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AutoCAD Commands – The Essential List

Preview of PDF AutoCAD Commands List - AutoCAD Commands The Essential List

We probably don’t have to tell you that AutoCAD is one of the leading CAD programs available on the market today. Whether computer aided design is in your life as a business or a hobby, it’s likely you rank this particular software fairly highly (if not top) in terms of its design capabilities.

If you’ve taken the plunge and purchased it for yourself, you’ll soon find that it takes time to get to grips with everything AutoCAD has to offer. The sophistication of the technology, advanced user interface and sheer range of available tools can, understandably, be a little overwhelming at first.

For this article we’re going to assume that you’ve had the opportunity to play around with AutoCAD, get comfortable with the interface and establish which tools will be most useful for your particular line of work.

Got the basics firmly under your belt? Great! Now it’s time to take advantage of the AutoCAD commands. Yes, the folks behind the software know that there’s a lot to take in, so they created handy shortcuts that enable you to navigate the controls with ease. Once a few of these commands become second nature, you’ll be producing work in the most efficient way possible.

About AutoCAD

AutoCAD logoAutoCAD is the flagship product of the software company Autodesk. Created in 1982 to enable the production of high quality 2D and 3D technical drawings, it was actually the first CAD software developed for PCs.

Though initially designed to cater to the mechanical engineering industry, the capabilities of AutoCAD have since expanded to suit a wide range of professionals including architects and animators.

Today, AutoCAD is considered to be one of the leading design programs available and has grown to be the most widely used CAD software out there. With new applications facilitating mobile-friendly options and use of cloud storage services, the software continues to evolve by integrating technological advancements.

What are AutoCAD commands?

At the bottom of the drawing screen in AutoCAD, you’ll find the command window. Trust us: this handy little box is a lifesaver when you have lots of work to do and you’re up against a deadline.

Infographic of AutoCAD commands and shortcut keys

Examples of AutoCAD commands that come with shortcuts

In the most basic terms, commands and shortcuts are words or letters that you type into the command window to produce an action. For example, if you wish to draw an arc, rather than searching for an arc among the tools, you could just use a command. In this case, type ‘ARC‘ or even ‘A‘ into the command window, press Enter, and an arc will appear. 

Some commands come with shortcuts (a single letter alternative), while actions that are a little less common tend to require a command that is 3 or more letters long. AutoCAD recognizes hundreds of commands and, once you get more advanced, you can even customize the toolbar—adding or prioritizing the commands you find to be the most useful.  

AutoCAD commands: The essentials

As you can imagine, given the vast capabilities of AutoCAD, there are a lot of commands available. Whether you’re sketching designs, drawing up blueprints, or producing 3D models, there will be commands available to make the job easier. In the interest of saving time and space, this guide includes the ones that we deem to be the most useful. So, let’s get started! 

Basic actions

Before getting into the nitty gritty of drawing and modifying commands, it’s important to get to grips with basic actions you require from most computer software. From pasting to spell check, here’s a selection of commonly required instructions:

AUDIT Check and remove errors from your work
CLOSEALL Close all of the open windows in AutoCAD
CLOSEALLOTHER Close all open windows except for the one you are currently working on
CO/ COPY Copy objects or text
DI/ DISTANCE Find the distance between two point in a drawing  
I/ INSERT Insert (existing block or drawing as a block)
LIST Access the properties of the different objects within a drawing
MATLIB Import or export materials from a library
MULTIPLE Repeat any command without having to press Enter each time (Press Esc key to cancel)
OOPS Restore the last object you deleted
OP/ OPTIONS Open the options window (contains the settings for AutoCAD)
PASTECLIP Paste copied objects from clipboard into your work
PREVIEW See how your work will be presented when printed
QSAVE Autosave the file you’re working on
RECOVERALL Recover and repair a corrupted or damaged drawing
RO/ ROTATE Rotate an object
SAVEALL Save all of the open drawings in AutoCAD
SP/ SPELL Perform spell check on selected text
ST/ DDSTYLE Open the text style window
TIME Access information such as the date you created a certain piece of work, or time spent editing a drawing


This software is specifically designed with technical drawing in mind, so you’ll find a wide range of geometric shapes and sketching capabilities at your disposal when working in AutoCAD. To save yourself the time of scrolling through the library every time you need a particular line or solid, learn some of these commands:

A/ ARC Create an arc
AREA Find the area of closed or open shapes in a drawing
AR/ ARRAY Make a rectangle, polar or path array
B/ BLOCK Create a block
BCOUNT Count the number of blocks in your drawing
C/ CIRCLE Create a circle
DS/ DDOSNAP Open the Drafting Settings window
GROUP Group multiple objects into a single unit
HIDEOBJECTS Hide selected objects in a drawing
HIGHLIGHT Highlight a selected object in a drawing
ISOLATE Hide all objects in a drawing except the one you have selected
L/ LINE Create a simple line
MI/ MIRROR Produce a mirror copy of an object
MLINE Create multiple parallel lines
PL/ PLINE Make a polyline
PO/ POINT Create a single point within a drawing
POL/ POLYGON Produce a polygon (you select the number of sides, from 3 to 1024)
QSELECT Make a particular selection from your drawing according to applied filters, i.e – select all lines below a particular length
REC/ RECTANGLE Create a rectangle
SKETCH Draw a freehand sketch within a piece of work


Your first draft is complete—now it’s time to play around with the properties and tweak your designs where necessary. For this stage, the following commands are sure to come in handy:

BASE Alter the base point of a drawing without changing its origin
BREAK Create a break (or gaps) in objects at one or two points
BURST Explode a block but retain its attribute settings and layer definition
CHA/ CHAMFER Add slanted edges to sharp corners of objects
COPYBASE Copy an object according to a base point
DIVIDE Divide objects into multiple equal parts
F/ FILLET Add rounded corners to the sharp edges of objects
LA/ LAYERS Open the Layer Properties Manage Palette (which allows you to tweak the settings for layers)
MA/ MATCHPROPERTIES Copy the properties of one object onto another
MOCORO Move, copy, rotate and scale an object in one command
OVERKILL Remove overlapping or unnecessary objects from your work
PURGE Remove unused objects from a drawing
SC/ SCALE Change the scale of an object
SCALETEXT Change the scale of text
TEXTFIT Alter the size of a piece of text so that it fits into the required space
TEXTTOFRONT Bring annotations to the front
TORIENT Change the orientation of text
TR/ TRIM Trim a shape or line
UNITS Alter the unit settings of your drawing
X/ EXPLODE Break up an object into its individual components—i.e., a polyline into simple lines


Fear not—the commands are not exclusive to 2D work! If you’re taking your AutoCAD project to another dimension, there are plenty of commands that can speed up the process. Here’s a brief taster:

3DALIGN Align a 3D object with another 3D solid
BOX Create a 3D box
FLATSHOT Convert a 3D drawing into a 2D image and view it from multiple angles
HELIX Create a helix
IMPRINT Imprint a 2D drawing onto the face of a 3D surface within your work
INTERFERE Locate points in a drawing where 3D solids intersect with one another 
POLYSOLID Create a 3D wall-like object
SECTIONPLANE Section 3D objects along different planes 
SURFPATCH Fill open areas of a surface
SURFTRIM Trim surfaces within a piece of work

AutoCAD commands: final thoughts

There you have it—an introduction to some of the most useful AutoCAD commands. They really can transform your experience of working with this software and improve overall productivity significantly. Plus, if you reach the level where you’re able to customize the quick access toolbar, you’ll end up with a program tailored to your particular style of work. Mastering the commands is therefore one of the best ways to get the most out of your investment in AutoCAD.

While our list is fairly comprehensive, should you wish to find more, Autodesk include a full guide to shortcuts on their website. 


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54 Responses to AutoCAD Commands – The Essential List

  1. KT RAVIKUMAR Nov 14, 2018 at 5:17 AM #

    Thanks for your valuable information

    • luke Nov 14, 2018 at 5:56 PM #

      You’re welcome!

  2. Leo Richard Nov 16, 2018 at 1:27 AM #


    • luke Nov 16, 2018 at 3:19 PM #

      Great 😀

  3. suraj kushwaha Nov 19, 2018 at 5:45 PM #



    • luke Nov 19, 2018 at 6:21 PM #

      I’m pleased that you’ve found this list of AutoCAD commands useful, Suraj

      • Shehzad Jul 3, 2021 at 6:11 AM #

        Dear sir
        Hope you will be in good health I have required Autocad commands 2d and 3d I will thankful to you.

        • Andoni Jul 5, 2021 at 10:44 AM #

          We’re glad our article was helpful to you!

  4. devesh Dec 15, 2018 at 12:37 AM #

    how we can divide area of trapezium into n numbers of equal parts?

    • luke Dec 17, 2018 at 10:55 AM #

      I’d recommend asking a question like this to the community at CADAnswers.

  5. narendran Dec 31, 2018 at 5:13 AM #

    Thanks,Its useful . Do u have any youtube channel or video tutorials.

  6. Vikas reddy Jan 3, 2019 at 2:49 AM #

    Thank-you so much .it’s very useful.

  7. sufyan azam Jan 21, 2019 at 3:48 AM #

    sir i have to know all commound of 2d and 3d with examople

  8. Shameer Jan 29, 2019 at 8:40 AM #

    Thanksfull,. Great

  9. Atif Ullah Feb 8, 2019 at 4:18 PM #

    Thank you so much’s very useful.

  10. Softgudam May 3, 2019 at 3:50 PM #

    thank you very much admin for your important news to share with us. And more thanks for i get best idea read this article about this topics. many more days i was searched this topics, finally i got it.

  11. icha May 9, 2019 at 3:28 AM #

    thank you, this is very useful

  12. Aarif Ali Jun 19, 2019 at 9:53 AM #

    Can we able to convert either image drawing (or) pdf drawing into AutoCAD ? if so, how we can do, pl. help in this regard,

    • Luke Jun 19, 2019 at 11:22 AM #

      You can convert your PDF to AutoCAD format (DXF/DWG) with Scan2CAD.

  13. Althea Erica Aug 6, 2019 at 6:20 AM #

    Thank you!!

  14. Charlene G. Caadlawon Sep 10, 2019 at 1:14 PM #

    What are the different methodsin entering coordinates in Autocad?

    • Luke Sep 12, 2019 at 1:19 PM #

      I’d recommend asking a question like this at CAD Answers

  15. Krishna Mohan Feb 18, 2020 at 12:43 AM #

    What is difference between AutoCAD dwg file and AutoCAD dxf file

    • Luke Feb 18, 2020 at 9:55 AM #

      Here’s a past post that explains the difference: DXF vs DWG.

  16. anuradha Feb 21, 2020 at 5:00 PM #

    how we can remove watermark before plot any process please give me the steps

    • Luke Feb 22, 2020 at 3:50 PM #

      I recommend asking that question on CAD Answers

    • Adaeze Akusoba May 24, 2021 at 4:40 PM #

      What are the EIGHT modes of object control in autoCAD control model

      • Luke Jun 7, 2021 at 9:39 AM #

        I recommend asking questions like these to the community at CAD Answers.

  17. Mugdha Bhalerao Sep 4, 2020 at 5:21 PM #

    Very useful. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  18. Enrique Pasillas Oct 1, 2020 at 4:00 AM #

    Do these commands apply to CAD Worx?

    • Luke Oct 1, 2020 at 1:45 PM #

      Nope, CAD Worx is a totally different application developed by a totally unrelated company.

  19. George Boulous Nov 3, 2020 at 11:50 AM #

    plz i forget command autocad text small shiffres
    exp ; area := 100m2 (number 2 small )
    or 100m3 (number 3 small )

    • Luke Nov 5, 2020 at 4:43 PM #

      I’d recommend posting that question to the community at CAD Answers. They will help you.

  20. Masood Raji Nov 6, 2020 at 8:03 AM #

    Thank you or your very useful presentation of Autocad Commands. As a teacher of AutoCAD, I appreciate the brevity, cleanliness and orderliness of your work. I will use your work in presenting AutCAD to my fresh students.

    Thanks again

    • Luke Nov 9, 2020 at 4:03 PM #

      I love to hear that, Masood! Good look with your teaching 😀

  21. Bhavadeep Nov 26, 2020 at 8:58 AM #

    In a cluster of drawings, what is the command to send one drawing in dwg format?
    I’m not talking about the copy paste.

    • Luke Dec 1, 2020 at 12:07 PM #

      I would recommend asking specific questions like these on CAD Answers

  22. Jaish Dec 31, 2020 at 6:26 PM #

    Thank you so much, this has been a great help, do you have any videos for newbies showing basic tips and ideas for autoCAD ? If yes can you please leave me a link. Even if not thanks anyways . Appreciate this information.

  23. ali Jan 3, 2021 at 5:25 AM #

    I need to learn AutoCAD for my increment of perfection

    • Luke Jan 5, 2021 at 11:50 AM #

      Good luck!

  24. Kanhaiya lal Jan 14, 2021 at 5:56 AM #

    ty so much

  25. Rizwan Jan 31, 2021 at 11:05 AM #

    I need to learn AutoCAD for my increment of perfection

    • Luke Feb 2, 2021 at 6:21 PM #

      Cool, good luck!

  26. Maroof ullah Apr 4, 2021 at 1:11 AM #


  27. Muhammad Umar Apr 7, 2021 at 8:17 AM #

    Asalam U Alikum I am Pakistani And I work on ptofessional Autocad

  28. ZULQARNAIN Jun 27, 2021 at 3:44 PM #


    • Andoni Jul 1, 2021 at 9:21 AM #

      Hey there, if you have any more questions about AutoCAD, may I suggest visiting There’s a great community there and it’s the perfect venue for asking questions about AutoCAD and other CAD-related topics.

  29. Shubham Singh Jul 18, 2021 at 2:39 PM #

    Good,this article was very useful for me

  30. ritusharma Sep 8, 2021 at 8:52 AM #

    Useful post. I got to learn a lot about the tools of AutoCAD.

  31. Shalin Oct 14, 2021 at 7:27 AM #

    Nice post! Thanks for sharing information about AutoCAD design.

  32. ritusharma Nov 11, 2021 at 12:06 PM #

    Thanks for the post, these commands are important to help to create a complete 2D plan

  33. Kavya Rao Nov 15, 2021 at 7:52 AM #

    thank you for sharing the commands for AutoCAD, they were very useful.

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