2D CAD drafting and drawing

2D CAD software offers limitless possibilities, from crafting a dream treehouse to precise technical drawings. Professionals and beginners alike appreciate its user-friendly, advanced capabilities, available in the AutoCAD products.

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Motorcycle CAD drawing created in AutoCAD LT.

What is 2D CAD software?

2D computer-aided design (CAD) software is a digital platform that allows professionals in fields like architecture, engineering, and manufacturing to create precise technical drawings and plans in two dimensions.

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are popular 2D CAD software tools that provide a digital platform for crafting detailed floor plans, producing drawings for building permits, and designing mechanical components with precision.

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How do professionals use 2D CAD software?

2D CAD is a type of software that helps people create drawings and plans on a computer. It's used in different industries, like architecture and engineering, to create plans for buildings or products. With 2D CAD, you can quickly insert commonly used building parts, like doors or furniture, and easily change the design.

Autodesk offers 2D software applications such as AutoCAD LT that are used for designing and creating products. These software tools provide features that aid in creating accurate 2D drawings, which are faster and more precise than manual drawings.

Office floor plan created in 2D CAD software

2D drawing and drafting

With 2D CAD, users can create technical drawings with an array of features, including adjustable line styles, closed shapes, and crosshatching. 2D CAD offers the ability to save settings; annotate drawings; and easily replicate fonts, styles, and color pallets. Its collaborative interface increases efficiency with multiple-component projects, such as product design or illustrations.

2D CAD software makes it easier to take concepts from the drawing/design phase to the drafting phase to flesh out precise dimensions and scale. Architects, engineers, and construction professionals will appreciate the built-in efficiency in AutoCAD, offering features that streamline the drawing process alongside integrated workflows. Users can develop landscaping layoutsfloor plans, and more, as well as view and collaborate on plans across a multitude of devices, including desktop, web, and mobile.

Benefits of 2D CAD software

Discover the top benefits of 2D CAD drawing and drafting software from Autodesk.

Precision drawing

2D CAD software allows you to draw lines and shapes with accuracy. You can easily adjust and edit your drawings and add texture and detail with special patterns. The software helps you make precise changes to your designs, ensuring everything looks just the way you want it.

Improved organization

2D CAD software helps you keep drawings organized and tidy. You can add measurements and labels to your drawings and use templates and layouts to create standard designs quickly. This makes it easy to find what you need and share your work with others.

Increased productivity

2D CAD software saves you time by letting you reuse design elements like symbols and blocks. You can work with others on the same drawing at the same time and easily align your designs. This helps you work faster and be more productive.

2D CAD software features

Discover some of the top 2D CAD drawing and drafting tools and features available with Autodesk software.

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Text settings

Customize the size, color, and style of text to create professional-looking drawings, and format text with columns and boundaries to make it easy to read.

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Create measurements of objects in your drawing with custom styles to help you keep track of proportions and size.

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Display different views of your drawing on a single sheet of paper with a standardized title block that contains important information about the drawing.

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Dynamic blocks

Create blocks that change shape, size, or configuration depending on your needs. This is useful when you want to use the same block in multiple parts of your drawing, but you need it to look slightly different in each location. 

2D CAD drafting and drawing software

2D and 3D CAD tools, with enhanced insights, AI-automations, and collaboration features. Subscription includes AutoCAD on desktop, web, mobile, and seven specialized toolsets.

Best-in-class tool for 2D CAD drafting, drawing, and documentation. Subscription includes AutoCAD LT on desktop, web, and mobile.

Draft, annotate, and add field data to your drawings online via your web browser or mobile device. Access and edit DWG files, and quickly collaborate with AutoCAD users on designs.

What can you design with 2D CAD software?

Two hands drawing a floor plan on paper with a pen, sticky notes, and ruler.

Architectural floor plans

The special arrangement of windows, doors, and interior and exterior spaces is essential to any architectural design project.

Designing a yellow excavator in 3D overlaying 2D drawing.

Technical drawings

From product assembly to engineering layouts, technical drawings are better with the accuracy of 2D CAD software.

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Purple sofa and green couch line the chic purple-toned room, books are stacked in front of a fireplace and butterfly specimens adorn the walls.

Interior design

The interplay of color, texture, light, and space can be expertly depicted in 2D CAD software.

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Sustainable landscape design of planters and benches in a unique space at Pinterest headquarters.

Landscape design

Designing a landscape layout requires notating every detail of plant species and hardscape material.

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See how customers are using 2D CAD software

Dining area of Burnside Cottage kitchen renovation.


AutoCAD LT opens doors for interior designer

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Building exterior of Marriott International’s Moxy hotel


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Helping a landscape design business blossom

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Sports center rendering created using AutoCAD

Extend your workflow with 2D to 3D CAD software

Bring complex ideas to life by turning 2D drawings into 3D models with integrated software from Autodesk. Streamline digital workflows for design, visualization, and 3D simulation to transform the 2D-to-3D creative process.

2D CAD software frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is 2D CAD design?

2D design refers to the creation of two-dimensional visual representations or drawings. In 2D design, objects and elements are typically represented on a flat plane, such as a piece of paper or a computer screen, with width and height dimensions. These designs lack depth, as they do not incorporate the third dimension (depth or thickness) that is present in 3D design.

Is 2D CAD easier than 3D CAD?

Download a free 30-day trial of AutoCAD LT or any of the toolsets that are included when you subscribe.


Students and educators can get free one-year educational access to Autodesk products and services, which is renewable as long as you remain eligible. If you are a student or educator, you can access free AutoCAD software with an Autodesk Education plan.

Is 2D CAD easier when compared to 3D CAD?

If you're new to CAD and looking for simplicity, begin with AutoCAD LT. Its user-friendly interface and helpful collaboration features make it an excellent starting point. You can easily learn 2D drawing using AutoCAD LT through video tutorials. Start by creating and organizing 2D objects, making modifications, and plotting drawings. Once you're comfortable with 2D, you can build a strong foundation for 3D drawing, gradually expanding your skills.

What are the advantages of 2D over 3D CAD drafting?

There are several advantages of 2D CAD drafting compared with 3D CAD drafting. 2D CAD drafting tools from Autodesk are easy to use. You can digitally create design components along with precise dimensions, even incorporating details from previously built designs. Then, when changes need to be made, the 2D CAD tool automatically calculates the changes in different factors, driving efficiency into project management.

Can you make a 2D drawing from a 3D model in AutoCAD?

You can easily transform a 3D model into a 2D drawing using AutoCAD's Flatshot command. This command takes your 3D creation and flattens it onto a 2D plane. This resulting 2D image can be inserted as a block into your project or saved as a standalone drawing. It's a fantastic way to bridge the gap between 3D and 2D design in AutoCAD.

Is 2D CAD software only for blueprints?

No, 2D CAD software from Autodesk isn't limited to blueprints. It’s versatile and efficient, catering to various technical drawing needs. Whether you’re an architect, engineer, designer, or drafter, it offers industry-specific toolsets for visualizing concepts and simulating designs. 2D CAD is handy for interior design, landscape design, architectural design, and more.

Can 2D CAD be used for civil engineering?

AutoCAD 2D and 3D software is ideal for civil engineering and infrastructure design. 2D drawings are especially useful in drawing plans, sections, and elevations; drafting working drawings of buildings; and creating inspection plans and permit drawings. AutoCAD 2D and 3D software includes civil engineering toolsets and improved workflow across desktop, web, and mobile devices.

What is isometric drawing?

An isometric drawing is a 3D representation of a 2D object or scene, where the three main axes (X, Y, and Z) are equally foreshortened to create a distorted but visually appealing perspective. Isometric drawings are often used to represent three-dimensional objects or spaces in a way that allows for easier visualization and understanding.

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