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150 AutoCAD Command and Shortcut List With PDF

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AutoCAD Commands – The Essential List

Hello there. We probably don’t have to tell you that AutoCAD is one of the leading CAD programs available on the market today. Whether the computer-aided design is in your life as a business or a hobby, it’s likely you rank this particular software fairly highly (if not the top) in terms of its design capabilities.

If you’ve taken the plunge and purchased it for yourself, you’ll soon find that it takes time to get to grips with everything AutoCAD has to offer. The sophistication of the technology, advanced user interface and sheer range of available tools can, understandably, be a little overwhelming at first.

For this article, we’re going to assume that you’ve had the opportunity to play around with AutoCAD, get comfortable with the interface and establish which tools will be most useful for your particular line of work.

Got the basics firmly under your belt? Great! Now it’s time to take advantage of the AutoCAD commands. Yes, the folks behind the software know that there’s a lot to take in, so they created handy shortcuts that enable you to navigate the controls with ease. Once a few of these commands become second nature, you’ll be producing work in the most efficient way possible.

About AutoCAD

Autocad

AutoCAD is the flagship product of the software company Autodesk. Created in 1982 to enable the production of high-quality 2D and 3D technical drawings, it was actually the first CAD software developed for PCs.

Though initially designed to cater to the mechanical engineering industry, the capabilities of AutoCAD have since expanded to suit a wide range of professionals including architects and animators.

If you don’t have AutoCAD installed on your pc, Download & Install AutoCAD 2019 (32 + 64 bit) from here.

Today, AutoCAD is considered to be one of the leading design programs available and has grown to be the most widely used CAD software out there. With new applications facilitating mobile-friendly options and use of cloud storage services, the software continues to evolve by integrating technological advancements.

What is AutoCAD commands?

At the bottom of the drawing screen in AutoCAD, you’ll find the command window. Trust us: this handy little box is a lifesaver when you have lots of work to do and you’re up against a deadline.

In the most basic terms, commands and shortcuts are words or letters that you type into the command window to produce an action. For example, if you wish to draw an arc, rather than searching for an arc among the tools, you could just use a command. In this case, type ‘ARC‘ or even ‘A‘ into the command window, press Enter, and an arc will appear.

basic autocad commands

Some commands come with shortcuts (a single letter alternative), while actions that are a little less common tend to require a command that is 3 or more letters long. AutoCAD recognizes hundreds of commands and, once you get more advanced, you can even customize the toolbar—adding or prioritizing the commands you find to be the most useful.

(See Also: Some Important Software Used In Civil Engineering)

This guide lists AutoCAD shortcuts in groups according to the command sequence. For example, all text relevant shortcuts are grouped together.

Notes:

  1. Generally, a shortcut prefixed with ” -“ will suppress the associated dialogue from appearing.
  2. Some of the following shortcuts only work with AutoCAD Old Versions.
  3. Not all of the shortcuts listed work with AutoCAD LT.

AutoCAD Command Shortcuts

BLOCKS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
ATTATTDEFOpens attribute definition dialogue box
ATTEDITATTEDITEdit attribute values for a specific block
BBLOCKOpens block dialogue box in order to make a block
BATTMANBATTMANOpens block attribute manager
BATTORDERBATTORDERDisplays attribute order dialogue box
BCBCLOSECloses the block editor
BCOUNTBCOUNTCounts the blocks in a drawing
BEBEDITOpens the edit block definition dialogue box
EATTEXTEATTEXTEnhanced attribute extraction wizard to count blocks
GATTEGATTEGlobal attribute edit of multiple blocks
IINSERTOpens insert dialogue to insert a block
-IINSERTInsert a block by name
MINSERTMINSERTInsert block in rectangular array
REFEDITREFEDITEdit a block reference in place
RENRENAMEOpens rename dialogue box to rename blocks, layers, etc
WWBLOCKWrite a block - for use in other drawings
XLISTXLISTLists type/block name/layer name/color/linetype of a
nested object in a block or an xref

TIPS:

  1. Create a new block on layer 0 so that the block will use the layer and properties of the current
    layer it is inserted on. Text can be set to colour white.
  2. Set ATTDIA to 1 to use dialogue box with block attributes or 0 to use the command line.
  3. AutoCAD 2006 allows you to change the insertion point on the fly. INSERT and select
    BASEPOINT. This allows you to pick anywhere in the drawing (and anywhere in the block you
    are inserting) as your new insertion point (base point).

COMMON COMMANDS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
AARCDraw an arc
ALALIGNAlign an object with another
APAPPLOADOpens application load dialogue box
ARARRAYOpens array dialogue box
AUDITAUDITAudit drawing for errors
AVDSVIEWEROpens ariel view of drawing
BBLOCKOpens block dialogue box
CCIRCLEDraw a circle
COCOPYCopy an object
CHACHAMFERChamfer between 2 non-parallel lines
COLCOLOROpens select color dialogue box
CUIOpens customise user interface dialogue
DDIMSTYLEOpens dimstyle manager
DCADCENTEROpens designcenter
DIDISTCheck a distance
DIVDIVIDEInserts point node a set division
DODONUTDraw a solid donut shape
DVDVIEWPerspective view
EERASEErase a selection
EXEXTENDExtend a selection
FFILLETDraw an arc between 2 intersecting lines
FIFILTEROpens filter dialogue box
FLATTENFLATTENConverts 3D to 2D
GGROUPLaunches the group dialogue box
HHATCHOpens hatch and gradient dialogue box
IINSERTInsert a block
IMIMAGELaunches image manager
JJOINJoins 2 objects to form single object
JPGOUTJPGOUTCreates a JPEG file of current drawing
LLINEDraw a line
LALAYEROpens layer manager
LEQLEADERDraw a leader line (may need to adjust settings)
LEADLEADERLeader line with annotation
LI or LSLISTDisplay information about objects in a text window
LO-LAYOUTCreates a new layout tab
LTSLTScaleChange the linetype scale
MMOVEMove a selection
MAMATCHPROPERTIESMatch properties of an object
MEMEASUREInserts point node at input distance
OOFFSETOffset a selection
OPOPTIONSLaunches options dialogue box
PPANPan in drawing
PEPOLYEDITEdit a polyline
PLPLINEDraw a polyline
PLOTPLOTOpens plot/print dialogue box
POPOINTPoint marker or node - DDPTYPE to change pointstyle
PRPROPERTIESOpens properties dialogue box
PREPREVIEWPreview a plot
PUPURGEOpens purge dialogue box to remove unused elements
REREGENRegenerate the display
RECRECTANGDraw a rectangle
RENRENAMEOpens rename dialogue box to rename blocks, layers, etc
ROROTATERotate a selection
SPSPELLSpell check a selection - ALL to check entire drawing
TMTEXTInsert multiline text
TBTABLEOpens insert a table dialogue box
TPTOOLPALETTESDisplays toolpalette
TRTRIMTrim a selection
UUNDOUndo last command
UNUNITSOpens units dialogue box
VVIEWOpens view dialogue box
WWBLOCKWrite a block
WHOHASWHOHASDisplays who has a drawing open
XEXPLODEExplode a selection
XRXREFOpens x-reference manager
ZZOOMZoom in display - A=All, E=EXTENTS, W=WINDOW

CONTROL KEYS

CTRL+0CLEANSCREENTurns user interface elements on/off
CTRL+1PROPERTIESTurns properties on/off
CTRL+2ADCENTERTurns design center on/off
CTRL+3TOOLPALETTESTurns tool palettes window on/off
CTRL+8QUICKCALCLaunches calculator window
CTRL+ASelect all
CTRL+CCOPYCLIPCopies objects to clipboard
CTRL+HTurns a group on or off
CTRL+JRepeats last command
CTRL+NNEWOpens create new drawing dialogue box
CTRL+OOPENOpens the select file dialogue box
CTRL+PPLOTOpens the plot dialogue box
CTRL+RCVPORTSwitches between viewports
CTRL+SQSAVEOpens the save drawing as dialogue box
CTRL+SHIFT+Save as
S
CTRL+VPASTECLIPPastes data from clipboard to drawing
CTRL+XCUTCLIPRemoves select object from drawing to clipboard
CTRL+YREDOPerforms the operation cancelled by UNDO
CTRL+ZUNDOUndoes the last operation
CTRL+TABSwitches between open drawings
CTRL+PAGESwitch up between layout tabs
UP
CTRL+PAGESwitch down between layout tabs
DOWN
ARROWRecall last command
UP/Down

COORDINATE ENTRY

#X,YLocation measured by distance from 0,0 in current UCS
@X,YLocation measured by distance from last point
#distanceLocation measured by distance and angle from 0,0 in current UCS
@distanceLocation measured by distance and angle from last point
e
.x or.y or .xy etcLocation by extracting and combining coordinate values from 2 or 3 points
distanceLocation direct from current position in direction of movement
An angle override from current point

DIMENSIONING

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
CTRL+8QUICKCALCDisplays the calculator
DDIMSTYLEOpens dimension style manager dialogue box
DALDIMALIGNEDAligned linear dimension line
DANDIMANGULARAngular dimension line
DARDIMARCArc length dimension
DBADIMBASELINEOrdinate dimension from baseline of previous dimension
DCODIMCONTINUEOrdinate dimension from 2 nd extension line of previous
dimension
DDIDIMDIAMETERDiameter dimension for circles and arcs
DEDDIMEDITEdit dimension text on dimension objects
DIDISTCheck a distance
DIMCENTERDIMCENTERCreates center mark
DLIDIMLINEARLinear dimension
DORDIMORDINATEOrdinate point dimension
DOVDIMOVERRIDEOverride dimension style
DRADIMRADIUSRadial dimension for circles and arcs
IDIDDisplay the co-ordinate values of a point
UNUNITSOpens drawing units dialogue box

DRAWING OBJECTS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
AARCDraw an arc with 3 points
BBLOCKOpens block dialogue box in order to make a block
BOBOUNDARYDraw a boundary
CCIRCLEDraw a circle
DODONUTDraw a solid donut shape
DTTEXTSingle line text
DIVDIVIDEInserts point node a set division
ELELLIPSEDraw an ellipse
FFILLETDraw an arc between 2 intersecting lines
GGROUPOpens object grouping dialogue
HHATCHOpens hatch and gradient dialogue box
LLINEDraw a line
LEQLEADERDraw a leader line (may need to adjust settings)
LEADLEADERLeader line with annotation
MLMLINEDraw multilines
OOFFSETOffset an object by distance
PLPLINEDraw a polyline - a complex line
POPOINTPoint marker or node - DDPTYPE to change pointstyle
POLPOLYGONDraw a regular polygon 3 to 1024 sides
RAYRAYConstruction line in one direction
RECRECTANGDraw a rectangle
REGREGIONRegion - for shading for example
REVCLOUDREVCLOUDRevision cloud - note can select a polyline
SPLSPLINESpline or smooth curve along points
TMTEXTMulti-line text
WIPEOUTWIPEOUTMasks part of drawing for clarity
XLXLINEConstruction line of infinite length

TIP:

  1. Use the PO to create node point – if you do not see anything try changing the node properties DDPTYPE.
  2. Alternatively set PDMODE to 3 to display an X at id point set PDMODE to 0 to clear.

EXTERNAL REFERENCE – XREF

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
REFEDITREFEDITEdit an external reference in place
XAXATTACHOpens select reference file dialogue for attaching Xref
XBXBINDOpens Xbind dialogue - allows import only of symbols etc
XCXCLIPCreate a border in an xref to hide outside area
XOPENXOPENOpens a selected xref in a new window
XRXREFOpens Xref manager dialogue box

TIP:

  1. Using RELATIVE PATH to find the Xref file relative to the existing location can be a benefit if files are moved between locations or sent to others.
  2. OVERLAID should be used in place of ATTACH if 2 drawings share a common Xref, eg a mechanical drawing could be overlaid an electrical drawing to prevent the building outline ‘appearing’ twice.

NOTES:

  1. If a drawing has an Xref, the status bar will show the Manage Xref icon.

FORMATTING

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
APAPPLOADOpens application load dialogue box
BEBEDITOpens the edit block definition dialogue box
BHBHATCHOpens hatch and gradient dialogue box
CUIOpens customise user interface dialogue
DDIMSTYLEOpens dimension style manager dialogue box
DCADCENTEROpens designcenter
DDPTYPEDDPTYPEOpens point style dialogue box
LALAYEROpens layer manager
LTDDLTYPEOpens line type manager
LTSLTSCALEChange the linetype scale
LWLWEIGHTOpens line weight settings dialogue box
MAMATCHPROPERTIESMatch properties of an object
OPOPTIONSLaunches options dialogue box
OSDDOSNAPOpens drafting settings object snap dialogue
PRDDCHPROPOpens properties dialogue box
SSMSHEETSETOpens sheet set manager palette
STDDSTYLEOpens text style dialogue box
TPTOOLPALETTESDisplays toolpalette
TSTABLESTYLEOpens table style dialogue box

FUNCTION KEYS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
F1HELPOpens Autocad help
F2TEXTSCRSwitches between text screen and graphic area
GRAPHSCR
F3OSNAPSwitches osnap on/off
F5 or CTRL+EISOPLANECycles through isoplanes
F6 or CTRL+DCOORDSTurns coordinate display on/off
F7 or CTRL+GGRIDTurns grid on/off
F8 or CTRL+LORTHOTurns ortho on/off
F9 or CTRL+BSNAPTurns snap on/off
F10 or CTRL+UPOLARTurns polar on/off
F11 orOSNAP TRACKTurns object snap tracking on/off
CTRL+W
F12DYNMODETurns dynamic input on/off

INQUIRY

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
AAAREACalculate the area
DIDISTCalculate a distance and angle
DDPTYPEDDPTYPEOpens point style dialogue box
IDIDDisplay the co-ordinate values of a point
LI or LSLISTDisplay information about objects in a text window
MASSPROPMASSPROPCalculate the region/mass properties of a solid
PRPROPERTIESOpens properties dialogue box
WHOHASWHOHASDisplays who has a drawing open
XLISTXLISTLists type/block name/layer name/color/linetype of a
nested object in a block or an xref

TIP:

  1. If you wish to identify a known location use ID and enter coordinates on the command line to mark that location with a node point – if you do not see anything try changing the node properties DDPTYPE.
  2. Alternatively set PDMODE to 3 to display an X at id point set PDMODE to 0 to clear.

LAYERS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
LALAYEROpens layer manager
LAYCURLAYERCURRENTChange objects to current layer
LAYDELLAYERDELETEDelete a layer by selecting object
LAYFRZLAYERFREEZEFreeze a layer by selecting object
LAYISOLAYERISOLATEIsolates a layer by selecting object
LAYLCKLAYERLOCKLock a layer by selecting object
LAYMCHLAYERMATCHMatch properties of a layer
LAYMRGLAYERMERGEMoves objects from first layer to second and deletes first
LAYOFFLAYEROFFSwitches a layer off
LAYONLAYERONSwitches all layers on except frozen layers
LAYERPLAYERPREVIOUSRestores previous layer state
LAYTHWLAYTHWThaws all layers
LAYWALKLAYERWALKWalk through layers
LMANLMANAccess Layer manager to save and restore layer states

TIP:

  1. Layer States – Create a layer state in Layer Manager (LA then Alt+S) to quickly switch between different layer property settings.

MODIFYING OBJECTS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
ALALIGNAlign an object with another
ARARRAYMake multiple copies of an object
BRBREAKBreak a line by defining 2 points
CO or CPCOPYCopy object
COPYTOLAYERCOPYTOLAYERCopy object from one layer to another
CHACHAMFERChamfer between 2 non-parallel lines
EERASEErase selection
EXEXTENDExtend a line to meet another
FFILLETDraw an arc between 2 intersecting lines
GGROUPOpens object grouping dialogue - use to copy or move
LENLENGTHENLengthen or shorten a line
MMOVEMove an object
MIMIRRORMirror an object
MOCOROMOVE/COPY/ROTATECopy move and rotate an object with one command
OOFFSETOffset an object by distance
ROROTATERotate an object
SSTRETCHStretch an object
SCSCALEScale an object
TRTRIMTrim objects
XEXPLODEExplode single entity to component parts

TIP:

  1. When a grip point is selected cycle through command options using keyboard spacebar – sequence STRETCH, MOVE, ROTATE, SCALE, MIRROR.
  2. Switch between Group and Ungroup using CTRL+H, yes H!!

OBJECT SELECTION (use with editing commands)

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
AADDAdds each successive object, switches from remove
ALLALLAll objects on thawed layers
CPCPOLYGONObjects touching or enclosed by selection polygon
CCROSSINGObjects touched or enclosed by window - Move right to
left
FFENCEObjects touch by single selection fence
GGROUPOpens object grouping dialogue - use with copy/move/etc
LLASTMost recently created visible object
PPREVIOUSMost recent selection set
RREMOVEObjects to remove from selection set
SNAPANGSNAPANGLEChange the snap angle from default 0°
WWINDOWObjects enclosed by window - Move left to right
WPWPOLYGONObjects within a window polygon

TIP:

  1. Use SHIFT+LEFT MOUSE BUTTON to deselect an object.
  2. When a grip point is selected cycle through command options using keyboard spacebar – sequence STRETCH, MOVE, ROTATE, SCALE, MIRROR.
  3. Object Cycling – hold down the Control key while picking, AutoCAD will cycle through all the objects that fall under the pick box as you continue to pick. When the correct object is highlighted, simply hit Enter. You don’t need to continue to hold down the Control key after the first pick.

OBJECT SNAP – OSNAP

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
F3OSNAPSwitches osnap on/off
F9 or CTRL+BSNAPTurns snap on/off
F11 or CTRL+WOSNAP TRACKTurns object snap tracking on/off
APPAPPARENT INTApparent intersection of 2 objects
CENCENofSnap to centre point
DSDDOSNAPOpens drafting settings/object snap dialogue
ENDENDPOINTSnap to end of line etc
EXTEXTENSIONExtends lines beyond endpoint
FROFROMSnap to an offset distance from an object snap
INSINSERTIONSnap to insertion point of text or block
INTINTERSECTIONSnap to intersection of lines, circles, arcs
MIDMIDPOINTSnap to midpoint of line etc
MTPSnap midpoint between two points
NEANEARESTSnap near to an object
NODNODESnap to point node
NONNONETurns off object snap modes
PARPARALLELContinues a line parallel to existing
PERPERPENDICULARSnap to perpendicular of line etc
QUAQUADRANTSnap to quadrant of circle, arc, ellipse
TANTANGENTSnap to tangent of circle, arc, ellipse
TKTRACKLocate points without drawing lines
TTTTTemporary tracking point

TIP:

  1. Use TAB to cycle through Osnap points.
  2. SHIFT+RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON to reveal Osnap options

TEXT

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
%%CØDiameter dimensioning symbol
%%D°Degrees symbol
%%OOVERSCOREToggles overscore mode on/off
%%P±Plus/minus symbol
%%UUNDERSCOREToggles underscore on/off
DTDTEXTSingle line dynamic text - Justify/Align to fit within text line
EDDDEDITEdit text
FINDFINDOpens find and replace dialogue box
JUSTIFYTEXTJUSTIFYTEXTChange the justification point without moving text
MIRRTEXTMIRRTEXTMirrtext 0 to turn off
SCALETEXTSCALETEXTScales text without moving the text insertion point
SPELLSPELLCHECKPerforms spellcheck - ALL checks all text in drawing
STSTYLEOpens text style dialogue box
T or MTMTEXTMultiline/paragraph text
TCIRCLETCIRCLEPlaces circle, slot, or rectangle around each selected text object
TEXTDTEXTSingle line dynamic text
TEXTFITTEXTFITStretches/shrinks text by selecting new start and/or end points
TORIENTTORIENTRotates text, mtext, and attribute definition objects
TXT2MTXTTXT2MTXTConverts DTEXT to MTEXT
WIPEOUTWIPEOUTMasks part of drawing for clarity

TIPS:

  1. To fit or align text in a defined area using DTEXT and select JUSTIFY/ALIGN or FIT – very useful if the text is enclosed by a rectangle/ circle/etc.

NOTES:

  1. Text entered in paper space is 1:1, e.g. 5mm high text will print 5mm high.

THREE DIMENSIONAL – 3D

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
3D3DCommand line 3D solid options
BOXBOXDraw a cube
CYLINDERCYLINDERDraw a cylinder
DDUCSDDUCSOpens ucs dialogue
DDUCSPDDUCSPOpens ucs dialogue at orthographic tab
EXTEXTRUDEExtrude a face
ININTERSECTIntersect an object
REVREVOLVERevolves an object about an axis
RRRENDEROpen render dialogue box
SESECTIONSection
SLSLICESlice a solid
SUSUBTRACTSubtract selection from solid
TORTORUSDraw torus shape
UCDDUCSDisplays UCS manager dialogue box
UCSUCSUCS command line options
UNIUNIONUnion solids
VPORTSVPORTSOpens viewport dialogue box
WEWEDGEDraw a wedge

UCS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
OBOBJECTAlign UCS with an object, first select UCS
UCDDUCSDisplay UCS manager dialogue box
UCSUCSUniversal co-ordinate system options
UCSICONUCSICONChange the UCS icon appearance
WWORLDReturn to the WCS

VIEWPORTS

SHORTCUTCOMMANDCOMMENT
CTRL+RCycle through viewports
CTRL+PAGE UPSwitch up between layout tabs
CTRL+PAGE DOWNSwitch down between layout tabs
DVDVIEWPerspective view.
MSMSPACESwitch to modelspace in a viewport
MVMVIEWMake a viewport in paperspace
PSPSPACESwitch to paperspace from viewport
VPORTSVPORTSOpens viewports dialogue box
-VPORTS-VPORTSCreate a viewport using command line

TIP:

  1. To prevent a viewport from editing right mouse click on the viewport and select DISPLAY LOCKED/YES

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AutoCAD commands: final thoughts

There you have it—an introduction to some of the most useful AutoCAD commands. They really can transform your experience of working with this software and improve overall productivity significantly. Plus, if you reach the level where you’re able to customize the quick access toolbar, you’ll end up with a program tailored to your particular style of work. Mastering the commands is, therefore, one of the best ways to get the most out of your investment in AutoCAD.

While our list is fairly comprehensive, should you wish to find more, Autodesk includes a full guide to shortcuts on their website.

I hope this article will help you. You may also want to see my other post from my blog.

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