AutoCAD Tips

Show Lineweights

Lineweights in CAD
To show lineweights in AutoCAD, just click on the icon at the bottom. This can be problematic while drafting in modelspace, though helpful in paperspace. When you can see line weights and the plot style helps you edit your drawings without going to plot preview. To set up a black and white paperspace with plot styles, see Setting up CAD Paperspace with plot styles and line weights.

Setting Paperspace Background White

To set up your background color in paperspace to white (if it isn't already), right click on the background and hit Options. Then click on the Display tab and then click the button that says colors.

Options > Display > Colors

Once in the color window, select sheet / layout then uniform background and finally select white.

sheet / layout > uniform background > white

Setting CAD paperspace background to white

Getting the Tabs on the bottom back

Options > Display tab > Display Layout & Model Tabs checkbox

If you ever lose the tabs at the bottom of the main AutoCAD window, right click on the background and select Options and click on the Display tab, then check the Display Layout & Model Tabs check-box.

Display Layout & Model Tabs Check-box

Color Monochrome Printing

Lineweights can be set by color or by layer. The convention is to use colors to visually differentiate lineweights while drafting. Conventions are difficult to find, though firms tend to have their own standards for their Plot Styles.


Stuck in model view while on paperspace

Typically to get out of a view port in paper space you double click outside the window.
When stuck in a view port in paperspace and you can't click out of it. type ps to go back to the paperspace.

Import Picture

Toolbar: Insert > Raster Image


Backup Files

Usually when you have automatic backups selected, if AutoCAD crashes, when it is restarted, your backups should automatically come up. Check your settings where backups are and you can look in that folder to be sure you don't have a backup. The files will end with a SV$.DWG

The autosave locations are different between Windows 7 and XP. 

For Windows 7: 

For Windows XP: 
C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp

You can change this default autosave path (folder location) through SAVEFILEPATH system variable. 

Autosave files are deleted on successful exit of AutoCAD, so be sure to save any backups in the recover manager window before you exit.

Plot Styles

Always backup your Plot Styles. Locations may vary depending on your CAD version, search your computer for the 'Plot Styles' folder or ctb files. The following are folder examples from my computer. Please note they are located in the hidden folder 'AppData'

CAD files:C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2012 - English\R18.2\enu\Plotters\Plot Styles
CAD FILES:C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2015\R20.0\enu\Plotters\Plot Styles\\Plot Styles


Anderson Windows lets you download plan and elevations of windows through the web. They also have a downloadable stand alone program Window Studio which allows you to create windows for use in CAD and Google SketchUp on your computer.

Hatch Patterns

You need to locate your existing two standard AutoCAD (or LT) hatch files, open them in a text editor, then copy the hatch pattern code from my file (hatch_pattern_code.txt) into them.
The standard AutoCAD hatch files are acad.pat and acadiso.pat (aclt.pat and acltiso.pat for LT). acad.pat contains the hatch patterns used in imperial drawings, and acadiso.pat contains the hatch patterns used in metric drawings. The patterns in both files are the same except for the dimensions used. Hatch pattern files (.pat) are just ordinary text files consisting mainly of numbers, which is the code AutoCAD uses to draw the hatches.
Typically you will find the hatch files in this directory (folder):

c:\Documents and Settings\(your username)\Application Data\Autodesk\(AutoCAD or LT version)\enu\support


Best way to print xrefs faded is to:

1)    Select the layers of the xrefs you want to print faded in layer manager.
2)    Go to Transparency attribute column and click on the zero.
3)    Change to higher number for greater fading effect.
4)    When you print, make sure you check the box for “print transparencies”.

The advantage of this method is you don’t have to change each layer of the xref to color 9. This way it still has lineweights, but grayed out.

Free CAD Files

Places to find free files to supplement your drawings

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