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AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Essentials

ISBN: 978-1-118-01679-4
400 pages
June 2011, ©2011
AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Essentials (1118016793) cover image


Learn the Essentials on Autodesk's powerhouse architectural software

The new Essentials series from Sybex helps you quickly learn and use Autodesk software. This beautiful, task-based, full-color Autodesk Official Training Guide thoroughly covers the fundamentals of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Readers learn how to draw in 2D, shape complex curves, manage objects with layers, organize with blocks and groups, add dimensions and annotation, work with layouts, plot and print, model in 3D, create realistic renderings, and much more.

This four-color Essentials book features real-world tutorials, downloadable before-and-after exercise files, and additional suggested exercises. This book is recommended as a Certification Preparation study guide resource for the AutoCAD Associate and Professional exams.

  • Covers AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 fundamentals, so you become quickly productive with the software
  • Prepares you for the AutoCAD 2012 Associate and Professional certification exam
  • Uses straightforward explanations and real-world, hands-on exercises and tutorials to teach the software's core features and functions
  • Helps you develop the skills you'll need throughout a production pipeline, whether you're a beginner or a more experienced user brushing up on the basics

If you want to learn AutoCAD essentials, AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Essentials is the place to start.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Getting Started 1

Exploring the AutoCAD 2012 for Windows User Interface  1

Exploring AutoCAD’s Graphical User Interface  1

Exploring AutoCAD’s Workspaces 5

The AutoCAD Ribbon 7

Setting Drawing Units  11

The Essentials and Beyond  12

Chapter 2 Basic Drawing Skills 13

Navigating 2D Drawings 13

Drawing Lines and Rectangles 17

Drawing Lines  17

Drawing Rectangles 19

Canceling, Erasing, and Undoing  21

Using Coordinate Systems  22

Using Absolute Coordinates 23

Using Relative Coordinates  23

Using Polar Coordinates 24

Drawing Circles, Arcs, and Polygons  28

Creating Circles  28

Creating Arcs  31

Drawing Polygons  32

Filleting and Chamfering Lines 34

Joining Nonparallel Lines  34

Joining Crossed Lines  35

The Essentials and Beyond  36

Chapter 3 Using Drawing Aids 37

Grid and Snap 37

Ortho and Polar Tracking 40

PolarSnap . 42

Running Object Snaps  44

From Snap 47

Object Snap Tracking  48

The Essentials and Beyond  50

Chapter 4 Editing Entities 51

Creating Selection Sets 51

Creating a Selection Set at the Select Objects: Prompt  51

Creating a Selection Set before Deciding upon a Command 55

Move and Copy  58

Rotate and Scale 61

Arrays 64

Rectangular Arrays 65

Polar Arrays  66

Trim and Extend 69

Lengthen and Stretch 70

Offset and Mirror 72

Grip Editing 74

The Essentials and Beyond . 76

Chapter 5 Shaping Curves 77

Drawing and Editing Curved Polylines  77

Drawing Ellipses 83

Drawing and Editing Splines  85

Working with Control Vertices  86

Working with Fit Points 90

Blending Between Objects with Splines  92

The Essentials and Beyond  94

Chapter 6 Controlling Object Visibility and Appearance 95

Changing Object Properties 95

Setting the Current Layer  98

Altering Objects’ Layer Assignments 101

Controlling Layer Visibility 103

Toggling Layer Status  103

Isolating Layers  106

Saving Layer States  108

Applying Linetype 109

Assigning Properties by Object or by Layer 112

Managing Layer Properties  113

The Essentials and Beyond  116

Chapter 7 Organizing Objects 117

Defining Blocks 117

Drawing a Chair and Defining It as a Block  117

Drawing a Door and Defining It as a Block 121

Inserting Blocks  122

Editing Blocks 126

Editing Block Definition Geometry 126

Assigning Floating Properties 127

Nesting Blocks  130

Exploding Blocks  131

Redefining Blocks 132

Working with Groups  135

The Essentials and Beyond  138

Chapter 8 Hatching and Gradients 139

Specifying Hatch Areas 139

Picking Points to Determine Boundaries  139

Selecting Objects to Define Boundaries  143

Associating Hatches with Boundaries  145

Hatching with Patterns  148

Specifying Properties 148

Separating Hatch Areas 150

Hatching with Gradients  153

The Essentials and Beyond  156

Chapter 9 Working with Blocks and Xrefs 157

Working with Global Blocks 157

Writing a Local Block Definition to a File  157

Inserting a Drawing as a Local Block 160

Redefining Local Blocks with Global Blocks  163

Searching for Content Across Multiple Drawings 165

Storing Content on Tool Palettes 169

Referencing External Drawings and Images  171

The Essentials and Beyond  176

Chapter 10 Creating and Editing Text 177

Creating Text Styles  177

Writing Lines of Text  179

Creating Text to Fit  179

Justifying Text  181

Transforming and Creating Text 182

Writing and Formatting Paragraphs of Text Using MTEXT  184

Editing Text 187

Editing Content and Properties 187

Working with Columns  188

The Essentials and Beyond  190

Chapter 11 Dimensioning 191

Styling Dimensions 191

Adding Dimensions 196

Using Inquiry Commands  197

Adding Dimension Objects  199

Adding and Styling Multileaders 203

Editing Dimensions  205

The Essentials and Beyond  208

Chapter 12 Keeping In Control with Constraints 209

Working with Geometric Constraints  209

Applying Dimensional Constraints and Creating User Parameters  212

Constraining Objects Simultaneously with Geometry and Dimensions  216

Making Parametric Changes to Constrained Objects 218

The Essentials and Beyond  220

Chapter 13 Working with Layouts and Annotative Objects 223

Creating Annotative Styles and Objects 223

Working with Annotative Text 224

Working with Annotative Dimensions  227

Creating Layouts 229

Adjusting Floating Viewports 232

Working on Layout1 232

Working on Layout2 234

Overriding Layer Properties in Layout Viewports 237

Drawing on Layouts  241

The Essentials and Beyond  244

Chapter 14 Printing and Plot ting 247

Configuring Output Devices 247

Setting Up a System Printer 248

Setting Up an AutoCAD Plotter 248

Creating Plot Style Tables 252

Using Plot Style Tables  255

Configuring New Drawings for Named Plot Style Tables 255

Assigning Plot Styles by Layer or by Object  258

Plotting in Modelspace  260

Plotting Layouts in Paperspace  264

Exporting to an Electronic Format  267

The Essentials and Beyond  268

Chapter 15 Storing, Presenting, and Extracting Data 271

Defining Attributes and Blocks  271

Inserting Attributed Blocks  275

Editing Table Styles and Creating Tables 278

Using Fields in Table Cells  282

Editing Table Data 285

The Essentials and Beyond  290

Chapter 16 Navigating 3D Models 293

Using Visual Styles  293

Working with Tiled Viewports  297

Navigating with the ViewCube 299

Orbiting in 3D 301

Using Cameras  302

Navigating with SteeringWheels  305

Saving Views  307

The Essentials and Beyond  310

Chapter 17 Modeling in 3D 311

Creating Surface Models 311

Making Planar Surfaces 311

Revolving 2D Profile into a 3D Model 313

Sweeping Out 3D Geometry  314

Extruding 2D Geometry into 3D 316

Editing Surface Models 317

Trimming Surfaces with Other Surfaces  318

Projecting Edges on Surfaces  319

Trimming Surfaces with Edges 321

Creating Solid Models 323

Extruding Solid Objects 323

Lofting Solid Objects 327

Editing Solid Models 328

Performing Boolean Operations  328

Editing Solids 331

Smoothing Meshes 334

The Essentials and Beyond  336

Chapter 18 Presenting Your Design 337

Assigning Materials 337

Placing and Adjusting Lights 342

Adding Artificial Lights  342

Simulating Natural Light  348

Creating Renderings 349

The Essentials and Beyond  353

Appendix AutoCAD Certification 355

Index 365

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Author Information

Scott Onstott is a consultant, lecturer, author, and independent video producer who has more than 13 years of experience teaching and writing about architectural and design visualization software.?He has a degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, worked in several prominent architecture and engineering firms in San Francisco, and has taught thousands of students in three Bay Area universities.?He is the coauthor of AutoCAD: Professional Tips and Techniques, author of Enhancing Architectural Drawings and Models with Photoshop, and offers instructional video courses on AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max,?Photoshop,?and SketchUp.?Scott is a columnist at Photoshop User magazine and regularly contributes to popular industry websites.

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Download TitleSizeDownload
Sample Archive Chapters 2-18 22.78 MB Click to Download
Chapter 2 153.61 KB Click to Download
Chapter 3 370.24 KB Click to Download
Chapter 4 2.30 MB Click to Download
Chapter 5 1.01 MB Click to Download
Chapter 6 272.11 KB Click to Download
Chapter 7 587.63 KB Click to Download
Chapter 8 526.80 KB Click to Download
Chapter 9 931.01 KB Click to Download
Chapter 10 461.77 KB Click to Download
Chapter 11 176.55 KB Click to Download
Chapter 12 145.82 KB Click to Download
Chapter 13 2.08 MB Click to Download
Chapter 14 275.76 KB Click to Download
Chapter 15 553.23 KB Click to Download
Chapter 16 4.98 MB Click to Download
Chapter 17 3.06 MB Click to Download
Chapter 18 4.95 MB Click to Download
Ancillary Exercises 6.18 MB Click to Download
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Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.

ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
4 67 Text correction: Incorrect measurement in Polar Arrays exercise
In the last sentence of step 8., the reader is instructed to type 6" (or 15 cm). The correct measurement is 4'6" or 140 cm for metric users.
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Press Release

March 22, 2011
Wiley Announces New Autodesk Official Training Guides for 2012 Products

March 22, 2011 (San Francisco, CA) – Sybex, an imprint of Wiley, will publish sixteen new books on Autodesk’s 2012 software, including five books in the exciting new full-color Essentials series. Autodesk today announced their 2012 software products, and Sybex produces Autodesk Official Training Guides on their top software products to help readers quickly learn and use their powerful 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software packages.

Sybex’s newly launched Essentials series provides aspiring CAD/CAM and 3D animation professionals with the fundamental skills needed to become quickly productive in Autodesk software.  After explaining the core tools and capabilities of the software, each Essentials book uses a task-based approach and step-by-step exercises to help learners acquire skills right away.   These tutorials offer realistic, professional-level instruction, and each full-color book can be used to prepare for Autodesk’s certification exams and features downloadable files showing the starting and ending state of the project.  Complete instructor resources are also provided for all of the Essentials and Autodesk Official Training Guides.

Sybex is one of two companies designated by Autodesk as a provider of Autodesk Official Training Guides for Autodesk’s 2012 products. The Autodesk Official Training Guide brand ensures that books have been reviewed and recommended by Autodesk for both classroom training and self-paced learning.

The 2012 Autodesk Official Training Guides and their availability dates are:

Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 Essentials (April 2011)

Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 (May 2011)

Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 (June 2011)

Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012: No Experience Required (June 2011)

Introducing Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 (June 2011)

Mastering Autodesk Navisworks 2012 (July 2011)

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 Essentials (May 2011)

Mastering AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 (May 2011)

Autodesk Inventor 2012 and Inventor LT 2012 Essentials (April 2011)

Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2012 and Inventor LT 2012 (May 2011)

AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012: No Experience Required (July 2011)

AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Essentials (May 2011)

Mastering Autodesk Revit MEP 2012 (August 2011)

Mastering Autodesk Maya 2012 (July 2011)

Introducing Autodesk Maya 2012 (May 2011)

Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 Essentials (June 2011)

Visit and for additional information about these books and Autodesk certifications.

For more information on all Sybex products please visit For all recent Wiley news, visit the Wiley press room at and follow Wiley Tech on Twitter @WileyTech.

About Sybex®

Sybex has been a leading publisher for the global information technology community for nearly 30 years. Known for its high quality publications that are translated into more than 20 languages, Sybex publishes about 100 new titles a year and has an impressive backlist of over 450 titles in the graphics, digital photography, operating systems, programming, and gaming categories. Sybex enjoys a very strong presence in the areas of IT and Business certifications and has close relationships with a number of leading technology companies, including Autodesk, Microsoft, and Juniper. For more information, visit Sybex is an imprint of Wiley.

Autodesk, Autodesk Inventor, ATC, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, Civil 3D, Maya, Navisworks, Revit, and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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