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10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

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10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

ZWSchool 2020-12-14 14:04:00

Architects, want to know how to step up and speed up your architectural design game? The following practical CAD commands that I’ve picked out can be the answer! Keep reading to learn how to use them with the instructions and GIFs I’ve prepared.


ATTDEF stands for attribute definitions. Speaking of attributes, I’ve already covered ATTMODE, the system variable that decides whether your attributes are visible. Today, let’s see how you can define the attributes in your architectural design with ATTDEF. In the example below, I will show you how to refine a title block and edit it more efficiently with ATTDEF. Steps:

  1. Input [ATT] and press Enter to invoke the Define Attribute dialogue box where you can add an attribute by:

a) naming the attribute and specifying its default text; b) adjusting the text style; c) locating the attribute in the drawing.

  1. Turn the frame into a block (Click here for detailed instructions).
  2. Double-click on the block to invoke the Enhanced Attribute Editor where you can quickly edit a certain attribute.

Title blocks are the staple items on architectural drawings. If you can form the habit of creating them in this way, editing their attributes would be so much easier.

ATTDEF_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

The Smart Plot feature of ZWCAD enables the automatic recognition of frames according to blocks, layers, or scatter lines (closed rectangles). With frames intelligently arranged, you can collectively print them, convert them into single-page or multipage PDF files, or even turn each frame into an individual DWG file.

Smart Plot_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)


As their names suggest, AUDIT is for assessing the completion of a drawing and fixing flaws while PURGE is for removing redundant entities in case the size of your drawing swells for no reason. Therefore, this duo is useful when operations are lagging or unexpected errors occur in your drawing. Steps:

  1. Input [Audit] and press Enter.
  2. Input [PURGE] and press Enter.
  3. Opt for “View items you can purge”, tick off the necessary options (I usually check all of them for a cleaner result), and click “Purge All” then “Purge All Items”.

You will find that the size of this drawing becomes smaller after all the redundant shape files in it are purged.

AUDIT & PURGE_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

AUDIT & PURGE_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)


After creating walls with LINE and OFFSET, how can you generate wall corners as fast as possible? All you need to do is setting the radius of the fillet as 0. Steps:

  1. Input [F] and press Enter.
  2. Select the first entity.
  3. Select the second entity.

Trust me, this is more convenient than using TRIM or EXTEND. FILLET_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

The MULTIPLE command allows you to repeatedly use a specified command (that doesn’t invoke a dialog box) until you press Esc. It means that after you enter MULTIPLE and then FILLET, you can keep filleting objects without repeating Step 1 again and again. Or, you can press the Space bar after Step 3 to repeatedly use FILLET and avoid repeating Step 1. This method applies to other commands (even if they invoke dialog boxes) as well.

4. ID

ID can be used to collect the 3D coordinates of a point in the current UCS (User Coordinate System). Let me show you how to collect the coordinates of reference points from a map in ZWCAD. With them, it’s no sweat to carry out further calculations and data management. Steps:

  1. Input [MULTIPLE], press Enter, input [ID] and press Enter.
  2. Select reference points one by one with Object Snap on (Press F3 or click the corresponding button at the bottom of the interface to toggle its statuses).
  3. Copy the coordinates of selected points and paste them into a text file.
  4. Edit out all the unnecessary texts but the coordinates.
  5. Copy the edited coordinates and paste them in Excel® with the Convert Texts to Columns function.

There you go—the coordinates of reference points are all transferred from a DWG file to an XLS/XLSX one.

ID_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)


When I’m plotting or publishing drawings in ZWCAD, I’d use PAGESETUP to accelerate the process. After invoking the Page Setup Manager, you can click the “Modify…” button to invoke the Page setup dialogue box where you can specify the page layout, the plotting device, paper size, etc. for each new layout.

PAGESETUP_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

[In ZWCAD 2021, you can adjust the plotter and print style settings in the roaming folder instead of in ZWCAD the program itself. To open a roaming folder, simply input %appdata% in the search box of File Explorer. Then, go to ZWSoft\ZWCAD\2021\(Language version)\Plotters or Printstyle. In the Plotters folder, you can edit plotter configurations by just double-clicking on a specific PC5 file and invoking the Plotter Configuration Editor.

Plotter Configuration Editor_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

While in the Printstyle folder, print styles can be modified by double-clicking on STB/CTB files and invoking the Plot Style Table Editor.

Plot Style Table Editor_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 1)

Do you use these 5 CAD commands for your architectural design? Are they your top five as well? Tell us in the comments and stay tuned for the 5 to come in Part 2!

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