AutoCAD tutorials for beginners – how the palettes work

Working with palettes (AutoCAD Tutorials for beginners series )

I just got a question in email about palettes in AutoCAD. In a nutshell, it works as described below: First thing you’ll need to do is right click in blank space in the graphic area and scroll a bit to deselect everything. Now, you can go to the View tab and click the Properties tool. If for some reason you don’t see this tool, scroll over to Show Panels and ensure that Palettes is checked.

Once the palette is enabled, you can grab it and drag it. A palette is kind of just what it sounds like; a free floating “plate” of tools that you can move around as you see fit. Click the Properties icon. You see that we can resize the palette left to right or up and down. You can easily close the palette by clicking the close icon in the upper right corner. There’s also an auto hide toggle, so that when you mouse over the palette it appears, but when you mouse away, it collapses automatically. This helps free up some of your screen space for drawing, of course!

Click on the auto-hide button again to toggle off auto-hide mode. Now, the palette will stay visible even when you mouse away from it. If you want to dock the palette you can very easily. Just right click, and select, for example, Anchor Left. You can also Anchor Right, Anchor Top and Anchor Bottom. When the palette is docked, you can mouse over it to extend it out, and mouse away to collapse it. The palette can also be minimized to the icon level.

Thanks! I hope this answers your question about working with palettes in AutoCAD. For more information about AutoCAD, please visit our website at

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Here’s a link to some of my AutoCAD tutorials playlists on YouTube:

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Rosanna D,