Starting A New File

need to know how to work with an AutoCAD one of the most basic yet essential operations in AutoCAD is to start a file you can’t do anything without the right drawing there are two methods to take here one is to start a file that is brand new the other is to open an existing file let’s start with what might be the easier of the two and that’s to open an existing file in fact it’s so easy you’ve already done it AutoCAD has several ways to start a command you can use the ribbon the command line toolbar or the application menu opening a file is no different you can go to the application menu at the big red a up here in the top left hand of the screen click it then go to open you can open a drawing from you know a hard drive or a network drive you can open one from the cloud which is in your Autodesk 360 account you can open a sheet set a dgn file type or one of the sample files that Autodesk provides you can also go to the quick access toolbar and click on this folder icon which is for the open command or you can just type open on the command line and press Enter
all of these methods will bring you to this the same interface window you have other files or folders in which you can go to to look you can click on the arrow here and browse to a specific folder you can go backwards you can go up you can create a new folder etc so you can do a lot while you’re opening a file you can control the file type of what you’re looking for these are just different file types that AutoCAD can understand the one you’re going to use 90% of the time will be in a DWG file here’s a file here that I’ve already made and put into our project folder I’m going to open it so you just browse to the file and then click open and that will open up the file that you want to access see very simple you can also go to your Windows Explorer and double click on a file there and it will automatically open up in AutoCAD
for example
by browse to a folder
I can find it right here and if I double click it it will open up an autocad or you can right-click and select open I already have this file open so it’s going to give me a hard time
but that’s another method that you can use if AutoCAD is closed and you do that it will automatically start AutoCAD and then open the file so you can do a couple of steps with just a few clicks if you’d like you can also open a file through the application menu by coming to your recent files list here just find the file you want and click it and it will open it up wherever it’s located either method that you pick to open a file will have the same results so go ahead and give it a try and I’ll be here waiting for you and then we can go on and show you how to start a brand-new file
okay now that our file is open we want to start a new file you know if you’re working on a new project or you need a new file for your current project this is what you’ll do – don’t worry it’s really just as easy only this time you have a few choices to make when you turn autocad on it opens up a brand new blank file based on the default template file if that’s okay with you then your job is done you save the file as needed and start drawing because of this many companies will make their default template file as their company template file or vice versa right now we just want to learn the basics of using AutoCAD so we won’t bother you with how to set all that up but the default template file is good enough for right now and will serve the majority of the needs for us in this training session so if you have a template file that you want to use an AutoCAD comes with several if you don’t then you can just choose which one of those files to use to start a new file and go to the application menu
to the new option if you just click new right here it will start a new AutoCAD file or you can go and make a new drawing or you can make a new sheet set sheet sets are really cool very powerful it’s a system built within AutoCAD to help you manage all of your drawings for a project we’re not going to talk about that right now right now we just need to know how to make a file so just click on the drawing
now you can also
go up to the quick access toolbar and click on the new icon this will bring up the same thing or again you can type in the word new any W on the command line now this brings up your select template windows interface there are a lot of different template files here the default is the a CAD dot DWT now if you want to work in some 3d you probably want to choose this one it has other settings that are preset that you will typically want to use while working in 3d and these other two appear have plot styles or printing settings that are already set up for you and these other ones a CAD ISO and a cat iso 3d are set up to work with an iso style type of a drawing a lot of settings that you need to do or need to create your drawing with are already preset for those so if you’re using iso standards you may want to try out one of these template files and again you have the 2d or the 3d and you have them with or without plot styles these last four details here are used with the tutorials that come with autocad these are architectural and manufacturing or mechanical drawing types
they also come in imperial units or in metric units so the imperial are set like feet are inches and the metric are typically a millimeter centimeter meter typesetting for the majority of things that we’re going to do we’re going to use the a cad d WT template file select it so that it’s highlighted and click open
and that’s it you know that’s a lot of talking for that when you’re going to go and start it go new and then pick the DWT file and then it will open it up it gives it a temporary name I’ve already had a drawing one dot DWG started so it adds on to the list so if I were to do new again it would call it drawing three and won’t matter which one of these I select it’s going to do the same thing now you can also double-click on the file that you want to use to start it instead of selecting it and going down to the open option either ones fine I tend to double click it because I didn’t lazy and don’t want to move my mouse when I don’t have to template files have a different format than regular AutoCAD files you can tell them apart by their file extensions so you probably noticed that a regular AutoCAD file has a DWG file extension while a template file has a DWT in all honesty you could use a regular DWG file as your template if you wanted to just open it as you would any existing file and have at it
the danger with doing that though is that when you save the file any changes made will they’ll be saved to your template and so the next time you go to start a new file you may have project specific information in there or maybe there’s something missing that you deleted because for your drawing file you didn’t need it so try not to do that make sure that if you are using a DWG file you first copy it and put it into your proper folder or when you open it perform a save as immediately and that way you’re not working in that template file that’s the nice thing about DWT files as long as you open a DWT file with the new command you can’t override the template file so my suggestion is to use a good cad practice of always using the new command press enter
find the template you want open it up and now I can’t save this file and no that sounds kind of scary like what do you mean you can’t save your file well if I go and click Save or type in the word save AutoCAD won’t let me
it just says hey where do you want to save it and what do you want to call this file that will use the default name that it gives it when you start it or I can replace that but I have to save it somewhere else
I’m not going to override my template file and that’s exactly what I want your template file needs to stay untouched you know and not messed up you can save the template file though if you want to make one and to do that you would use the open command
and switch your file types from DWG to DWT and now you’re going to open the file
see at the top
says a CAD dwt now I can add things to my template file so that they will always be there and if I hit save it will save the file so be careful doing this
don’t use the open command to start a new file use the new command just keep that in mind using template files to start your drawing is one of the best CAD practices that you will ever have that is because you can set up a template file with plotter settings layers blocks little details that you’re going to use all the time otherwise you’re going to have to customize your drawings every time that you make a new one but this process of using a template file will ensure that all of your drawings work properly and you only have to set them up once it’s very possible and very likely that you’re going to have a picky client and they want things just so well you can set up a template file that you will use for all of their drawings and that will save you time effort and work and remember a template file can have anything in it that you might want you know special notes a title block or any other standard company like sticker or logo templates make you work faster by doing your work for you ahead of time remember that the less you have to do the more you can get done in less time

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