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Open Source AutoCAD Template Home

Here is One Community’s open source  AutoCAD® template and tutorial page. The purpose of this open
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source template is to provide a well-organized format for AutoCAD®  les and layers. We’ve used this to
update all  7 of our village models  and the  Duplicable City Center®. Here are the sections of this page Ways to Help
sharing the conversion and standardization process using this template:
Overview / Start Here 11
What is an Open Source AutoCAD Template Shares

Why Create an AutoCAD Template


Ways to Contribute to this Open Source Component
Purpose, Vision, Mission
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Key Consultants to this Component of One Community


Open Source and Free-shared


AutoCAD Template Instructional for Use and Converting Existing Files Global Sustainability Strategy
File Download
Step-by-step Process for Converting an Existing AutoCAD File For The Highest Good of All


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Summary
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WHAT IS AN OPEN SOURCE
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AUTOCAD TEMPLATE
Highest Good Education

Highest Good Economics
This open source AutoCAD® template and tutorial includes the le download and instructions for
using One Community’s standardized AutoCAD format. The Template File includes our Title Block Highest Good Society
format, standardized layer names and line weights, and most commonly used symbols within all
Duplicable City Center
our drawings. We also created the format with non-AutoCAD users in mind, using colors that show up
well in screenshots and fonts that show up appropriately when using Autodesk’s free online le viewer.
OPEN SOURCE INFRASTRUCTURE
HUBS

V1: Earthbag Village Close

V2: Straw Bale Village

V3: Cob Village

V4: Earth Block Village

V5: Shipping Container Village

V6: Earthship Inspired Village

V7: Treehouse Village

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File Includes Detailed Instructions for AutoCAD Template Use – Click for the Free File Download

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WHY CREATE AN AUTOCAD TEMPLATE
Internet Participation
A standardized AutoCAD template was eventually desired so that our le names, drawing scales,
symbols, layers and layer names, and colors and line weights would match all our open source Shopping to Raise $
designs and the open source designs of others using our designs as a starting point and wanting
us to share their work too. Working with a global team of volunteers not using a standardized format led to Facebook Updates
huge differences throughout our les. This became extremely problematic when trying to merge related
les from different people. We also had issues because our team includes many non-AutoCAD users who Facebook Group
needed to give feedback but only viewed these les using screenshots or  Autodesk’s free online le
viewer, so we needed fonts and colors that worked well for both situations. Another issue was some of StumbleUpon
our les required different disciplines in one le and we needed a broad diversity of colors that were
appropriately chosen to maintain clarity when there were more disciplines and designs in one le than a Pinterest
typical design.
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File Includes Pre-de ned Layouts for Printing and PDF Creation – click for the free le download

WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO EVOLVING THIS SUSTAINABILITY COMPONENT 

SUGGESTIONS     ●     CONSULTING     ●     MEMBERSHIP     ●     OTHER OPTIONS

CONSULTANTS ON THIS COMPONENT OF ONE COMMUNITY

Adrienne Gould-Choquette: Mechanical Engineer


Shilcy Augustine: Architect

AUTOCAD TEMPLATE USE AND HOW TO


CONVERT EXISTING FILES
Here are instructions for using this open source AutoCAD template. They are formatted to cover
all possibilities by outlining the speci c process needed to convert an old AutoCAD .dwg le to
the new format described here and included within the AUTOCAD_TEMPLATE_MASTER_mm-
dd-yy.dwg  le. The Template File  also includes basic use instructions for anyone not interested in
converting a le and/or beginning a new project.

To begin, download the Template File here:

CLICK THIS LINK TO ACCESS THE SHARED DROP BOX AND DIRECT DOWNLOAD THE FILE*

* The information in these les is provided exclusively in accordance with our Terms and Conditions

STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR CONVERTING AN EXISTING FILE


Time for conversion of a le varies but budget about 3 hours for a standard sized drawing.  

1. Start by downloading and opening the most current AUTOCAD_TEMPLATE_MASTER_mm-dd-


yy.dwg

2. Use the Save As command (PC: Ctrl+Shift+S, MAC: Command+Shift+S) to save the drawing in the
format:

VILLAGE_DISCIPLINE_mm-dd-yy.dwg

Example: EARGHBAG_ARCH-02-07-17

(Reference the template drawing for the list of primary disciplines.)

3. Spend a few minutes looking over the layer names which have been listed on the document; noting
that all layers are capitalized, and all start with the primary discipline designation followed by the
secondary discipline designation. This step will help you readily identify template layers versus non-
template layers.

4. In the document to be converted, make sure all layers are visible and
unlocked. To do this, click on the layer properties button from the Home
Ribbon:

5. Sort the layer list by “On” and change any layers which are not on by clicking on the light bulb to
turn them on (clicking the word “On” 2 times will sort rst ascending and then descending order)

Repeat this by sorting the list for locked layers “Lock”, and clicking on the lock for all layers which
are locked.

6. Copy and paste everything from your existing document into the document you created in step 2 by
selecting all (PC: Ctrl+A, MAC: Command+A) and copying from the old document and pasting into
the new document (PC: copy: Ctrl+C; paste: Ctrl+V) (MAC: copy: Command+C; paste: Command+V)

7. Save your document. (PC: Ctrl+Shift+S, MAC: Command+S). You may now close your old document.
You will not be using it.

8. At the command prompt type: PURGE

This will purge everything in your document that you are not using and make subsequent cleaning up
of the document easier

Select: View items you can purge


Select: Purge nested items
Select: Automatically purge orphaned data
Optional Selection: Con rm each item to be purged
Click: Purge All button

9. From the Home ribbon, click on the Layer Properties icon to review your
layers list. Recall template layers are all upper case and begin with a primary
disciple designation (e.g., A-TXT); all other layers have to be moved using the
methods below.  

10. Save your document. (PC: Ctrl+Shift+S, MAC: Command+S)

11. At the command prompt type: LAYMRG

a. Type N to get the list of Layers to Merge (this would be the old layers)

b. Review any layer that can be immediately merged without further investigation (e.g. Old layer:
A-Doors, New layer: A-DOOR, e.g., Old Layer: I-furniture, New Layer: A-FURNITURE). Hold
down the Ctrl/Command key to Select multiple layers:

c. Select the old layer name(s) and enter OK                                                                                            


             

d. **Hit the Enter key to show that you have completed selecting Layers to Merge**                      
                

e. When prompted to Select object on target layer or [Name]:, type N

f. Select the Target layer (this is the new layer) and enter OK                                                                
                            

g. It will ask you to con rm. Select Yes                                                                                                      


                          

h. Repeat until there are no additional layers to merge

12. Periodically review your layer list to see how much conversion remains. This is a good time to
review the layers by clicking on the Layer Properties icon on the Home ribbon.  

13. Periodically use the PURGE command to get rid of components you have already addressed. This is
a good time to PURGE. (See instruction number 8 for more details about purging your document)

14. Save your document. (PC: Ctrl+Shift+S, MAC: Command+S)

AUTOCAD BLOCKS
15. BLOCKS:

When editing blocks, it is recommended to keep the Properties window open. Type PROPERTIES at the
command line to open the Properties window.

1. Make sure all block names are intuitive. To change a block name use the RENAME command.
Select:

Blocks
The old item whose name you
wish to change, and
Enter the Rename To value.
Click the Rename To button.
Continue for all blocks which
need renaming
Click OK when done
Note: If you need to view a Block
in order to give a descriptive name to
it, you can exit out of the Edit Block
De nition window by clicking OK and use the BEDIT command at the command prompt
to preview the block and see a description (if one was included at the time the block was
created). You can now cancel out of the Edit Block De nition Window and return to the
Rename window to continue renaming blocks.

2. Reassign all drawing blocks to an existing standard template layer (or newly created layer
following the template guidelines for layer naming convention described in the
AUTOCAD_TEMPLATE_mm-dd-yy.dwg le). By **double clicking on the block in the drawing,
and selecting the proper layer from the LAYER drop down menu on the home ribbon.

**You can either access blocks by double clicking on them in the drawing, or typing QSELECT at the
command prompt and selecting the appropriate block.

Apply to: Entire drawing


Object Type: Block Reference
Properties: Name
Operator: = Equals
Value: Select the block you want to change.
Select OK (now the block with that name is selected)
Now from the home ribbon click on the LAYER dropdown
menu and select the correct layer that the block should
reside. In this example, SP0 is a bed and should be moved to
the A-FURNITURE Layer

3. Edit every block in the drawing: Type BEDIT at the command line. Double click a block.

Move all components inside the block to standard template layers by clicking on an element in the
drawing and selecting the proper layer from the LAYER dropdown menu on the home ribbon.

Ensure all layers within blocks have the properties listed below set to ByLayer (easiest way to do
this, if there are no exceptions, is to select all components of the block (PC: Ctrl+A, MAC: Command+A)
and set the properties below to ByLayer in the Properties window):

Color
Line Weight
Transparency

Exception: Earthbag doors and windows details intentionally have varied colors 

Exception: Some blocks have intentionally varied line weights, in this case it is not necessary to assign
them ByLayer.

Close out of the block editor by entering BCLOSE from the command prompt and Save the changes

16. Periodically review your layer list to see how much converting is remaining. This would be a good
time to review the layers by clicking on the Layer Properties icon on the Home ribbon. 

17. Periodically use the PURGE command to remove components you have already addressed. This
would be a good time to PURGE. (See instruction number 8 for more details about purging your
document)

18. Save your document. (PC: Ctrl+Shift+S, MAC: Command+S)

AUTOCAD DRAWING
19. DRAWING:

a. From the Home ribbon, click on the Layer Properties menu to open the
Layer Properties window. 

b. Hide all standard template layers

c. Move all remaining items to standard template layers by selecting the


item and clicking on the appropriate layer in the Layer drop down menu

d. Note, there is a G-MISC (GENERAL-MISCELLANEOUS) layer for items which do not seem to t
into one of the standard template layers. Use this category sparingly.

e. From the Layer Properties window, hide all


layers except 0. There should be nothing on
layer 0. Move all remaining items on layer 0 to
standard template layers.

f. Hide all layers except Defpoints. There


should be nothing on layer Defpoints. Move all remaining items on layer Defpoints to template
layers.

g. Note: move document text to appropriate discipline text layer (e.g., A-TXT, e.g. M-TXT) or if
text is universal to all disciplines move to layer: TEXT

AUTOCAD TEXT
20. TEXT: 

There are only three text styles used on the template although it is acceptable to change the text size if
necessary: Standard, Bold, Title. All three text styles are Tahoma Font, non-annotative. One Community
CAD standards do not use annotative text.

All text styles, other than Standard, Bold, and Title, must be removed.

Enter QSELECT at the command line and select the following:

Apply to: Entire drawing


Object Type: MText
Properties: Style
Operator: = Equals
Value: Select a text type you want to change
Select OK (now all text with the non-standard text style is selected)

On the Annotate Ribbon, select Text Style “Standard” (this will convert all selected text to Standard
text style)

PURGE (See instruction number 8 for more details about purging your document)

Repeat until only Standard, Bold, and Title Text styles exist

AUTOCAD DIMENSION STYLES


1. It may be also necessary to repeat this for Object Type= Text

2. If you believe you have gotten rid of all of a text style but still cannot delete it, it is mostly likely used
in a dimension style. To correct this:

Enter DIMSTYLE in the command line


Check each Style by clicking on the Style and selecting the Modify… button
Click on the Text tab and ensure the Text style is set to Standard
Do this for every Dimension Style
Now go back and attempt to PURGE that layer (See instruction number 8 for more details about
purging your document)

RESOURCES AND ADDITIONAL AUTOCAD TIPS


Here are additional resources and tips we feel may be useful. Use this page (click here) if you have a
resource you’d like added here.

DraftSight is a free AutoCAD viewing and editing software


Autodesk’s free online le viewer: Autodesk’s free online viewer is great for viewing AutoCAD,
SolidWorks, and/or Revit les online. It produces a shareable link anyone can view and also allows for
taking measurements. You cannot edit les with it though
Using the keyboard to enter commands instead of icons is much more ef cient. Here is an extensive
list of shortcuts: https://www.autodesk.com/store/autocad-shortcuts#

Instead of memorizing short cuts, think about what you want to do and begin typing.
Example: You want to hatch an area.
Memorize which ribbon the Hatch is
located or type Hatch and AutoCAD
will provide a list of options. Select H
(HATCH) from that list. 

If you use HATCH frequently enough


that it is worth committing to
memory, AutoCAD has provided you
the shortcut, H(ATCH); next time type
H at the command line and press
Enter.

Example: I can never remember how


to isolate a layer; is it ISOLAY, or
LAYISO? It doesn’t matter, just start typing and AutoCAD will populate the list of possible options. In this
case, I started typing ISO and LAYISO popped up. Select LAYISO from the list.

(Isolating a layer locks all other layers except the one selected, LAYUNISO, restores all layers to their
previous state)

If you do not immediately see the command you expected, the window that pops up is scrollable. See if
the command you are looking for is further down the list.

This is also a good way to learn new commands since AutoCAD populates a list of commands using the
letters you enter.  

1. Always with ef ciency in mind, some commands you will want to memorize. In almost every case I
prefer using MTEXT rather than TEXT. How convenient that the command for MTEXT is simply T.
Type T at the command line and press enter and you will create an MTEXT object.  

2. Some commands that I use all the time or that took me forever to gure out once and that I never
wanted to have to gure out again:

CO: C(OPY) This works differently from the standard shortcut of Ctrl+C. COPY can only copy to
the same drawing but will make multiple copies. Ctrl+C copies to the same drawing or any other
drawing le but requires the Ctrl+V command to paste.

Q: Q(SAVE) the drawing (SAVE is actually Save As where you can change the lename and the le
location)

DIMSCALE: I always set DIMSCALE when starting a new drawing based on the following:
https://www.designmaster.biz/support/QandA/HowtoSetDIMSCALE.html This can adjusts text size,
leaderhead arrows, and other drawing elements.  

LTSCALE: It is also a good idea to set LTSCALE using the same scale as DIMSCALE. I discovered
LTSCALE when the “hidden” line type was not visible because LTSCALE was set too low.

Sometimes in an active drawing Z(OOM) > E(XTENTS), results in a blank screen with a small dot in
the center. To get rid of this:
Z(OOM)
E(XTENTS)
ERASE
ALL
R(EMOVE)
Drag a window around the dot in the middle of the screen
Enter

Now try Z(OOM) > E(XTENTS) again and the drawing should be as expected, rather than a small
dot in the center of a black screen.

TXT2MTXT – Converts TEXT to MTEXT

MIRRTEXT

0: Will NOT mirror text


1: Will mirror text

PDFOSNAP

1: Will allow you to snap to objects in a pdf External Reference (XREF) object

IMAGEFRAME, PDFFRAME, DWFFRAME, DNGFRAME, XCLIPFRAME

0: Not visible, not printed


1: Visible and plots
2: Displays by does not print
3: Various

LAYFRZ: Freeze layer in a viewport – select the viewport for which you want this layer to be frozen

VPMAX: Expands the current layout viewport for editing

VPMIN: Restores the current layout viewport

Snap To Menu Shortcut: Ctrl + RightClick brings up the snap to menu, either click the snap type you
need or in many instances, type the rst letter snap type.

Examples:

E – Endpoint

M – Midpoint

P – Perpendicular

R – Near

C – Center

PURGE: Removes unused items, such as block


de nitions and layers, from the drawing

LAYMRG: Merges selected layers into a target layer;


the layer you select to merge into the target layer is
deleted

QSELECT: Creates a selection set based on ltering


criteria (Example: Select all text of a particular style)

The Up Arrow scrolls through previously used


commands at the command line. Once you reach the
desired command, press the Enter key to start that
command.

Enter repeats the last command

SUMMARY
We created a standardized AutoCAD template so that our le names, drawing scales, symbols,
layers and layer names, and colors and line weights would match for all our open source designs
and the open source designs of others using our designs as a starting point and wanting us to
share their work too. The Template File includes our Title Block format, standardized layer names and line
weights, and most commonly used symbols within all our drawings. We also created the format with
non-AutoCAD users in mind, using colors that show up well in screenshots and fonts that show up
appropriately when using Autodesk’s free online le viewer. The basic instructions for use with a new
drafting project are included in the  le download too.

FREQUENTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS


Q: Where do I download the Master Template File?

Click this link for the Template File: Template File Download

Q: I don’t own AutoCAD, how can I view and use the le?

For viewing, you can use Autodesk’s free online le viewer. For use, you can download AutoCAD and try it
with their free 30-day trial. DraftSight is also a free AutoCAD viewing and editing software.

Share the knowledge!

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