Chapter 2. Opening a Drawing


  • Creating a new drawing from a template

  • Opening a drawing with default settings

  • Opening an existing drawing

  • Using an existing drawing as a prototype

  • Saving a drawing with a new name

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT offer a number of options for opening new and existing drawings. These options create a great deal of flexibility and save you time as well. You can create complex templates to avoid doing the same basic setup and drawing over and over.

Creating a New Drawing from a Template

A template is a special file that contains drawing settings and often objects (such as a title block and text). A template has a DWT filename extension. When you use a template as the basis for a new drawing, the drawing takes on all the settings and objects contained in the template. Use templates to avoid re-creating settings and redrawing objects for new drawings. AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT come with many templates that you can use as is or customize. You can also create your own templates.


AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT offer a Startup dialog box that provides choices for starting a new drawing as well as opening existing drawings. To display the Startup dialog box whenever you open AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, set the value of the STARTUP system variable to1.

To create a new drawing based on a template, choose File

Creating a New Drawing from a Template
  1. Choose Tools

  2. Double-click the Template Settings item.

  3. Double-click the ...

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