Chapter 4

Setup for Success


Developing a setup strategy

Starting new drawings

Setting up model space

Creating and using drawing templates

The good news is that AutoCAD is extremely powerful and versatile. And the not-quite-so-good news is that it’s extremely powerful and versatile. This means that you can set it up to work in virtually any segment of virtually any industry or application, virtually anywhere in the world. AutoCAD is used for mechanical design, electrical and electronic circuit schematics, hydraulics, buildings, bridges, theatre stage layouts, cloth-cutting layouts in the clothing industry, designing big floppy clown shoes, keeping track of season’s ticket holders’ seats in a hockey arena, and so on. In short, everything from autos to zoos.

Because most companies and schools will already have set things up to suit their particular standards, all you need to do — and in fact, must do — is to use their existing template files. If you’re working alone, however, you should read on.

In the long (or even medium or short) term, AutoCAD is much easier to use when you start from a drawing that’s set up properly. There can be quite a few things to set up, but the good news is that if you do things properly, you need to do them only once.

Sloppy setup really becomes apparent when you try to plot (note that CAD geeks say, “Plot,” whereas normal people say, “Print”) your drawing. Things that seemed more or less okay as you zoomed around on the screen are suddenly ...

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