Touring the interface
Video: Touring the interfaceIn this lesson we're going to tour the AutoCAD WS interface. I'll start by logging into the service, I'll do that by visiting my web browser, we'll go to the autocadws.com website, and I will enter my credentials here at the top of the screen, and I'll click Login. In this case, I'm not going to save the password information. Let me start by mentioning that the resolution that I'm recording at is probably smaller than what you're using for your monitor.
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This course covers the basics of AutoCAD WS, focusing on workflows and collaboration that will help you and your team work more efficiently with this cloud-based CAD application. Author Jeff Bartels explains how to use the mobile and browser versions of the app, how to upload files and folders, and how to access and review drawing content. The course also shows how to perform standard markups, edit geometry and annotations, and plot to both PDF and DWF formats. A dedicated collaboration chapter demonstrates how to share drawings and use the Timeline feature to keep track of a drawing's version history.
- Creating an AutoCAD WS account
- Organizing files and folders
- Viewing and editing drawings
- Taking measurements
- Redlining desired changes
- Accessing and sharing drawings remotely
- Editing annotations
- Creating and inserting blocks
- Plotting drawings to PDF or DWF
- Incorporating aerial underlays
- Practicing real-time collaboration
Touring the interface
In this lesson we're going to tour the AutoCAD WS interface. I'll start by logging into the service, I'll do that by visiting my web browser, we'll go to the autocadws.com website, and I will enter my credentials here at the top of the screen, and I'll click Login. In this case, I'm not going to save the password information. Let me start by mentioning that the resolution that I'm recording at is probably smaller than what you're using for your monitor.
So I'm going to make some changes to my screen that you'll probably not have to do. I am going to start by clicking this gear in the upper-right corner, I'll come over to Zoom, and I'll change this to 75%. While this won't affect the size of the text or icons, it will force the application to fit on my monitor. I am going to do one more thing. I'll press F11, this will hide the interface for my web browser. The AutoCAD WS interface is divided up into three areas, Messages, Drawings, and Editor.
We can jump between the areas by using these toggles on the left side of the screen. We'll talk about the messages area first. Messages is where you find out what's new. As you can see, with each new account we get four sample DWG files to experiment with. Down below you'll find a history of recent events. Now since this is a new account, there is only one notification here about an update to the software. This list of recent events, by the way, will tell you more than just software updates, it will also itemize the things that you do.
As an example, let's upload a drawing, and we'll see how it affects this list. To upload a drawing, I'll click the Upload drawings button, I will then click Browse, and on the Desktop I'm going to open the Exercise Files folder, inside chapter_01 I'll select this drawing called profile, and I'll click Open to upload the file to my account. Once the drawing has been uploaded, I'll click the X to close this dialog box and notice how this list was updated. In addition, there is an icon for this file up above.
Now this is just a drawing that I uploaded. If someone were to share a drawing with me, it will also show up here as a recent item. This column over here on the right is just another place where you can find program updates and drawing information. So as you continue to work with AutoCAD WS, keep an eye on the Messages area to stay up to date with the software and your recent activity. I am going to select the Drawings toggle, we'll talk about that area next. Drawings is where we organize the files that are uploaded to our account, it works a lot like the File Manager on your computer.
Using this icon, I can create a new folder. I can use this one to delete a folder or a drawing. I can use this icon to connect my WS with another online storage location like Dropbox or Buzzsaw. Using these icons a little further down, I can access the Clipboard functionality. Using these icons on the right, I can change the way my files are displayed on screen. In the event I accumulate several files, I can use the Search area at the top of the screen to locate a specific drawing.
Over here to the left, I have a button that gives me another opportunity to upload data, I can use this button to share drawings with others. I can use this one to download a drawing to my local hard drive. So when it comes to managing your data, the Drawings area is the place you want to be. Finally, we'll talk about the editor. This is where we can make changes to the drawings that have been uploaded to the account. Currently all of the tools are grayed out, and it's because I do not have a drawing open. I'm going to flip back to the Drawings area, and I'll select this drawing that I uploaded, and I'll click Open to open it in the Editor.
As I flip through these tabs in the Ribbon, notice how similar the AutoCAD WS interface looks to the interface used by AutoCAD. This editor is essentially a free-of-charge flash-based version of AutoCAD. Now, since it is a free version, it has a limited set of tools. However, the tools it has are more than enough to take measurements, make changes, and collaborate with others. To close this drawing, I'll click the X at the bottom of the screen to close the tab. This returns me to the drawing area.
So when we look at the overall AutoCAD WS service, we are getting web-based file storage where we can access our files from any computer. We can also make changes to those files using the built-in editor. This Messages area is a lot like a personal assistant keeping us informed about program updates and monitoring our drawing activity. The fact that all of this functionality is also free makes AutoCAD WS a perfect tool to add to our workflow.
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