Starting a drawingEdit
Upon running the program, the user will likely be prompted with an option to open an existing drawing or start afresh using a template. Templates are saved using a DWT extension and provide a quick way to get started. Having selected a template or having chosen to start from scratch, the user finds themselves at an empty drawing and is free to input information. The main area of the program window is taken up by the drawing area. This is surrounded by toolbars, a menu bar and a command line. The toolbars and the menu bar work the same way as other Windows programs, but the command line is a little more primitive. It is a throwback to the earlier versions of AutoCAD which existed in a time prior to Graphical User Interfaces and all editing had to be done by typing in commands and specifying coordinates. Even something like zooming into an area required the user to input the coordinates defining the window around the area to zoom into. Naturally enough, none of this functionality has been removed, with the result that AutoCAD now has both a modern graphical interface and a less pretty but far more flexible command line system. The advantages of using the command line to control the program will become clear later.
Using object snap modes is crucial for accurate drawing. Drawing without them will result in misaligned entities and inaccurate lengths and positioning.
They can be accessed while using a command that asks the user to input a specific point, either directly at the command line, the OSNAP toolbox or by right clicking while holding the shift key.