Nice profile in the reply.
Knuckles tend to continue dragging long after becoming very familiar to the machines! Mine are all covered with dirt from still being dragged on the ground
and expect them to continue in this fashion until death... at which point it's nearly impossible for me to learn anymore about any certain subject..
Now, with the normal sillyness aside, you might find the step from mechanically drawn [hard copy] type of drafting, to CAD, somewhat of an overwhelming problem where it relates to how things get done.
I had the same trouble - couldn't figure out how to draw a simple line, let alone the term[s] used to describe it!!
I automatically went to setup my page's "Limits" and figure a scale size relevant to page size, such as is done with physical hard copies [hand drawn plans].
The concepts are still the same - you create a base plan that is the overall template for each separate plan page. In hand drafting, we would draw a base template, then send it out and have blackline copies made on tracing vellums - which are used to draw the separate plans onto.
CAD uses the same approach, but instead of separate physical plan pages, all can be stacked one on top another, via a "Layering" technique. Layers can be turned on and off, so you could use one single plan [and file], turn off unneeded layers, print the necessary layers, and perform edits all on one plan.
I don't use this approach, but instead have individually saved plan page files that would be separate on the print set [like E.10, E.11 and such]. However, the method of using one single plan template, then "Attaching" other plans to it is still used.
In this matter, I only need to draw, edit or revise one plan page [file], and this will effect the remainders without me having to edit each individual page [file].
The major change you'll have when jumping over to CAD is that scale only becomes a factor when plotting [printing], so everything can be drawn 1 to 1.
Using a templated page [like one with set borders and a title block], would require separate templates sized to fit your plotter's paper size and an estimated overall scale [contradicts the previous 1 to 1 drawing, doesn't it??].
I use a D size plotter [actually, it's not a plotter - it's a wide format color inkjet printer]. The page sizes are 24"x36" - like the size you are familiar with using.
Don't let someone try and tell you that CAD drawings are any more accurate in dimensions, than hand drawn plans. This is absolutely untrue!! The scale accuracy for both is equal - when it's viewed on the monitor and computer that the plans were drawn from using CAD, or the original hand drawn page template. Neither one has any advantage at this state, as long as the draftsperson uses the correct values.
It's all depending on the accuracy of the original drawing, but that's the primary accuracy!
Secondary accuracy is almost never completely achieved with CAD drawings that get plotted from a different machine than the one that drew them! Also, file conversions and stuff like this make matters worse, to the point of errors in measurements exceeding 5%!!
This is the reason that CAD plots should not be "Scaled" in the field, unless their accuracy has been verified.
Typical "A" sheets, plus the base plans used by Engineers to produce "M", "P", "S", and "E" sheets, almost always have notes saying:
"Do Not Scale Drawings"
I always like to mention these simple, yet rarely explained points, to potential / future CAD users - especially those in transition from hand made drawings.
The main "Power" abilities of CAD techniques are those that relate to how things get drawn. Since the workspace is in a way "Virtual Reality", you can easily fix and edit lines, whereas hard copy would require erasures and regeneration of base templates for most revisions.
Also, there are many helpful "side applications" and math orientated things that can lower the externally generated calcs and work load to some minimum.
Now, since the CAD programs offer a new wealth of power, that could never be done with hand drawn sets [I had only dreamed of some ways to make CAD counterparts to hand drawings
], it adds complexity to the whole plan set!!!
The power in the CAD program becomes it's own enemy!!
So once again, I say that there is absolutely no required reason for anyone to drop their more familiar, well understood and most comfortable method of hand drafting, because they feel pressured to use CAD. If a client or architect can't supply one with a hard copy of at least the base plan, get it on a disk - send it out to be plotted, then work from it. Never change because someone says it's the only way or the best way to draw!!!
If one plans to convert to CAD, do so at a slow but steady pace. It will work out better in the long run if this approach is taken.
Classes or individual tutoring is almost crucial for the entry level user.
There are so many different ways to use and manipulate CAD, so there is a major benefit if one wishes to harness this potential power.
This gift can be your worst nightmare if left unchecked or uncontrolled
Always keep this in mind - better yet, print this out in huge bold letters and tape it to your monitor!! Mine is hanging above the monitor on W/S #2
BTW: As-Builts are a great help, as long as you can find them on-site, plus they reflect the most recent work done. Otherwise, they are completely useless to anyone [except those that try to appear "important" by carrying around a non-relevant set of As-Builts.... seen it a dozen or more times, and it still makes me laugh!!].
Clients, on the other hand, seem to appreciate the "extra effort" put in when they receive an As-Built set. They feel like you have more involved than just "Making Money" [this is what I have heard - more like overheard].
We have several clients plus related contractors and vendors that really value the As-Built sets and have used them for references in the field.
Only these points is what keeps me generating in-depth As-Built sets.
Otherwise I would just be scribbling on some blueline copy page and giving them this, which would be equal to them as complete and complex CAD generated As-Builts.