LT On-line: Lesson 1

31 Dec, 1999 By: Mark Middlebrook

Page 1: AutoCAD LT and paper

Drawing Setup, part 1

Page 1: AutoCAD LT and paper

One of life's ironies when learning to make drawings in AutoCAD LT (or in AutoCAD) is that setting up a new drawing is surprisingly complicated--it's not just a matter of choosing File|New. Many AutoCAD LT drawing commands and concepts depend on proper drawing setup. If you don't do it right, you'll become increasingly frustrated when you try to draw, edit, and plot a drawing.

Unfortunately, AutoCAD and LT offer no useful automated setup tools-the Setup wizards are useless for most real drafting needs because they fail to address drawing scale. You must know how to set up a drawing from scratch, and you must perform drawing setup methodically and thoroughly for each drawing. Once you understand the process, you can use DWT (drawing templates) files to help streamline it.

Here we cover basic model space drawing setup in AutoCAD LT 97-2000 (the procedure also works in AutoCAD Release 14-2000). In future articles, I'll address additional procedures for paper space setup and how to add a title block.

AutoCAD LT and paper
In other Windows programs, you can squeeze content onto paper using any scaling factor you want. You've probably printed an Excel spreadsheet or Web page at some odd scaling factor such as 82% of full size because that's what it took to squeeze it onto a single sheet of paper while keeping the text as large as possible.

In drafting, however, your plot usually needs to be to a specific scaling factor, such as 1/4" = 1'-0". But the AutoCAD LT screen does not automatically enforce any one scaling factor or paper size. If you just start drawing stuff on the LT screen to fit your immediate needs, the final result likely won't fit neatly on a piece of paper at a desirable scale.

This article tells you how to start your drawing in such a way that you will like how it ends up. With practice, this kind of approach will become second nature.

Drawing Setup, Part 1
  Page 1: AutoCAD LT and paper
  Page 2: Planning for drawing setup
  Page 3: Create a new drawing
  Page 4: Set other system variables

About the Author: Mark Middlebrook

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