Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the application menu, ribbon, and Quick Access toolbar, part of AutoCAD Architecture Essential Training (2014).
This movie we're going to start taking a look at the overall environment of AutoCAD Architecture. And I have just launched the program and I am greeted here with the Getting started screen. I want to talk about this screen first. So, here on this screen, there's two basic areas down at the bottom of the screen. We have this Learn link right here, and we have this Create link here. Now, the arrow is pointing to Create, and that's currently where I am. So this page offers you the ability to open existing files or projects, or up in this area here, to actually create a brand new file.
If you click the Learn link here, it just sort of shuffles the page over and presents you with some videos that you can click on to learn certain essential skills, so we have a What's new video over here and we have some Getting started videos over here. So, I encourage you to take a look at those when you get a free moment to do so. Let's go back to this Create tab over here. And when you start a new drawing, if you just click this link here, you're going to get the default drawing template that is assigned in your system. Now, depending on how your system has been setup, that may or may not be the template that you want.
So, if you'd rather choose a particular template, what you actually do here, just click this little arrow right here and that gives you a long list of available templates. Now, it's sort of subtle, but you can see that the one that I used last time is sort of highlighted slightly in gray right here. So, this is in the U.S. Imperial installation, this is the default template that AutoCAD Architecture uses. It's called AEC for architecture engineering construction. AEC model, Imperial Stb. So, I'm just going to click that link and that's going to create a new drawing based on that template.
Now, files in AutoCAD or AutoCAD Architecture are called drawings and they have a dwg file extension. So, if we were to save this file, look at it on our hard drive it would end with the extension of dwg. So now, when I'm done creating the drawing, it displays the full interface of AutoCAD Architecture. And there's a lot to talk about here. So we're actually going to do this over the course of this and the next several movies. What I'm going to focus on here is the basics at the very top corner of the screen. So, at the very top left hand corner is this big letter A icon, right here, and this is called the Application menu and if you open up that Application menu.
It's essentially a File menu, we've commands to create new documents here, we've got commands to open existing ones here, we can save and save as, we can export out to other file formats and we can publish and print. So, all the sort of standard File menu functions that you would expect to have, you can find in this Application menu. Now, most of these have a little Submenu, so the way this works is you just sort of hover your mouse over the item first and then the Submenu will display. So you could see here that under New, I could create either a new drawing or a new project.
Now, we're going to learn about projects in future movies. So, I'm not going to talk about that right now. Currently we're just in a new drawing. So it's just sort of a standalone drawing. If I hover over Open, I could also open a drawing, either locally from my hard drive or out in the cloud. So, if I have a AutoDust 360 account, I can open it directly from the cloud or I could open projects. You could even open other formats like IFC and DGN. Save doesn't have a flyout because there's only one thing it can do, is just save the file. And then, of course, Save As does have a flyout because you might want to save to other formats.
And then Print and Publish also have flyouts because there's lots of options associated with printing and publishing that we'll talk about in future movies. Now, up here at the very top, is these two little icons here. This is the Recent Documents and currently I have a clean installation, so I actually haven't opened any recent documents but as I begin to open documents they're going to be listed here on this menu. And then, it's kind of like a shortcut to get to files that you've opened previously. If you click this little icon it shows you what you currently have open, which for me at the moment is just Drawing one.
And the reason it's called drawing one is because I just created it new and I haven't saved it yet, so it doesn't really have a name. So, AutoCAD just substitutes the name drawing one as sort of a stand in until you save it. Now, at the bottom of this menu is this Options button here. Now, I'm just going to open that up, but I'm not really going to talk too much about the options just yet because we could almost do an entire course on the options in AutoCAD. It's that detailed of a dialogue. There's that many settings to look at. But as you can see, it's a multi-tabbed dialogue and some of these tabs actually go off screen here.
So, for now I'm just going to kind of mention that it's here and accept all the default options, so I'm using a default U.S. installation and I'm going to get all of those options. But if you need to change settings, you can get to them from that command there. So, let me just simply OK out of there. Now, next to the Application menu you have this Quick Access tool bar. Now, it's called quick access simply because it's got the commands that you would use most frequently and they're just sort of in this little convenient location. So, in this case, it's just sort of new, open, save, save as, and there's also an undo and redo command here.
Now, later when we talk about projects, we're going to see a couple buttons here associated with projects, so we'll get to those shortly. And then beneath the QAT we have the ribbon. Now, the ribbon is organized into tabs. So we've got a home tab, insert, annotate and so on. You might have other tabs on your ribbon, it depends on the installation of AutoCAD that you have and whether or not any additional features have been added, but at minimum you should have a home tab, insert, annotate, you should have the few basic tabs that you see here. It's organized into groups called panels, so this first panel is a build panel.
It has commands like walls, doors, windows. We've got a draw panel for lines, arcs, and circles. We've got a modify panel to move, copy, rotate things. Layers, and so on. So, they try to organize each of the ribbon tabs into these panels for associated commands. Now, there's several other aspects of the interface that we'll talk about shortly, but we'll save those for the coming movies. So, to get yourself started, you usually start by creating a new drawing. You can do that either in that home screen that we started with, if that's what displays when you launch.
Or you can easily use the Application menu and it's New functions or even this New icon right here, to create a new drawing and that's usually the first step to getting started to working in Auto CAD Architecture
- Adding and offsetting walls
- Working with columns
- Adding stairs and railings
- Working with the display system
- Setting up projects
- Using callouts
- Adding schedules and tags
- Creating documentation
- Printing and exporting