Basic AutoCAD Commands, Shortcuts, and Hot Keys

Basic AutoCAD Tools
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Basic keys to main commands and shortcut key customization

Learning AutoCAD as a beginner can seem a bit intimidating and time-consuming. Scouring the menu options for different operations is both tiresome and monotonous but there is an easier way out that AutoCAD provides.


So, today we will introduce you to basic AutoCAD commands lists that every AutoCAD learner needs to remember.


AutoCAD commands can make the process of performing different operations on a drawing file way easier and faster. These commands make your life easier by providing faster access to several functions searching for which would otherwise take up a lot of time and be confusing.


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What Are The Basic Function Keys Used in AutoCAD?

These shortcut AutoCAD main commands are used to toggle the General features like Grids, color pallets, Styles, and so on within the AutoCAD software.


With the help of the commands listed below, one can easily navigate around some of the general functionalities that AutoCAD provides to its users.

Ctrl+H Toggle Pick Style
Ctrl+I Toggle Coords
Ctrl+F Toggle running object snaps
Ctrl+G Used to Toggle Grid
Ctrl+Shift+I Toggle Infer Constraints
Ctrl+E Cycle isometric planes
Ctrl+Shift+H Toggle Hide pallets


What Are The Basic Commands Used In AutoCAD for Drawings?

These shortcuts in AutoCAD are the most commonly used shortcuts that help with drawing in AutoCAD. You can use these shortcuts to create a new drawing file, save a drawing file, open a drawing file, and so on.


These commands come in extremely handy while first learning AutoCAD. You can take a look at the basic AutoCAD commands list for drawing related operations in the table given below.

Ctrl+Shift+Tab Switch over to the previous drawing
Ctrl+Tab Save drawing Switch over to the next drawing
Ctrl+O Open drawing
Ctrl N  Create a New Drawing
Ctrl+S Switch to next Save the current drawing
Ctrl+P Used for plotting a dialog box
Ctrl+Page Up Switch to the previous tab in the current drawing
Ctrl+Shift+S Save drawing as
Ctrl+Q Exit
Ctrl+Page Down Switch to the next tab in the current drawing

If you learn AutoCAD right with the correct resources, these shortcuts are going to be a huge part of it.


One-click Basic AutoCAD commands List

These are single-click general AutoCAD commands that are programmed to function general tasks related to AutoCAD that help designers Toggle between operations faster. They are operated by clicking the function keys present at the top of the keyboards starting from F1, F2…..F12.


These commands can perform versatile functions like displaying help, toggling the text screen, toggling objects in snap mode, etc.


Let us look at a few of the AutoCAD main commands that operate with a single click.

F1 Displaying the Help Option
F2 Toggling the text screen
F3 Toggle object in snap mode
F4 Toggle 3DOsnap
F5 Toggle Iso-plane
F6 Toggle Dynamic UCS
F7 Toggle grid mode
F8 Toggle ortho mode
F9 Toggle snap mode
F10 Toggle polar mode
F11 Toggle object snap tracking
F12 Toggle dynamic input mode


Related: AutoCAD Books | Online AutoCAD Courses


Basic Shortcut Commands For Managing The Workflow

The following AutoCAD commands or shortcuts are primarily used to manage and control the flow of work in AutoCAD software. You can perform operations like copy-paste, inserting hyperlinks, and so on and so forth using these alphabetic shortcut keys.


Let us have a look at the commonly used basic AutoCAD commands list given below.

Ctrl+C Copy the selected objected
Ctrl+X Cut the selected objects
Ctrl+V Paste the copied/cut object/objects.
Ctrl+A Select all objects
Ctrl+K Insert hyperlink
Ctrl+Shift+C Copy to clipboard with base point
Ctrl+Shift+V Paste data as a block
Ctrl+Y Redo the last action performed
Ctrl+Z Undo the last action performed
Ctrl+[ or Ctrl+/ Cancel the current command
ESC Cancel the current command


Basic AutoCAD Commands List to Manage Screen

These shortcut keys mentioned below are basically numeric shortcuts used for managing screen activities as a whole once you have AutoCAD on your system.


These commands perform functions like clearing the entire screen so you can start again, display the command line and perform quick calculations among several other functions.

Ctrl+0 Clears the entire screen at once.
Ctrl+1 Displays the property Palette
Ctrl+2 Designs Center Palette
Ctrl+3 Shows the Tool Palette
Ctrl+4 Shows Sheet Set Palette
Ctrl+6 DB Connect Manager shortcut
Ctrl+7 Mark-up Set Manager Palette
Ctrl+8 Used to perform quick calculations.
Ctrl+9 Displays the Command Line.


A-Z Hot Keys That Are Used In AutoCAD

There are hundreds of shortcuts and hotkeys in AutoCAD. Each of them have very specific functionalities. You can take a look at all the available hotkeys on the AutoCAD official site.


The AutoCAD basic commands for beginners involving A to Z hot keys comprising single alphabets have been mentioned below so that you can remember them easily.


  1. Creates an Arc
  2. Creates a block definition from selected objects
  3. Creates a Circle
  4. Creates and modifies dimension styles
  5. Removes objects from a drawing
  6. Rounds and Fillets the edges of objects
  7. Creates and Manages a saved set of objects called Groups
  8. Fills up areas that are within boundaries (certain objects in a drawing) with Hatch patterns, gradient fills, or solid fills.
  9. Insert a block or drawing in the current draft you are working on.
  10. Joins objects that are alike in nature to form single, intact objects.
  11. Used to create straight line segments within a drawing in AutoCAD
  12. Used to move selected objects in certain specified directions.
  13. Creates concentric circles, parallel lines, and parallel curves
  14. Adds a parameter with grips to a dynamic block definition
  15. Refreshes the display in the current or active viewport,
  16. Stretches objects by a selection window or polygon
  17. Creates multiline text objects
  18. Saves and restores named views, camera views, layout views, and preset views.
  19. Writes objects or a block to a new drawing file.
  20. Breaks a compound object into its component objects.
  21. Increases the magnification of the view in the current viewport.

These are a few of the many AutoCAD main commands that are incorporated into the AutoCAD software.


Where Can You Locate The Keyboard Shortcuts for AutoCAD?

The steps that users need to follow to locate the AutoCAD basic shortcut keys are given below in a step-by-step manner:

  1. Open the AutoCAD software and select the ‘New Drawing’ option. A new dwg file will open.
  2. From the new drawing, select and click on the ‘Manage’ tab option.
  3. A drop-down list will appear containing several options.
  4. From those given options, try and locate the ‘CUI (Customize User Interface) editor’.
  5. Next, click on the ‘Customization’ button provided on the screen.
  6. A Customization Files dialog box appears on your AutoCAD window.
  7. In the Customization Files box, select ‘Keyboard Shortcuts.
  8. After the Shortcuts box opens, select and left-click either on the Copy to Clipboard or Print button.
  9. You will now be able to view all the AutoCAD basic shortcut keys and commands in a PDF format.


Where and How Can You Customize The Keyboard Shortcuts For AutoCAD?

As users, we often tend to forget the shortcut keys that have been predefined. To solve this problem, AutoCAD provides its users with the option of editing, personalizing, and customizing keyboard shortcuts so that users can remember them with ease.


To customize the keyboard shortcuts for AutoCAD basic keys, you need to follow the steps given below:

  1. Click on the ‘Manage’ tab present on top of the screen while working on an AutoCAD file.
  2. Locate the CUI (Customize User Interface) editor from the drop-down list.
  3. Select and click on the Customization tab.
  4. A Customization dialog box appears. From the Customization Files box, select the option of ‘Keyboard Shortcuts.
  5. Click to expand the Keyboard Shortcuts option and then expand the Shortcut Keys.
  6. In the Command List box, select the AutoCAD command that you want to customize.
  7. Drag and drop the command below the ‘Shortcut Keys’ section in the Customization Files box.
  8. Click on the icon present to the left of your customized command.
  9. In the Properties box, click Access.
  10. In the Shortcut Keys pop-up box, enter the shortcut of your choice and click OK.

Your AutoCAD basic keys will be customized and you can use them next time onwards to perform a specific task.
Related: AutoCAD Pros & Cons


So, with this we come to an end. You now know how that learning the AutoCAD command is the basic first step toward using AutoCAD for projects. Keeping the AutoCAD shortcut commands in mind will effectively speed up your project because you no longer have to go around searching for options in the toolbars.
We have also listed out the AutoCAD basic commands for beginners including A to Z hotkeys so that newbies can understand and utilize them for their own benefit while working with AutoCAD.

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