What Are Commands in AutoCAD?

In AutoCAD, commands are essential tools that allow users to interact with the software and perform various tasks. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, understanding and using commands efficiently is key to maximizing your productivity and creating accurate drawings.

Types of Commands

AutoCAD provides a wide range of commands that cater to different aspects of design and drafting. Here are some commonly used command categories:

  • Draw Commands: These commands allow you to create geometric shapes, lines, arcs, circles, and other objects in your drawing. Examples include the Line command (LINE) and the Circle command (CIRCLE).
  • Modify Commands: These commands enable you to edit and manipulate existing objects in your drawing. You can use these commands to move, rotate, scale, trim, extend, or mirror objects. The Move command (MOVE) and the Rotate command (ROTATE) are some widely used modify commands.
  • Annotate Commands: These commands help you add text, dimensions, leaders, tables, and other annotation elements to your drawing.

    The Text command (TEXT) and the Dimension command (DIMENSION) fall under this category.

  • View Commands: These commands allow you to control the display of your drawing. You can use them to zoom in/out, pan across the drawing area, change the view orientation (such as top view or isometric view), or adjust the visual style. The Zoom command (ZOOM) and the Pan command (PAN) are commonly used view commands.
  • Manage Commands: These commands help you manage the drawing files, layers, blocks, and external references. With these commands, you can create, save, open, and close drawings. The Layer command (LAYER) and the Block command (BLOCK) are examples of manage commands.

Using Commands in AutoCAD

To execute a command in AutoCAD, you can either type its name in the command line or access it from the ribbon or toolbar. Once a command is activated, AutoCAD prompts you for specific input or options to complete the task.

Command Line: The command line is a text-based interface located at the bottom of the AutoCAD window. It displays messages, prompts for input, and provides a history of executed commands. You can directly type commands and their options here.

Ribbon: The ribbon is a graphical interface that organizes commonly used commands into tabs and panels. Each panel contains related commands grouped together based on their functionality. You can click on the appropriate icons in the ribbon to activate specific commands.

Toolbar: Toolbars provide quick access to frequently used commands through icons. You can customize toolbars by adding or removing buttons according to your preferences.

Tips for Working with Commands

To work more efficiently with AutoCAD commands:

  • Use Command Aliases: AutoCAD allows you to create custom aliases for frequently used commands. By assigning shorter aliases to longer command names, you can save time and reduce typing effort. For example, you can set an alias “L” for the Line command.
  • Learn Keyboard Shortcuts: Memorizing keyboard shortcuts for commonly used commands can significantly speed up your workflow. For instance, pressing “E” followed by “L” activates the Ellipse command.
  • Utilize AutoComplete and AutoCorrect: AutoCAD offers AutoComplete and AutoCorrect features that help you easily complete command names or correct mistyped commands.

    Pay attention to the suggestions provided by these features.

  • Explore Contextual Menus: Right-clicking on objects or in empty spaces brings up contextual menus that offer relevant commands based on the current context. These menus provide quick access to frequently used options.
  • Refer to Command Documentation: When in doubt about a command’s usage or options, refer to the AutoCAD documentation or type “?” followed by the command name in the command line for detailed information.


In conclusion, commands are an integral part of working with AutoCAD. Understanding different types of commands and how to use them effectively will enhance your drafting skills and boost your productivity. Remember to explore various commands, experiment with their options, and utilize customization features to tailor AutoCAD according to your needs.

Start incorporating these tips and tricks into your workflow, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an efficient AutoCAD user!