Our top 5 tips and resources for AutoCAD LT

AutoCAD LT is full of little tools like PEDIT that can help improve your 2D drafting workflow, but how to use them isn’t always obvious. Luckily, there’s a wealth of resources out there to assist you, the best of which I’ve listed below. I’ve also added a couple of favourite tricks I use in my own workflow as a starting point…

1 – PEDIT join

Having first learnt this command back in the days of my uni course, the time PEDIT has saved by allowing me to create, explode or amend a polyline in AutoCAD LT has since made this a personal favourite. When creating cavity walls prior to discovering the PEDIT command, I used to draw each line individually and then spend a lot of time (and I mean a lot) trimming afterwards. Why didn’t I just use the polyline from the off? Well I prefer the initial flexibility of creating individual lines (plus I could never quite get the hang of it).

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How to use PEDIT:

1.    Create the shape you want to turn into a polyline.
2.    Type ‘PEDIT’ and hit enter.
3.    It will ask you to select a line you want to turn into a Polyline, so select any of them.
4.    Once you have selected a line you will be asked if you want to turn it into a Polyline, so make sure it has a ‘Y’ in the answer box and hit enter.
5.    You will then be given a series of options – you need to select ‘Join’ or hit ‘J’ and hit enter.
6.    Select the whole shape and then hit enter.
7.    Hey presto! You have a turned the individual lines into a Polyline and can now easily offset it.

2 – Keyboard Commands

These won’t be new to some, but using keyboard commands is much easier than looking for the buttons. They’re a life saver when you have to switch between AutoCAD LT versions where the interface is laid out differently and it’s sometimes surprising that you can create a plan using so few commands. With the new AutoComplete function in the 2012 versions of AutoCAD LT, even if you forget the full command name, you can start to type and it will come up with all the options. My most commonly used commands are:

•    L- Line
•    Tr- trim
•    Mi – Mirror
•    OFF- offset
•    C- Circle
•    PEDIT- Polyline edit

3 – LT Unlimited

Working for Autodesk, Kate Morrical has had bundles of experience with AutoCAD LT, so her LT Unlimited blog is a great place to find insider tips and tricks. I’d recommend that anyone working in AutoCAD LT check out her blog and subscribe to the RSS feed for regular LT gems delivered right to your computer.

Visit Kate’s blog at LT Unlimited.

4 – Lynn Allen

Lynne Allen’s blog is a great source of information. Granted the tips she writes about are for AutoCAD rather than AutoCAD LT, but the majority of the 2D functionality is the same so always worth a browse. If you’re considering an upgrade from AutoCAD LT to AutoCAD, it’s also a good showcase for the added features you’ll receive.

Check out Lynn’s blog here.

5 –  Autodesk University

If you’re working in AutoCAD LT and haven’t used Autodesk University before, then you should get familiar with it fast. Among the resources on offer are online classes, newsletters and blogs full of tips from like-minded people that will make you wonder how you coped before.

Visit the Autodesk University here.
So there are a couple of little tricks I utilise in my workflow, and three banks of information I would recommend every AutoCAD LT user get acquainted with. But this list is far from exhaustive, and we’d love to hear about any favourite tips you have, so please share your knowledge in the comments box below…

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