How Do You Draw a P&ID in AutoCAD?

Drawing a Process and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) in AutoCAD can seem complex at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it becomes a straightforward process. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to create a P&ID using AutoCAD. So let’s get started!

Step 1: Setting up the Workspace

To begin, open AutoCAD and create a new drawing file. Set the units to the desired scale for your P&ID. It is recommended to use millimeters or inches depending on your project requirements.

Step 2: Creating Layers

Creating layers helps organize different elements of your P&ID. To create layers, click on the Layer Properties Manager icon or type “LAYER” in the command line. Create layers for different components such as equipment, pipes, valves, and instruments.

Step 3: Drawing Equipment Shapes

Use AutoCAD’s built-in shapes or blocks to represent equipment in your P&ID. You can access these shapes from the Library of Blocks or by creating custom blocks. Position the equipment shapes on your drawing using snap tools for accuracy.

Step 4: Drawing Pipes

Next, draw pipes to connect different equipment and components in your P&ID. Use the LINE command to draw straight lines representing pipes or use other tools like POLYLINE for curved or complex pipe paths.


  • Use different linetypes to distinguish between various pipe types such as process lines, utility lines, vent lines, etc.
  • Assign appropriate colors to each pipe layer for better visualization.

Step 5: Adding Valves and Fittings

Now it’s time to add valves and fittings to your P&ID. These elements play a crucial role in controlling the flow of fluids. Use AutoCAD’s drawing tools to create valve symbols or import pre-made symbols from a block library.


  • Use the BLOCK command to create reusable blocks for valves and fittings.
  • Assign different layers for valves and fittings to easily manage their visibility.

Step 6: Placing Instruments

Instruments such as sensors, transmitters, and control devices are essential components of a P&ID. To add instruments, use AutoCAD’s drawing tools or import instrument symbols from a block library.


  • Assign specific layers for instruments to control their visibility.
  • Add text or tags next to each instrument symbol for easy identification.

Step 7: Adding Annotations

Annotations provide additional details about the P&ID. These can include equipment tags, pipe labels, flow rates, etc. Use the TEXT command to add annotations at appropriate locations on your drawing.


  • Use different text styles for different types of annotations, such as equipment tags in bold and flow rates in italics.
  • Align your annotations properly using AutoCAD’s alignment tools for better readability.

Step 8: Finalizing Your P&ID

Review your P&ID and make any necessary adjustments. Ensure that all elements are properly connected, labeled, and aligned. Clean up your drawing by removing unnecessary construction lines or overlapping elements.

Once you are satisfied with your P&ID, save your file and consider creating a PDF version for easy sharing and printing.

Congratulations! You have successfully created a Process and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) in AutoCAD. By following these steps and utilizing AutoCAD’s powerful tools, you can create professional-looking P&IDs for various engineering projects.

Remember to continually practice and explore more advanced features of AutoCAD to enhance your P&ID drawing skills.