AutoCAD beginner training – #5 on the application menu

AutoCAD beginner training – the application menu, part 5

Welcome back to my AutoCAD basic tutorials series. We were learning about the AutoCAD interface, and we’d been talking about the very exciting Application Menu! This is not a snore! The better you understand how to get around your workspace, the less mousing around you have to do, and the faster you can work. Sink into your software, just like you do your iPhone.

We’d left off learning how to add a tag to your commands. This makes them easier to find by special keywords that are unique to you. If you want to remove the tag, open the Customize window again.

AutoCAD beginner training - the Customize window is where you remove a command tag.

Figure 01 – AutoCAD beginner training – the Customize window is where you remove a command tag.

Then, select the Line tool from the Command List. Go to the Properties side of the window and click in the Tag field to launch the dialog window. Just delete the text you added; click OK, then Apply and OK to exit the customize window.

Let’s get back to the Application menu. See the pin to the right of each recently opened document? This lets you “pin down” a document so that it’s always at the top of the list of recently opened documents, no matter when you last opened it. This is an easy way to let you access documents you need to find quickly or use frequently.

AutoCAD beginner tutorials

Figure 02 – AutoCAD beginner tutorials – pinning down a document so you can get to it quickly.

Click on the pin to “pin down” a document so that you can see it at the top of this list at all times, no matter when you last opened it.

When the pin is sideways and grayed out a document is not pinned down. When the pin is blue and turned normal-to-us, like it’s pushed into your screen, then the document is pinned down.

Now, let’s create a new document. You can do this from the Quick Access toolbar at the top of your screen, or you can do it, yes, from the Application menu. So, let’s click on the big red A and scroll to New, as shown below.


Figure 03 AutoCAD beginner tutorials – the New file command in the Application menu

The New Document – Select Template window opens. Let’s go to the Files of Type drop down menu at the bottom of this dialog window:


Figure 04 – AutoCAD beginner tutorials – Let’s open a drawing template.

By default “Drawing – .dwg” is selected. Let’s click the selection arrow at the end of the field to launch the drop down menu, and let’s select Drawing Template (that’s extension .dwt).

Now we’re taken to the Template folder, where we’ll browse for the template. I’m going to use acad.dwt.


Figure 05 AutoCAD beginner tutorials – selecting a template (in our case acad.dwt)

After selecting acad.dwt, I’m going to click Open. At this point, we have a new blank document open. By default it’s called Drawing2.dwg. But, we won’t see it in our recent documents  list until we actually save the document.

So, let’s click Save on the Quick Access Toolbar.


Figure 06 – Save our file.

Since this is the first time we’ve saved this document, the Save dialog window opens, and we’re prompted to enter a file name, etc. Drawing2.dwg is the default name, and I’ll accept that just by clicking Save. Then, let’s click the big red A to once again launch the Application menu.


Figure 07 AutoCAD beginner tutorials – now our new doc is visible here.

Note that our new document is now at the top of the list of recently opened documents! So that’s how it goes.

One last thing. Let’s scroll to the bottom of the Application menu and click the Options button. This takes me to the Options window, where we adjust most of our system and document settings. You’ll be spending a lot of time with the various tabs of this window, in order to best customize your workspace.


Figure 08 AutoCAD beginner tutorials – the Options window, where you adjust most document and system settings in AutoCAD.

Let’s go to the Display tab. Under Window Elements on the left top side of this window, uncheck Display File Tabs. Then, click Apply and OK.

What are display file tabs? I show you how they look in my next screen shot. They appear at the top of the page, and they let you easily switch between documents with a single mouse click.


Figure 09 AutoCAD beginner tutorials – DISPLAY TABS

The reason I hid the display tabs was to free up a little more screen space for drawing. They don’t take up that much room, but in my videos I try to keep as much space free as possible for the commands and drawing! If you need extra drawing space, this is what you should do, too.

AutoCAD beginner training – training for beginners from

Need to learn AutoCAD?  Please purchase my course at It’s suitable for AutoCAD beginners, and takes you through to high-intermediate AutoCAD functions like 3D design and VBA. If you’d like to see some video samples, please visit my youtube channel at Here is a link to one of my AutoCAD training for beginners series:

This concludes part 5 of this AutoCAD basic tutorials series on using the application menu button. Stay tuned for part 4.

Thanks! Kind regards, Rosanna D – VTN