User hub

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This is the main help area for newcomers to FreeCAD.

These pages are in continuous development, so there may be missing or outdated information. If you cannot find the information that you need, don't hesitate to ask in the FreeCAD forum.

If you'd like to contribute to FreeCAD, see the Help FreeCAD page. If you'd like to edit this wiki, request a wiki account with editor permissions in the forum, and read the WikiPages for the general guidelines that you should follow.

If you would like to know how FreeCAD started years ago visit the History page.


Using FreeCAD

Introduction

Basic Application

  • Interface: the FreeCAD interface is composed of various graphical elements on the screen.
    • 3D view: the area where 2D and 3D geometry is drawn.
    • Combo view: the panel that contains the tree view, the task panel, and the property editor.
    • Tree view: the element that shows all objects in the document and their parametric history.
    • Task panel: the panel that shows different actions and options depending on the drawing tool selected.
    • Property editor: the place where object properties are modified.
    • Selection view: the panel that shows elements that are currently selected.
    • Report view: the text box that shows different messages from the application and its tools.
    • Python console: the editor that allows you to run Python code interactively, and see results in the 3D view.
    • DAG view: an alternative to the tree view, which shows the relationships between different objects in the document through a graph.
    • Interface Customization: how to configure the toolbars with custom tools.
  • Mouse navigation: the different types of using the mouse or trackpad to navigate in the 3D view.
  • Preferences Editor: the system that allows you to control many properties of the base system and of the individual workbenches.
  • Workbenches: how the FreeCAD interface is organized
  • File formats: the different file formats that FreeCAD can read and write.

Workbenches

These are the base workbenches bundled with every installation of FreeCAD:

Macros

macros are relatively small snippets of Python code that perform a simple or complex task that is not available in the base FreeCAD system.

Power users have written various macros to enhance FreeCAD with more capabilities.

Since FreeCAD 0.17, many macros can be installed using the Addon Manager. For a list of the macros refer to the macros recipes page. For manual installation see How to install macros.

External Workbenches

When many macros or functions are put together, and are organized in toolbars and menus, they can become a new workbench.

External workbenches are collections of functions that are not part of the base FreeCAD system, usually developed by experienced users, and targeting a particular need.

Since FreeCAD 0.17, many workbenches can be installed using the Addon Manager. For manual installation see How to install additional workbenches.

Reference

Online Help

This is the official FreeCAD online help. Please note that the whole online help system is currently being reworked. It will be used to generate a .CHM file, that will be distributed with the binary packages of FreeCAD. At the moment the online help summarizes some of the most complete sections of this wiki.

More

  • The Power users hub is the place to go if you would like to see more advanced use of FreeCAD
  • The FreeCAD Community Portal lists projects made by community members around FreeCAD.
  • Don't understand a term or phrase as used in FreeCAD? Try the Glossary page.