The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD Basics

Apr 9, 2013

Welcome to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD Basics—your guide to the basic 42 commands you need to create 2D drawings using AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

This guide is a great place to get started if you just completed your initial training, or to refresh your memory if you only use AutoCAD occasionally. As you can see from the illustration, the 42 commands are grouped together according to types of activity. In addition, these groups are arranged sequentially to follow a general workflow.

After you finish this guide, you can access the linked Help commands in each topic for more information, or you can return to the guide later to review specific topics. Also, try to find someone who will be able to answer your occasional questions. The product discussion groups ( and Autodesk blogs are good resources.

  1. Basics

    Review the basic ways to control AutoCAD.

  2. Viewing

    Pan and zoom in a drawing, and control the order of overlapping objects.

  3. Geometry

    Create basic geometric objects such as lines, circles, and solid-filled areas.

  4. Precision

    AutoCAD provides several features to ensure the precision required for your models.

  5. Layers

    Organize your drawing by assigning objects to layers.

  6. Properties

    You can assign properties such as color and linetype to individual objects, or as default properties assigned to layers.

  7. Modifying

    Perform editing operations such as erase, move, and trim on the objects in a drawing.

  8. Blocks

    Insert symbols and details into your drawings from commercial online sources or from your own designs.

  9. Layouts

    Display one or more scaled views of your design on a standard-size drawing sheet called a layout.

  10. Notes and Labels

    Create notes, labels, bubbles, and callouts. Save and restore style settings by name.

  11. Dimensions

    Create several types of dimensions and save dimension settings by name.

  12. Printing

    Output a drawing layout to a printer, a plotter, or a file. Save and restore the printer settings for each layout.