Part 2: Plotting the Course
- Planning and Organizing Drawings

Setting up Drawings : Working with Linetype

Linetype refers to the nature of the object. It may be solid, dotted, dashed, or a combination of solid, dotted, and dashed segments.

Organizing Information

The information should be organized, be it textual or graphical, for easy manipulation, editing and understanding. Layers/Levels in CAD are imaginary transparent surfaces. You can draw on these surfaces. You can turn the layers/levels on or off to view or edit specific objects. When you turn a layer off, the objects on that layer disappear from the screen; when you turn it back on, they are displayed.

The layer/level naming may labeled as such:

Manipulating Object's properties: Linetype or Stroke

You can assign a linetype or stroke to the objects that will reside on the layer. 

Manipulating Object's properties: Assigned Lineweight

A lineweight is how wide or thin a line\stroke will appear. The following is an general example only:

Manipulating Object's properties: Assigned Color

We can go another step and give the layer a color (or color number) to distinguish it more from the other objects in the drawing.

You would label it as such:


In planning and organizing drawings attention must be paid to the setting up of drawings. You must consider the following:

  • What dimensional units and drawing units will be used ?
  • What linework\Linetype will be used ?
  • How will the information be organized, be it textual or graphical, for easy manipulation and editing ?

Setting up Drawings : Layer/Level “Visibility”

Using the layer/level feature is very advantageous when organizing your drawing. You can manage the objects in your drawing file by placing them on separate layers/levels. Within this command you can change "visibility " of the objects appearing on the layer/level. This means the objects are either "visible" on the screen or the objects are "invisible", on the screen. See figures below.

CAD Drawing Components

CAD drawings are created by drawing individual components (also called drawing objects or entitles). Basic drawing components of CAD are lines, arcs, circles, ellipses, symbols, text, dimensions pointers, polylines, borders and patterns. You can complete most of the drawings by using these components in CAD. 

To draw any components of the drawing, you need to access a particular drawing command. There are separate commands to draw text, dimensions, patterns, symbols, and other elements of a drawing. The command can be entered by typing it in the command line, selecting it from the menu or by clicking on a specific tool button.

Concept of Layers/Level in CAD

Layers are imaginary transparent surfaces that can be created within a CAD drawing.  You can draw on these imaginary surfaces and group drawing objects on different layers . This helps to organize CAD drawings and makes editing much easier. 

The figure to the right illustrates composite layers that make up a drawing.

The figure to the right illustrates how you can turn the layers on or off to view or edit specific objects.

For more information, along with illustrations/animations/short quiz, please Click Here.

Part 2: Plotting the Course - Planning and Organizing Drawings