What Template Should I Use in AutoCAD?

When it comes to using AutoCAD, the choice of template plays a significant role in setting up your drawings. A template acts as a starting point for your projects, providing a pre-defined set of settings, layers, and styles that can save you time and effort. In this article, we will explore the various templates available in AutoCAD and help you choose the right one for your needs.

Understanding AutoCAD Templates

Before diving into the different types of templates, let’s understand what they are and why they are important. Templates in AutoCAD are files with a .dwt extension that contain predefined settings such as units, dimension styles, text styles, layers, and more. When you start a new drawing using a template, these settings are automatically applied to your project.

Why use templates?

  • Consistency: Using templates ensures that all your drawings follow the same standards and styles.
  • Efficiency: Templates eliminate the need to set up repetitive settings for each new project.
  • Productivity: With predefined layers and styles, you can focus on designing rather than organizing.

The Default Template – acad.dwt

The default template provided by AutoCAD is called acad.dwt. This template is suitable for general-purpose drafting and design work. It sets up basic settings such as units (e.g., inches or millimeters), layer names (e., Defpoints, Dimensions), and text styles (e., Standard).

Note: While acad.dwt is a good starting point for many projects, it’s important to consider specialized templates if you have specific requirements.

Specialized Templates

If you work in a particular industry or have specific drafting needs, AutoCAD provides specialized templates tailored to those requirements. Let’s explore a few of these templates:

Architectural Template – acad.dwt

The architectural template is designed for architects and building designers. It includes specialized layers for walls, doors, windows, and furniture. Additionally, it offers dimension styles suitable for architectural drawings.

Mechanical Template – acadiso.dwt

The mechanical template is ideal for mechanical engineers and designers. It provides layers specific to mechanical components such as gears, bolts, and bearings. The dimension styles are configured to meet mechanical drafting standards.

Electrical Template – acadiso.dwt

The electrical template caters to electrical engineers and designers. It includes layers for circuits, symbols, and annotations commonly used in electrical drawings. The dimension styles are optimized for electrical schematics.

Creating Your Own Template

If you find that none of the provided templates align perfectly with your requirements, you can create your own custom template. Start by opening a new drawing with the closest matching template and modify the settings according to your preferences. Once you’re satisfied with the changes, save it as a new .dwt file.

Note: Creating your own template allows you to tailor AutoCAD precisely to your workflow.

Using Templates in AutoCAD

To use a template in AutoCAD:

  1. Open AutoCAD.
  2. Select ‘New’ from the ‘File’ menu or use the ‘New’ icon on the toolbar.
  3. In the ‘Select Template’ dialog box, browse and choose the desired template file (.dwt).
  4. Click ‘Open’ to create a new drawing based on the selected template.

Note: If you want to set a different template as the default, you can do so in the AutoCAD options.


Choosing the right template in AutoCAD is essential for maintaining consistency, improving productivity, and streamlining your design process. Whether you use the default acad.dwt or opt for specialized templates, ensure that your choice aligns with your industry and project requirements.

Don’t hesitate to create your own template if none of the provided options suit your needs. With templates, you can start each project on the right foot and make the most of AutoCAD’s powerful drafting capabilities.