AutoCAD is a widely used computer-aided design (CAD) software developed by Autodesk. It allows engineers, architects, designers, and drafters to create precise 2D and 3D models of objects, buildings, and mechanical components. AutoCAD offers a wide range of tools and features, such as drawing, editing, dimensioning, and rendering, to support various design and drafting tasks.

AutoCAD provides a user-friendly interface, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users. It utilizes parametric modeling techniques, allowing designers to define relationships between objects and easily modify their designs by changing parameters.

With its versatility and extensive industry adoption, AutoCAD is employed in multiple fields, including architecture, engineering, manufacturing, and construction. It has become a standard software for creating accurate and detailed drawings, blueprints, and models, helping professionals bring their ideas to life in a digital format. Additionally, AutoCAD integrates with various complementary software and allows for easy collaboration, making it an indispensable tool in the design process for professionals worldwide.


When you first open up a new drawing in AutoCAD you are in what is called the MODEL space. The model space is where you actually draw your designs. It is a limitless area to draw in that does have an origin to help you describe the location in the model space of where your drawing is located. It doesn't matter though where you start your drawing and you can have multiple drawings all in the same model space. 

You can have multiple drawings in your model space and then to present them you will switch over to the paper space. The layout tabs are examples of paper space where you can scale your drawing in the model space to print out and present. This is where you would add a title block to give any pertinent information for someone looking at your drawing. The paper space can be thought of as a window looking at a specific area of your model space. 

Set Up

There are a few things that you want to make sure are set up in your drawing file before putting "pencil to paper".  Each drafter may have a preference or certain types of technical drawings will require different things. These are not things that you will have to change often, its more of a set it and forget it kind of thing, but you should know how to get to all of these and set them to what will work best for the drawing you are trying to complete. 

Layer Properties

AutoCAD works with using layers to display line types. One clear advantage to using layers is that you can save each line type with its own settings and AutoCAD will display those lines the way you intend them too. You also can turn layers on and off by clicking on the light bulb icon so they are not always visible in your drawing to help make things clearer when you are working. 

Drafting Settings

When you type drafting settings into the command line a lot of options come up that you can adjust to your liking and what works best for what you are drawing. 


AutoCAD doesn't really care how you input the values for your drawing but for instance you can adjust whether you want to enter your values in a decimal format or if you were drawing an architectural drawing you can enter in feet and inches. You can always change format of how dimensions are displayed so do not be overly concerned with that just yet, and just draw your drawing to scale. When you place the drawing on a drawing sheet is when you worry about the scale presented on the sheet. 

So to adjust the input units [UNITS] of your model space just type units into the command line and change whatever setting you want to change for length and angle. The insertion scale is for inserting things like blocks and you should not worry about that just yet. 

The Toolbar

There are two main interfaces that you will be interacting with while using AutoCAD, the toolbar and the command line. I will focus on the home tab of the toolbar in this section and breakdown the toolbar functions the same way AutoCAD does. The sections are Draw, Modify, Annotation, Layers, Block, Properties, Groups, Utilities, Clipboard, and View. Depending on your monitor you may have a different amount of sections and buttons visible but everything will still be accessible, you just may have to click into an area to get to the function. 

Something to note is that everything that is accessible by clicking on a button in the toolbar is also accessible by typing in the hotkey in the command line, I will include all the hotkeys to the functions here as well. Remembering the hotkeys to you most used functions will speed of the process of creating a drawing and allow you to move around AutoCAD much faster. One more helpful thing is if you ever forget what a function does or how to use the function, click and hover your mouse over the button and a popup will come up with an animation on what the function is and how to use it. 

There are 7 buttons that are clickable in this section with another 13 in the drop down section for the Draw area on the toolbar. You will utilize these functions the most when drawing and are the basic tools required to complete a technical drawing. 


After you have drawn something using the functions under the draw tab there are quite a few things you can do Modify your drawing using these functions.