utoCAD Tutorial 2:

PLEASE READ: ___________

     This tutorial was designed to be part of the introductory courses taught by the Graphic Communications Program at NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY. All of the directions used in this, and the other tutorials in this series, assume that you are running AutoCAD Release 2000i on an NT system. These directions will only work with Release 2000i. Other versions may not have the same commands or format.

his tutorial will allow you to explore new features in AutoCAD while you practice commands you used in the previous tutorial. It is assumed that you completed AutoCAD Tutorial 1 before doing this one.


After completing this tutorial, you should be able to:

  1. create a two-dimensional drawing using the CIRCLE, TRIM, and LINE commands;

  2. insert a drawing into the titleblock; and

  3. print a drawing to scale.

     Throughout this tutorial, you will find LINKS that will provide explanations of the commands you will need. These explanations will appear in the LEFT PANEL of your browser window. You can also access information on the command procedures directly through the links in the LEFT PANEL.


  1. When using an AutoCAD command, you MUST read the prompt line and respond as needed.
  2. In a prompt, the CAPITALIZED letter(s) of an option are typed short-cuts for that option. Information typed on the prompt line is not case-sensitive.
  3. To exit a command and return to a Command: prompt, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  4. In command prompts, AutoCAD's has a default selection. If you press the Enter key without typing a different option on the prompt line, the default option is selected.

    EXAMPLE: In a prompt for the Circle command, which reads:
    Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/Ttr (tan tan radius)]:

    1. If no other option is selected, AutoCAD assumes that you will give it a location for the center of the circle. If you want to use any other option [2P, 3P, or Ttr], you must type the option on the prompt line.

    2. When AutoCAD asks you to indicate a location for an object, the default method of selection is a mouse pick. If you accidentally click your left mouse button while the cursor is in the drawing area, the object will be placed where the cursor was located when you clicked the mouse button.


     Now that you have reviewed a few AutoCAD procedures, you need to open the classtemplate file that you used in Tutorial 1. This TEMPLATE file should be on a floppy disk or in your Home Directory. After the file opens, use Save As... to rename the file acadtutor2.

NOTE: Click on the Model tag, next to the Layout 1 tag. If you find the titleblock on the Model screen, use the Erase command to remove it. You do not have to worry about losing the titleblock. It is in the Layout 1 space. You may also want to open the classtemplate file again and remove the titleblock in Model space there and resave it to keep you from having the aggrevation of doing it everytime you open the file.


     Before you actually begin the tutorial drawing, you need to practice four methods AutoCAD uses for locating elements in a drawing. One of these, Absolute Coordinates, you used in the last tutorial. The other three methods are Relative Rectangular Coordinates, Relative Polar Coordinates, and Object Snap (Osnap). Before practicing these, click on the link for Absolute Coordinates to review the information on this location method. Now, use the Line command and draw the following lines with Absolute Coordinates.

  1. For Line 1, draw a horizontal line 30mm long that begins at the 0,0 point (type 0,0 for the start point) and ends at 30,0 (type 30,0 for the second point). Press ENTER to end the line. See FIGURE 1.

    NOTE: Think of Absolute Coordinates as plotting points on a XY graph. You must select a X value (the first number in the coordinate) and a Y value (the number after the comma) to establish a location on the screen.

  2. Line 2 should be vertical, 25mm long, and begin at the 0,0 point.

  3. Line 3 should also be vertical, 15mm long, and begin at 10,10. Remember, if you start your line at 10 along the X and 10 along the Y, the next coordinate point must take this into account for the length of the line to be 15mm long.

The next lines will use a combination of locating methods: Relative Rectangular Coordinates and Object Snaps (Osnap).
Object snaps are powerful AutoCAD tools that allow you to locate positions on existing elements in your drawing. When using Object Snaps, the cursor will change shape when it is over an appropriate location for that Osnap option. Each
Osnap option will display a different cursor shape.

Before using the
Osnap tools, let's place the Osnap toolbar on the screen. This toolbar will allow you to select Osnaps by clicking on their buttons. To access this toolbar, select the View menu and then Toolbars...

When the Toolbars dialogue box appears, scroll down to Osnap, and click on the square check box to the RIGHT of its name. After the Osnap toolbar appears on the screen (See Figure to the RIGHT), select Close to exit the Toolbars dialogue box.

To move the Osnap toolbar to a better location, hold down the LEFT mouse button at the top of the toolbar (by its name), and drag it to a convenient position. You can place it on the drawing screen or with the top and right side toolbars, on the edges of the AutoCAD drawing window. Buttons on the toolbar are usually arranged horizontally, but will become vertical (as shown in the illustration to the right) if you place it with the toolbars on the left side of the screen.

Slide your cursor onto one of the buttons on the Osnap Toolbar without clicking the mouse. Notice that the name of that button appears on the screen. You can identify any button on any toolbar in this fashion.

Relative Rectangular Coordinates allow you to treat any point on the screen as if it is the 0,0,0 point. This is why this system is referred to as a RELATIVE locating method. Read the directions for the Osnap and Relative Rectangular Coordinates before drawing the lines indicated below.

  1. Line 4 should be started from the midpoint of the LAST line (line 3) that you drew earlier. After you activate the Line command, the prompt directs you to : Specify first point:. Use the Midpoint Osnap to select the point. A Midpoint Osnap can be activated by clicking on the button on the Osnap toolbar or typing mid on the prompt line. Now, slide the cursor over the midpoint of line 3 and click the left mouse button when the cursor changes shape. The cursor change indicates that AutoCAD has located a midpoint. When asked for the second point, type @10,10. Remember the @ symbol indicates that you are using a relative coordinate, and the second point is 10 over (along the X-axis) and 10 up (along the Y-axis) from the midpoint of line 3. See FIGURE 2.

  2. Start Line 5 from the midpoint of line 2 and end it 25 along the X-axis and 25 along the Y-axis from the midpoint of line 2. Don't forget the @ symbol before the coordinate or the line will not be the correct length.

  3. Start Line 6 at the bottom end (use the Endpoint Osnap) of line number 3 (the shorter vertical line) and make it 20mm long and horizontal. Don't forget the @ symbol.

Relative Polar Coordinates are similar to Relative Rectangular Coordinates in that they use an @ symbol and allow you to treat any point as if it is the 0,0,0 point. However, Relative Polar Coordinates indicate the length and the angle of the line instead of an X and Y position. Read the information on Osnaps and Relative Polar Coordinates and draw the following lines.

  1. Draw Line 7 so that it begins at the intersection of Lines 3 and 6 (use the Intersection Osnap button or type int), is 20mm long, and at a 45 degree angle. Type @20<45 for the second point.

    The @ symbol again indicated that the coordinate was a relative location, the 20 told AutoCAD the line's length, and the <45 indicated the line's angle.

  2. Begin Line 8 from the TOP end of Line 2 (using the Endpoint Osnap), make it 15 mm long and at a 30 degree angle. Don't forget the @ symbol.

  3. Draw Line 9 so that it starts at the end of Line 1 and is 15 long and at a -30 angle.

If your lines match those in FIGURE 3, erase them and continue to the next part of the tutorial. If they don't, erase any lines that are wrong, and try them again. It is important you become comfortable with these selection systems.

To check your lines, you can use an Inquiry command called Distance.

To activate this command, type dist at a Command: prompt.
When the prompt asks Specify first point:, use the Endpoint Osnap to select one end of a line.
When the prompt asks Specify second point:, use the Endpoint Osnap again to pick the other end of the line.

AutoCAD will display the position, length, and angle for this line in the prompt window.


     Look at FIGURE 4. This figure provides a view of the drawing you will construct in this tutorial, inside of the titleblock you constructed in Tutorial 1. You will complete this figure and then use the Insert command to place the titleblock around it.

You will begin by constructing a rectangle, which you will edit to add other features.



You can type u for Undo while you are inside of the Line command, and AutoCAD will remove the last point you placed without exiting the command. Many commands in AutoCAD will allow you to undo certain actions during the command.

If you accidentally leave the Line command, you can start the next line where you left off. Activate the Line command and use the Endpoint Osnap to select the end of the last line you drew.

You may need to
Zoom out further to be sure that you can see all of the lines you are drawing. Use the Realtime or All option of the Zoom command to be sure you move back far enough.


For the construction of the rectangle, you will create a series of lines straight lines.

NOTE: The icon that usually appears in the lower left hand corner of your AutoCAD screen may not be in the same position as the one shown in the figures below. Its position, relative to the drawing, depends on the Zoom factor and its configuration. To move this icon so that it is not in your way, we will set it so that it consistently stays in the lower Left Corner of the screen. The default position for this icon is at the 0,0 point.

To change the postion of the icon, type ucsicon at a Command: prompt. The next prompt will read: Enter an option [ON/OFF/ALL/Noorigin/ORigin/Properties] <ON>: type n, for Norigin, and press Enter.

  1. First Point-Review the Line command and Absolute Coordinates.
    Activate the Line command, and use an absolute coordinate to start the first line at 0 on the X-axis and the 0 on the Y-axis (0,0).

  2. The second end of the line should be placed so that the line is 260mm long and horizontal. Press Enter to exit the Line command. See FIGURE 5.

    FIGURE 5

    **HELP NOTE: Remember, you are using an XY coordinate or Cartesian System to place these points. If you were plotting this point on graph paper, how far along the X-axis and the Y-axis would you move to place the other end of the line so that the line ends up 130mm long and horizontal?

    At this point you probably cannot see all of the line you just created. Use a Zoom command to reduce the size of the image on the screen and then use the scroll bars to move it to the bottom of the screen.

  3. Line Two -To create the next line, first look at the information on Relative Polar Coordinates. Now, activate the Line command and use the END Osnap to select the right end of the first line you added. The second end of the second line should be placed so that the line is 160mm long and at a 90 degree angle. DO NOT EXIT THE LINE COMMAND. See FIGURE 6.

    You should have two lines that are perpendicular to each other, but still be in the Line command. If you move your mouse, a "rubber band-like" line should appear to be attached to the end of this line, which indicates that you are still in the Line command. The next line will be attached to the "rubber band" end of this line.

    FIGURE 6

  4. Line Three-The next line will connect to the end of the last line. Look at FIGURE 7 to see how the drawing will look after adding this line. If you have accidentally exited the Line command, reactivate it and, when the prompt asks for the first end of the line with Specify first point: use an Osnap to select the endpoint of the last line you added and press Enter. Once this is accomplished, you can continue adding lines.

    Using a Relative Polar Coordinate, add this next point so that the line will be 260mm long and at a 180 degree angle. You need to consider whether you should use a positive or negative angle to place the end of this line. This will complete the third line. DO NOT EXIT THE LINE COMMAND. See FIGURE 7.

    FIGURE 7

  5. Line Four-For the last point, which will create the 4th line, use the Endpoint Osnap to connect it to the beginning of the first line.

    You should now have a rectangle that looks like the one in FIGURE 8.


**HELP NOTE: If you have lines in the wrong place, use Erase to remove them and add them again.


     You are now going to add two circles to your rectangle and edit them to form arcs.

CIRCLES can be added in several ways, but you will add the next two circles with the Tangent Tangent Radius (Ttr)
option. Read the information on constructing Circles with the Ttr option. Look at FIGURE 9 to see where to place these circles. The elements the circles will touch should be clear.

Now, add a 80mm radius circle (on the right side of the figure) using the Ttr option. Use the same option to add a 40mm radius circle (on the upper left side of the figure). If your figure does not match the one in FIGURE 9, use Undo or Erase to remove them and try placing them again.



     You now need to trim the rectangle back to the circles, remove one line, and trim the circles so that you are left with arcs. You will trim the lines in STEP 5 and the circles in STEP 6. Read the information on the Trim command.

Now, trim the lines touching the large circle. Examine FIGURE 10 to see how the drawing should look when you complete this first trim stage.

**HELP NOTE: In this Trim operation the cutting edge is the circle and is the first item you select when asked to select objects. The elements to be trimmed are the part of the lines that extend beyond the circle.


Repeat the Trim command to remove the lines that extend past the small circle so that the drawing looks like FIGURE 11.


Remove the excess vertical line (touching the large circle) with the Erase command. Look at FIGURE 12 if you are not sure which line. You can use oops or Undo to replace the line if you accidentally remove the wrong one.

    FIGURE 12

Type qsave at a Command: prompt, so you can save the work you have completed.


     The last items to trim are the circles so they form arcs. Use the Trim command to edit these. Examine FIGURE 13.

**HELP NOTE: Now, the boundary edges are the lines that touch the circles, and the items to trim are the part of the circles that are not needed.


Use qsave to save your changes.


The next step is to add a polygon to the drawing and modify it. Look at FIGURE 14.


AutoCAD allows you to construct regular polygons; however, a polygon created in this program is a single or grouped object and is oriented to a default angle. This means that you must Rotate the polygon to change its orientation and Explode it before you can edit it. You will be doing both of these in this step.

Read the information on the Polygon command and Center Osnap (if needed).

Next, add a Hexagon that is concentric with the larger arc and has a radius of 30mm across its flats. Remember, if it is constructed to a measurement across its flats, it is circumscribed.

With the hexagon in the drawing, click on one of its lines with the Left mouse button. Notice that the whole polygon selects. This is because it is a grouped item. You cannot select just one line. Use the Escape Key to deselect the Polygon when you are done. In a later tutorial you will encounter a discussion of (Plines). Polygons are created as Polylines, which are treated by AutoCAD as a single object.

The hexagon you just added has a corner at 0 degrees on the XY plane. This is a hexagon's default orientation in AutoCAD. You need to rotate the hexagon so that this corner is at a 90 degree angle (aligned with the Y-axis). Read the information on the Rotate command before you rotate the hexagon to the proper angle. When asked for a basepoint for rotation, use the Center Osnap and select the large arc. See FIGURE 15.


Figure 16
shows how the drawing should look when you are done.


A polygon does not have a center like a circle. If this hexagon had not been concentric with the large arc, you would have had to find some way to create a basepoint for its rotation. Fortunately, a basepoint does not have to be part of the object being rotated. Other items can be used for this reference. For Polygons with an even number of sides, you can add a line that connects two corners of the Polygon and crosses through its center. The midpoint of this construction line could be used as the basepoint for rotating the Polygon. Elements are added to a CAD drawing for construction purposes the same way they are to instrument drawings.

To edit the hexagon, Explode it into individual lines so it is no longer a single or grouped entity. It is not possible to remove part of it otherwise.

I know, you expected something spectacular to happen. Sorry, no pyrotechnics come with this command, although I have always thought the programmers should have added a small sound effect for fun. The hexagon even looks the same; however, if you click on one of the hexagon's lines, only that line is now selected. With the hexagon exploded, use the Erase command to remove the two top lines of the hexagon. Look at FIGURE 17 to be sure which lines to remove.


This is a good time to save your changes.


     The next command you will use is the Extend command. This command will allow you to extend the vertical sides of the hexagon so they touch the top of the drawing.
Look at FIGURE 18 to see how the drawing should appear when you have completed this step.


Read the information on the Extend command.
After familiarizing yourself with this information, use it to extend the vertical sides of the hexagon to the top of the drawing.

**HELP NOTE: You have two boundary edges, and both can be selected at the same time. One is the top horizontal line, and the other is the large arc. Since they are individual elements in the drawing, they both have to be selected. Once the boundary edges are selected, you click on the TOP ends of both of the polygon's vertical lines to extend them to the boundary edges.

AutoCAD in this command, and several other commands, is directional. If you click on the lower end of these lines, the vertical line on the right side of the hexagon will be extended to the wrong side of the arc.


Look at FIGURE 19
. Notice that part of the horizontal line and the arc, between the lines you extended, have been trimmed. Use the Trim command to remove these lines.




     The last visible lines you will add to the drawing are in the lower left corner of the figure. Look at FIGURE 20. Use a combination of Absolute, Relative Rectangular or Relative Polar Coordinates to add these lines.

The first line begins 40mm from the bottom of the left side of the drawing, both are 40mm long and at 90 degrees to each other. You should recall that the lower left corner of the original rectangle was started at the 0,0 point.


If you look at FIGURE 20
again, you should notice the lines that form the LOWER LEFT CORNER, between the lines you just added, have been trimmed away. Use the Trim command to remove this part of these lines.


Now that the visible lines of the drawing are complete, you need to add center lines. Examine FIGURE 21, which again shows you a scaled down version of the completed drawing inside a titleblock.


So far all of the construction of this drawing has been on one layer of the file. You will add the center lines in the Center layer.

The startpage file, which you used in Tutorial 1, was already been configured with a set of layers. Since you used this file to create the classtemplate file you used for this tutorial, it also has the same layers. If you open a new AutoCAD file, only the 0 layer (the default layer in AutoCAD) exists. Another configuration that was made to the startpage file was the assignment of line types, line colors, and line weights to the layers. AutoCAD refers to this as assignment BYLAYER. Anything drawn in a layer will be in the line type, line color, and line weight (when printed) assigned to that layer.

To draw center lines in this file, all you have to do is change to the Center Layer. In a later tutorial, you will be shown how to add layers to a new drawing file and configure them. If you have accidentally started this tutorial in a default AutoCAD file, there will be no Center layer.

Look at the Layer Status Window in the upper left corner of the screen, which indicates the current layer (see FIGURE 22).

  1. FIGURE 22
    Look at the symbols in the Layer Status Window to the Left of the layer name. These symbols indicate the following (from Left to Right):

  2. The layer is VISIBLE or is ON. This is indicated by the yellow light bulb. Clicking on the light bulb toggles the layer between visible and invisible. Items on an invisible layer are still printed.

  3. The layer is THAWED. The yellow sun indicates the layer is thawed, can be edited, and can be printed. When a layer is frozen, a snowflake indicates it is invisible, cannot be edited, and cannot be printed.

  4. The layer is UNLOCKED. The open lock indicates the layer is unlocked, can be edited, and can be printed. A closed lock indicates the layer cannot be edited, but it is visible, and can be printed.

  5. The layer's line COLOR is white. The layer's color is always indicated in the small square between the lock and the layer name.

  6. The NAME of the layer is zero (0). Each layer must be given a unique name to differentiate it from the others.

    Change to the CENTER Layer by selecting it on the Layer Status Window drop-down menu. The Center Layer name should now appear in the Layer Status Window.



Oh no, I only have a 0 Layer! Now what do I do?

That will teach you to read my directions more carefully, but don't panic! Since you accidentally started this tutorial in a default AutoCAD file, you will need to insert the drawing you created into that file now. To do this, you will use the Insert command you used in the last tutorial.

First, open the classtemplate file and click on the MODEL button to move to MODEL SPACE.

Under the Insert menu, select Block...

When the Block dialogue box appears, click on the Browse button.

Locate your acadtutor2 file and click on OK. You will return to the Block dialogue box.

Click on OK to exit the Block dialogue box.

Click the mouse on the screen to place the drawing.

Press Enter until you have passed all of the prompts and returned to a Command: prompt.

Use Save as... to name the classtemplate file acadtutor2 to overwrite the old file.

Use the Explode command to explode the drawing. NOTE: When you insert a drawing from one file into another, it will always be converted to a grouped drawing or Block. To edit it, you have to explode it back to individual lines.

If an inserted drawing needs to be moved, it should be moved while it is still a single item with the Move command.

**HELP NOTE: You can edit elements in all the layers if they are not locked or frozen, but you can only draw in the current layer.

If you need to move an element to a different layer, use the Layer Status Window drop-down menu (see FIGURE 22). To move items with the Layer Status menu, select the objects that need to be moved and then the appropriate layer on the Layer Status Window drop-down menu. Finally, press Escape to keep from reactivating the last command you used and to deselect the item(s) you moved. To determine if the layer change was properly completed, click on an item that you moved to a different layer, and its layer will appear in the Layer Status Window.

To add center lines to the arcs in your drawing, first you will add two circles. The circles radii should be 10mm larger than the arcs in the final printout of the drawing, so that you can construct center lines that extend 20mm beyond the arcs. You must double the size of the circles because you will scale it half size in the titleblock for printing. You will have to print the drawing half size for it to fit. Therefore, if the center lines are twice as long in your drawing, they will be the right size in the printout.

To add these circles, use the Circle command's default option and identify their centers with the Center Osnap so they are concentric with the large and small arcs. You may need to read the information on Circle and Osnap Center
to see how to place these.

The circle that is concentric with the large arc should have a radius of 100mm,
and the circle that is concentric with the small arc should have a radius of 60mm.

Remember, when you use the Center Osnap, you must click on the edge of the arcs to identify them.
See FIGURE 23.


Once the circles are placed, draw horizontal and vertical center lines across each arc using the Quadrant Osnap.

Read the information on the Quadrant Osnap and then add a horizontal center line that starts at one edge of the 50mm circle and extends to the other side (see FIGURES 24 and 25).

NOTE: Notice that the cursor changes to a "diamond" shape when using this and "snaps" to the appropriate position on the edge of the circle.



Now, add a vertical center line
to the 100mm diameter circle. Repeat this operation to create horizontal and vertical center lines for the smaller arc. See Figure 26 for the line positions.

Finally, use Erase to remove the circles you added for the construction of the lines.


Change back to the 0 layer before you insert your titleblock. If you stay in the Center Layer, the titleblock will be inserted as center lines.



     It is finally time to insert the drawing in the titleblock that you created in the first tutorial. Since the titleblock in on the Layout 1 screen, you need to move to that screen using the Layout 1 tab.

On the Layout 1 screen, you will see the titleblock, but not the drawing. To see the drawing, you must "cut" a window or VIEWPORT in the Paper of the Paper Space so the drawing will show through from Model Space.

The command you will use to create this window is called the VPORTS command.

There is three ways to access this command, by typing vports at a Command: prompt, selecting Viewports on the View menu, or using the Viewports toolbar. There are more options available when you type vports at a Command: prompt than with the other methods of accessing this command.

To use the Viewports toolbar, you must first place the toolbar on the AutoCAD screen. This toolbar can be displayed on the screen by locating Toolbars... on the View menu. When the Toolbar dialogue box appears, scroll down to the Viewports listing and click on the check box next to its name. Click on Close to exit the Toolbar dialogue box. The Viewports tool bar will appear on the AutoCAD screen. Move the toolbar by grabbing it in the area by its name and dragging it into the area to the top or side of the screen where other toolbars are located.

With the Viewport toolbar visible, click on the single viewport button to select Single viewport. AutoCAD will return you to the Layout 1 screen. The prompt will ask you to pick the first corner of the viewport. Use the Endpoint or Intersection Osnap and select the upper left corner of the titleblock. When it ask you a second corner, use an Osnap again to select the intersection of the title areas that contains the heading TITLE: and the Right vertical line that forms the titleblock and press Enter to exit the Vport command. See Figure 27. The drawing should show inside the titleblock.


Notice that the drawing is a little large for the space available in the titleblock. You need to change the size of the drawing to a STANDARD SCALE. There are certain acceptible scales that can be used. NEVER use the scale to fit option. For this drawing, you need to scale the drawing to 1:2 (half size) before you print it. To scale the drawing, you have one of two options: select a scale factor on the Viewports toolbar or use Zoom XP.

To change the size of the drawing in the viewport with either method, you must first select the viewport edge. Since we made it the same size as the drawing area in the titleblock, if you click on the top line of the titleblock, it will select the viewport. This is because the viewport is on top of the titleblock line. See Figure 28.


With the viewport selected, you can click on the arrow to the Right of the window containing the current size of the drawing and drag down to the 1:2 selection,


type z or zoom at a Command: prompt and then type .5XP and press Enter. Zoom XP scales the drawing to a ratio of the PAPER Space scale, which we set to 1:1 (actual size). vports at a Command: prompt. The Viewports dialogue box will appear. In the dialogue box, select Single and then click on OK.

The drawing should zoom to a smaller size.

TEP 13

     You will now need to change the text in the titleblock. To edit the text in the titleblock you must Explode it so that it is returned to individual lines. This is the same command you used to explode the hexagon earlier in this tutorial.

To edit the titleblock text, you are going to use a new command called ddedit.
Read the information on ddedit and then add the text in the list below.

The text that needs to be added is:



     It is now time to print the drawing.

To print, you will use the Plot command. Read the information on this command, and then print your drawing in a 1:1 scale. Be sure to check your drawing with a Full Preview before you select OK to send the drawing to the printer.

Don't forget to save the drawing and EXIT AutoCAD PROPERLY.

     Congratulations, you have now completed Tutorial 2.

In the next tutorial you will create a simple solid model.

The AutoCAD name is a registered trademark of AutoDesk, Inc.

Tutorial 2: For Release 2000 was written by:
Dr. Alice Y. Scales, Ed.D.
Graphic Communications Program
Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology
North Carolina State University

This work is copyrighted and the property of Alice Y. Scales and is not to be copied without permission of the author.

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