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AutoCAD: Secrets Every User Should Know

AutoCAD: Secrets Every User Should Know

Dan Abbott

ISBN: 978-0-470-13192-3

Apr 2007

446 pages

$25.99

Description

""I've been using AutoCAD for 22 years and have written a hundred books on the subject. I reviewed many CAD books back in the days when book reviews were common in CAD publications; some were innovative, others were just sad. But for nearly a decade, it's been mostly silence on the book review front. Then earlier in the summer, a book arrived in the mail from Sybex: AutoCAD Secrets Every User Should Know by Dan Abbott. Reading it, I got excited: here's a book for every AutoCAD user, even old-timers like me."" - Ralph Grabowski, Editor, upFront.eZine.com: The Business of CAD

Learn the ""why"" behind the ""how"" in this one-of-a-kind reference packed with tips and techniques from award-winning AutoCAD expert Dan Abbott. This info-packed guide reveals some of the best kept AutoCAD secrets on technical standards, AutoLISP programming, DOS functions, scripts, 3D, and everything in between. Based on his popular ""Things Every AutoCAD User Should Know"" session at Autodesk University and other industry events, Dan gives you the answers to frequently asked AutoCAD questions in his direct and entertaining style while using real-world case studies to put your skills into practice. Read it cover to cover or dive right in to the sections you need most, then get ready to improve your productivity, save more time, and become an AutoCAD all-star.

Related Resources

Introduction.

Chapter 1: AutoCAD Productivity.

Design Standards.

AutoCAD Best Practices.

Feature Review (All Releases).

Chapter 2: Managing Your System.

Managing Files.

Managing AutoCAD.

Directories.

Why DOS Isn’t Dead Yet.

External Commands and Command Aliases.

Chapter 3: Customizing the AutoCAD Interface.

Tool Palettes (All Releases).

The Customizable User Interface (CUI).

Linetypes (All Releases).

Chapter 4: Applying Graphics Standards.

Dimensions.

Dimensioning Rules.

Text Styles.

Linetypes and Weights.

Applying Standards.

Chapter 5: Symbols, Tables, and Fields.

Blocks.

Dynamic Blocks.

Symbol Libraries.

Assigning and Extracting Attributes.

XRefs: External References.

Fields and Tables.

Chapter 6: Plotting.

Model Space, Paper Space, and Layouts.

What to Put Where.

Plotting a Layout.

AutoCAD Graphics in Other Applications.

Chapter 7: AutoCAD Scripts.

Characteristics of Scripts.

Writing and Running Scripts.

Updating Thousands of Drawings.

Chapter 8: AutoLISP by Example: Getting Started.

Background.

Writing AutoLISP Programs.

AutoLISP Examples.

Automatic Loading.

Chapter 9: AutoLISP by Example: Getting Better.

Debugging Techniques.

Error Handling.

Annotation.

Selection Sets and Entity Manipulation.

IF Function.

Repeat Function.

WHILE Function.

COND, INITGET, GETKWORD.

Text and String Manipulation.

Getting to DOS with AutoLISP.

Chapter 10: 3D For Everyone.

Overview.

Managing Coordinate Systems.

Creating a Model.

Using Existing 2D Geometry.

Final Suggestions.

Chapter 11: AutoCAD Puzzlers.

The Puzzlers.

The Solutions.

Index.

  • The book will be supported with instructor materials, including a syllabus, PowerPoint slides for each chapter, and test questions.
  • Features detailed information unavailable elsewhere on technical standards as well as features and functions that are still very much in use, including LISP programming tips, DOS functions, and scripts.
  • Discussions and techniques are presented in the context of how AutoCAD is used in the real world. For instance, it shows how to quickly set up drawings to meet architectural standards, explains why those standards are important, and discusses how they’re used by today’s top firms.
  • Author, Dan Abbott won Autodesk University’s top speaker award three times and developed this book based on his very popular “Things Every AutoCAD User Should Know”AU session and college-level Advanced AutoCAD course, which he’s been teaching for 14 years.
  • Logically grouped discussions, tips, and techniques reinforce AutoCAD features, functions, and best practices.
Let's face it... I have read just about every book that I could on AutoCAD over the years and thought that there was nothing new under the sun. Well... I stand corrected. Dan Abbott has created a MUST READ book that you need to add to your book shelf.

AutoCAD Secrets is a refreshing change from the usual presentation of AutoCAD information, tips and tricks that is found in most of the book written. He leaves no stone unturned in his attempt to tell you just about everything you need to know from basic to very advanced topics.

The eleven chapters of info starts off with a great chapter on AutoCAD productivity. Every topic was discussed in plain English and directly to the point (my kind of guy!). He covers the unspoken ""boot camp"" level principles and best practices of CAD with an in depth look at each topic. As I read it - I discovered nuggets of gold that renewed my enthusiasm for ""common sense"" CAD. (see my blog on this topic). He covers the foundational precepts and practices of sound file creation and data input.  As I read I kept wondering - ""Is he going to mention this or that?"" and sure enough, there it was. The bottom line guidelines that the whole world needs to be reminded of. Chapter One alone is worth the price of the book.

He continues in chapters covering the management of your files, customization issues, graphic standards, and more. He reviews the basics of Paper Space and Model Space, what goes where and offers sidebar tips at every turn of the page.

Covering the basics is just the starting point for him to launch into the advanced topics. There is a complete LISP programming class that is presented in logical steps for all to use. Plus there is actual full working code in the book - just type it in and use it. Or better yet the book tells you where to go online to get the code. It's like getting two books in one, plus online resources. He finishes up with 3D topics and finally AutoCAD Puzzlers.

AutoCAD Puzzlers is a compilation of real world problems and stumpers (he got me on quite a few). Each taken from real questions from the many interactions he has had with students and users. These Puzzlers are often the submittal busters that we all face at crunch time. He presents them as questions and then provides the answer at the end of the book. Thirty Five of the toughest questions and weird behaviors (and the answers to them all).

This ranks very very high on my list of must have books. I applaud him for his succinct language, honest approach and real world emphasis.Forget the new Harry Potter novel... Go buy this book!--Review by Mark Kiker, Editor, CADD Manager (www.caddmanager.com)

I've been using AutoCAD for 22 years, and have written a hundred books on the subject. I reviewed many CAD books back in the days when book reviews were common in CAD publications; some were innovative, others were just sad. But for nearly a decade, it's been mostly silence on the book review front.

Then earlier in the summer, a book arrived in the mail from Sybex: 'AutoCAD Secrets Every User Should Know' by Dan Abbott. Reading it, I got excited: here's a book for every AutoCAD user, even old-timers like me.

This book's conversational tone makes for easy reading. But you won't want to read it through. It's too overwhelming with one useful tip after another after another. I suggest reading a couple of pages a day, marking items with a yellow highlighter. Such as these tips:

  • You can use wildcards in the Rename dialog box.
  • Use Ctrl+R to find viewports that the mouse cursor cannot.
  • Use Lengthen to extend an arc to a specific length.

Worthwhile for the cost to order from Amazon.com. Good job, Mr Abbott!-- Book Review by Ralph Grabowski, upFront.eZine (upfrontezine.com)

Appendix B: Selected DOS Functions Download
All sample code from book Download
Appendix A: Feature Review: By Release Download
Appendix C: AutoCAD File Extensions Download
bolt_center_vspace.lsp Download
129Text Correction,Line 2, under UNDO:
The option Begin should read BEgin to match the command line in AutoCAD.
7/16/07
266Error in Table 2.5,Entry 5 on the table is missing a backslash in the line of code.
del s:\%username%*.ac$ should read:
del s:\%username%\*.ac$
7/16/07
7271Error in Table 7.10,Entry #5, under PURPOSE :
This line sets the variable blkdata to the first name in the list of block definitions.
should read:
This line sets the variable blkdata to the first entity name in the list of clock definitions.
7/16/07
8283Text Correction,Line 24:
There should be an underscore before the option E in the Zoom command, so it reads:
(command ._ZOOM _E ._ZOOM .95x )
7/19/07
8284Text Correction,Line 30:
There should be an underscore before the option E in the Zoom command, so it reads:
(command ._ZOOM _E ._ZOOM .95x )
7/19/07
8291Text Correction,Under Listing 8.4, line 3:
There should be a colon after the word rectangle.
The line should read (with quotation marks included):
(setq pt2 (getcorner \nDiagonal corner of rectangle: pt1))
7/19/07
9344Text Correction,Listing 9.6, line 2:
Poly Circle should be PolyCircle
7/19/07
11412Text Correction,Second line from the bottom:
You can always create a new hatch pattern, should read:
You can always create a new hatch boundary,
7/19/07
11419Text Correction,Under Puzzler 28, second line:
Put quotation marks around the following phrases: Specify Plot Offset Relative To and Hide System Printers
7/19/07
Missing AutoLISP Program, The AutoLISP program mentioned on page 141 was accidentally left off the disc. It is available on the Resources & Downloads page.