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Thumbs Up! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD Basics: Tuesday Tips With Frank

Frank Mayfield
April 3, 2018

I spent several years mentoring new users to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT via a live chat application. Although I was armed with years of experience, knowledge and an extensive network of resources, I often would end up pointing them to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD Basics, even if I was able to answer their question.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a tremendous resource if you’re just beginning with AutoCAD and can also be a terrific refresher if you’re a veteran user. From within the AutoCAD desktop application, the Guide can be accessed from the Learn page of the Start tab. Just click on Learn at the bottom, then from the Online Resources box, click on the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD Basics

You’ll be taken to the Hitchhiker’s page – a part of the Autodesk Knowledge Network – in your default browser. (To access it without going through the application, you can also just click here.)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD Basics

Navigating the Hitchhiker’s Guide

The Guide is set up as a series of “islands” which are based on a common AutoCAD activity. You can step through all twelve islands in order, or if you’re interested in a particular topic, just click on that. The links will take you to pages that are more instructional in nature than a regular help topic would be.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD Basics

For example, below is a portion of the Layers page, explaining controls and access methods:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to AutoCAD Basics

The Hitchhiker’s Guide is intended to build on each topic to help navigate you through the proper steps to setup, create, organize, and output your AutoCAD drawings. You’ll even get additional links to related concepts, so you can investigate the concepts further. Numerous people that I recommended visit The Guide returned to thank me for the advice – but it was really a no-brainer! The truth is that whether you’re a beginner looking for help with proper workflow, or someone who may need a refresher in a particular area, you’ll no doubt find some value island hopping through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD Basics.

More Tuesday Tips

Check out our whole Tuesday Tips series for ideas on how to make AutoCAD work for you.



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Frank Mayfield

Frank has worked in various design and CAD Management roles with AutoCAD and Autodesk software since 1986 (v2.62). He is currently an Applications Engineer at ECAD in Tulsa, OK where he provides customer support and training for various Autodesk products. He currently serves on the AUGI Board of Directors and is a member of numerous Autodesk user panels. As a top-rated mentor for trial users of AutoCAD 2018 and AutoCAD LT 2018, he has provided live, real-time guidance and support for over 2,500 new users in more than 50 countries worldwide.