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Two-dimensional locations defined by x- and y-coordinates.


Three-dimensional locations defined by x-, y-, and z-coordinates.

3D solids,

Three-dimensional ACIS entity.

absolute coordinates,

Coordinates defined in relation to the origin point of the current user coordinate system. See also coordinate system, coordinates, origin, relative

coordinates, user coordinate system, and World Coordinate System.


A mechanism for exchanging information between different programs

whereby a copy of a source document is embedded or a pointer to a source document is linked to a target document. See also embed and link.

acute angles,

Angles of fewer than 90 degrees.


An abbreviation or alternative word for an CADdirect 2022 command.

aligned dimension,

A dimension aligned parallel to an entity or measuring the distance between two points at any angle.


The difference in direction between two nonparallel linear entities, measured in degrees or radians.

angular dimension,

A dimension measuring the angle between two lines or subtended by an arc.

angular unit,

The unit of measurement for angles. Angular units can be measured in decimal degrees, degrees/minutes/seconds, grads, and radians.


Any text, dimensions, tolerances, or notes added to a drawing.


Acronym for American National Standards Institute. In the context of text, a standard character set defined by ANSI used in computer-aided drafting.


A segment of a circle or ellipse.


Measurement of a planar region or the calculated space within an entity.


Multiple copies of selected entities in a circular or rectangular pattern.


Acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a commonly used system for assigning numbers to printable alphanumeric characters, punctuation, and symbols.


A component of a block containing specific text or numeric information. You can copy the information contained in an attribute from the drawing to an external database.

attribute definition,

An entity composed of a name, prompt for information, display characteristics, and default text that, when incorporated into a block, creates an attribute when the block is inserted into a drawing.

attribute name,

Text that identifies an attribute within a block.

attribute text,

The text containing an attributes information within a block.

B-spline curve,

See spline.

base point,

A point on an entity that serves as its reference or insertion point. A point of reference when specifying relative distances.


The line on which text characters appear to sit. The descenders of individual characters drop below the baseline.

baseline dimension,

Multiple parallel dimensions measured from the same baseline origin.


To convert an externally referenced drawing into a standard block definition.


Temporary screen markers displayed in a drawing when you select a point. Also called marker blips.


One or more entities grouped together to create a single entity. See also nested block.

block definition,

The name, base point, and entities grouped together when creating a block.

boundary polyline,

A selected area bounded by a single closed entity or by multiple entities that intersect.


A property whereby an entity inherits the color, linetype, lineweight, or print style of any block that contains it.


A property whereby an entity inherits the color, linetype, lineweight, or print style of its associated layer.


Acronym for computer-aided design.

Cartesian coordinates,

Coordinates defined using three perpendicular axes (x, y and z) to define locations in three-dimensional space. See also cylindrical coordinates,

polar coordinates, and spherical coordinates.

center line,

A line used to indicate the center of a circle or an arc, usually consisting of a center mark and lines extending slightly beyond the diameter of the circle or the arc.

center mark,

A cross marking the center of a circle or an arc.


A beveled edge between two lines.


A line connecting two points on a circle or an arc.


The measurement of the distance around a circle.


A condition whereby the start point and endpoint of an entity are the same.

color-dependent print style table,

A collection of print styles that determine how entities print according to their assigned color. See print style table.


Data that is separated by a comma to represent the end of a field.

command bar,

A dockable window in which you type CADdirect 2022 commands and view prompts and other program messages.


A three-dimensional entity where a vertex exists above or below the circular shape and where a surface has been applied between the vertex and the circular shape.


Connected, unbroken, or uninterrupted. Entities that share the same endpoint.

continued dimension,

A dimension measured from the previous extension line of

an existing dimension, resulting in two or more dimensions positioned end to end.

control point,

A point used to define a spline.

Coons patch,

A surface interpolated among three or four boundary curves.

coordinate filter,

A function that extracts individual x-, y-, and z-coordinate values

from different points to create a new composite point.

coordinate system,

A system of points that represents the drawing space in relation to an origin (0,0,0) and a set of axes that intersect at the origin. In two dimensions, the x- and y-axes represent horizontal and vertical directions, respectively. In three dimensions, the z-axis represents locations above and below the two-dimensional xy plane. Locations in the drawing can be represented using two-dimensional and three-dimensional rectangular (Cartesian) coordinates, two-dimensional polar coordinates,three-dimensional polar (cylindrical) coordinates, and three-dimensional spherical coordinates. See also polar coordinates, relative coordinates, spherical coordinates, user coordinate system, and World Coordinate System.


A set of values that determines a location in two-dimensional or three dimensional space. See also absolute coordinates, Cartesian coordinates, polar coordinates, relative coordinates, and spherical coordinates.


Lying within the same plane.


A cursor that consists of two or three lines that intersect at the cursor location.


To fill an area with a pattern of evenly spaced perpendicular lines. See also hatch.

crossing circle,

An entity-selection method that selects entities contained within or crossing the boundary of a circular selection window.

crossing polygon,

An entity-selection method that selects entities contained within or crossing the boundary of a polygon selection window.

crossing window,

An entity-selection method that selects entities contained within or crossing the boundary of a rectangular selection window.


A boxed, three-dimensional, geometric shape where length, width, and height are equal.


The insertion-point symbol on the screen. The appearance of the cursor changes based on the current task.


A smooth, continuous path made up of linear and arc segments. Curve types include arcs, splines, circles, and ellipses.

cylindrical coordinates,

Coordinates describing a point in three-dimensional space based on its distance from the origin, its angle in the xy plane, and its z-coordinate

value. See also polar coordinates and spherical coordinates.

datum-line dimensioning,

See ordinate dimension.


An initial or predefined setting.


To remove an external reference from a drawing. See also external reference.


The distance across a circle or sphere.

digitizer tablet,

A hardware input device that incorporates an electronic pad and a hand-held pointer similar to a mouse. A digitizer tablet serves two purposes: (1) You can select tools from paper representations attached to the pad (called an overlay), providing access to all tools at once while freeing your screen space; and (2) You can input digital points into the computer that correspond to points on a paper drawing, photograph, or blueprint attached to the pad.


A measurement, as in height or width. In the context of drafting, a set of lines, arrowheads, and text used to indicate a measurement.

dimension style,

A named group of dimension variable settings that determines the appearance of the dimension. You can save multiple dimension styles for reuse.

dimension text,

The measurement value. Dimension text can include prefixes, suffixes, tolerances, and other annotations.

dimension text rotation,

The angle in degrees between the x-axis and the dimension text baseline.

dimension tolerance,

A value specifying the allowed variation of a dimension (+ or – n).


The lower half of a sphere. See also dome.

displacement point,

The point to which a base, or reference, point will be relocated when moving or copying entities.


The measure of space between two points.


To position a toolbar or the command bar at the edge of the drawing window, where it locks into place. See also float.


The upper half of a sphere. See also dish.


A filled circle or flat ring created as a polyline.

drawing extents,

See extents.

drawing limits,

See limits.

drawing unit,

The linear measurement system used in a drawing. The user determines what a drawing unit represents, such as one inch, one centimeter, one foot, or one meter.


Acronym for Autodesk Design Web Format, a file format for viewing two-dimensional or three-dimensional drawings in a Web browser and distributing for review using free Autodesk® software and tools.


A standard file extension used by CAD programs to store drawing files of the DWG format.


A standard format used by CAD programs to store drawing templates, which are drawings that contain predefined settings that you can use when creating a new drawing. See also template.


Acronym for Drawing Exchange Format, a standard ASCII or binary file format for importing and exporting files between most CAD programs.


The z value measured from the xy plane. Positive values are above the xy plane; negative values are below the xy plane.


A technique for exchanging information between different programs whereby a copy of the source document is stored in the target document. See also ActiveX and link.


Acronym for Enhanced Metafile, a file format with the type and extension of


It is a native internal file format of Windows 98. EMF supports both raster and vector information and 24-bit RGB color. Most Windows-based programs support this format.


The point at which a line or curve ends.


Any single basic item in a drawing. Entities include arcs, attributes, blocks, circles, dimensions, ellipses, elliptical arcs, infinite lines, lines, polylines, rays, and text.

entity data,

Any of a variety of additional information, such as text, numbers, and distances, that can be attached to drawing entities.

entity snap,

A technique for accurately locating and specifying key geometric points on entities, such as endpoints and midpoints of lines, and center points and tangents of arcs and circles.

entity snap override,

To disable or change an entity snap mode for a single input. See also entity snap and running entity snap.


See entity snap.


The conversion of a complex entity into its basic entities.

extension lines,

Lines extending away from an entity being dimensioned so that you can place the dimension line away from the entity. Also called projection lines.


The smallest rectangle that can contain all the entities in a drawing. Infinite lines and rays do not affect a drawing’s extents. See also limits.

external reference,

A drawing that is linked to another drawing.


The process of converting a two-dimensional entity into a three-dimensional entity by stretching (extruding) the two-dimensional entity along a straight path. Changing the thickness of a two-dimensional entity effectively extrudes it along its z-axis. See also tabulated surface.


A planar surface defined by three or four points.


An entity-selection method that selects entities crossing a multi-segmented line.


An arc that smoothly connects the end of one line to another.


To position a toolbar or the command bar away from the edges of the drawing window where it can be moved independently. See also dock.


To suppress the display of, and ignore the entities on, a specified layer when regenerating a drawing, thus accelerating the display of the drawing. See also thaw.


An adjustable, regularly spaced pattern of dots on the screen, used as an aid in drawing and aligning entities. The grid is not printed.


A small square displayed at key positions on an entity when the entity is selected that can be used to modify the entity by clicking and dragging.


The distance from the center of a wide polyline to its edge.


To fill a selected area either with lines, crosshatching, or a hatch pattern. See also crosshatch.

hatch pattern,

A pattern, often representing a material such as steel, wood, or sand, for filling selected areas.

hidden-line removal,

A visualization technique in which all lines that are hidden behind other entities or surfaces from your viewpoint are clipped or removed, giving the image the appearance of a solid entity.

horizontal dimension,

A linear dimension measuring a horizontal distance.

infinite line,

A line extending infinitely in both directions.

insertion point,

The point where you place an entity into a particular space. A reference point by which an entity is inserted in a drawing.


The point where two entities meet or cross.

isometric drawing,

A drawing aligned with an isometric plane.

isometric plane,

One of three planes representing the left, right, or top sides of an implied three-dimensional, orthogonal entity. Snap and grid points are aligned with the plane to constrain drawings.


The computer equivalent of overlays used in manual drafting. A tool by which drawing components can be organized into related sets, such as plumbing, framing, and electrical systems of a house, each being drawn on its own layer.


Similar to a sheet of paper, a representation of how a drawing will look when printed.

layout viewport,

A window in a Layout tab (paper space) that displays all or a portion of a drawing’s model space entities. See also paper space and model space.


A line leading from a feature of a drawing to an annotation.


The user-defined boundary of a drawing, defined by its lower left and upper right corner coordinates. See also extents.

limits tolerance,

Dimension text in which the measured dimension is replaced by the largest and smallest dimensions allowed, with the upper limit displayed above the lower limit. See also tolerance and variance tolerance.


The appearance of a line, defined as a solid (continuous) line or as a pattern of dashes, dots, and blank spaces.


The width of a line, defined in millimeters or inches.


A technique for exchanging information between different programs whereby the target document maintains a pointer to the original source document. Any changes to the source document are reflected in all target documents containing links to the source. See also ActiveX and embed.


Acronym for List Processing Language, a computer language invented in the late 1950s by John McCarthy for use in artificial intelligence. Because it is interpreted rather than compiled, and is relatively straightforward, it is a convenient language for users to write routines to extend the set of commands and functionality of CADdirect 2022.


Prevents unauthorized access to drawing layers.

M direction,

 In a polygon mesh, the direction from the first to the second row. See also N direction.


In menus and toolbars, several commands grouped together as one. Also Visual Basic for Applications code.

major axis,

The longest distance across an ellipse, from one end to the other. See also minor axis.

marker blips,

Temporary screen markers displayed in a drawing when you select a point. Also called blips.


Acronym for multiple-document interface. See multiple-document interface.


A set of connected polygon faces approximating a curved surface.

minor axis,

The shortest distance across an ellipse, from one side to the other. See also major axis.


To create a reverse-image copy of selected entities by reflecting the entities symmetrically about a line or plane.

model space,

The primary drawing area in which you create entities. See also paper space.

multiple-document interface,

The ability to view and work with different drawings simultaneously.

N direction,

In a polygon mesh, the direction from the first to the second column. See also M direction.

named print style table,

A collection of print styles that determine how entities print according to the print styles you create and assign to entities and layers. See print style table.

named view,

A saved view that can be recalled at a later time by specifying its name.

nested block,

A block contained as part of the definition of another block. See also block.

nonassociative hatch,

A hatch that is not associated with or linked to an entity.


Geometric lines or planes that are not parallel or perpendicular.


See parallel.


Acronym for Object Linking and Embedding. See ActiveX.

ordinate dimension,

A measurement of the horizontal (x-ordinate) or vertical (y-ordinate) distance from an established reference base point or datum.


The intersection point of the coordinate system axes. In a Cartesian coordinate system, the origin is the point at which the x-, y-, and z-axes intersect (the 0,0,0 coordinate).


Having perpendicular slopes or tangents at the point of intersection.

orthogonal mode (ortho),

A drawing mode in which the entity creation is constrained to parallel the horizontal and vertical axes relative to the current snap angle.

orthographic projection,

A drafting technique by which a three-dimensional item is described in two dimensions by showing it from various directions, most commonly front, top, and side views.

outside circle,

An entity-selection method that selects entities falling completely outside a circular selection window.

outside polygon,

An entity-selection method that selects entities falling completely outside a polygon selection window.

outside window,

An entity-selection method that selects entities falling completely outside a rectangular selection window.


To shift the displayed view of a drawing without changing the magnification. See also zoom.

paper space,

A two-dimensional work area similar to a sheet of paper, in which you can arrange different views of your model as layout viewports. See also model space.


Two or more coplanar lines that never intersect one another.

parallel dimension,

See baseline dimension.


Acronym for Portable Document Format. PDF files can be viewed using Adobe® Acrobat Reader, which is free software that users can download; they can also be viewed, reviewed, and edited using Adobe® Acrobat.


The distance around the boundary of an entity.


Entities at right angles to one another.


Entities whose extents are situated entirely within a plane.


Two-dimensional surface.

plan view,

A view of the drawing from above, looking down the z-axis perpendicular to the xy plane of the current UCS.


A location in space specified by its x-, y-, and z-coordinates. A drawing entity consisting of a single x,y,z-coordinate location and represented by one of several symbols.

point filter,

See coordinate filter.

polar array,

Multiple copies of selected entities in a circular pattern.

polar coordinates,

Coordinates describing a two-dimensional point on a two-dimensional plane based on the point’s distance from the origin and its angle in the plane. See also Cartesian coordinates, coordinates, cylindrical coordinates, relative coordinates, and spherical coordinates.


A closed single entity with three or more sides.


A drawing entity composed of one or more connected line or arc segments treated as a single entity.

print style,

A collection of settings, including color, pen width, linetype, and lineweight, that determine how a drawing looks when it is printed. See print style table.

print style table,

A collection of print styles that you can assign to the Model tab or to a Layout tab. Print style tables change how a drawing looks when you print it without modifying the actual entities. See print style.


File that contains your preferred drawing environment settings.

projection lines,

See extension lines.

prompt box,

A list of options displayed when a command or tool provides several choices.

Prompt History window,

A window containing a history of the most recent commands and prompts issued since you started the current session of CADdirect 2022.


One-fourth of a circle, arc, or ellipse entity. In the context of entity snaps, the option that snaps to points on a circle, arc, or ellipse at each quadrant.

radial dimension,

A dimension that measures the radius of a circle or arc.


A unit of angular measurement; 360 degrees equals 6.283185 or 2pi radians.


The distance from the center of a circle or sphere to its periphery.


A line that starts at a designated point and runs infinitely.

ray tracing,

A visualization technique in which rays from imaginary light sources are traced as they refract off the surfaces of a model, determining where shadows fall and how reflections on shiny materials such as metal and glass appear.


A four-sided, closed entity whereby opposite sides are equal in length.

rectangular array,

Multiple copies of selected entities in a rectangular pattern consisting of a specified number of columns and rows.


To reverse the effect of previous undo commands. See also undo.


To quickly update or refresh the drawing screen display. See also regenerate.


To update or refresh the drawing screen display by recalculating the drawing from its database. See also redraw.


A two-dimensional closed, surfaced, planar boundary.

relative coordinates,

Coordinates expressed in relation to a previous coordinate. See also absolute coordinates.


A visualization technique in which all surfaces of a model are shaded as though they were illuminated from an imaginary light source located behind you as you face the screen. Rendered images are photo-realistic, having depth, shadow, reflection, and texture.


Creating a three-dimensional surface entity by rotating a two-dimensional profile around an axis.

right-hand rule,

A visual aid for remembering the relative directions of the positive x-, y-, and z-axes of a Cartesian coordinate system and the positive rotation direction about an axis.


To change the orientation of an entity, without modifying it, by repositioning it equidistant from, but at a new angle with respect to, a point or axis.

rotation angle,

The angle by which an entity is displaced from its original location when rotating it about a point or axis.

rubber-band line,

A ghosted image line that stretches dynamically on the screen with the movement of the cursor. The line extends between a fixed point and the cursor position to provide dynamic feedback.

ruled surface,

A three-dimensional polygon mesh that approximates a smooth surface between two entities.

running entity snap,

Setting an entity snap so that it continues for subsequent selections. See also entity snap and entity snap override.


To resize an entity. To draw according to the proportions of an entity.


A set of commands stored in an ASCII script file and replayed in sequence by running the script.


Acronym for Solutions Development System, a C programming interface for developing specialized programs to run inside CADdirect 2022.


Any part of an entity bounded by two points.

selection set,

One or more drawing entities selected on which one can operate as a single unit.


To fill planar entities with solid colors for easier visualization.

snap angle,

The angle around which the snap grid is rotated.

snap grid,

An invisible grid that locks entity creation to a specified alignment and snap increment when Snap is enabled.

snap resolution,

The spacing between points on the snap grid.


A raster representation of the current view of one’s drawing.

spherical coordinates,

Coordinates describing a point in three-dimensional space based on its distance from the origin, its angle in the xy plane, and its angle up from the xy plane. See also Cartesian coordinates, coordinates, cylindrical coordinates, and polar coordinates.


A curve generated along the path of three or more control points. The curve passes through the start point and endpoint, but does not necessarily pass through the intermediate control points.

status bar,

The bar at the bottom of the CADdirect 2022 window that displays information about the selected command or tool as well as the cursor coordinates, the name of the current layer, mode settings, and other information about drawing settings.

surface model,

A three-dimensional model consisting of both edges and the surfaces between those edges. See also wire-frame model.

surface of revolution,

A three-dimensional polygon mesh that approximates the surface generated by rotating a two-dimensional profile around an axis.


An acronym for Scalable Vector Graphic, which is a file format for working with interactive graphics, including a Web development language.

system variable,

A setting or value that stores operating environment and command information (such as the drawing limits or global linetype scale factor).

tabulated surface,

A three-dimensional polygon mesh that approximates the surface generated by extruding a curve along a vector. See also extrude.


A line that passes through a single point on a curve.


A drawing with preset layers, linetypes, and other settings (and entities) that can be used as the basis for creating a new drawing. Templates are saved with a .dwt file extension.

text style,

A named, saved collection of format settings that determines the appearance of text.


To redisplay a layer that was frozen. See also freeze.


An entity’s depth, as measured along its z-axis. The distance an entity is extruded above or below its elevation. See also elevation and extrude.

through point,

In creating a parallel entity, a point through which the new entity passes.


Dimension text indicating how much the actual dimension of a manufactured component can vary from the specified dimension. See also limits tolerance and variance tolerance.

tolerance command,

A command that creates a feature-control frame used in mechanical geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.


A collection of tools arranged on a palette that can be moved and resized anywhere on the screen.


A donut-shaped, three-dimensional entity.

transparent command,

A command started while another command is already active. You can use a command transparently by preceding it with an apostrophe.

true color,

Colors defined using 24-bit color. There are more than 16 million true colors from which you can choose.


Acronym for user coordinate system. See user coordinate system.

UCS icon,

A user coordinate system icon that shows the orientation of the coordinate axes, the location of the coordinate system origin, and the viewing direction relative to the xy plane.


To reverse the effect of previous commands. See also redo.


See drawing unit.


Free access to layers in a drawing that would be otherwise locked, thus prohibiting them from being viewed or edited by another user.

user coordinate system,

A Cartesian coordinate system with origins and orientation defined by the user. See also World Coordinate System.

variance tolerance,

Dimension text in which a plus/minus value is appended to the specified dimension to indicate how much the actual dimension of a manufactured component can vary from the specified dimension. See also limits tolerance and tolerance.


Acronym for Visual Basic for Applications, a macro programming language embedded in programs that allows the user to customize the program.


A means of describing a displacement using magnitude and orientation. For example, you can create a line entity, or move an entity, by specifying an initial point, a direction, and a distance.


The point of intersection of the sides of an angle. The start points or endpoints of a line or arc segment in a polyline.

vertical dimension,

A linear dimension measuring a vertical distance.


A representation of a drawing or portion of a drawing from a specific viewpoint in three-dimensional space.


A location in three-dimensional space for viewing one’s drafting.


A window that displays all or a portion of a drawing’s model space entities while in model space on the Model tab. See also model space and paper space.

viewport configuration,

A named arrangement of windows that can be saved and restored.


Acronym for World Coordinate System. See World Coordinate System.


A three-dimensional entity that resembles a box divided along one side from one corner to the opposite corner; for example, a doorstop or a ramp.

window circle,

An entity-selection method that selects entities contained entirely within a circular selection window.

window inside,

An entity-selection method that selects entities contained entirely within a rectangular selection window.

window polygon,

An entity-selection method that selects entities contained entirely within a polygon selection window.


An entity that displays with the current background color, so the details behind it do not display or print.

wire-frame model,

A three-dimensional model consisting of lines and curves that define the edges of a three-dimensional entity. See also surface model.


Acronym for Windows metafile, a format containing vector and color information to render entities.

World Coordinate System,

The fixed Cartesian coordinate system used as the basis for defining other coordinate systems. See also user coordinate system.


See external reference.


To increase or decrease the magnification of the display of a drawing. See also pan.



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