AutoCAD has a command line interface (from way back in the DOS days). Two useful commands for measurement are:
- di - Measure a distance between two points
- id - Print the coordinates of a point of interest
Other things you might find yourself doing include drawing lines and circles, which are all relatively self-explanatory. Occasionally you need to measure something relative to a reference line or base line that you want to project through the whole drawing. You can do this by using the 'extend' option to lengthen the line. Simply choose the 'Extend' option from the modify menu and draw a line to represent the boundary of the lines extension, right click, and select the line you wish to lengthen. AutoCAD will lengthen the selected line up to the boundary you specified.
Like Photoshop AutoCAD also has layers which you can work with. You can turn layers on/off by clicking on the lightbulb function.
With SolidEdge you can use the dimension menu to make measurements (Make sure you are working on the correct sheet!). These can be either horizontal/vertical, by two points, or you can select an element in the drawing to use as the axis (easier than in Autocad!).