To change a line type in Autocad, click on the line you want to change, then type in Change at the command line, then type Properties. Then type LT, then type Dashed, then type a number to give the scale. For example, I use 20 for fullsize drawings and anything between 1 and 5 for 5" gauge drawings, but it depends on what size you are actually drawing at, so as far as the number to set the size of the dashes, you will have to experiment on your own drawing. Specify a number then go to the drawing and see what has come up. It may look like a solid line but if you enlarge a portion of it, you should see if it is dashed or not, or if you need to reduce or enlarge the scale of the dashes. Hope that helps. If not, let me know and I'll try to describe it a different way. Autocad is a very complex program because it is one of the top professional CAD programs; certainly it is one of the earliest to be written. I started using it in 1989 with Acad 12.
Edit: I forgot to add...you don't need a new layer to change a line type from Continuous, to Dashed, or Center. (note the spelling of Center. It's an American program) unless you want it for, say, just dashed lines. I rarely bother with layers in Autocad, except to put all drawing lines on layer one (in Red) and layer 5 (in Black) for all dimensions. Extra layers just complicate things. Perhaps I should qualify this though. If producing a 3D assembly, layers to have each part on, are then almost an essential.
I used to use AutoCad daily from version 9. I created a basic drawing setup with about a dozen different line types or colours, initially for printing on a four pen plotter. You only need to create layers if you intend to switch them off to simplify the visual effect on screen or print. Much easier to alter the line type as you go initially until you get to understand the system. I only used model space to create the drawing in until it became easier to use paper space in later versions and when I was employed as a sub contractor.
I have been retired a long while but I used to teach AutoCAD for much on my program at College. Releases from Version 2.6 on DOS to Release 14 on Windows but have taught a couple of courses to high school teachers on Release 2006 and have dabbled with other releases to 2017. I have to respectfully disagree with you Bob when you say you put all lines on one layer. For drawing control it is a better practice to allocate a color and linetype to a layer and NEVER draw on Layer 0. Layer 0 is a manipulation layer and doing what you have suggested will mess your drawing up big time if you use BLOCKs in your drawing. Defining a BLOCK on a NAMED LAYER (other than Layer 0) will take the properties of the layer with it BUT if create a BLOCK on Layer 0 the block will take on the properties of the layer it is inserted into.
Having separate layers for different features allows you to take total control of your drawing and only display what you want, when you want it. Too much to write but it is not a good idea to mix colours on one layer and same goes for LINETYPEs. I have had to edit some very messy drawings for Hydraulic circuits and it is not great trying to sort them out. The choice is yours !! Regarding Paper Space (PS), it never used to be an issue because it once was not available and it was not there until Release 11 came into being. It is referred to as Layout View and that name change happened in Release 2000. Model Space (MS) has some definite advantages in some situations and Paper Space has definite advantages in others. Solid Modelling and 3D Wireframe are great to take advantage of PS. Suggestion that you freeze your DEFPOINTS layer when you create your VIEWPORTS and the boundaries of your VIEWPORTS will be hidden. I hope you enjoy playing with this stuff as I do (or at least, did.
I started using Autocad with Release 10, and ended up with Autocad 2004, and had every release in between. I was a mechanical engineering design draughtsman for many years and then a contract mechanical engineering design draughtsman for another 7 or 8 years, before starting my paint manufacturing business. In all that time, and with all those Autocad releases I used, I never had a problem with using a minimum number of layers. I was only saying what I used as a draughtsman, and yes I did use a number of layers when I needed to, but that was only when I went onto 3D work. I still use Autocad for all my model drawings, and only use Layer one for drawing, and layer 5 for dimensioning. Layer one is Red and layer 5 is Black. The other numbered layers, between 1 and 5 are also there, and in different colours, but I never use them. They just happen to be on my base drawing sheet.
I first learned draughting, using a drawing board and pencil. My 2 layer system is really only an extension of that. I have used many layers on some drawings I've produced professionally, but using fewer is always easier....at least it was for me. As far as professional draughting goes, draughtsmen all work differently but end up with the same end product....a lot of lines on a piece of paper, produced by a plotter. There are no layers on paper drawings, so why make things difficult when it isn't necessary. It's certainly very advantageous to have the multi layer facility, but it is not always necessary to use a lot of layers. It didn't slow me down one bit, and when I left my last job, they employed 2 new draughtsmen to fill my place. Each to our own, as the saying goes. 2 layers work for me. Multi layers work for others. neither is right and neither is wrong.
EDIT. My 2 layer usage did change when I started producing 3D drawings of assemblies. That is where I used many layers, but only one layer per item, and each item a different colour. Where the drawings were 2D, my 2 layer drawings were the norm. I agree with you about different layers for different colours though, if multi colours are to be used. For me,that has generally, only been used for assembly drawings. I do all my 2D detail drawings in Red, so only use the one layer for drawing, and the dimensioning goes on the second layer in Black.
We also used to say to our students that CAD is for lazy people and if you draw something it should only ever be drawn once. I totally agree with you that there are many ways to approach a drawing and there are no right or wrong ways, just more efficient ways. I too migrated from the drawing board with pencils and pens, squares, T-squares and the full catastrophe, just like you did. I am more comfortable in the Mechanical Engineering space but did set up an architectural practice and a Civil Engineering practice as well.
You would have had (or have) templates (once called prototypes back in the early days) and we plotted to colour (COLOR). As you are well aware that in 2D lines do not have thickness but they can be assigned a width. Thickness is reserved for the 3rd axis "Z". My layers included multiple 'pen width' layers which replicated the Rotring pen standard and I used the standard Red = 1, Yellow = 2 .... 7 = White but in reality it was Black. So the Rotring Standard was OD 2.5mm = Black, OD 3.5mm = Yellow, 0.5mm = Brown but I used Red and finally 0.7mm = Blue. So regardless what other line types or features such as text or dimensioning or whatever there would be layers set so I had infinite control of the drawing and it was easy to switch layers on and off or freeze and thaw.
In the release 10 times you would be using liquid ink pens and most likely graphics tablets (we used Calcomp and Summagraphics). It was a retrograde step going to Windows and losing all of the drawing editor real estate. My old 17" monitor under 2.6 to 12 would display more than my 24" monitor that I use these days (but not very much these days....just staying alive now is a challenge but that is another story for another day). Question....did you ever collapse your pen through the paper plotting a large Donut? You only get caught once and then realise that to survive this disaster the donut needs to be done as concentric donuts. You may already know this but CIRCLEs draw anticlockwise and DONUTs draw clockwise. A nice little trap for 3D Wires and Surfaces!!
Like you said, 3D Wires and Surfaces, along with Solid Modelling needs to be controlled. From what I have used, (and I have used a number of systems), I have found AutoCAD to be the best bar none package for detail 2D drafting work but it does not fare as well as packages such as Solid Works for 3D modelling. Just my personal preference. AutoCAD is always my go to package.
Getting back to drawing on the drawing board and using CAD....we used to devise exercises with difficult geometric constructions that had innovative alternative approaches in CAD that we gave our students and we gave them time limits in which to finish the exercises. You need to be prepared to get out of a comfort zone to do this stuff. The mantra was IF you are going to draw the same way as you did on the manual drawing board then why spend all the money on a CAD system? They certainly understood the logic when they saw better options presented to them. You were 100% correct that at the end of the day we can all do the same job a myriad of ways and NOBODY has the right to say that one or another person is wrong IF the drawing is 100% correct and 100% accurate. We were brutal when marking finished work for accuracy as we gave features start point coordinates and we had overlays to check that were correct.
I am always open to look at other ways of doing things.... how else do you ever progress forward? I don't know if some out there would be interested in doing some work with the VIEW command and by extension VIEWPORTS. It is a good lead in for those who are not game enough to stick their toes in prior to 3D. But named views are really handy. If we get any interest I might have to get off my bum (while I am still here) and write up a brief tutorial. Let us see if there is any interest. There maybe other topics people want to explore. For you and I it is just like putting on the record but that is not the case for learners who get hung up. I will check back to see if there is any interest.
Take care mate and keep on CADDING !!
Alan (Sydney Australia) ps any stuff I send will be in Metric but in the end it is only Drawing Units until you print or plot it.)