AutoCAD/Basic Drawing Tools

Basic drawing toolsEdit


Creates a symbol on the drawing that is tied to a specific point. It is defined by coordinates (x,y,z). It is not necessary to create points when you want to draw other geometric entities.

Construction line toolsEdit

Ray = A line with a defined starting point with infinite length at a specified slope, the command for which is "RAY" and then you need to give the specifications.

Xline = An infinite line with no start or end point at a specified slope. Base point can be snapped with middle point snap mode. Shortcut "xl"


Polylines are the main business of most drawings. A polyline is made of numerous lines/arcs/or both segmented together into one selectable object. Polylines are quite versatile and the PEDIT(Polyline Edit) command can be used to access & edit many of the features associated with them. Shortcut "pl"


Polygons are regular, multisided shapes such as pentagons, hexagons etc. When this tool is employed, AutoCAD requests the number of sides desired and then asks whether the shape is to be defined as sitting on a circle of specified radius, or by the length of a side. The objects created from this command become "Closed Polylines" and can be edited using PEDIT.


This is a quick way of drawing a four-segment polyline with four right angles. Shortcut "rec".


An arc is a circle segment. When using this tool the user can define the arc by selecting three points through which AutoCAD will generate an arc, or alternatively the user can define a center point, a radius and a range of degrees to fill.


The only variables here are radius and centre point. Shortcut "c"


Splines are a particular form of curve generated by specific mathematical equations. The user can select as many vertices as they wish, and AutoCAD will generate a spline curve that incorporates all these points. Splines are generally used for cosmetic purposes, as their mathematical complexity makes them hard to define from a technical design perspective. Shortcut "spl"


Basically an oval. Similar to a circle, except ellipses require a radius to be defined for both their vertical and horizontal components. Shortcut "el"


Hatches are area fills. They can be made up of a solid color, a gradient (in later versions of AutoCAD) or more usually a specific pattern. Hatches can be applied to a particular object such as a looped polyline, or any enclosed area. They can be (and usually should be) defined as being "associative" which means that if the area in which they are contained is adjusted, the hatching will update automatically.


Inserts a text string into the drawing. AutoCAD uses two forms of text entry, single line and multiline. These are known respectively as DTEXT and MTEXT. DTEXT is very much a leftover from AutoCAD's early years and there is no real justification for using its very basic system when the MTEXT option has features similar to a conventional text may also select command TEXT for undefined area.