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Instead of starting all of my drawings from a blank slate, why not start with a drawing that already contains the items we use most. In this lesson we are going to look at the concept of templates. As you can see I have just launched my AutoCAD and I am sitting in the default Drawing1.dwg file, this drawing is completely empty, it has no content whatsoever. Anything I want in this drawing will have to be created in this drawing. Now rather than starting a file using this drawing, may be I would like to use a different start-up drawing. I am going to start from a template.
To do that I'll move up to the Quick Access Toolbar and I will click the New icon. This brings up the Select template dialog box where I can choose a new start-up drawing. Now there are several choices available. First things first, notice that each of these files has a dwt extension, dwt stands for drawing template. Technically there is no difference between an AutoCAD drawing and a drawing template. It's the exact same file just a different file extension. Generally speaking a template is merely an AutoCAD drawing that already has content.
Now the template file I want isn't in this folder, it's in the Exercise Files directory, so I am going to click my Exercise Files shortcut over here, then we will jump into the Chapter_2 folder and I will select the lynda template (06_lynda_template) and I will click Open. Now it doesn't look like much is changed, I am in a new drawing now called Drawing2.dwg. What AutoCAD has done, is it's taken that template file and used that as the starting point for this drawing. At first glance, this drawing looks empty. Take a look at these layout tabs, these guys have names now.
I am going to select the 8.5-11 tab and notice that this drawing already has a title block setup for me. Let's take a look at the 22-34, let's take a look at 11-17. While this drawing contains no model space geometry, it does have three preset layouts with title blocks that I can use when the time comes that I would like to print the geometry that I create. The idea behind a template is that you take the items you use most, you put them in a drawing and then you save that drawing as a template. Templates might contain formatted text, title blocks, company logos, dimension styles or common symbols.
By starting a drawing form a template, your drawing will already have many of the components that you regularly use. Now we are not going to be doing any work in this file, so I am going to move up and click the X to close it. This returns us to the blank file where we started. At this point you may be wondering how difficult it is to create a template. Remember, that a template is nothing more than an AutoCAD drawing, and I am in an AutoCAD drawing right now. So let's turn this into a template. First I have to add some content, and we haven't talked much about creating content yet.
So for the purposes of this example I am going to create a simple circle. I will move up to the Draw panel and I will click the circle icon, I will pick a point on screen for my center point and then I will pick another point to define my radius. Let's say this circle represents our company logo. This is something that we would obviously need in all of our CAD drawings, and we could create other content as well, but for right now let's just stick with this circle. To turn this drawing in to a template, I am going to click the Application menu, I will come down to Save As, and then I will come over and select AutoCAD Drawing Template.
This takes me right back to the Template folder. Notice I am now saving this drawing with a dwt extension, I am going to call this drawing my_custom_template, and I will click Save, I can now give my template a description if I want. I am going to keep the default description and I will click OK. Let's close this drawing and we will create a new drawing using our custom template. I will move up and click the New icon.
from here I can choose the template file that I created. You know, if happen to be wondering what template we typically start with, it's this one acad.dwt. This is the default template that is typically used for all new AutoCAD drawings. I am going to scroll down and select our custom template (my_custom_template) and click Open. I have just created a new drawing using my template file as my starting point. Templates can save you a lot of time. Think of it this way, why start all of your drawings form an empty file when you can start from a template that already contains the items you use most.
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