AutoCAD can be operated from clicking the icons as well as by entering the AutoCAD commands. Though for using AutoCAD commands you need to remember them, but working in AutoCAD using commands has some distinct advantages over using icons.
Advantages of using AutoCAD command over AutoCAD icons
Version independent: Over the period of time the AutoCAD GUI has changed a lot, but the AutoCAD commands remain almost unchanged. For example, the looks and icon tabs of AutoCAD 2009 are pretty attractive and different compared to the earlier versions of AutoCAD, but the commands are same. So it is easy to adapt newer version if you are familiar with the commands.
Working speed: By using AutoCAD commands you actually avoid the frequent use of mouse. This, in turn, increases your AutoCAD drafting speed.
- Better Control: By entering the correct values in a command, you will have better control over the creation of AutoCAD geometric entities. For example, if you click on the ‘Line’ icon and select points by using mouse, it may not be as accurate as you enter the length in a command prompt.
The Five Most Useful AutoCAD Commands
1. Line: Enter line or l to the command prompt. AutoCAD will ask for first point. Click on screen or enter co-ordinates. AutoCAD will ask for next point you can either click on screen or enter co-ordinates or just can specify distance. AutoCAD will keep on asking for next points until you press the "Escape" or "Enter" key.
2. Circle: Enter circle or c to the AutoCAD command prompt. It will ask for circle creation options: you can either specify center and radius or three points or radius and two line tangent to the circle. Subsequently you have to select centre or the tangent points and radius.
3. Rectangle: Enter rectangle or rec to the command prompt. AutoCAD will ask you to enter two corner points of the rectangle.
4. Trim: Enter trim or tr to AutoCAD command prompt. Select the entities against which you want to trim the other entities or simply press "Enter" to select all. Now AutoCAD will ask for the entities you want to trim.
5. Hatch: Enter hatch to command prompt. Hatch selection and boundary selection dialogue box will open. Select types of hatch and area to be hatched.
AutoCAD has many options and command icons to work. The five commands discussed in this article are the most important and bare minimum to start working in AutoCAD. Having said that, I should also say that, it is not always wise to go only with AutoCAD command as well, for example it is not a good practice to use commands for giving dimensions.
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