcube
The View Cube is located in the top-right corner and is set to the top view by default. You can change the views from different angles by hovering your mouse over the icon. You’ll see a coordinate system in the middle of the drawing space where you click on faces, edges, or corners to select the desired view

 Navigation orbit
This is a tool to control the display of a view like the Viewcube. It has a round shape and contains cardinal directions to help the user with the orientation of the drawing. It also allows users to orbit the drawing space or sketch in a tridimensional space

 Quick Access Toolbar
In the Quick Access Toolbar located at the top next to the AutoCAD symbol, you can click on the downward extend arrow to customize it. A drop-down menu will appear with many options. One useful tool to add is the Layer Icon or the Workspace option to change from Drafting and Annotation to a 3D Modeling environment

By default, the Workspace in the program would show the option “Drafting & Annotation”, but users can change it for 3D options if they needed before to start designing

 Setting units

Type the word UNITS in the blank space located in the Command Bar at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see that the UNITS option and a brief description of this command will pop up as you start typing

The Units you choose won’t affect the creation of objects or the precision of the drawing, but they will affect the length, angles, coordinates, and distances displayed by the program

If you want to work with Inches and feet, it’s advisable to use the Architecture option (Option 4). But if you want to use the metric system you can choose Option 2 (Decimal). You can also specify the format in which the dimensions will appear and their precision (the number of decimals displayed). The program will ask for all this information automatically, and make the user use the blinking space to type in the number of decimals and format required. Click ENTER until finishing the UNITS setting process

## Orientation of objects in AutoCAD
 Coordinate Systems
 Cartesian coordinates
the program is set by default with Cartesian Coordinates where conventionally, the X represents the horizontal axis moving positively to the right and negatively to the left. While Y represents the vertical axis moving positively when going up or negatively going down

 Polar Coordinates
This system employs angles and radial distances to represent directions and dimensions in the working space
 **By convention, the angle is measured counterclockwise from the x-axis and is represented by AutoCAD with the following rules:
- “R” is equal to the radial distance
-is the less than sign (represents the angle)
- “Degrees” is the value of the angle in degrees
The program allows setting different coordinate modes to restrict how designers create objects and move across the workspace: Orthogonal (ORTHO) or Polar (POLAR) mode. These options are located at the bottom of the screen below the Command Bar

 Ortho Mode
The Ortho mode in AutoCAD is used to restrict cursor movement to only the vertical and horizontal directions, relative to the UCS (User Coordinate System). Also set with command F8

 Polar Mode
The Polar Mode or Polar Tracking mode in AutoCAD restrict the cursor movement to certain angles followed by their alignment paths. Also set with command F10


Layers help users organize drawings allowing them to temporarily suppress or hide unnecessary graphical data. Layers are a set of clear, plastic sheets that contain information regarding the model, which can be easily overlapped to recreate all the details of a drawing. The layer command is used for different purposes to manage drawings and can be very convenient when a sketch has many objects and line types. To create a new layer, you must follow these steps:
1.- Click on the <<
*Layer Properties option on the main Toolbar

2.- You will see a Layer menu with one layer named “0”. Layer 0 is the default layer that is pre-established for all drawings and usually contains some default properties. To create a new one click on the icon that has a yellow star

3.- Based on the options of the Quick Access menu, select the properties you want to incorporate into the new layer by clicking once in each cell. Such as name, line type, color, thickness, and visibility

4.- Select the Lightbulb icon to turn off/on a layer

 Start Sketching
 Creating lines
There are two main options to create lines in AutoCAD:
1.- Select the <> tab in the top bar and click on the desired Line: (Polyline, Line, Arc) displayed in the Draw icons

2.- Type in the word <> in the Command bar at the bottom of the screen and click on the displayed menu option <>

In both cases, the software will provide a dialog box at the bottom of the screen indicating the next possible steps in the design process. The operation of drawing lines will stop only by selecting <> or using the <> shortcut key

Once you’ve entered the line command, the program will ask for the first point of the line. You can either click a random point in the drawing space or enter the coordinates manually. Enter 0 for the X-coordinate and then, press the tab to switch to the Y-coordinate, and enter 0 there as well. Press Enter to confirm. This way you’ll be selecting the CenterPoint (0,0) or origin to start your sketch

creating arcs is similar to creating straight lines, and the software provides a wide range of options for constructing the arc; 3 points, Start-Center-End, Start-Center-Angle, etc. The option you choose will depend on the information you have available when sketching (dimensions, angles, or radius)

Depending on the type of arc you choose, the program will ask you to type in the coordinates of the starting point or select it with the cursor. Then, it will ask you for the length of the arc, its angle, the ending point, or the length

Press ENTER after submitting the required information in every step and follow the instructions displayed on the screen to complete the arc

 Rectangles and Polygones
Using the top bar, you can start drawing any shape or line very easily by clicking the down menu next to the Rectangle shape. You can select the type of shape you want: Rectangle or Polygon

- In case you choose the

rectangle, the program will first ask you to specify or type in the location of the first point for the rectangle, as shown in the picture below

- Then follow the program instructions to indicate the next coordinate for the second point (to provide the length and width of the object)

- If you choose to create a
Polygon, the program will first ask you to enter the number of sides of the polygon (starting with 4 as a default value). After filling in this information, press ENTER

- Then it will ask you to specify the center of the polygon or its coordinates and press ENTER

- Finally, it will ask the user to choose between the options: <> or <> tab at the Top bar contains a set of icons that represent basic operations that help usersmodify and edit sketches in the workspace. These tools include trimming, mirroring, scaling, moving, exploding, erasing, rotating, copying, and stretching objects. All of them come in handy for designers and can be used both in two-dimensional and three-dimensional space. Here are some guidelines to use some of the most important modification tools

This operation creates a mirrored copy of an object across a specific line to create another half. The <> icon is located at the top bar and can be found in the bottom command bar as well

- After clicking the <> option, select the entire object you want to mirror, making sure that all the lines are highlighted in blue

- Then the program will ask you to locate the position for mirroring the object. If you want the objects to be joined (as they were a unit), click on a corner that belongs to the boundaries of the object. This point will become the centerline of symmetry of the mirrored object

- Press ENTER after locating the mirroring position, and a mirrored copy of the object will appear on the screen. Use the mouse to rotate or move this new object across the workspace

It allows the trimming of objects, lines, and shapes selected by the user. It can be trimmed individually or select multiple objects by dragging the cursor or <> all the objects needed

Just click the <> icon located at the top bar or type the word <> in the command bar at the bottom of the screen

This operation is similar to <> and both operations are located next to each other. The difference lies in that the ERASE command deletes the element chosen from the drawing without taking into consideration the edges and geometry of the drawing. However, it can be used interchangeably depending on the case

It allows editing and modifying individual components by breaking an object into its constitutive elements. These elements can be lines, shapes, polygons, or areas

Click on the <> icon in the <> tab or type in the word <> in the command bar

Select the area or part of the object you want to explode; the selected part will be highlighted in blue and press ENTER

Each element of the selected area should be isolated from the main compounded object. Verify by clicking any point or line in the given area

## Annotations and dimensions
To display annotations and dimensions in the workspace, head to the <> tab at the Top bar and click on the Linear dimension icon, next to <> icon is located in the Annotation tab. It’s very useful to verify the measures in a drawing. It displays the dimension of a given part of the sketch temporarily and works similarly to the annotations. It also offers the option to measure radius and angles but also volumes and areas of a specific object

The procedure to measure an object is the same as annotation, with the difference that once the dimension is shown on the screen, it will disappear after pressing ENTER

Working in the three-dimensional space will be the next step to AutoCAD user training, so it’s important to practice the basics in two-dimensional space to be prepared for more complex software tools.