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When learning AutoCAD, the first fundamental skill you need is knowing how to open a file. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to open an AutoCAD drawing. To open a drawing, I'm going to move up to the Quick Access Toolbar and I'll click the Open icon. This brings up the Select File dialog box, where I can navigate through my hard drive to find my file. Now, the file I'm looking for is in the exercise files folder. So I'm going to double click to open that folder. And then I'm going to double click to open up Chapter_02, and you can see I have several drawings in this folder. Just for a second, take a look down here in the Files of type area.
Notice this says dwg. All AutoCAD drawings have a .dwg extension. dwg stands for drawing. I'm going to move up and select this drawing, the parkingLot. And notice AutoCAD gives me a nice preview of what this drawing looked like the last time it was saved. To open the drawing, I'll come down and click the Open button, and as you can see, the file is opened on my screen. Now, that's one way to open an AutoCAD drawing. Let me show you an another way. First of all, let's close this drawing. I can do that by clicking this X in the upper right corner.
Another way we can open a drawing is by using the Application Menu. I'm going to move up here and click the big red letter A, then I'll come down to Open, and I'll come over and select Drawing. This takes me right back to the Select File dialog box where I can select another drawing. Let me give you a shortcut. Maybe there is a specific directory that you navigate to frequently, the exercise files folder perhaps. Now, my exercise files folder is on my Desktop. So I'm going to click this Desktop icon. And since I'm going to be entering this folder frequently, I'm going to click and hold on it, and I'll drag this over into the left margin, and I'll release.
This adds the folder as a Favorite Place. Now, the next time I want to open a drawing from this folder, I can click the Favorite Place and AutoCAD takes me right into that folder and I can go about finding my drawing. At any point, if I want to remove this folder from the list, I can right click on it and select Remove from the Menu. For now, I'm going to leave the folder here, because it will be very handy as we progress through the title. Since the exercise files folder is open, let's go back into the Chapter_02 folder and we'll open up this drawing. I'll select toyBiplane and we'll click Open.
Finally, let's look at one more helpful aspect of the Application Menu. Once again, I'll click the red letter A. As long as the Recent Documents icon is selected, I can see a listing of the last several drawings that I've worked on. The most recent drawing I've opened will appear at the top of this list. If there's a drawing here that I need to return to regularly, I can click this pushpin to keep that drawing from dropping of list. At the point I'm finished with this file, I can click to remove the pin and this drawing will cycle out of the list as I continue to open new drawings.
To open a drawing from this list, I can click on the drawing name. Opening drawings in AutoCAD is very similar to opening files in other Windows applications. Remember that if you use the Recent Documents Menu or the Favorite Places feature, you can get even faster access to your drawing files.
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