CAD Masters AutoCAD Jargon

Jargon is funny, it can obfuscate conversations but also make them clearer for some.  Sometimes jargon is overused in such a way as to judge or separate outsiders that might be very capable.  However, there are times when discussing an abstract topic that jargon can really increase everyone’s comprehension.

We talk to a lot of people, in a lot of different offices, and hear many different colloquial ways of describing aspects of AutoCAD.  When terminology is too different, it makes communication difficult.  We have jargon at CAD Masters and if you’ve spoken to us enough on the phone, you’ve probably realized that.  Here’s is some CAD Masters AutoCAD jargon that we use a lot:

  • Abstract Jargon
    • Block – A symbol made of up a collection objects used with the Insert or Block commands in AutoCAD.
    • Box – A three dimensional model of a hexahedron.
    • Child – Drawing attached to a parent, such as a base file xrefs into a sheet file.
    • Parent – Drawing that holds the child (the sheet file).
    • Reference Manager – Xref manager accessed through the Start button, not the External References Palette accessed within AutoCAD.
    • Recover – Command that opens a drawing and fixes errors.
    • Audit – Command that fixes drawing errors in the current drawing.
    • Vertical Product – Higher version of AutoCAD with extra tools, e.g. Map 3D, Civil 3D, and Architecture.
    • Command Options – Selections in the command line between the <>.
    • UCS – User coordinate system.  Type UCS in the command line and look at the line above the command options that says “Current ucs name:” to see what yours is.  Typically it should be *World*
  • Interface Jargon
    • Menu Bar – The pull-down menus at the top of the screen such as File, Edit, View, etc.  The MENUBAR command turns it off and on.
    • Toolbars – Old-school icons arranged in a row or column, used to execute a command.
    • Ribbon – An interface containing a collection of tabs and panels for executing commands.  Think of it as the offspring produced when a menu falls in love with a toolbar.
    • Status Bar – Bar at the very bottom of AutoCAD with coordinates, drafting aids (OSNAP button, ORTHO, etc), and many other tools.
    • Palettes or Modeless Dialogs – Dockable dialogs whose position is not fixed, and you can have open while you work (Properties, Tool Palettes, External References, etc).

This is just a select sampling of frequently used terminology here.  I feel like there is a lot more, but we use a lot of it so casually that it’s surprisingly hard to identify.  Hopefully this sample makes communication all around easier for us all.

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