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AutoCAD Essentials with Jeff Bartels is a multi-part series that takes a more modular approach to this massive program, used for everything from 2D and 3D CAD design, drafting, and modeling to architectural drawing and engineering projects. This first installment includes a lengthy tour of the interface, from understanding the concept of model space to customizing the AutoCAD preferences and working with dockable palettes. The second half of the course show how to manage your drawings, including getting the most from the mouse and many shortcuts, creating time-saving templates, and plotting from either model space or in a layout.
After you install AutoCAD 2013 on your system, you'll find three new icons out here on the desktop. Autodesk Design Review is an application that's a lot like Adobe Acrobat Reader. You see, in AutoCAD we can print drawings to a file format called DWF, which stands for Design Web Format. The Design Review Program allows us to open those files such that we can print them and mark them up. Using Design Review, you can adopt a completely paperless workflow while revising your designs. Inventor Fusion is a stand-alone application that offers extended 3D editing tools that are not found in native AutoCAD.
In the event you're working in 3D, you can pass your drawings over to Inventor Fusion and use its larger tool set to edit the model. When you're finished, you can pass the drawings right back into AutoCAD to finalize and annotate your design. To launch AutoCAD 2013, I'm going to double-click the icon. Let me mention that I'm working with a fresh install of the application. For this reason, we are seeing the Welcome screen pop up. Before I close this, take a look at some of the tools we have in this dialogue box. They're divided up into three columns: Work, Learn, and Extend.
In the Work column, you'll find several common file maintenance tools. For instance, we can create a new drawing from here, we can open a drawing, and I can also use this menu at the bottom to open any of the recent files that I've been working on. In the Learn column, you'll find several videos and tutorials that you can use to help you learn the application. For instance, this video will show us what's new in 2013. I can use this menu below to go through several other Getting Started videos, each of which covers a general topic.
For more information, you can click the Online Resources link. This will take you out to the internet where you'll find several free tutorials. In the Extend column, you'll find some tools that will extend the functionality of AutoCAD 2013. Let's talk about apps first. Apps are a lot like the apps that you use on your smartphone. If I click Browse For Apps, this will take me out to the internet where I will find a collection of free and purchasable apps that I can add to AutoCAD.
Each of these represents a tool that AutoCAD doesn't have natively. Let's talk about Autodesk 360. This represents the cloud. Having a cloud account means that you can save your drawings online such that you can easily collaborate with others. If I click the Get Started link, I can use this website to create a 360 account or I can sign into an existing account. Finally, if you're into social media, you can use these links at the bottom to access AutoCAD's Facebook and Twitter account. I'm going to click Close to close the Welcome screen.
As a side note, if you don't want this thing popping up each time you launch AutoCAD, you can simply remove the check from the Display at Startup setting. At any point if you'd like to bring this information back, you can do that by opening this menu next to the Help icon and choose Welcome Screen. Let's address one more thing. Take a look at the bottom of my screen. This area is called the command line. Depending on your installation, your command line may look a little different than mine. That's because the command line is movable. I'm going to come down and click and hold on this dotted pattern.
This represents a handle. I can then pull the command line out, and I will release it right here at the bottom-middle of the screen. Your command line by default may look like this. If it does, you can leave it that way. It'll work just fine. I prefer to have my command line docked at the bottom of the screen. To re-dock the command line, I will click and hold on the handle and I will pull this down and release. This is how you'll see my command line appear throughout this entire series. Well, now that we've launched the application and we've taken care of some initial housekeeping, we're ready to move on to the next video where we can start learning about the interface.
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