Abstract: Opening, saving and creating new drawings are the very basics of CAD software. But this post will be introducing CAD files and the function of some options when creating new drawings.

Opening, saving, and creating new drawings are the basic operations in CAD, we can open previously saved files in order to edit them, or we can open others’ drawings to learn from them or use the graphics, we can save our drawings any time with CAD. CAD software has some functions in common with Microsoft Word. For example, you can execute some functions by click the menu bar or button, alternatively, you can use shortcut keys, some of the shortcut keys are the same. CTRL + O is for opening files, CTRL + S is for saving files and CTRL + N is for creating new files. OK, we have talked much about the common features of CAD software and other software, now, we are going to talk about the differences between CAD and other software.

* Creating new files

When CAD software is started, a drawing file Drawing 1 will be automatically created by the CAD software, if we want a new drawing, we can create a new one. Starting CAD software will prompt a Startup Dialog box and creating files will prompt a Create New Drawing dialog box, the contents of the two dialog box are the same, which indicates us to select a template. We will also be indicated to select the template when we create new files in Word or Excel, so it would be easier to understand the template in CAD software. Now we are going to talk more about the template.

Click on the “New” button at the top of the Quick Access Toolbar, or use shortcut key CTRL + N to create a new drawing, a dialog box will pop up.

Different versions of CAD will pop up a different dialog box, some would be “Create New Drawing” dialog box while some would be “Select Template”, sometimes even the same dialog box would have different contents under them. The popped up dialog box of GstarCAD 2019 is “Select Template”.

The popped up dialog box indicates us to select a template to create a new drawing and you can see the extension of the drawing, as shown in the following picture.

* Opening files

  1. Click on the Open icon at the top of the Quick Access toolbar menu, as shown in the following picture,

Or, you can use CTRL + O to prompt the “Select Template” dialog box.

2. We can see that the popped up dialog box is a standard one, where you can find the drawing file catalog. Select the one you want to open and click the “Open” button to open the drawing.

The default extension name is *.dwg, so if you want to open a *.dxf file, you should manually pull down the menu in order to select the right extension name, as shown in the following picture.

* Saving files

We can save our drawing we are drawing the files or when we have finished the files. If we are saving a drawing for the first time, a “Save drawing as” dialog box would pop up indicating us to name it. If the drawing has been saved before, click Save or press CTRL + S will overwrite the file and no dialog box would pop up. Already saved drawing files can also be saved using a new file name. As shown in the following picture.

File formats supported by Save function are the same as the Open function except that we can select a different version for DWG and DXF files. Sometimes we save our drawings as lower versions in order to open the drawing just like in the Word or Excel software.

Higher version of CAD can open the lower version of DWG files, but the lower version of CAD can’t open higher version of DWG files.

If we just drawing ourselves and don’t send the drawing to anyone else, we can ignore this version part and directly click save.

But if we are going to send the drawing files to others, we may need to save our drawing files to lower version.

Conclusion: Even for beginners, creating, opening and saving files is very easy, but beginners will have a better understanding of drawing files and drawing versions based on this.

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