Command Line:

You can use the Command-Line at the bottom to enable tools and manage drawings. For example, you can type Polyline and apply it with the Enter key to enable the Polyline tool.

You can also choose between the several tool options seen in the grey dialog box before by typing the character highlighted in blue color that corresponds to the interesting option, applying with the Enter key.

Basic Knowledge of AutoCAD Software


To help you realize drawings fast and precisely, AutoCAD has several drawing aids available, all collected in the bottom right corner of the workspace. You can use GRID MODE to show or hide the grid, SNAP MODE to enable or disable snappings to the grid itself.

ORTHOMODE to move your cursor just along the X or Y axis and Object Snap to snap to fundamental object keypoints in green color, such as squares for endpoints and verticals; triangles for midpoints; circles for centers and crosses for intersections.

Object snap:

AutoCAD also creates green dashed guidelines starting from the hovered object key points in order to draw along parallel, perpendicular directions or make intersections. You can manage the list of keypoints and directions to take into account from the list next to Object Snap.


You can use the visualization tools on the right to check the status and the results of your drawings. Use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out around your cursor and the Pen tool to click and drag around your workspace. Use the Escape key to finish with the tool.

You can also use the 3D View Cube to check your project from any point of view. As for this 2D drawing you can use the arrows in the top right corner to rotate by 90 degrees or drag the basic circumference to rotate in 2D as you like.

Manage your drawing:

You can also make and manage your drawings by using your keyboard. Let's draw a Polyline for example. As you enable the Polyline tool, you can drop the object by using either your cursor to fix the nodes or your keyboard to insert values directly.

In addition, you can use your Up and Down Arrow keys to browse inside the list of options within the grey dialog box, in order to change the way to draw the object or specify its properties depending on the current drawing step.

For example, you can choose Arc to start drawing curved sides and Line to return to straight sides. Remember to use the Enter key to apply.

Select and edit:

Now let's see how to edit objects inside AutoCAD! When no tools are enabled, your cursor is in selection mode, showing a small square on its center and ready to interact with any object. You can hover over it to view information and click on it to select it. This will be highlighted in blue color with several editing nodes on it you can use to change and edit its shape.

When selecting Lines, Arcs, Circles and Ellipses, big squared nodes show up. You can use the central one to move and place the object and all the others to shape it. You can also hover over these nodes to get measurements on angles, length, and radius.

In the case of Lines and Arcs, you can also enable additional editing options from the list next to your cursor. You can choose Stretch to move the current endpoint; Lengthen to size the segment or arc length  and Radius to size the arc radius.

In the case of Polylines, Rectangles, and Polygons you have big nodes for the verticals and smaller ones for the sides. If you hover over the big nodes, you get measurements on the object and you can either Add or Remove the selected Vertex.

Choose Stretch Vertex to move it and shape the sides connected to it. Consider that you do not have any central node to move Polylines directly. You will have to use the Move tool we are going to see shortly.

Whereas you can hover over the smaller node to manage and edit the polyline sides. Choose Stretch to move the entire side; Convert to Arc to turn the straight side into a curved one and Convert to Line to return to a straight side.

You can cut, copy and paste a selected object by using CTRL+X, C and V respectively. To remove an object, just select it and use the Delete key. You can use CTRL+Z to undo any action if you make a mistake. A gizmo system is indeed an object that can be managed by using its nodes.

You can move this reference with the square node and rotate its X and Y axes with its blue circles. Consider that the whole project grid will get updated to this change.

You can find other advanced tools to edit your 2D objects inside the Modify section, under the Home tab. To use these, you can either select the interested objects first and then enable the tool to start editing or enable the tool first and then select all the objects. Indeed the multiple selections allow us to edit all the objects in the same way and in one move.

You can click on each object to go on with your selection precisely or use the Lasso selections to make this faster. If you click and hold while dragging your cursor towards the right direction you create a Window Lasso, selecting all the objects fully contained within the blue area.

Whereas if you drag towards the left direction you will make a green Crossing Lasso, which also includes the objects that simply cross the borders. You can use the Escape key to deselect all. Once the objects are selected.

You can use the Move tool to move; Rotate to rotate the objects, defining rotation center and angle; and Scale to scale the object by saving its aspect ratio. Now, let's see how to save and export your drawings from AutoCAD!

See also:

  1.  Basic Knowledge of AutoCAD Software/link/button/#27ae60
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