By Timothy M. Looney
If you have just started to learn AutoCAD, it can be daunting to look at the list of commands that are available. You may ask yourself, “How am I going to remember all those commands?” There can be hundreds of commands to learn, and each one has different uses and subtle nuances. The truth is that you do not need to remember all of them.
However, you will find that you use some commands so often that you will commit them to memory with just a little practice. Other commands—those that are not used so often—can be looked up when you need to use them.
Over the years, AutoCAD has developed into a tool that services a variety of professionals, including architects, artists, and a variety of engineering specialties. Because it is difficult to make a tool that has all of the commands and tools that everyone wants without making it too unwieldy, Autodesk now provides several different versions of AutoCAD. Each version provides tools specific to some a certain specialty. Examples include versions for meant for use in the mechanical, architectural, construction, and civil fields. These specific versions streamline the commands and operations for each specialty.
Types of Commands
Three basic types of commands are used in AutoCAD: object creation commands, object editing commands, and file or system commands. The basic file commands are common to most software: OPEN, SAVE, and CLOSE, for example. In your first experiences with AutoCAD, you will need to learn the basic commands for creating objects, such as LINE, CIRCLE, and TEXT. The most basic editing commands are MOVE, COPY, and ERASE.
Short lists of the most essential commands are given below. As you know, many more commands are available. Learn these commands first; then you can augment your knowledge with other commands as you become familiar enough with CAD to need more.
|Object Creation Commands||Object Editing Commands||File Commands|
Keeping Things Simple
Believe it or not, you can do most things with the commands listed here. You may go crazy knowing that there is a better way to do it; nevertheless, these commands are the foundation for everything. Consider this example: You need to create an array of objects on the screen. If you have trouble remembering that there is an ARRAY command and how to use it, you could simply use the COPY command repeatedly instead. This can be done for many of the commands—and if that does not work, you could always redraw the objects. Remember that there are many ways to accomplish a given drawing task in AutoCAD.
How to Learn Commands
You have heard it before, but the best way to learn these commands is to practice. When you feel you have practiced enough, practice again. It can be difficult to keep your interest in practicing, so a way to make if fun is to find a project around your house or school that can be done in CAD. If you combine a fun project with your practice, it will be more enjoyable and more likely to get done.