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Auto cad2012

  1. 1. AutoCAD® 2012 and AutoCAD LT® 2012 BibleTable of Contents Part I: Introducing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Basics Quick Start: Drawing a Window Summary Chapter 1: Starting to Draw Exploring AutoCADs Advantages Comparing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Starting AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Creating a New Drawing Using the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Interface Exploring the drawing area Exploring the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar Using the Application menu Using the command line and dynamic input tooltip Exploring the status bar Creating a New Folder Using the Interface Saving a Drawing Closing a Drawing and Exiting from AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Summary Chapter 2: Opening a Drawing Creating a New Drawing from a Template Working with Templates Customizing the default template Creating your own templates Creating a Drawing with Default Settings Opening an Existing Drawing Switching among open drawings
  2. 2. Saving a Drawing under a New Name SummaryChapter 3: Using Commands Understanding the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Interface Working with the Ribbon Displaying and using menus Using shortcut menus Working with dialog boxes Using the Quick Access Toolbar Managing palettes Using the Tool Palettes window Using the Command Line and Dynamic Input Entering commands with Dynamic Input Understanding command names Responding to commands Repeating commands Using recent input Canceling commands Undoing a command Redoing a command Using one command within another command Using Mice and Pucks Getting Help Getting help on a command Using the main Help system Working with Help pages SummaryChapter 4: Specifying Coordinates Understanding the X,Y Coordinate System Drawing units Typing Coordinates Using the Dynamic Input tooltip to enter coordinates
  3. 3. Working with absolute Cartesian coordinates Working with relative Cartesian coordinates Using polar coordinates Using direct distance entry Working in Orthogonal mode Using polar tracking Displaying Coordinates Picking Coordinates on the Screen Using Snap settings Using object snaps Running object snaps and Object Snap mode Overriding Coordinate Settings Locating Points Using object snap tracking Using the temporary tracking feature Finding points with point filters Finding offset points with the From feature SummaryChapter 5: Setting Up a Drawing Choosing Unit Types Setting the drawing units Setting the angle type Setting the angle measure and direction Drawing Limits Understanding Scales Working with scale formats Using annotative scales Customizing the scale list Deciding on a scale and sheet size Creating a Titleblock Specifying Common Setup Options Summary
  4. 4. Part II: Drawing in Two Dimensions Chapter 6: Drawing Simple Lines Using the LINE Command Drawing Rectangles Drawing Polygons Creating Construction Lines Creating Rays Summary Chapter 7: Drawing Curves and Points Drawing Circles Understanding the circle options Creating circles Drawing Arcs Understanding arc options Creating arcs Creating Ellipses and Elliptical Arcs Understanding ellipse options Understanding elliptical arc options Drawing ellipses and elliptical arcs Making Donuts Understanding DONUT options Drawing donuts Placing Points Changing the point style Creating points Summary Chapter 8: Viewing Your Drawing Regenerating and Redrawing the Display Panning Using the PAN command Using the scroll bars
  5. 5. Using the ZOOM Command Understanding ZOOM options Using ZOOM Dynamic Using the SteeringWheels Creating Named Views Saving a view Displaying a view Managing named views Creating animated presentations from named views Using named views to manage a drawing Working with Tiled Viewports Configuring tiled viewports Using tiled viewports Saving and restoring viewport configurations Using Snap Rotation Understanding User Coordinate Systems Understanding UCS options Saving and restoring a custom UCS Controlling the UCS icon Creating Isometric Drawings Understanding isometric planes Drawing in Isometric mode SummaryChapter 9: Editing Your Drawing with Basic Tools Editing a Drawing Understanding object-selection basics Erasing objects Moving objects Copying objects Copying and moving objects from one drawing to another Rotating objects Scaling objects
  6. 6. Using the CHANGE command Selecting Objects Selecting objects after choosing a command Cycling through objects Selecting objects before choosing a command Implied windowing Customizing the selection process SummaryChapter 10: Editing Your Drawing with Advanced Tools Copying and Moving Objects Mirroring objects Using the ARRAY command Offsetting objects Aligning objects Resizing commands Trimming objects Extending objects Lengthening and shortening objects Stretching objects Using Construction Commands Breaking objects Joining objects Creating chamfered corners Creating rounded corners Creating a Revision Cloud Hiding Objects with a Wipeout Constraining Objects with Parameters Using geometric constraints Auto-constraining objects Using dimensional constraints Working with the Parameters Manager Double-Clicking to Edit Objects
  7. 7. Editing with Grips Stretching with grips Moving with grips Rotating with grips Scaling with grips Mirroring with grips Customizing grips Editing with the Quick Properties Palette and the Properties Palette Using the Quick Properties palette Using the Properties palette Working with object selection in the Properties palette Working with Selection Filters Using Quick Select to select objects Using the FILTER command Naming and editing filters Using filters Working with Groups Creating and modifying groups Using groups SummaryChapter 11: Organizing Drawings with Layers and Object Properties Working with Layers Understanding layers Creating new layers Using layers Using special layer tools Modifying layers Manipulating Object Color, Linetype, Lineweight, and Transparency Changing an objects color Changing the current color Altering an objects linetype Altering the current linetype
  8. 8. Changing an objects lineweight Changing the current lineweight Altering an objects transparency Altering the current transparency Working with Linetype Scales Changing linetype spacing by using a different linetype Changing linetype spacing by changing the global linetype scale Altering linetype spacing by changing the object linetype scale Matching Properties SummaryChapter 12: Obtaining Information from Your Drawing Drawing-Level Information Listing the status of your drawing Listing system variables Tracking drawing time Object-Level Information Listing objects Finding coordinates Measuring objects Getting information from the Properties palette Getting information from the Quick Properties palette Dividing and Spacing Commands Dividing objects Measuring objects AutoCADs Calculator Calculating numbers Using coordinates Using object snaps Using the scientific calculator Converting units Working with QuickCalc variables Using QuickCalc in the Properties palette
  9. 9. SummaryChapter 13: Creating Text Creating Single-Line Text Justifying single-line text Setting the height Setting the rotation angle Adding special characters and formatting Editing single-line text Understanding Text Styles Creating a new text style Renaming and deleting text styles Modifying a text style Making a style current or changing a text objects style Importing a text style Creating Multiline Text Using the In-Place Text Editor Creating text for different scales Editing paragraph text Importing text Creating Tables Inserting a table Specifying a table style Adding data to a table Modifying a table Inserting Fields Creating fields Editing and updating fields Managing Text Using Quicktext Using AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT fonts Turning off text layers Using MIRRTEXT
  10. 10. Finding Text in Your Drawing Checking Your Spelling SummaryChapter 14: Drawing Dimensions Working with Dimensions Understanding the elements of a dimension Preparing to dimension Drawing Linear Dimensions Specifying the dimensioned object Using dimension options Creating jogged dimension lines Drawing Aligned Dimensions Specifying the dimensioned object Using the options Creating Baseline and Continued Dimensions Drawing baseline dimensions Drawing continued dimensions Dimensioning Arcs and Circles Marking arc and circle centers Dimensioning arc lengths Creating radial dimensions Creating diameter dimensions Dimensioning Angles Creating Ordinate Dimensions Drawing Leaders Creating a multileader Editing multileaders Creating a multileader style Aligning and combining leaders Using Quick Dimension Creating Inspection Dimensions Creating Geometric Tolerances
  11. 11. Starting the tolerance frame Inserting the tolerance frame Editing a tolerance frame Editing Dimensions Editing associativity Using the DIMEDIT command Using the DIMTEDIT command Flipping dimension arrows Editing dimension text Using the Properties palette to edit dimensions Changing annotative scales Spacing dimensions equally apart Breaking dimensions Using Quick Dimension to edit dimensions Using grips to edit dimensions Editing objects and dimensions together SummaryChapter 15: Creating Dimension Styles Understanding Dimension Styles Defining a New Dimension Style Managing dimension lines Defining symbols and arrows Managing dimension text Fitting dimensions into tight spaces Defining primary units Defining alternate units Formatting tolerances Changing Dimension Styles Choosing a new current dimension style Creating a variant of a dimension style Modifying a dimension to use a new dimension style Modifying dimension styles
  12. 12. Overriding a dimension style Updating dimensions Comparing dimension styles SummaryChapter 16: Drawing Complex Objects Creating and Editing Polylines Using the PLINE command Editing polylines with the PEDIT command Grip editing polylines Editing polylines with the Properties palette or Quick Properties palette Drawing and Editing Splines Understanding splines Creating splines Editing splines Creating Regions Creating Boundaries Creating Hatches Understanding hatch patterns Defining a hatch Determining the hatch boundary Managing Islands Dragging and dropping hatch patterns Creating gradient fills Editing hatches Using the SOLID command Creating and Editing Multilines Creating a multiline style Drawing multilines Editing multilines Creating Dlines in AutoCAD LT Using the SKETCH Command Digitizing Drawings with the TABLET Command
  13. 13. Summary Chapter 17: Plotting and Printing Your Drawing Preparing a Drawing for Plotting or Printing Doing a draft plot Plotting a drawing from model space Creating a Layout in Paper Space Entering paper space Using the Layout Wizard Laying out a drawing in paper space on your own Annotating a layout Saving a layout template Working with Plot Styles Setting the plot-style mode Creating a plot-style table Attaching a plot-style table to a layout Setting the plot-style property for a layer or object Plotting a Drawing Specifying plot settings Previewing your plot Creating a plot stamp Creating the plot SummaryPart III: Working with Data Chapter 18: Working with Blocks Combining Objects into Blocks Understanding base points and insertion points Creating a block Saving blocks as files Replacing an existing file Inserting Blocks and Files into Drawings Using the Insert dialog box
  14. 14. Using the DesignCenter Managing Blocks Working with layers Exploding blocks Using the XPLODE command Redefining a block Editing blocks Creating and Using Dynamic Blocks Understanding action-based parameters Understanding the work flow of dynamic blocks Defining a dynamic block with action-based parameters Inserting and using dynamic blocks Using Windows Features to Copy Data Manipulating objects with the Windows Clipboard Using drag-and-drop SummaryChapter 19: Adding Attributes to Blocks Working with Attributes Creating attribute definitions Mode section Attribute section Text Settings section Insertion Point section Creating the block Inserting blocks with attributes Editing attributes Editing attribute properties with the BATTMAN command Editing attribute properties with the ATTEDIT command Making global changes in attributes Redefining attributes Extracting a database from attributes Summary
  15. 15. Chapter 20: Referencing Other Drawings Understanding External References Attaching an external reference Opening an xref Using the External References palette Editing an Xref within Your Drawing Choosing the xref or block to edit Editing the xref Controlling Xref Display Working with dependent symbols in xrefs Avoiding circular references Clipping xrefs Speeding up the display of large xrefs Managing Xrefs Getting xref notification Using DesignCenter to Attach a Drawing Attaching Xrefs and Drawings from the Content Explorer Creating an xref log file Working with DWF, DGN, and PDF Underlays Attaching a DWF underlay Attaching a DGN underlay Attaching a PDF underlay Modifying an underlay SummaryPart IV: Drawing in Three Dimensions Chapter 21: Specifying 3D Coordinates Working in a 3D Environment Using 3D Coordinates Absolute and relative Cartesian coordinates in 3D Cylindrical and spherical coordinates Using editing commands with 3D wireframes Using point filters, object snaps, object tracking, and grips in 3D
  16. 16. Creating 3D polylines Creating helixes Using point clouds Using Elevation and Thickness Creating surfaces with thickness Using the HIDE command Controlling the display of hidden lines and objects Adding elevation to objects Working with the User Coordinate System UCSs and viewpoints Dragging the UCS icon Using UCS options to change the UCS Changing the UCS dynamically SummaryChapter 22: Viewing 3D Drawings Working with the Standard Viewpoints Using the VPOINT command Looking at a drawing from the standard viewpoints Using DDVPOINT Using the ViewCube to View Your Drawing Creating a Named View with a Camera Creating a camera Editing a camera Adding a Background to a Named View Displaying a Quick Plan View Displaying Parallel and Perspective Projections Using 3D Orbit Starting 3D Orbit Navigating with 3D Orbit Refining your 3D Orbit view Using ShowMotion to Cycle Through Views Creating shots
  17. 17. Displaying shots Walking through a Model Navigating in Walk mode Specifying Walk mode settings Flying through a model Saving the walk as a movie file Using a motion path to save a movie file Navigating with the SteeringWheels Using DVIEW to Create a Perspective View Using DVIEW Understanding the DVIEW options Working with Visual Styles Displaying visual styles in AutoCAD Creating custom visual styles Using the shading options in AutoCAD LT Display materials, textures, and lights as you work Laying Out 3D Drawings Flattening 3D drawings Creating 2D view objects Using SOLVIEW to lay out paper space viewports Using SOLDRAW to create hidden lines and hatching Using SOLPROF to create profiles Printing in 3D SummaryChapter 23: Creating 3D Surfaces Drawing Surfaces with 3DFACE Using the 3DFACE command Making 3D face edges invisible Drawing Surfaces with PFACE Creating Polygon Meshes with 3DMESH Using the 3DMESH command Drawing Procedural and NURBS Surfaces
  18. 18. Creating Planar Surfaces Revolved surfaces Drawing an Extruded Surface Working with the TABSURF command Working with the EXTRUDE command Sweeping objects along a path Drawing Surfaces Between Objects Creating ruled surfaces Lofting objects Using the EDGESURF command Using the SURFNETWORK command Connecting surfaces with the SURFBLEND command Patching holes with the SURFPATCH command Editing and Analyzing Surfaces Creating surfaces with the SURFOFFSET command Trimming and extending surfaces Filleting surfaces with the SURFFILLET command Projecting objects onto surfaces Analyzing surfaces Working with Multiple Types of Objects Converting 2D objects to surfaces Converting meshes to smooth surfaces Thickening a surface into a solid Sculpting surfaces to create a solid Extracting edges from a surface or a region SummaryChapter 24: Creating Solids and Editing in 3D Drawing Basic Smooth Solids Drawing a box Drawing a wedge Drawing a cone Drawing a sphere
  19. 19. Drawing a cylinder Drawing a torus Drawing a pyramidCreating Extruded Solids Managing objects used to make other objects Using the EXTRUDE commandDrawing Swept SolidsDrawing Revolved SolidsDrawing Lofted SolidsDrawing Polyline-Like SolidsManipulating Solids Grip-editing solids Selecting sub-objects Moving, rotating, and scaling with the gizmosWorking with Mesh Shapes Creating meshes Editing meshes Converting solids and meshesCreating Complex Solids Combining solids Subtracting solids Creating a solid from the intersection of two solids Creating a solid from surfaces that enclose a volume Creating a new solid by using INTERFERE Pressing or pulling a region Using solid historySectioning and Slicing Solids Using the SECTION command Creating an interactive section object Using the SLICE commandUsing Editing Commands in 3D Mirroring in 3D Arraying in 3D
  20. 20. Rotating in 3D Aligning in 3D Trimming and extending in 3D Filleting in 3D Chamfering in 3D Exploding and converting 3D objects Using the SOLIDEDIT Command Editing faces Editing edges Editing bodies Listing Solid Properties SummaryChapter 25: Rendering in 3D Understanding Rendering Learning the steps Doing a default rendering Creating Lights Setting the default light Creating a point light Specifying a target point light Creating a spotlight Creating a Free spotlight Producing a distant light Simulating the sun Managing lights Working with Materials Attaching a material from the Materials Browser Using the Materials Editor palette Creating your own materials Attaching and removing materials Using backgrounds Doing the Final Render
  21. 21. Using Statistics Saving rendered images SummaryPart V: Organizing and Managing DrawingsChapter 26: Keeping Control of Your Drawings Accessing Drawing Components with the Content Explorer Finding Components with the DesignCenter Finding named components and drawings Accessing named drawing components Purging Unused Components Accessing Drawing Content with Tool Palettes Creating a new tool palette Adding content tools Adding command tools Copying a tool Setting tool properties Organizing tool palettes Using a tool palette Setting Standards for Drawings Using the CAD Standards tools Using layer notification Translating layers Renaming named objects Working with Sheet Sets Understanding sheet sets Creating a sheet set Setting up sheet set references Using a sheet set Organizing Your Drawings Archiving drawings Finding drawings Specifying drawing properties
  22. 22. Maintaining Security Password protection Digital signatures Keeping Track of Referenced Files Handling Errors and Crashes Taking care of temporary files Repairing corrupted drawing files Using backup drawings Recovering from a crash Managing Drawings from Prior Releases SummaryChapter 27: Working with Other Applications Importing and Exporting Other File Formats Exporting drawings Importing files Working with Raster Images Attaching images Managing images Clipping images Controlling image display Pasting, Linking, and Embedding Objects Embedding objects into a drawing Using Paste Special Linking data SummaryChapter 28: Creating Electronic Output Sending Drawings Using eTransmit Specifying transmittal settings Opening Drawings from the Web Using the Browse the Web dialog box Using i-drop to drag objects into a drawing
  23. 23. Working with drawings on AutoCAD WS Creating Object Hyperlinks Creating a hyperlink Using a hyperlink Editing a hyperlink Publishing Drawings Understanding DWF and DWFx files Creating 2D DWF and DWFx files Creating 3D DWF and DWFx files Using the Publish to Web Wizard Posting DWF and DWFx files directly Editing web pages Viewing DWF and DWFx drawings SummaryPart VI: Customizing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LTChapter 29: Customizing Commands, Toolbars, and Tool Palettes Working with Customizable Files Editing customizable files Backing up customizable files Using the command-line form of commands Documenting your files Creating Shortcuts for Commands Creating shortcuts to Windows programs Creating keyboard shortcuts to commands Customizing Toolbars Customizing classic toolbars Removing buttons from an existing toolbar Creating a new toolbar Removing custom commands Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar Creating and displaying a Quick Access Toolbar Adding a drop-down list
  24. 24. Customizing Tool Palettes SummaryChapter 30: Creating Macros and Slide Shows Creating Macros with Script Files Creating the script file Running a script file Recording Actions Creating an action macro Editing an action macro Managing a macro file Playing back a macro Creating Slide Shows Creating slides Viewing slides Using scripts to create slide shows Creating Slide Libraries SummaryChapter 31: Creating Your Own Linetypes and Hatch Patterns Creating Linetypes Creating simple linetypes Creating complex linetypes Creating Hatch Patterns SummaryChapter 32: Creating Shapes and Fonts Creating Shapes Using shape files Creating shape files Editing shape files Creating Fonts SummaryChapter 33: Customizing the Ribbon and Menus
  25. 25. Working with the Customization File Understanding the Customization file Loading and unloading customization files Customizing the Interface Looking at a ribbon panel Writing macros Customizing the ribbon Customizing the Menu bar and shortcuts menus Customizing mouse buttons and tablet buttons Customizing image-tile menus Customizing tablet menus Creating keyboard shortcuts Customizing the double-click behavior Customizing the Quick Properties palette and rollover tooltips SummaryPart VII: Programming AutoCADChapter 34: Understanding AutoLISP and Visual LISP Basics Introducing Visual LISP Opening Visual LISP Opening and loading an AutoLISP file with Visual LISP Loading an AutoLISP file Using an AutoLISP routine in AutoCAD Looking at an AutoLISP routine Using the Visual LISP editor Closing a file and Visual LISP Getting Help in Visual LISP Working with AutoLISP Expressions Understanding AutoLISP syntax Working with numbers and text Using AutoLISP on the Command Line Creating AutoLISP Files Summary
  26. 26. Chapter 35: Exploring AutoLISP Further Creating Variables Working with AutoCAD Commands Accessing AutoCAD commands Creating functions Creating functions with arguments Working with system variables Working with Lists Using lists for coordinates Creating dotted pairs Setting Conditions Using Conditional statements Using Loop statements Managing Drawing Objects Getting information about an object Modifying objects Creating selection sets Getting Input from the User Putting on the Finishing Touches SummaryChapter 36: Exploring Advanced AutoLISP Topics Understanding Global and Local Variables Working with Visual LISP ActiveX Functions Reviewing AutoLISP retrieval and modification Using ActiveX with Visual LISP Debugging Code Using the Error Trace window Working with breakpoints Using the Watch window SummaryChapter 37: Programming with .NET Starting to Work with VB.NET
  27. 27. Opening the VB.NET environment Getting acquainted with VB.NET Investigating the hierarchy model Accessing help Writing VB.NET Code Looking at VB.NET syntax Saving and opening a VB.NET project Compiling, loading, and using a VB.NET project Using the VB.NET Editor Understanding variables Creating VB.NET statements Getting User Input Creating Dialog Boxes Understanding the Toolbox window Changing dialog box properties Adding dialog box controls Modifying Objects Using constants Using functions Trapping Errors Moving to Advanced Programming Summary A Final WordPart VIII: Appendixes Appendix A: Installing and Configuring AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Preparing to install Starting installation Installing the VBA enabler Installing network licenses and CAD Manager tools Changing an installation Authorizing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Creating and modifying a workspace
  28. 28. Switching between workspaces Customizing the status bar Configuring options Using command-line switches Understanding configuration files Creating multiple configurations Using the Plotter Manager Editing a plotter configurationAppendix B: AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Resources Using AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Help resources Learning from your reseller Taking a course Learning from other users Reading magazines and newslettersAppendix C: Whats on the DVD Using the Drawings folder Using the Results folder Accessing resources from the Links folder Using the Videos folder Using the Bonus Exercise and Bonus Chapter 1 folders Finding software in the Software folder Finding software
  29. 29. AutoCAD® 2012 & AutoCAD LT® 2012 Bible Ellen FinkelsteinAutoCAD® 2012 & AutoCAD LT® 2012 BiblePublished byWiley Publishing, Inc.10475 Crosspoint BoulevardIndianapolis, IN 46256www.wiley.comThis book is printed on acid-free paper.Copyright © 2011 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana. All rightsreservedPublished by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New JerseyPublished simultaneously in CanadaISBN: 978-1-118-02221-4Printed in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior writtenpermission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriateper-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers,MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the web at
  30. 30. Requests to the Publisher for permission should beaddressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 RiverStreet, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and the author haveused their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations orwarranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of thisbook and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability orfitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended bysales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategiescontained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with aprofessional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the author shall beliable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but notlimited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.For general information about our other products and services, please contactour Customer Care Department within the United States at (877) 762-2974,outside the United States at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002.Library of Congress Control Number: 2011930299Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley logo, and related trade dress are trademarks orregistered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates, in theUnited States and other countries, and may not be used without writtenpermission. AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are registered trademarks of Autodesk,Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. WileyPublishing, Inc. is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in thisbook.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats and by print-on-demand. Not all content that is available in standard print versions of this bookmay appear or be packaged in all book formats. If you have purchased a versionof this book that did not include media that is referenced by or accompanies astandard print version, you may request this media by visiting For more information about Wiley products, visit
  31. 31. About the Author Ellen Finkelstein learned AutoCAD in Israel, where she always got to pore over the manual because it was in English. After returning to the United States, she started consulting and teaching AutoCAD as well as other computer programs, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. She has also taught courses on Web writing and usability. Her Web site,, contains tips and techniques for AutoCAD, PowerPoint, and presenting, and she publishes the AutoCAD Tips Blog and the AutoCAD Tips Newsletter. Ellen has written extensively on AutoCAD, including articles for Autodesks Web site and features for AutoCADs Help system. Ellens first book was AutoCAD For Dummies Quick Reference. Since then, she has written books on PowerPoint, ( For Dummies), Flash (including Flash CS5 For Dummies), and Web technologies (Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies). Youre holding the twelfth edition (wow!) of this book, which previously appeared for AutoCAD releases 14, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.To MMY, for teaching me that theres more to life than meets the eye and that the deeperlevels of life are the most intelligent, powerful, and blissful.
  32. 32. Credits Senior Acquisitions Editor Stephanie McComb Executive Editor Jody Lefevere Project Editor Jade L. Williams Technical Editors Lee AmbrosiusJames H. Murphy Copy Editor Marylouise Wiack Editorial Director Robyn Siesky Editorial Manager Rosemarie Graham Business Manager Amy Knies Senior Marketing Manager Sandy Smith Vice President and Executive Group Publisher Richard Swadley
  33. 33. Vice President and Executive PublisherBarry PruettProject CoordinatorKatherine CrockerGraphics and Production SpecialistsClaudia BellMelanee HabigAndrea HornbergerQuality Control TechnicianRebecca DenoncourProofreadingEvelyn C. WellbornIndexingBIM Indexing & Proofreading ServicesMedia Development Project ManagerLaura MossMedia Development Assistant Project ManagerJenny SwisherMedia Development Associate ProducerMarilyn Hummel
  34. 34. F ore w ordWelcome!Whether you are an experienced AutoCAD user or a newer member of the community, you havejust made a great investment with the AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible. This book will bea valuable reference and guide that we expect you to use on a regular basis to help you becomemore proficient and more productive with AutoCAD.The AutoCAD Bible is an excellent, comprehensive guide for getting up to speed quickly on thepower of AutoCAD 2012. Everything from the basics of AutoCAD drafting and documentation toolsto 3D modeling and design to customization and programming is covered in this book. You willhave access to real-world examples and AutoCAD drawings that will help you understand andapply new concepts through hands-on exercises. With the step-by-step examples, you will be ableto follow along easily and continue learning at your own pace, at any time.Ellen has been writing books about AutoCAD and participating in the AutoCAD community formany years, and has established herself as a passionate AutoCAD contributor. She is an activemember of the AutoCAD beta community and is helping to shape the future of AutoCAD. You canbe assured that you are getting guidance from one of the most experienced professionals in thisfield.Now that you have access to the wealth of information in this AutoCAD Bible, you can jump rightin. Pick out a topic or tool you want to learn about, and discover new ways to take advantage of thepower of AutoCAD 2012. Expand your knowledge and find new ways to work with AutoCAD fordesign and documentation.Thank you, Ellen, for delivering another terrific edition of the AutoCAD Bible. I know our AutoCADcommunity will appreciate your guidance and benefit greatly from your expertise.Diane LiSenior Product Manager, AutoCADAutodesk, Inc.
  35. 35. Introduc tionWelcome to the AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible. Whether you use AutoCAD orAutoCAD LT, youll find complete explanations of all the powerful features that you need to knowabout to design and draw anything. This book is intended to be your comprehensive guide to boththe AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT programs.This book covers every significant AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT feature. If youre a beginning user,youll find everything you need to start out; if youre already using AutoCAD or AutoCAD LTregularly, the book covers advanced material as well. Although you can use this book as a tutorial ifyoure just starting out or learning a new set of features, it also provides a solid reference base tocome back to again and again. The short tutorials on almost every topic will quickly have youcreating professional-level drawings. The DVD is chock-full of drawings, a trial version of bothAutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012, and add-in programs (which are for AutoCAD only). Thisbook contains all that you need to make full use of either program.AutoCAD 2012 offers a wide range of new features, including expanded arrays, a way to store andopen drawings online (AutoCAD WS), faster creation of groups, a new interface to access drawingcontent (the Content Explorer), and many small additions to improve your efficiency in both 2Dand 3D drawings.Is This Book for You?The AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible covers all of the essential features of AutoCAD andAutoCAD LT and includes clear, real-life examples and tutorials that you can adapt to your needs.Although I fully cover the basics, I have also included material on the many advanced features, suchas AutoLISP, 3D modeling, rendering, and customization. (Most of the advanced features apply toAutoCAD only.) The following categories should help you decide whether this book is for you.If you are a new AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT userIf you are new to AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, the AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible guidesyou through all that you need to know to start drawing effectively, whatever your field. Just start atthe beginning.If you are upgrading to AutoCAD 2012 or AutoCAD LT2012This book highlights all of the new features and helps you to make the upgrade transition asseamless as possible. Look for the New Feature icons.If you are switching from another CAD program
  36. 36. You already know what CAD is all about. This book clearly explains the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LTway of drawing the models that you have already been drawing. In addition, youll find a great dealof essential information about transferring files and data from other formats.H ow This Book Is Org a niz e dThis book is divided into eight parts and also includes a DVD.Part I: Introducing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT BasicsPart I provides the background information that you need to start drawing. It starts with a “quicktour” that has you drawing right away and then covers how to start a drawing, use commands,specify coordinates, and set up a drawing.Part II: Drawing in Two DimensionsPart II covers all of the commands and procedures for drawing and editing in two dimensions. Inaddition, I discuss how to control the drawing process with layers, zooming, and panning. This partalso includes information about dimensioning, plotting, and printing.Part III: Working with DataPart III covers many ways to organize and share data, including using blocks, attributes, andexternal references.Part IV: Drawing in Three DimensionsPart IV explains everything that you need to know to draw in three dimensions. It also discusseshow to present 3D drawings using shading and rendering techniques.Part V: Organizing and Managing DrawingsPart V helps you to incorporate AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT into your workflow by explaining howto set standards, manage drawings, and work with other applications. It concludes with a chapteron creating electronic output.Part VI: Customizing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LTPart VI introduces the tools that you need to customize commands, toolbars, linetypes, hatchpatterns, shapes, fonts, and the ribbon. Youll also find a chapter on creating macros with script filesas well as the Action Recorder.Part VII: Programming AutoCADPart VII introduces you to programming AutoCAD. It includes three chapters on AutoLISP andVisual LISP, and one chapter on This part applies to AutoCAD only.Part VIII: Appendixes
  37. 37. Part VIII provides additional information for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT users. Appendix A givesinstructions for installing and configuring AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Appendix B coversadditional resources for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT users. Appendix C explains what youll find onthe DVD.The DVDThe DVD contains all of the drawings that you need to do the exercises in this book. These drawingsare a great resource to help you learn using real-world examples. In addition, the DVD includes thedrawings that result after you finish an exercise or tutorial. In this way, you can check whether youhave done an exercise correctly. If you lose the DVD or have an electronic version of this book, youcan download the drawings at DVD also contains many add-on programs that I hope you will find useful. I am especiallypleased to include 30-day trial versions of AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 on the DVD. Inaddition, I have created some video tutorials to help you visualize some of the exercises. Thereseven a Bonus Chapter on connecting to external databases. For more information, read AppendixC.H ow to U se This BookYou can use this book in two ways: as a tutorial and learning tool, or as a reference.As a tutorialThe overall organization of the book goes from simple to complex, and each chapter has severalstep-by-step exercises. This enables you to use the book as a tutorial, from beginning to end. Youcan always go back and redo any exercise when you need to refresh your memory on a particularfeature. Ive taught AutoCAD using this book and it makes a great textbook!For newcomers to AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, Parts I (Introducing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LTBasics) and II (Drawing in Two Dimensions) are essential. After that, you can refer to chapters thatinterest you. Parts III (Working with Data) and V (Organizing and Managing Drawings) are alsouseful for beginners. Intermediate users will probably be familiar with most of the material in Part Iand will be more likely to skip around, looking for the specific topics that they need. However, dontforget that many new features are introduced in Part I. Enough material appears in this book tobring intermediate users up to an advanced level.I have designed this book to be comprehensive and to include every significant feature of AutoCADand AutoCAD LT. Therefore, do not be concerned if some of the material seems too advanced. Itwill be there when you are ready for it.As a referenceThe AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible is organized as a reference that you can usewhenever you are stuck, or when you try to do something for the first time. Each chapter covers atopic completely, making it easy to find what youre looking for. You can do each Steps exercise
  38. 38. (with a few exceptions) on its own without doing the other exercises in the chapter. You can easilylook up a topic and complete a related exercise without having to go through the entire chapter. Acomplete index at the back of the book can also help you to find features and topics.Using the Kindle versionThe AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible is available in a Kindle version. Unfortunately, theDVD doesnt come with this version. Therefore, you need to access the drawings In addition, you can download a 30-day trial of AutoCADfrom For AutoCAD LT, go to oing the E x e rc ise sI recommend that you do the exercises from the beginning. These earlier exercises includeimportant instructions that may affect your system later. For example, one of the first exercises is tocreate a new folder to hold the drawings for other exercises. This folder keeps your exercisedrawings separate from other drawings that have been created in your office. However, mostexercises stand on their own so that you can go back and do only the exercises that you need.AutoCAD is a very customizable program. AutoCAD LT can also be customized in many ways,although to a lesser extent. This book assumes that you are working with the default setup.However, a number of changes may have been made to your system that could result in the userinterface and drawings appearing or even functioning differently from those shown in this book. Ifyou installed AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT yourself and made some adjustments, you know whatchanges you have made. However, if you are using a computer that was set up by someone else, itmay help to talk to that person first, to see what changes they made.In addition, as you workthrough some of the exercises in this book, you will make certain changes in the programs setup.Most of these are minor changes that any user would make while drawing. For safety, Cautions andTips accompany all changes that could have serious consequences, such as customizing the menu.For example, when customizing the menu, you will be instructed to copy the menu file under anew name, and you will then work with the new menu file, not the original one. Nevertheless, ifyou are working on a network or sharing your computer with someone else, it is important toconsult with others who may be affected by the changes that you make.Cross-ReferenceYou c a n c re a te y our own c onfig ura tion to he lp e nsure tha t c e rta in c ha ng e s tha t y ou m a k e will not a ffe c tothe rs. Instruc tions for doing this a ppe a r in Appe ndix A unde r the he a ding “Cre a ting MultipleConfig ura tions.” nThe exercises in the AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible have been carefully checked by atechnical editor to ensure accuracy. However, we cannot anticipate all situations, due to eithervarying hardware and software configurations or customization. If you have a problem with anexercise, contact me at the e-mail address listed at the end of this Introduction so that I can correctthe problem in the books next edition. I will also try to give you the information that you need tocomplete the exercise.
  39. 39. Conv e ntions U se d in This BookGiven all the ways in which you can execute a command in AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, youll findit useful to read this section, which describes this books typographical conventions. You will findthis section helpful for doing the step-by-step exercises as well.Using commandsAutoCAD and AutoCAD LT offer workspaces (covered fully in Appendix A) that provide verydifferent ways of executing commands. The default workspace, Drafting & Annotation, uses theribbon and Application menu, whereas the Classic workspace uses more traditional menus andtoolbars. I use the default workspace (or the 3D Modeling workspace for 3D drawing in AutoCAD)throughout the book. All workspaces offer a command line, where you can execute a command byentering its name.When I explain how to execute a command, I give the instructions for doing so on the ribbon. Inaddition, I almost always provide the name of the command so that you can enter it on thecommand line.The new ribbon created a quandary for me, because I know that some people, especially thoseupgrading from earlier releases, dont use it; instead, they will prefer to use the Classic workspacewith its familiar menus and toolbars. However, I felt that explaining how to execute each commandin three ways (the ribbon, the menu/toolbar, and the command line) would be awkward, perhapsconfusing, and space-consuming.So what should you do if you are using this book with the Classic workspace? In many cases,especially if youre upgrading, youll already know where to find familiar commands. For newcommands, its easy to find their location in the Classic workspace by going to the Help system.Follow these steps: 1. Type the name of the command on the command line or in the Dynamic Input box. 2. Press F1 to open the Help window of Autodesk Exchange. 3. Look at the top of the right-hand pane, where youll find instructions for all the available methods of executing the command.When referring to the ribbon, I might say, “Choose Home tab⇒Draw panel⇒Line,” which means toclick the Home tab if its not already displayed, look for the Draw control panel, and click the Linebutton in that panel. If youre not sure which button to click, hover the mouse cursor over a buttonto see its tooltip, which provides more information. You can expand many control panels byclicking their title at the bottom of the ribbon; if a command is on the expanded section, I indicatethat in the instruction.A few of the ribbon panels have drop-down lists, which are equivalent to sub-menus. Therefore, toindicate which button to click, I may need to tell you to choose View tab⇒Navigation panel⇒Zoomdrop-down list⇒Zoom Extents. Although I havent found a good alternative, this is not completelysatisfactory for two reasons. First, its a mouthful! Second, the drop-down lists names do not
  40. 40. appear, making it hard to know which is the Zoom drop-down list. However, in most cases, thebutton icon will make it obvious which drop-down list Im talking about.To indicate that you should choose a command from the Application menu, for example, I say,“Choose Application Button⇒Save,” which means that you should click the Application Button atthe upper-left corner of the application window (which opens the Application menu), and thenclick the Save item.Every command also has a command name that you can type on the command line, which appearsat the bottom of your screen. Command names are shown in capital letters, as in CIRCLE. AutoLISPfunctions (which apply to AutoCAD only) are shown in small capital letters, as in command.FiguresIn order to create clear, legible figures, I have used a white background in AutoCAD. However,many people use a black or dark gray drawing area. In Appendix A, I explain how to change thiscolor. As you read through the book, you should be aware that you may see on your screen anegative image of what I show in the figures — a dark background and light-colored objects. Onceyou get used to this difference, youll easily recognize what you see in the figures.In AutoCAD, the 3D environment further changes what you see on your screen. The default 3Dbackground is gray. Again, I have sometimes changed the background color to white for thepurpose of creating a clear figure.Prompts, your input, and instructionsIn the step-by-step exercises, most instructions are presented in the same font and style that you arereading now. However, when I reproduce the command line, the prompts appear in anonproportional font. Other instructions (such as “Type the first coordinate) are shown in italic. Inany context, input that you need to type appears in bold.The Dynamic Input feature shows prompts near your cursor, but additional options only appear ifyou click the down arrow on your keyboard. To make clear all of the available options, I use thecommand line format of prompts.I often refer to specific elements in a drawing. References to these elements appear in the text asnumbers in circles, such as 1, 2, 3, and so on. Youll find the corresponding number in the figure towhich the text refers.Mouse and keyboard termsYou can draw using a mouse or a puck. The mouse is familiar to all users. A puck (or sometimes astylus) is used with a digitizing tablet. Because most users do not have a digitizing tablet, I do notdirectly refer to it in this book. If you have one, follow the instructions for using the mouse in thesame way but using your puck.A mouse can have two or mor