Your Popular AutoCAD Questions Answered | CAD Answers

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AutoCAD is one of the leading CAD programs in AEC communities. It’s developed by Autodesk and was first released in 1982 when CAD as a concept was still in its infancy. The main use of the software is to digitally plan and draft schematics and technical drawings in preparation for refinement, manufacture, or construction – standard fare for any CAD program. But what AutoCAD does better than almost all of its competitors is its sheer versatility and its robust design and drafting tools. Any seasoned CAD veteran will most probably have AutoCAD in their arsenal of most frequently used design software.

AutoCAD interface

AutoCAD interface Source

Regardless of experience levels, however, it is not uncommon for CAD operators to find themselves with drafter’s block. Every once in a while, these drafters will run into an issue with AutoCAD that they can’t seem to figure out. The first instinct is to run to Google. And if that proves fruitless, the next option is to post on your favorite CAD forum and pray that some AutoCAD trailblazer has encountered that same problem before and has since figured out a way around it.

With all the questions and answers about AutoCAD on the internet, we’ve found it apt to try and compile some of the more popular ones and put them in an easy-to-browse list. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck with any of these questions and have been wanting solutions to your AutoCAD conundrums, then this might be your lucky day – keep reading on. And even if you haven’t encountered these issues yet, reading about these solutions will still help prevent you from experiencing drafting heartaches later down the line.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 most popular AutoCAD questions answered from

1. How can I open DXF files without AutoCAD?

This is mainly a question asked by folks who don’t use AutoCAD but are receiving files from users that do. DXF files are a bit foreign to non-CAD users, so if you find yourself with one of these files and don’t know how to handle them, you’ll be glad to know that there are a bunch of programs you can use to open and edit these files. Some of these programs are free to download and you’re better off using those if opening DXF files isn’t something you’ll be doing too often. But if you do find yourself handling DXF’s on the regular, it might be time to invest in some entry-level paid programs. Whatever your needs are, you might find some valuable insights on what programs to try out if you go through the answers to this question on CAD Answers.


2. Can my computer’s NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card run AutoCAD?

A lot of first-time AutoCAD users, usually students or professionals that are new to digital drafting, will find themselves wondering about the program’s hardware requirements. Is my work machine capable enough to run AutoCAD? Would there be any hardware upgrades I can do to help speed up my AutoCAD processes? And more specifically, is my graphics processor good enough to run the software? AutoCAD does have minimum hardware requirements, but to figure out if your machine is set up to handle the program seamlessly, you’ll have to put into account the kind of work you’re trying to achieve. Luckily, we go into detail on that very subject on CAD Answers.

3. How do I convert TrueType text into vector lines on AutoCAD?

This is somewhat of a niche question but is asked fairly often in CAD circles. TrueType text simply refers to the type of text that you can copy and paste into your standard text editing programs. If you can highlight, copy, and paste a string of letters onto Notepad, that’s TrueType. When working with CAD, you mainly use vector lines, polygons, and arcs. These are different from TrueType such that your programs won’t recognize any letters made from vector lines as letters but rather vector objects made up of different lines and arcs. If for any reason, you’ve found a need to convert your TrueType AutoCAD text into editable vector lines, CAD Answers has the perfect solution.

4. Is the NVIDIA GTX 1050 capable of running AutoCAD?

This is a similar question to the previous one asking for the viability of the GTX 1650, but for any tech-particular CAD users out there, it might be useful to go into the details of the differences between these similarly priced graphics processors. And even between these two GTX processors, you have variations such as the GTX 1050 vs the GTX 1050 Ti. In short, there are quite a few particulars that might need some consideration before deciding on which graphics processor to go with. In CAD Answers, we take a look at all those as well as some other graphics cards in the same price range that might be worth the look.

5. How do I run AutoCAD on Linux?

For those running Linux’s Ubuntu, program incompatibility isn’t something new. The short answer to this question is that AutoCAD was designed to run on Mac and PC machines and not Ubuntu. However, as you’ll see in some detailed instructions by a CAD Answers user, there are certain ways around these restrictions. With some clever use of virtual machines and some settings tweaks, you’ll be using AutoCAD on your Ubuntu system in no time. And not only that, but the user also details some other useful CAD software you can run with your Linux’s virtual machine, so be sure to give those a browse.

6. Why is my AutoCAD screen acting slow and jerky all of a sudden?

If you’re one of those CAD users that drafts complex sheets of technical drawings on a regular basis, chances are that you’ve encountered the dreaded laggy screen of AutoCAD. Everything would be fine and you’d close up the file for the day only to find out the next day that the cursor is suddenly less than responsive and the screen is slow to pan. There are a bunch of possible reasons for this, but it all comes down to AutoCAD taking up more processing power than your machine can dish out. Luckily, there are a bunch of workarounds you can try when this starts happening, and we’ve listed out most of them on CAD Answers.

7. How do I open up PDF files on AutoCAD?

A lot of CAD drafting workflows involve importing reference files such as floorplans and technical drawings to edit and design around. Just because of the sheer convenience of the format, a lot of these reference files will come as PDF’s. Given that the PDF file format has prioritized convenience and ease-of-sharing at the expense of editability, it’s sometimes a little tricky to try and edit these reference files on CAD software without having to manually trace or recreate them. AutoCAD has a nifty PDF import tool that can help streamline this process and we have the process outline on CAD Answers, but there are also other programs such as Scan2CAD that could help with raster PDFs.

8. Why aren’t my line types showing up on AutoCAD’s layout views?

For those of us not familiar, AutoCAD has two separate views for either drafting or layout. The model space is usually where you do most of your drafting work as a CAD operator and is where you draw your line elements and technical information. The layout space comes in at the final steps of the process and is used to frame the elements in your model space to get them ready for printing. These two AutoCAD spaces have settings that are independent of one another so some line types in model space might end up looking a bit different on layout space. This is usually just a matter of scale settings, but in CAD Answers, we’ve tried to look into what other causes there may be for the inconsistencies in the drawings.

9. How do I toggle Hardware Acceleration on or off on AutoCAD?

AutoCAD has a bunch of nifty keyboard shortcuts and commands to help life go a little smoother when drafting, but it’s not unheard of accidentally executing a command that does something you don’t know how to undo. Hardware acceleration is an interesting functionality of AutoCAD in that it helps smoothen drafting operations by offloading certain computing tasks to specialized hardware instead of just lumping everything onto the general-purpose CPU. In short, it helps keep the program from stalling or lagging for longer. Sometimes, we inadvertently change the settings of AutoCAD’s hardware acceleration, so a CAD Answers user took it upon themselves to help explain how to turn the function on and off.

10. How do I start writing AutoCAD Command Scripts?

AutoCAD executes certain commands and tools by using command lines. If you want to start drawing a line, you type in “LINE”. With an arc, all you have to do is type in “ARC”. With command scripts, you can take this a step further by executing pre-written program scripts that have a string of command lines executed in a certain order. This is essentially cutting out the time you usually spend on a series of commands that you repeat on a regular basis. We have some detailed instructions on AutoCAD command scripts on CAD Answers.


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