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AutoCAD Tutorial 02: The Environment

by Tutorial45

AutoCAD has gone through major redesigns since its first release in 1982, but its core functionality has remained unchanged.

I do not know what version you are currently using, but whatever the version is, you will find similarities with the version I am using.

In this post, we will learn about the AutoCAD environment, and help ourselves using the proper vocabulary and be calling an object by their right name.

Here is what the main AutoCAD window looks like.

autocad environment

The Drawing Area

The drawing area is made of a universe of points where each has x, y and z coordinates. You can actually draw using the coordinate system. For a line, you can define exactly what point on the drawing area your starting point and your ending point are going to be.

For a 2D design, we will ignore the value of z in the coordinate.


Draw a triangle with its corners at each of the following points:

  • A with the (x, y) coordinates equals to (254, 362)
  • B with the (x, y) coordinates equals to (632, 364)
  • C with the (x, y) coordinates equals to (246, 666).

How do you go do this in AutoCAD?

First, understand that A(254,362) means that the point A has its x coordinate at 254 and its y coordinate in 362. A(x,y)

Make sure the dynamic input is not activated.

Make the Dynamic Input icon available on the Status Bar

palette autocad

It will appear on your Status bar, Turn it OFF

ortho autocad

Now, what you do is:

  1. Type LINE and hit ENTER
  2. Type 254,362 and hit ENTER on your keyboard
  3. Type 632,364 and hit ENTER on your keyboard
  4. Type 246,666 and hit ENTER on your keyboard
  5. do step 2
  6. Hit ESC

You should end up with the following image.


For the most part, we will deal with 2D objects, meaning the USC icon will almost always look like it is on the first image above. (without the z component)

The drawing Area

It is possible to change the background color of your drawing Area.

To change the color and the look of the drawing Area

1 – Right-click in the Drawing area and click on Options

panel autocad

2 – On the Display tab, click on the Colors icon

option windows autocad

The following window gives you the ability to customize the visual aspect of AutoCAD

window to change autocad parameters

Much can be customized in AutoCAD. We will dig deeper in this area in the coming tutorials.

These tutorials might be useful:

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