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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

Defining a unit of measure


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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

with Jeff Bartels
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 23m 33s
    1. Understanding model space
      3m 44s
    2. Accessing AutoCAD's tools
      3m 2s
    3. Leveraging dockable palettes
      3m 1s
    4. Monitoring the Status bar
      1m 28s
    5. Understanding the anatomy of a command
      2m 14s
    6. Customizing AutoCAD's preferences
      3m 13s
    7. Accessing help
      3m 38s
    8. Saving a workspace
      3m 13s
  3. 19m 42s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding mouse functions
      2m 44s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regenning
      4m 24s
    4. Working in a multiple-document environment
      2m 39s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 29s
    6. Saving time with templates
      4m 24s
  4. 14m 35s
    1. Constructing lines
      2m 20s
    2. Locking angles with the Ortho and Polar modes
      4m 49s
    3. Drawing circles
      4m 10s
    4. Activating the Heads-Up Display
      3m 16s
  5. 14m 48s
    1. Defining a unit of measure
      6m 28s
    2. Constructing geometry using architectural measurements
      4m 6s
    3. Working with metric units
      4m 14s
  6. 23m 45s
    1. Understanding the Cartesian coordinate system
      4m 53s
    2. Locking to geometry using object snaps
      7m 42s
    3. Automating object snap selection
      7m 26s
    4. Using temporary tracking to find points in space
      3m 44s
  7. 19m 30s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      4m 56s
    2. Drawing polygons
      3m 4s
    3. Creating an ellipse
      5m 9s
    4. Organizing with hatch patterns
      6m 21s
  8. 29m 46s
    1. Making geometric changes using the property changer
      3m 38s
    2. Moving and copying elements
      4m 28s
    3. Rotating elements
      3m 48s
    4. Trimming and extending geometry
      5m 10s
    5. Creating offsets
      6m 16s
    6. Erasing elements
      2m 46s
    7. Undoing and redoing actions
      3m 40s
  9. 11m 52s
    1. Selecting objects using windows
      3m 46s
    2. Adding and removing from selections
      3m 43s
    3. Using keyboard shortcuts
      4m 23s
  10. 51m 12s
    1. Creating fillets
      3m 52s
    2. Creating chamfers
      3m 51s
    3. Copying objects into a rotated pattern
      4m 20s
    4. Copying objects into a rectangular pattern
      4m 58s
    5. Stretching elements
      4m 4s
    6. Creating mirrored copies
      2m 12s
    7. Scaling elements
      5m 0s
    8. Leveraging grips
      7m 20s
    9. Exploding elements
      5m 47s
    10. Joining elements together
      3m 44s
    11. Editing hatch patterns
      6m 4s
  11. 32m 19s
    1. Understanding layers
      2m 43s
    2. Creating and adjusting layers
      7m 20s
    3. Using layers to organize a drawing
      9m 17s
    4. Changing popular settings using the layer control
      3m 30s
    5. Understanding the BYLAYER property
      3m 37s
    6. Restoring previous layer states
      3m 42s
    7. Using existing geometry to set the current layer
      2m 10s
  12. 37m 43s
    1. Creating single-line text
      3m 11s
    2. Justifying text
      5m 18s
    3. Controlling appearance using text styles
      6m 10s
    4. Annotating with multi-line text
      5m 10s
    5. Editing text
      4m 32s
    6. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 29s
    7. Incorporating symbols
      5m 28s
    8. Correcting spelling errors
      4m 25s
  13. 28m 37s
    1. Creating general dimensions
      4m 13s
    2. Creating continuous and baseline dimensions
      2m 13s
    3. Controlling appearance using dimension styles
      4m 57s
    4. Modifying dimensions
      6m 6s
    5. Creating multileaders
      2m 53s
    6. Controlling appearance using multileader styles
      3m 23s
    7. Modifying multileaders
      4m 52s
  14. 25m 19s
    1. Inserting blocks
      4m 34s
    2. Creating blocks
      6m 41s
    3. Leveraging blocks
      5m 39s
    4. Redefining blocks
      3m 1s
    5. Building a block library
      5m 24s
  15. 13m 50s
    1. Querying a drawing using rollover tooltips
      2m 9s
    2. Taking measurements using the Distance command
      3m 2s
    3. Modifying properties using the Quick Properties tool
      4m 25s
    4. Automating calculations using the Quick Calculator feature
      4m 14s
  16. 36m 6s
    1. Creating quick plots
      6m 4s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 48s
    3. Choosing line weights
      4m 32s
    4. Creating a layout, pt. 1: Choosing a paper size
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a layout, pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      2m 29s
    6. Creating a layout, pt. 3: Cutting viewports
      6m 9s
    7. Reusing layouts
      4m 3s
    8. Organizing layouts
      4m 19s
  17. 16m 49s
    1. Using the Annotative property to automatically size text
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Annotative property to automatically size dimensions
      4m 34s
    3. Using the Annotative property to automatically size multileaders
      3m 58s
    4. Changing the scale assigned to annotations
      4m 4s
  18. 6m 56s
    1. Saving drawings to other formats
      2m 27s
    2. Plotting to the Design Web format
      2m 15s
    3. Plotting to PDF
      1m 20s
    4. Sending drawings via email
      54s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

Video: Defining a unit of measure

Up to this point, we've been referring to our distances as units. Now, are these units inches, millimeters, or feet? Let's take a second and discuss how we assign a real-world unit of measurement to our drawings. As you can see, I've just launched my AutoCAD 2011 and I'm currently sitting in the unsaved Drawing1 file. I'd like to start out by creating a line segment. So I'm going to launch the Line command. I'll pick a point on screen and I'll pull over to the right here a little bit. the angle isn't important right now. I'm just going to type a distance of 1 and I'll hit Enter.

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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
6h 48m Beginner Jul 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding model space
  • Working in a multiple-document environment
  • Organizing drawings using layers
  • Creating basic geometry
  • Configuring units for architectural, civil, or metric work
  • Incorporating blocks (symbols) into a working file
  • Maintaining accuracy with coordinates and snaps
  • Creating annotations that automatically size themselves
  • Moving and copying elements
  • Transferring data between drawings
  • Preparing standardized layouts with title blocks
  • Sharing drawings
Subjects:
CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Defining a unit of measure

Up to this point, we've been referring to our distances as units. Now, are these units inches, millimeters, or feet? Let's take a second and discuss how we assign a real-world unit of measurement to our drawings. As you can see, I've just launched my AutoCAD 2011 and I'm currently sitting in the unsaved Drawing1 file. I'd like to start out by creating a line segment. So I'm going to launch the Line command. I'll pick a point on screen and I'll pull over to the right here a little bit. the angle isn't important right now. I'm just going to type a distance of 1 and I'll hit Enter.

And then I'll hit Esc to cancel out of the Line command. Let's zoom in a little bit. I'll center this line on screen. Now, this line segment is 1 unit long. My question is what does this unit represent? Is this line one mile, is it one millimeter, or is this line one foot? Well, this line represents whatever unit of measurement I want it to represent. All I have to do is tell AutoCAD the units I'd like to assign to this drawing. Let me show you where we go to do that. I'm going to open up the Application menu, then I'll come down to Drawing Utilities and I'll come up and select Units.

This brings up the Drawing Units dialog box and right here is where I can assign a unit of measurement for this drawing. As you can see, AutoCAD is defaulting to Inches so technically this line that I created is one inch long. Now, I do have other choices. If I open up this fly-out, it'll bring up a menu of other options. Most of the popular choices are at the top of the menu. For right now, I'm going to leave this set to Inches, and at this point, you maybe asking yourself, what unit of measurement should I be using for my drawings. Well, consider this rule of thumb.

If you're drawing something for your own personal usage, use whatever unit of measurement is most convenient for you. If you're doing production work, check with your CAD Manager or other people that work in your field to find out what the industry standards are for your type of work. I can tell you this. if you're an architect, your drawings will always be set up such that each unit equals an inch. If you're a surveyor or civil engineer, your drawings will always be set up such that each unit equals a foot. Now, that I've selected my units, take a look at this note right here. It says, Units to scale inserted content.

That means if my next door neighbor is using AutoCAD and he creates a drawing and his units are set to Millimeters, if he saves his file and gives it to me and I were to insert his drawing into mine, AutoCAD will scale his drawing such that it comes in at the proportionally correct size in my drawing. So AutoCAD will do the units conversion scaling for me. Let's take a look at the top of this dialog box. Up here I have two groups. Length and Angle. These settings control how AutoCAD lists my geometry. That means if I were to ask AutoCAD about this line segment, AutoCAD would give me its length in Decimal inches to a precision of four decimal spaces.

And I would see its angle given in Decimal Degrees to the even degree. Note that in both cases I can open up this Precision fly-out and I can run my Precision up to 8 spaces to the right of the decimal. I'm going to change my Angle Precision to two decimal spaces. I'm going to leave the Length at four. Let's click OK to close this dialog box and we'll test these settings. To list the properties of my line, I'm going to use the Property Changer. So I'll select my line and then I'll come over here. Now, my Property Changer is open in my interface.

If yours is not, you can always hit Ctrl+1 to bring your Property Changer up on screen. If I look right down here under the Geometry heading, I can see that the Length and Angle of this line are both being shown using decimals. The Length is being shown with a Precision of four decimal spaces and the Angle is being given to two. I'm going to move outside the palette. I'll let this collapse and then I'll hit Esc to deselect my line. Let's go back to the Units dialog box and we'll take a look at some of the other settings. Once again, I'll open up the Application menu. We'll come over to Drawing Utilities and then we'll select Units.

Currently, I can see that my Angle Type is set to Decimal Degrees. If I click this fly-out, we can see that there are some additional choices. The selection that I make here will depend on the type of work that I'm doing. By far, the most popular option is Decimal Degrees. If you have any questions regarding the other available options, simply press the F1 key and AutoCAD will give you more information. As you can see, my Length Type is currently set to Decimal. If I click this fly-out, we can see that there are additional choices. By far the most popular choices in this menu are Decimal and Architectural.

As an example, I'm going to set this to Architectural. If you have any questions regarding the other options, press F1 for more information. Notice that when I change the Length Type to Architectural, my Precision is now being shown using fractional units. This means that if I was to list my geometry now, it would be listed in feet and inches. In fact, if you're an architect, these settings are what you'll probably use for all of your drawings. Let's click OK to close the dialog box. I'd like to open a couple of real-world drawings so we can see how the units are set inside those files.

To do that, I'll move up to the Quick Access toolbar and click the Open icon. We'll look inside the chapter_04 folder, I'm going to start with this drawing called survey and I'll click Open. This drawing represents a plan of survey. This cyan line represents the property boundary. I'm going to zoom in a little bit on this line and we can see that it has a length of 122.18 feet. I'll select the line segment and I'll open up the Property Changer, and if I look right down here, I can see this line has a Length of 122.18.

So in this drawing, each unit must equal 1 foot. Let's verify that. I'll move through the menus here and we'll open up the Drawing Units dialog box. We can see right here in this drawing, each unit equals a foot. I'm going to close this dialog box. we'll close this drawing and let's open one more. Once again, I'll click Open. This time we'll open up the drawing called bracket. Now, this drawing was created using metric measurements. If I zoom in on this whole, I can see that it's dimensioned with a radius of 5 millimeters.

I'll select this circle, I'll come over to my Property Changer and I can see this circle has a radius of 5. So in this drawing, each unit must equal 1 millimeter. Let's verify that. We'll come back to the Drawing Units dialog box. We'll take a look at our Drawing Units and we can see that in this drawing each unit equals 1 Millimeter. AutoCAD by nature is flexible enough to allow you to draft using whatever unit of measurement is most convenient for you. And whether you like drafting in inches, feet, millimeters or something else entirely, you could always find whatever you need in the Units dialog box.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training.


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Q: Despite following the tutorials, I am having trouble in AutoCAD Architecture 2011. I cannot copy basic line drawings of simple architecture from one file to another. I tile two AutoCAD documents open simultaneously and click on a geometry, let go, click again and hold and try to drag to the second document, but to no avail. What could be causing the problem?
A: There are a few possible solutions. At the command line, type "PICKFIRST" and press Enter. Make sure this variable is set to 1. If the value is set to 0 instead of 1, this would result in the problem described. Having PICKFIRST set to 1 (normally the default setting for "vanilla" AutoCAD) allows you to select an object first, and then launch an editing command (like Move or Rotate or Erase). Thus, you can work in both directions. Launch the Editing command first and then select objects, or visa versa. 
If PICKFIRST is not the issue, the problem might be something native to AutoCAD for Architecture, as there are some differences between that version and plain AutoCAD. Don't forget, you can also move geometry from one drawing to another by using Copy/Paste. Simply select your geometry and right-click, select copy, then click in your other drawing, right-click, and select Paste. Note that the Copy/Paste options are also available on the Home tab of the Ribbon. Copy/Paste should work regardless of your PICKFIRST setting.
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