And They're Off: AutoCAD's Opening Screens

In addition to the Drafting & Annotation workspace, a few additional preconfigured workspaces are available from the Workspace Switching button. However, for most of this book, I stick with the out-of-the-box Drafting & Annotation workspace (the exception is Part V, which deals with 3D modeling), and I recommend you do the same as you read along.

image A workspace is a collection of menus, palettes, toolbars, and/or Ribbon panels tailored for specific tasks, such as 3D modeling or 2D drafting.

After you switch, AutoCAD remembers which workspace you last used and opens in that one. Four standard workspaces are created when you install AutoCAD 2012 (only two come with AutoCAD LT 2012):

  • Drafting & Annotation: This workspace (as shown in Figure 2-1) is configured for a 2D drafting environment, with Ribbon tabs and panels optimized for technical drawing in two dimensions.
  • 3D Basics: This workspace is designed to help you get your feet wet with 3D modeling in AutoCAD 2012. It leaves out the Solid, Surface, and Mesh object creation tabs, and provides simplified panels in the other tabs. I cover modeling in 3D in Part V of this book, and there I use (and recommend that you do the same) the full 3D Modeling workspace Ribbon. This workspace isn't included in AutoCAD LT because LT doesn't do 3D.

    Figure 2-1: Where's my AutoCAD?: The AutoCAD 2012 Drafting ...

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