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Opening and navigating through a drawing

Every time ACAD is started, a new drawing is created right away for the user to start working. If you wish to start a new drawing apart from this drawing, you can either click ‘New’ from the ‘File’ pull down menu, click the ‘New’ tool (next to the menu browser for ACAD2009) or type ‘new’ in the command line. This will take you to a dialogue box with various options. Just leave the default settings for now and click ‘open’.



To open an existing drawing, you have to choose ‘Open’ from the ‘File’ menu, click the ‘Open’ tool or type ‘open’ in the command line. Try it out. This will take you to another dialogue box from which you can select the file you wish to open. Browse through ‘Program files’, find the ACAD sample files and open any ‘.dwg’ file. This is the file extension used by ACAD to recognise drawing files.

Zooming and panning through your drawing

Now that you have a drawing open, we will have a look at how to zoom in and out into this drawing. Zooming in makes the drawing appear larger, so you can have a look at finer details, while zooming out makes the drawing appear smaller allowing a better overview of the drawing. Zooming does not change the actual size of the drawing; it is like using a lens to get a closer look. Panning through a drawing is like scrolling the drawing around so you can see different parts of it.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to zoom in and out and to pan through a drawing is by using the scroll wheel of your mouse. Hold the cursor over the drawing area and scroll down to zoom out or scroll up to zoom in. In order to pan, just click the scroll button and move the cursor around in the direction you want to scroll the drawing.

There are a number of other ways to zoom and pan through a drawing. You can go to the ‘View’ pull down menu, select ‘zoom’ or ‘pan’ which will display a cascading menu and select your desired action from there. The standard toolbar (utilities panel for ACAD 2009) also provides access to the various zoom and pan options, and still another way to do it is through the command window.

Let us go through zooming by using the command window together, then if you wish you can try the same commands through the menu bar or toolbars/panel.

If you type ‘zoom’ (or ‘z’ for short) in the command line you will presented with the following prompt:

Command: zoom
Specify corner of window, enter a scale factor (nX or nXP), or
[All/Center/Dynamic/Extents/Previous/Scale/Window/Object] :

From here you can select various actions. The default option is to click two points on the drawing to define the diagonals of the area you wish to zoom to.

The rest of the options are enclosed in [ and ]. If you wish to choose any of these options, then you should enter the first letter of the word representing that option. For example if you wish to zoom to ‘All’ the drawing then you should type ‘a’. An example is given below:



Command: z
ZOOM
Specify corner of window, enter a scale factor (nX or nXP), or
[All/Center/Dynamic/Extents/Previous/Scale/Window/Object] : a

‘Zoom All’ and ‘Zoom Extents’ are the most commonly used of these options. They both display the whole of the drawing, with an exception when the drawing limits are larger than the drawing in which case ‘Zoom All’ will display the limits. We will go through drawing limits in a later tutorial.

‘Zoom Previous’ will take you to the previous zoom area, and ‘Zoom Window’ allows you to specify a rectangular area to which you want to zoom in as with the default option. Play around with these options to get comfortable using them. If using ACAD2009 you can also quickly access the zoom and pan tools from the status bar at the lower right hand side. You will need to zoom and pan through a drawing constantly while you are working so it is important to have a good grasp of these commands.

As for the other options, we will be covering them as they are needed. There is also another way of navigating through a drawing which is by means of the ‘Aerial View’. This will also be covered in a later tutorial.


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