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AutoCAD® 2009 & AutoCAD LT® 2009 All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies® by Lee Ambrosius

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Chapter 3. Working with Drawing Files

As you may have noticed, drawing files (.dwg) are the main byproduct of using AutoCAD. They are much more important than the hard copies or the electronic files generated when plotting. Hard copies of drawings are designed for presenting a concept or design, but they can't be modified like the drawing file can be. For this reason, you need to take care of your drawing files by storing them in safe locations. You also must ensure that you back them up and use a logical naming convention so you can easily find the files later.

Many users of AutoCAD don't fully realize the amount of control they have over their drawing files. This chapter explains some of the concepts that you might not know about for working with drawing files. The concepts I cover here range from file-naming conventions, to password-protecting or digitally signing drawing files when you share them, to controlling how objects and layers are indexed to make loading a drawing as an external reference more efficient.

It's All in the Name: File-Naming Conventions

Using a naming convention is critical to being able to easily find any document, whether it was created with Microsoft Word or AutoCAD. A series of drawing files named Drawing1, Drawing2, and so on won't be helpful to you in the future. Instead, you should come up with a meaningful naming convention that tells you at a glance what project a drawing file pertains to. The key to creating a good naming convention is to make it ...

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