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Exploring the Drafting & Annotation Workspace

As the default UI configuration for AutoCAD, the Drafting & Annotation workspace shown previously in Figure 1.3 serves as the primary workspace throughout this book. Having a good understanding of this workspace is imperative as you perform the exercises in the coming chapters. To ensure your success with those exercises, I’ll start by breaking down what you can expect when using the
Drafting & Annotation workspace. From top to bottom and from left to right,
the following elements make up this workspace:
Application Menu The Application menu contains the tools for opening, saving,and printing (plotting) your drawings. These options are similar to the File drop-down menu that has been deprecated since the Ribbon was introduced in AutoCAD. When the Application menu is open, the menus for these tools project from the upper-left corner of the AutoCAD window and cover the drawing area and any open dialog boxes.
Quick Access Toolbar Located to the right of the Application menu, the
Quick Access toolbar provides immediate access to some of the most frequently used commands to complete tasks such as creating, opening, saving, and plotting drawings. This toolbar is a customizable element of the UI that maintains a consistent appearance as you interact with your designs, and many AutoCAD users choose to build on its default task coverage.Title Bar The title bar is analogous to the title bar in any Windows program.
It contains the program name (AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT) and the title of
the current drawing with its path, provided a drawing other than the default
Drawing#.dwg is open.
The Ribbon Located immediately below the title bar, and spanning the entire
width of the Application window, the Ribbon serves as the primary launchpad
for nearly every command used to compose drawings in AutoCAD. Related tasks are found under the different tabs, which are further segmented into panels
containing similar tools. The “Using the Ribbon” section later in this chapter
explains this taxonomy in greater detail.
InfoCenter To the far right of the title bar is the InfoCenter, containing the
Search, Autodesk 360, Autodesk Exchange Apps, and Help buttons. You can
enter a question in the field to the left of the Search button to access information
from a number of locations quickly, including the standard AutoCAD help
system through the drop-down panel. The Autodesk 360 button allows you to
sign in with your Autodesk ID and access a wealth of cloud-based services that
integrate with AutoCAD. The Help button is a direct link to the AutoCAD help
system (also accessible by pressing the F1 key).
File Tabs A tab for each open drawing is displayed at the top of the drawing
area. These tabs provide a visual method to quickly switch between open drawings
or to create new drawings. Should you prefer additional screen real estate
in lieu of this functionality, File Tabs can be turned off from the Interface panel
of the View Ribbon tab.
Drawing Area and Cursor The blank middle section of the screen is called the
drawing area. This represents a virtually infinite plane. The crosshairs, or cursor
as it’s known in AutoCAD, allows you to navigate the drawing area to precisely
compose your designs.
ViewCube ® Found in the upper-right corner of the drawing area, the
ViewCube is primarily used for navigating three-dimensional drawings. It provides
access to 26 predefined view orientations in addition to the basic ability to
pivot a drawing.
In-Canvas Viewport Control Displayed in the upper-left corner of the drawing
area, the In-Canvas Viewport Controls provide a quick, and convenient way
to change the current view, visual style, or viewport configurationNavigation Bar Beneath the ViewCube, you’ll find the Navigation bar, which provides
access to several universal and product-specific navigation tools. These tools,
while tailored to the specific commands found in AutoCAD, are designed to mimic
navigation features found in other Autodesk products such as Autodesk® Revit®.
UCS Icon The User Coordinate System (UCS) is discussed in Chapter 2,
“Learning Basic Commands to Get Started.” The UCS icon, an essential part of
this system, is found in the lower-left corner of the drawing area and indicates
the positive coordinates for the x-, y-, and z-axes.
Command Line Serving as the primary method for interacting with AutoCAD,
the command-line interface is located by default along the bottom edge of the
drawing area. Similar to a paper-tape roll on a printing calculator, the commandline
interface displays a history of previous actions as well as a summary of the
current actions for which the system seeks your input.
Layout Tabs Each AutoCAD drawing consists of a model tab and any number
of layout tabs whose name can be customized. As a general rule, the model tab
represents your design, and the layout tabs represent the piece of paper used
to document a design. The Layout Tab interface allows you to quickly switch
between these views of your design.
Status Bar The status bar, streamlined in AutoCAD 2015, is now aligned to the
bottom-right corner of the Application window. Tools located on the status bar
are primarily focused on helping you draw and on managing the user interface.
You’ll probably find yourself using the status bar quite frequently, so I’ll describe
each of its tools in a moment.If your screen does not look like Figure 1.3, you need to make a few changes:
1. Click the Workspace Switching tool from the status bar, and choose
Drafting & Annotation, as shown in Figure 1.4. Alternatively, commandline
users can launch the WSCURRENT command by entering the
following:
WSCURRENT↵
drafting & annotation↵

Exploring the Drafting & Annotation Workspace1

F igu re 1 . 4 : Selecting the Drafting & Annotation workspace
The drawing area in the center of the screen is an infinite canvas
where you’ll create your designs; however, it might need to be adjusted.
2. Using the View Controls tool on the in-canvas Viewport controls,
select the Top option (see Figure 1.5).

Exploring the Drafting & Annotation Workspace2
F igu re 1 . 5 : Selecting the Top option by using the in-canvas Viewport
controls
This step ensures that your view is perpendicular to the drawing
area. It should be as though you were looking straight down at a3. From the in-canvas Viewport controls, click the Visual Style control
to display a list of visual styles. Select the 2D Wireframe option from
the list, as shown in Figure 1.6.

Exploring the Drafting & Annotation Workspace3
F igu re 1 . 6 : Selecting the 2D Wireframe visual style by using in-canvas
Viewport controls
Your screen should now look similar to Figure 1.3 shown previously.

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