Tips for productive CAD drafting

10 helpful Autocad commands for more productive CAD drafting

First off I would like to wish all you avid readers out there a very happy New Year. May 2016 be a fantastic and successful year for all you CAD drafters. I am exceeding grateful for the overwhelming support this blog and Perth Cad Services received last year and I hope to continue the high level of interaction we saw in 2015 with the discussion of even more interesting topics coupled with the exchange of new and innovative CAD ideas. Here are 10 AutoCAD commands I could not live without so hopefully they will be of valuable use to you as well.


I tend to use overkill on AutoCAD drawings I receive that are old and have had a lot of updates by different people. Overkill will run through the drawing and delete any duplicates, 0 value and overlapping lines. You can apply rules and tolerances based on line type, color and many other factors. This is a great tool for cleaning up AutoCAD drawings.


Have you ever had a large viewport with a smaller one inside it? No matter how many times you try clicking it you can’t open it. Ctrl+R will toggle through all the viewports on your page, simply open one viewport and press Ctrl+R until it opens the viewport you want.


I love this command and could never be without it. Basically when drawing a line using the m2p command it will add the end point of the line to the center point of two points you click on. One area I found this command very useful in was pollylining room areas for facilities management drawings to calculate areas and rental space of offices, hospitals etc. I personally use this command so often I created a button for it from the command user interface (CUI) and added it to my snap tool bar.


This tool allows you to arrange the order of selected objects by their colour number. If you are working to a standard it’s a great way to arrange the order of objects before printing and sending drawings out.


Have you ever forgot a command? If you type ALIASEDIT it will give you a list of all the commands that have shortcuts. You can add new ones also.


This lets you join or convert existing text objects into mtext objects. It’s great if you have a bunch of single line text objects and want to create one multiline text object. Also very useful when you are converting PDF’s to DWG using software.


This is a handy little tool that lets you move, rotate, copy and scale in one command. I found this a time saver when I was placing access panels under dampers in a large HVAC drafting project, the thing I like is when you use the copy command and hit return you jump to the copied part and can then rotate the way you require then on to the next.


This was introduced in Autocad 2013 and if you have ever used inventor or solid works this will be familiar to you. Viewbase is used for documenting 3D models; when you enter the command in model space and select your 3D part, and select the layouts space, this will then place a block like viewport with the part. Once you click the top view in place if you move to the left it will add a side view at the required projection, same if you move up or down it will be a front or rear. It also places 3D projections with hidden lines shown if required. Have some fun with this one and play around with this command, it will save you allot of time.


This is a life saver and has pulled me out of a few holes. Basically in paper space if you use the chspace command it will let you select objects from the model and bring them in to paper space at the scale of your viewport and vice versa.


As strange as it seems this can come in handy, basically oops will recover the last object you deleted without interfering with anything else. It seems Autodesk might have a sense of humor?

I hope you found these tips useful and they help with your CAD drafting productivity, feel free to share your own weird and wonderful commands in the comment section below.

If you would like further information on ways to improve your CAD abalties check out our previous post Strategies to become a better CAD drafter



+1 # Mat 2016-01-19 00:21
Great post.
Some very useful commands.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # PAT W. 2016-01-21 07:14
some are usefull to remind, i'll hang up a post-it
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # MEC 2016-01-22 19:07
Other time saving commands

LAYDEL - will delete a layer even if it is not empty, so be careful as it delete everything on the selected layer at the same time.

BREP - to delete 3D Solid creation history, which reduces file size.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # JonH 2016-01-25 05:31
Thanks for sharing
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Mark 2016-01-25 15:42
Great post, some very helpful commands. :-)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # Joe 2016-02-15 06:51
Thanks for putting this together. I will definitely put these commands to use. No matter how long you've been using AutoCAD, you're never done learning ways to use it more effectively.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Peter 2016-02-18 12:44
Wow! I haven't worked with AutoCAD on the newer releases, and almost ALL of these 'commands' were available 10 Years ago! Admittedly, many were LISP add-ons, but they existed.
Oh, Autodesk Does have a sense of humor... early LISP tutorials said "... and thanks for all the fish!"
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # inter drafter 2016-04-07 07:18
many new comments I know

Thanks, nice sharing
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Perth Drafting 2016-09-10 04:29
Wow, this is really helpful. Thank you for sharing. Really appreciated!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # Aimee 2017-02-13 05:22
Awesome post!! You The Man!! :lol: 8)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

Add comment

Security code Refresh