To complete this exercise, follow the steps in the order as listed below:

  1. Create a folder for yourself under the M:\ drive (the network drive) using your last name for the folder name. For instance, my folder would be M:\HEITZMAN. To do this, open the Windows Explorer and log onto the M:\ drive. Then pick "File" on the pull-down menu, then "New" then "Folder." The new folder that will appear will have the name "New Folder" highlighted. Simply type in your last name at this point. This folder will be used to store all of your drawings and other files, and will be available to access by you from any computer in the architectural studio.
  2. Start the AutoCAD program from the Windows Desktop by double-clicking on the AutoCAD icon. This will bring up a blank drawing screen with the name of "Drawing.dwg," which means that you have not yet saved the drawing.
  3. SAVE the drawing to the hard drive , even though you have not yet done any work on it, so that later saves will be made to the same name. To do this, select the diskette icon on the Toolbar. You will need to save this drawing in the M:\[your name] folder that you just created. You can select your folder by using the scroll bar on the drive and folder list within the dialogue box. Once the folder has been selected, type the name you want to assign to your template drawing. Typically, for each of these exercises, you should use your three initials and then a number which corresponds to the Exercise Number. Since this drawing will be used as a foundation for all of your future exercise drawings, you should save it with just your initials. For me, as an example, this drawing would be named FEH. Therefore, to save it I would type FEH <RET>. Then select the "OK" button. The bar at the top of the drawing should now read "AutoCAD -- FEH" [or whatever your file name is] instead of "AutoCAD -- DRAWING.DWG."
  4. Set "architectural" units type, which is feet, inches and fractions of an inch: Select the "Format" menu from the pull-down menu, then "Units ...." Select the "Architectural" radio button.
    1. Note that this unit type is known in the industry as "Imperial" units. This type of measurement system is used only in the United States and Burma. Other countries use the "System International" (or "SI") for drawing units. This is based on the metric system where all dimensions are measured in millimeters. The United States is slowly "inching" toward using the SI system of measurement, but because our industrial base is so entrenched in the Imperial system, it will take many years to accomplish. The U.S. Government has mandated that all drawings made for federal construction projects use both systems beginning in 1993. AutoCAD is flexible in that one may begin using "Architectural" units of measurement, and switch to "Decimal" units later by selecting "Decimal" units under the "Units Control" dialogue box and scaling the drawing up by a scale factor of 25.4 (since there are 25.4 millimeters in a inch).
  5. Finally pick the "OK" button to complete this step.
  6. Set the drawing limits: Select "Format" from the pull-down menu. Select "Drawing Limits."
  7. Command: Lower Left Corner <0,0>: To accept the default for this, which is 0,0 (shown in angled brackets), type <RET>
  8. Command: Upper Right Corner: type 150',100' <RET>
  9. Zoom All:  Type Z <RET> A <RET>
  10. Create layers to use in future drawings: Select "Format" from the pull-down menu, then "Layer..." The "Layer Control" Dialogue Box will then appear on the screen. Note that one layer has already been created, called layer "0."
  11. Select the "New" button. A new layer name will appear in the dialogue box. Type the layer name you want to create. White color and Continuous linetype will automatically be assigned to each layer. Layer "0" will still be listed as the "current layer. Continue making new layers, until all layers in the layer list shown on pages 66-70 are created.
  12. Assign colors to each layer: To do this, in the layer dialogue box, click on one layer at a time to select that layer for assigning a color to. This will highlight that individual layer name. Then select the empty square box to the right of the highlighted layer which is located under the heading "C..." at the top of the list of layers. The heading "C" stands for Color.
  13. Note that the full word "Color" will appear at the top if you slide the line to the right of the letter "C..." towards the right. You can slide the other headings over also, showing the full headings for each column.
  14. Another dialogue box will now appear which will show swatches of the standard nine colors across the top of the screen and a 255 color array on the bottom of the screen. Select a color by either typing in the color number and then picking "OK" or by clicking on one of the color swatches. After you have assigned a color to the layer, pick the "OK" button and you will be returned to the Layer and Linetype Properties dialogue box with the square to the right of the selected layer now being colored with the assigned color. Repeat this process until all colors have been assigned to all layers.
  15. If the same color is to be assigned to more than one layer, you can select more than one layer for highlighting by holding the <Ctrl> key on the keyboard down and picking more layer names. If you made a mistake and included a layer you do not want to assign the color to, simply hold the <Ctrl> key down and pick it again, the highlighting will go away, and it will be "unselected." When you have picked all layer names to which the same color should be assigned, pick one of the square boxes to the right of one of the highlighted layer names to bring up the "Select Color" dialogue box.  Note that the color white should not be used for any layers you create. It should be reserved for the "0" layer only, which is to be used in creating blocks. The "0" layer has the peculiar characteristic that when it is assigned to a block will change its colors in accordance with the color of the layer on which that block is inserted. It is therefore called the "Chameleon" layer, because it acts like the lizard which changes its color depending on the color of the object it is lying on.
  16. Assign linetypes to layers: Most layers will have the "Continuous" linetype (i.e. a solid, non-dashed line) assigned to them. However, you may note in the chart of standard layers on pages 66-70 that there are several layers which will need to have special linetypes assigned to them. To change the linetype assigned to a layer, click on the layer name to highlight it. Then click on the word "Continuous" at the right end of that line. This will bring up a list of linetypes. If the name of the linetype you want to assign to the layer does not appear on the list, click on the "Load" button and select it from the list to load. Once the linetype is loaded, you will never have to load it again. Then double-click on the linetype you want to assign. This will return you to the "Layer and Linetype Properties" dialogue box. Note that the new name of the linetype will now be shown in the list at the right end of the layer name..
  17. Set the current layer: In the layer control dialogue box, click on the layer A-SHEET (used for the drawing border) to highlight that line. Select the "Current" button, then select the "OK" button. To check that the A-SHEET layer is current, look at the layer pull-down box at the top of the AutoCAD window. It should have the letters "A-SHEET" showing along with the other layer icons relating to the layer state (on, thawed, unlocked). The current layer will always appear in this line. An easy way to change the current layer is to click in this box and scroll down or up to the layer you want to make current and click on it. Then its name will appear.
  18. Change variable MIRRTEXT to correctly show text when mirrorred:  Type MIRRTEXT <RET> 0 <RET>.
  19. Change fillet radius to zero:  Type FILLETRAD <RET> 0 <RET>
  20. Set circle and arc resolution to a higher number (to prevent circles from looking like octagons):  Type VIEWRES <RET> <RET> 2000 <RET>
  21. Change the variable ISAVEPERCENT to 0:  Type ISAVEPERCENT<RET>0<RET>
  22. Position the User Coordinate System icon at the drawing "origin" point (0,0,0):   Type UCSICON <RET> OR <RET>
  23. Change to Paper Space and draw the border: By default you always are in so-called "Model Space," which is where you should be to draw the actual 3-dimensional "model" of the building. However, the border of the sheet should be drawn in so-called "Paper Space." "Paper Space" is a special 2D drawing mode in which you can group various "views" of your 3D "model" of the building for plotting purposes. These views are typically plan, elevation, section, and perspective. Normally, you should draw all of your architectural drawings in 3 dimensions and in "Model Space." This will eliminate the necessity for drawing individual and un-coordinated plans, elevations, and sections. Moreover, once a model is changed, all plans, elevations, and sections are automatically changed accordingly. The great advantage of working this way is that you can visualize the building or space as it will actually exist in three dimensions. This tool will virtually eliminate the old difficulty of "turning the corner" in visualizing the design.
  24. Activate Paper Space: Double-click the word "Tile" on the bottom of the AutoCAD window to turn it off (it will become "greyed" out.)
  25. Draw a border by creating a paper space viewport. From the pull-down menu, select "View," then "Floating Viewports," then "1 Viewport." In response to the Command prompt <First Point> type 0,0<RET>. In response to the Command prompt "Other Corner" type 10.5,7.9<RET>.
  26. Zoom the extents of the drawing to fill 80% of the screen.   To do this type Z <RET> E <RET> <RET> .8X <RET>
    1. Note that "Z" is the easily typed"alias" for the command "Zoom," "E" is the abbreviation for "Extents." and ".8X" means 80% times the current magnification of the screen. This sequence will make the entire border of the drawing visible.
  27. Set up text styles:
    1. Pick "Format" from the pull-down menu.
    2. Pick "Text Style..." (This brings up the "Text Style" dialogue box).
    3. Click on the "New" button.
    4. Type in a name for the new style, call it DIMENSIONS. Click OK.
    5. Click on whatever word is in the box under the words ""Font Name:" and scroll up or down the list and select "CityBlueprint."
    6. Double click on the number in the box after the words "Width Factor:" and type in the number 3/4.
    7. Make sure the "Oblique Angle:" is set to "0."
    8. Click on the "Apply" button
    9. Click on the "New" button again.
    10. Type in a name for the new style, call it NOTES.
    11. Double click on the number in the box after the words "Width Factor:" and type in the number 1.
    12. Click on the "Apply" button
    13. Click on the "Close" button (this will be the so-called "current" text style)
    14. If you wish to go back and make another text style current, simply pick "Format" from the pull-down menu, then pick "Text Style..." and then select the style you what to make current from the drop-down box under the words "Style Name" and then clock on the "Close" button.
  28. Place the drawing title in the border:
  29. Toggle the <Caps Lock> key on before you type the title, so that it appears in all UPPER CASE LETTERS. It is OK to use both upper and lower case letters, but the most typical method of putting text in an architectural drawing is to use all caps (i.e., "upper case").
  30. Type Dtext <RET>. Then type J<RET> C<RET>. Hold down the <Shift> key and simultaneously click the right button on the mouse. This will bring up the so-called "cursor menu." Select "MIDpoint" OSNAP function from this menu. Place the "aperture" square which will then appear at the intersection of the crosshairs over the bottom line of the rectangular border and "pick" it with the left button of the mouse. Type 1/8<RET><RET>. Now type your name, the date, the school name, the course number, the instructor's name, and the exercise number on one line to create an identification title for the drawing.

  31. Example:
  32. After typing in this line, type <RET><RET> to finish the text command.
  33. Note that there should be two or three spaces between each main part of the title.
  34. Now move the title up above the bottom line of the border: Type M<RET> L<RET><RET> 0,.25  [note that this is "0.25" or 1/4] <RET><RET>
    1. Note that "M" is the easily typed "alias" for the command "Move," and "L" is the abbreviation for "Last" which means the "last" entity created, or the line of text.
  35. Return to "Model Space: Double-click on the word PAPER on the bottom of the screen to enter Model Space. Note that the word PAPER now reads MODEL.
  36. Make the A-WALL layer current (to allow walls to be drawn, which is normally the first thing you would do in a drawing): Click in the box on the Toolbar to the right of the "Layer" button. It will have the current layer name displayed (which should be the A-SHEET layer). This will drop down the layer selection list. Scroll down or up in the list and click on the A-WALL layer. That will make the A-WALL layer current and display A-WALL in the box on the Toolbar.
  37. Set dimensioning variables: See text for correct settings.
  38. Save the prototype drawing again: Click on the "Save" icon on the Toolbar (the one that looks like a floppy disk). This will save it to M:\[your folder] as a DWG file.
  39. Save it again as a so-called AutoCAD "Template" file, which can be used as a start for your other drawings. To do this, pick "File" from the pull-down menu, then "Save As". When the "Save Drawing As" dialogue box appears on the screen , click on the drop-down box labeled "Save as Type." Pick the "Drawing Template File (*.dwt) choice (its the last one in the list). You will need to change the folder to which it will be saved to the M:\[your name] folder by clicking in the "Save in" drop down box at the top, then pick the "Save" button. A "Template Description" dialogue box will pop up. In this box, you can type in a description for your Template file for future reference. You could put in the date it was created, and the course it was made for, as an example. Then click on the "OK" button. Now you will have 2 versions of this drawing. One is the actual drawing file, called FEH.DWG. The other is a template file, called FEH.DWT. There is no real difference between them, except the template file can be brought up as a beginning for the next exercise (and any other future drawings, so you will never have to go through this pain again.
  40. Finally, close (exit) AutoCAD, by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of its window. You will now be back in Windows.
  41. Copy your drawing to your floppy disk. Place your floppy disk in the A: drive of the computer. Copy the drawing from the hard drive to your floppy disk by using the Windows Explorer.
  42. It is critical that all steps were followed carefully since this drawing template will form the basis for your future drawings. This drawing may also be edited at any time to add other items or change variables which you want to use in your future drawings. You can have several template drawings. The one you just created will be used to plot drawings at 8 1/2" x 11" size. You could do another similar template (using this one as a starting point) for larger plot formats, such as 18" x 24" (C-sized drawings) and 24" x 36" (D-sized drawings).