AutoCAD Tutorial for Beginners: The Easy Way to Get Started

Quickly see how to use AutoCAD

This AutoCAD tutorial for beginners provides detailed explanations and diagrams that make it easy to learn how to use AutoCAD. If you’ve installed AutoCAD but are not sure how to operate it, you should refer to this article.

If you’ve installed AutoCAD but are not sure how to operate it, you should refer to this article.


AutoCAD is a well-known CAD software program used in architecture, civil engineering and mechanical engineering.

This drawing software has such a wide range of features, but its high level of functionality means it’s quite hard to understand everything about how to install it and use it.

To be honest, it was even difficult for me to get to grips with all the information and jargon at the start.

Therefore, I’m going to explain how to install and operate AutoCAD in a way that beginners can easily understand. This article will be helpful if you’re new to AutoCAD or thinking of installing it.

What is AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is a 2D and 3D compatible CAD software program developed and sold by Autodesk.

It’s an excellent tool for creating drawings, and is very convenient for work with its highly customizable commands.

It’s very widely used and is the best-selling CAD software in Japan. In the next chapter, I’ll show you how to install AutoCAD.

How to install AutoCAD

Autocad tutorial for beginners

Installing AutoCAD is not difficult. After purchase, you install the software, and configure the start settings. The main steps are as follows.

  1. Check the operating environment of your computer
  2. Purchase a license
  3. Sign in to install
  4. After restarting your PC, run AutoCAD, accept the terms of use, and start!

Let’s take a closer look at each step.

Check system requirements

System requirements differ depending on the license and version of the software, so make sure you check these carefully before you purchase your product.

The latest system requirements are on the AutoCAD official website for you to have a look at when you purchase. There is a free trial version, so you can see if your computer can run AutoCAD before purchasing the paid-for version.

Purchase a license

AutoCAD has various formats: AutoCAD is general-purpose software for 3D modelling; AutoCAD LT is just for creating 2D drawings; AutoCAD Design Suite Premium has a range of different tools, including animation features.

So, choose the one which best suits your business and usage requirements.

Then subscribe for your desired product online or at a store.

Sign in and install

You will receive an email to confirm your purchase. Follow the instructions to sign in and download the software.

What to do after installation

Once installation is complete, restart your computer.

Open AutoCAD, and you will see the Terms of Use and Privacy Statement. Read these through and accept them. Now you’re ready to start using AutoCAD!

AutoCAD basics

Now that you know how to install AutoCAD, the next step is to learn the basic operations.

AutoCAD is CAD software which runs when you enter a command.

There are many commands, but basically, we make drawings by creating circles and line segments using object commands.

You can use a command by finding it in the tool palette called the Ribbon, or by typing the name of the command which you want to use.

When you enter a command, you will see what is required next. Just follow the instructions.

You can also customize commands.

By setting shortcut keys for copying or pasting and so on, you can improve your work efficiency. This is one of the most convenient aspects of using AutoCAD.

Basic operations of AutoCAD

Next, I will show you the basic operations of AutoCAD.

How to use the commands

We type a command to operate AutoCAD as mentioned above. Let’s take a closer look at how to do this.

There are other ways to execute commands, but here I am showing you how to do this by typing because that’s the way most users do it.

Autocad tutorial for beginners

The Command line is at the bottom of the AutoCAD window, so enter your command here.

As an example, we are going to create a circle.

First, type “circle”, to draw a circle.

Autocad tutorial for beginners

After entering the command, it’s easy.

Just follow the instructions shown in the diagram below, such as “specify the center point” and “specify the radius.”

Autocad tutorial for beginners

How to draw an object

Naturally, AutoCAD can draw many types of objects other than circles.

Examples include straight lines, arcs, rectangles, and curves, known as “polylines.”

You can execute any command simply by entering the name of the command and following the instructions shown.

If you remember the name of the command you want to use, you can simply type it in the way described above. If you don’t remember it, you can find it in the Draw panel, which displays the commands for drawing, as shown in the red square in the diagram below.

Autocad tutorial for beginners

So, choose the command you want to use from there, then follow the instructions shown.

You can find the commands not shown in the panel by clicking the little triangle next to the “Draw” in the Draw panel. The hidden commands and their explanation will be shown by that, so you can use the Draw panel to find any commands.

Autocad tutorial for beginners

How to erase an object

After learning to draw, we’re going to learn how to erase an object.

First, choose the object to erase.

Left-click near the object to erase. This allows you to specify a rectangular selection area. Left-click again after choosing the area of the object to erase.

Autocad tutorial for beginners

When you have selected the object, you can erase it by pressing the Delete key.

You can basically delete any object simply by selecting it and pressing the Delete key.

To erase several objects at a time, hold the Shift key to select your objects. Then you can erase them altogether. You can also deselect objects by holding the Shift key and clicking the objects you don’t need.

Autocad tutorial for beginners

Apart from using the Delete key, you can also use the Undo command. This takes you back to the stage prior to drawing the object that you wish to erase.

Advanced and useful features in AutoCAD

Autocad tutorial for beginners

AutoCAD creates drawings by using various drawing commands. However, there are many convenient features to help reduce work time or to draw more complicated objects.

Polar tracking

Polar tracking is a drawing aid which guides the angle when drawing a line segment, similar to the smart guide in Adobe.

You can use the F10 key to turn it on or off. It’s very useful if you use the angle guide a lot and don’t want to enter a command each time.

Hiding the Toolbars

Most beginners use the Toolbars which allow you to operate AutoCAD more intuitively than using the Command line. If you’re used to the Command line, then you won’t use the Toolbars so much.

You might just need the Command line.

In my opinion, operating AutoCAD with the Command line is one of the software’s key strengths. Also, there’s no need to display the Toolbars just for commands which you don’t normally use.

When you get used to using the Command line, you can hide the Toolbars if you prefer.

Without the Toolbars, your workspace is larger, and your work speed increases, particularly since you don’t need to use the mouse.


You can create drawings without using Polylines. Many users don’t use them, or don’t even know what they are. However, Polylines are actually an excellent feature!

The software recognizes an object drawn with dots or line segments as several discrete elements. So, when you want to choose the object, you won’t be able to select the whole object with a single click because the object is recognized as discrete elements. This is common in any software.

This is where Polylines comes in. Using Polylines, you can combine elements to make a single object.

By doing so, you compress the file size, and you can apply hatching in one shot, which is extremely convenient. It’s a practical feature when you’re working and well worth using.

CAD courses are better than teaching yourself!

I’ve briefly shown you the usage and convenient features of AutoCAD, but you need to actually use it to understand it properly.

You may also find that once you’ve started using it, you can’t use it the way you want.

It is software which is very efficient to use once u get familiar with it. I can’t say it’s particularly beginner-friendly because it has so much functionality and the commands are quite complicated.

Of course, you can master it eventually by teaching yourself.

However, you’ll spend a lot of time looking up information online or buying “how-to” books on Amazon. This could interfere with your daily work.

So, taking a course will be useful if:

  • You’ve installed AutoCAD and want to learn the basics;
  • You’ve installed AutoCAD, but are not sure how to operate it;
  • You want to learn the basic AutoCAD operations as quickly as possible; or
  • You want to learn some more advanced operations of AutoCAD and improve your work efficiency.

There are different types of courses, and they’re designed for every level and purpose. So, I recommend everyone to take a course – from beginners to experienced users.

Working by inputting commands, which is a characteristic of AutoCAD, is complicated, and there are so many types of commands. So, if you take a course to learn how to enter commands, you can make better use of the software.

Do you want to take a course to improve your skills? Click here for our recommended AutoCAD e-learning.

Apply for a Basic AutoCAD e-learning >

Key Takeaways from Our AutoCAD Tutorial for Beginners

In this AutoCAD tutorial for beginners, I’ve talked about familiarizing yourself with AutoCAD, the installation process, the software’s basic uses and convenient features. I’ve also recommended taking a learning course.

I hope you can see what a great software package AutoCAD is!

I recommend you download the free trial version to begin with.

The command operations which are a key characteristic of AutoCAD are useful, but not so simple to learn.

I hope this article helps you to master this software!