AutoCAD 2017 Essentials (Part 1)

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The objective of AutoCAD®/AutoCAD LT® 2017 (R1): Essentials is to enable students to create a basic 2D drawing in the AutoCAD software. Even at this fundamental level, the AutoCAD software is one of the most sophisticated computer applications that you are likely to encounter. Therefore, learning to use it can be challenging.

AutoCAD®/AutoCAD LT® 2017 (R1): Essentials covers the essential core topics for working with the AutoCAD software.
The teaching strategy is to start with a few basic tools that enable the student to create and edit a simple drawing, and then continue to develop those tools. More advanced tools are introduced throughout the student guide.

The AutoCAD®/AutoCAD LT® 2017 (R1): Essentials student guide is designed for those using AutoCAD® or AutoCAD LT® 2017 with a Windows operating system. This student guide is not designed for the AutoCAD for Mac software.

All topics, including features and commands, relate to both the AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT software unless specifically noted otherwise.


Not every command or option is covered, because the intent is to show the most essential tools and concepts, such as:

  • Understanding the AutoCAD workspace and user interface.
  • Using basic drawing, editing, and viewing tools.
  • Organizing drawing objects on layers.
  • Inserting reusable symbols (blocks).
  • Preparing a layout to be plotted.
  • Adding text, hatching, and dimensions.


Chapter 1: Getting Started with AutoCAD

  • Starting the Software
  • Start Tab
  • User Interface
  • Working with Commands
  • Ribbon
  • Command Line and Dynamic Input Prompt
  • Application Menu
  • Quick Access Toolbar
  • Additional Shortcut Menus
  • Cartesian Workspace
  • Locating Points
  • Measuring Angles
  • Drawings Created at Full Scale
  • Opening an Existing Drawing File
  • Opening Drawings
  • Multiple Drawings
  • Closing Files

Practice 1a Opening a Drawing

  • Viewing Your Drawing
  • Wheel Mouse Zoom and Pan
  • Navigation Tools
  • Pan and Zoom Commands

Practice 1b Viewing a Drawing

  • Saving Your Work
  • Automatic Saves
  • Saving in Various Formats

Practice 1c Saving a Drawing File

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 2: Basic Drawing and Editing Commands

  • Drawing Lines
  • Specifying Length and Angle
  • Line Command Options
  • Erasing Objects
  • Drawing Lines with Polar Tracking
  • Drawing Rectangles
  • Drawing Circles
  • Undo and Redo Actions

Practice 2a Basic Drawing and Editing Commands

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 3: Projects: Creating a Simple Drawing

  • Create a Simple Drawing
  • Create Simple Shapes

Chapter 4: Drawing Precision in AutoCAD

  • Using Running Object Snaps
  • Object Snap Settings

Practice 4a Using Object Snaps

  • Using Object Snap Overrides

Practice 4b Object Snap Overrides

  • Polar Tracking at Angles

Practice 4c Polar Tracking

  • Object Snap Tracking

Practice 4d Object Snap Tracking I

Practice 4e Object Snap Tracking II

  • Drawing with Snap and Grid (Optional)
  • Snap and Grid Settings
  • Isometric Drawing Environment

Practice 4f Placing Objects on a Drawing

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 5: Making Changes in Your Drawing

  • Selecting Objects for Editing
  • Implied Selection
  • Selecting Objects Before the Command

Practice 5a Selecting Objects

  • Moving Objects
  • Copying Objects
  • Rotating Objects
  • Scaling Objects
  • Mirroring Objects

Practice 5b Modifying Objects

  • Editing with Grips
  • Working with Hot Grips
  • Grips with Dynamic Dimensions

Practice 5c Editing with Grips I

Practice 5d Editing with Grips II

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 6: Projects: Making Your Drawings More Precise

  • Schematic Project: Electronics Diagram
  • Architectural Project: Landscape
  • Mechanical Project: Using Polar and Object Tracking
  • Mechanical Project: Surge Protector
  • Mechanical Project: Satellite

Chapter 7: Organizing Your Drawing with Layers

  • Creating New Drawings With Templates
  • What is a Template?
  • Starting New Drawings
  • Working With Different Types of Units

Practice 7a Using a Template to Start a Drawing

  • What are Layers?
  • Setting the Current Layer
  • Layer States
  • On/Off
  • Thaw/Freeze
  • Lock/ Unlock

Practice 7b Working with Layers and Layer States

  • Changing an Object’s Layer
  • Match Layer

Practice 7c Changing an Object’s Layer

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 8: Advanced Object Types

  • Drawing Arcs
  • Arc Command Options
  • Notes on Arcs

Practice 8a Drawing an Arc

  • Drawing Polylines
  • Editing Polylines
  • Converting Lines and Arcs to Polylines
  • Turning Polylines into Lines and Arcs

Practice 8b Drawing and Editing Polylines

  • Drawing Polygons
  • Practice 8c Drawing Polygons
  • Drawing Ellipses

Practice 8d Drawing Ellipses

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 9: Analyzing Model and Object Properties

  • Working with Object Properties
  • Quick Properties
  • Properties Palette
  • Matching Properties
  • Quick Select

Practice 9a Working with Object Properties (Mechanical)

Practice 9b Working with Object Properties (Architectural)

  • Measuring Objects
  • Using the Measure Tools
  • Measuring Distances
  • Measuring Radius and Diameter
  • Measuring Angles
  • Measuring Areas

Practice 9c Measuring Objects (Architectural)

Practice 9d Measuring Objects (Mechanical)

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 10: Projects: Drawing Organization and Information

  • Architectural Project
  • Mechanical Project
  • Civil Project

Chapter 11: Advanced Editing Commands

  • Trimming and Extending Objects
  • Trimming Objects
  • Extending Objects

Practice 11a Extending and Trimming Objects

Practice 11b Trimming Objects on a Drawing

Practice 11c Break at Point

  • Stretching Objects
  • Notes on Stretching Objects

Practice 11d Stretching Objects

  • Creating Fillets and Chamfers
  • Filleting Objects
  • Chamfering Objects

Practice 11e Filleting Objects

Practice 11f Chamfering Objects

  • Offsetting Objects

Practice 11g Offsetting Objects

  • Creating Arrays of Objects
  • Rectangular Array
  • Polar Array
  • Path Array

Practice 11h Rectangular Array

Practice 11i Polar Array

Practice 11j Path Array

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 12: Inserting Blocks

  • What are Blocks?
  • Working with Dynamic Blocks
  • Manipulating Dynamic Blocks
  • Inserting Blocks
  • Inserting Blocks using the Tool Palettes
  • Controlling the Tool Palettes Window
  • Inserting Blocks using the DesignCenter
  • DesignCenter Content

Practice 12a Working with Blocks

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 13: Projects: Creating More Complex Objects

  • Mechanical Project 1: Plate
  • Mechanical Project 2: Gasket
  • Mechanical Project 3: Plate
  • Mechanical Project 4: Rocker Arm
  • Architectural Project 1: Floor Plan
  • Architectural Project 2: Floor Plan
  • Civil Project: Parking Lot

Chapter 14: Setting Up a Layout

  • Printing Concepts
  • Model Space Printing
  • Paper Space Layout Printing
  • Working in Layouts
  • Switch Between Paper Space & Model Space
  • Creating Layouts
  • Creating Layout Viewports
  • Rectangular Viewports
  • Polygonal Viewports
  • Object Viewports
  • Named Viewports
  • Modifying Viewports with Grips
  • Scaling Viewports
  • Locking the Viewport
  • Guidelines for Layouts

Practice 14a Working With Layouts

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 15: Printing Your Drawing

  • Printing Layouts
  • Previewing the Plot
  • Print and Plot Settings

Practice 15a Printing Layouts and Check Plots

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 16: Projects: Preparing to Print

  • Mechanical Project
  • Architectural Project

Chapter 17: Text

  • Working with Annotations
  • Working with Annotative Styles
  • Adding Text in a Drawing
  • Multiline Text
  • Copying and Importing Text
  • Spell Checking

Practice 17a Adding Text in a Drawing

  • Modifying Multiline Text
  • Editing Multiline Text
  • Changing Text Width and Length
  • Changing Text Properties
  • Spell Checking

Practice 17b Modifying Multiline Text

  • Formatting Multiline Text
  • Formatting the Multiline Text Object
  • Formatting Selected Text
  • Formatting Paragraph Text
  • Creating Columns

Practice 17c Formatting Multiline Text in a Drawing

  • Adding Notes with Leaders to Your Drawing
  • Modifying Multileaders

Practice 17d Adding Notes to Your Drawing

  • Creating Tables
  • Populating Table Cells
  • Calculations in Tables

Practice 17e Creating Tables

  • Modifying Tables
  • Modifying Cells, Rows, and Columns
  • Modifying the Entire Table

Practice 17f Modifying Tables

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 18: Hatching

  • Hatching
  • Applying a Hatch: Tool Palettes
  • Applying a Hatch: Hatch Command
  • Hatch Pattern and Properties
  • Hatch Options
  • Editing Hatches
  • Hatch Editor Tab
  • Edit Hatch Command
  • Grip Editing Hatch Boundaries

Practice 18a Hatching Using the Tool Palettes

Practice 18b Hatching (Mechanical)

Practice 18c Hatching (Architectural)

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 19: Adding Dimensions

  • Dimensioning Concepts
  • General Dimensioning
  • Adding Linear Dimensions
  • Individual Linear Dimensions
  • Multiple Linear Dimensions
  • Quick Dimensioning

Practice 19a Adding Linear Dimensions (Architectural)

Practice 19b Adding Linear Dimensions (Mechanical)

  • Adding Radial and Angular Dimensions
  • Radius and Diameter Dimensions
  • Angular Dimensions

Practice 19c Adding Radial and Angular Dimensions (Architectural)

Practice 19d Adding Radial and Angular Dimensions (Mechanical)

  • Editing Dimensions
  • Dimension Shortcut Menu
  • Editing Dimensions Using Grips
  • Dimension Grips Shortcut Options
  • Editing the Dimension Text
  • Adjusting Dimension Spacing
  • Dimension Breaks

Practice 19e Editing Dimensions (Architectural)

Practice 19f Editing Dimensions (Mechanical)

  • Chapter Review Questions
  • Command Summary

Chapter 20: Projects: Annotating Your Drawing

  • Mechanical Project
  • Architectural Project 1
  • Architectural Project 2
  • Civil Project



  • A working knowledge of basic design/drafting procedures and terminology.
  • A working knowledge of your operating system.




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