AutoCAD for Dummies: How to Draw a Line

Sorry if the title seems offending but the topic I’m about to post is very simple so that is why I made a title “for dummies”. Hope the company of Wiley and Sons won’t mind using that title. It’s not a good idea to use that word if you are thinking of using that in your URL when you register for a domain. Even if you make a sub domain and copy their yellow and black layout, you are still asking for trouble. They are very careful and strict about their trademark. So much for that, I think we should be starting now.

First let me introduce you to the basic commands needed to draw your first object. Those commands are actually drawing tools like a pen or a pencil for making your drawings. The only difference compared to a free hand and a CAD software is that the rulers, compass and protractors are already built-in in the drawing process. Only your CPU, monitor, keyboard and your mouse are the physical objects that makes the drawings. The rest are all software. With this tutorial, all the tools I’m going to mention will have an actual drawing not only defining each.

The first command I’m going to show you is the ‘LINE’ command. That is the most basic command to start using AutoCAD. First of all open your AutoCAD program (please use version 2000 if you have one because that is what I’m using). When something pops up saying “start from scratch” you can click the ‘OK’ button. Then a black screen will show up. Its the AutoCAD default you can change it later on what ever color suits you.

There are two ways for your to draw a line:

1. One is you can type it directly on the command prompt on the bottom of the screen. You don’t have to point your mouse, just type it in your keyboard then press ‘enter’. (See Figure 1)

    autocad command prompt

Figure 1

2. The second one is by clicking the icon on the upper left side panel of the interface.(See Figure 2)

    autocad line icon

Figure 2

After that the command prompt on the bottom of the screen will respond a message “Specify first point:”. The program is asking you to pick a point in a screen using your mouse and cursor (the little cross thing moving on the screen when you move your mouse – see Figure 4 below) as a starting point of your line. You can choose the center of your screen as the starting point. After picking a point by clicking the left mouse button, the command prompt will ask again “Specify next point or [undo]:”. AutoCAD is asking you to pick your next point to make a line. You just have to pick any area in the screen to make a line but for this task its better to make a horizontal line by clicking either on the left or right portion of the screen as shown below (you can toggle F10 if you want an automatic straight line called Polar Tracking) .(See Figure 3)


    autocad line cursor

Figure 3

After picking the next point, just press the ESC key to terminate the line. Now there you have it! you have made your first line! hurray!(See Figure 4)


    autocad line cursor

Figure 4

4 comments ↓

#1 Paulomi on 12.19.08 at 12:30 am

it seems really easy this way, anyone can learn from this – you have explained it so simply and so nicely

#2 Shoemaker on 03.10.10 at 4:05 am

I’ve just been asked to substitute in a high school class that is using AutoCad 2010 and has been for 5 weeks already. I have zero experience with AutoCad or any architectural software. So any free hot-to’s for Dummies is greatly appreciated.

#3 Jan on 10.08.10 at 10:59 pm

What do you type on the command line?

#4 rabeesh on 01.09.12 at 9:16 pm

how can i draw a line of 100000mm with in limit

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