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AutoCAD is a software phenomenon; its users far outnumber those of any other CAD system. AutoCAD has grown from a micro-curiosity to a full-fledged CAD system by any set of standards. AutoCAD also has grown from a relatively simple program to a large and complex one, but you should not be intimidated by its size and complexity. More than one million designers and drafters have learned to use AutoCAD with the help of Inside AutoCAD, the best-selling AutoCAD book for more than 12 years.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized into parts to help you digest the many features of AutoCAD 2000.

Introducing AutoCAD 2000

Welcome to AutoCAD 2000, the fifteenth release of the world’s most popular Computer Aided Design software package. Part I of this book is devoted to an extensive overview of the many new features of this release of AutoCAD, features that include new commands, new interface functionality, and a host of added capabilities that will increase your use of AutoCAD by making your work more efficient. The remaining sections of the book consist of groups of two or more chapters devoted to specific aspects of AutoCAD. They are designed both for easy reference and to present AutoCAD 2000 in a logical, easy-to-use, and easy-to-read manner.

Starting New Projects with AutoCAD 2000

In Part II, you learn how to set up and control the AutoCAD environment to work efficiently. You learn how to use AutoCAD’s layers to organize your drawings, and your projects. You learn how to control an object’s appearance using AutoCAD’s Linetypes, and you also learn how to effectively use Lineweights, a new feature introduced with AutoCAD 2000.

Creating and Editing Drawings

Part III shows you how draw and edit both basic and complex objects in AutoCAD. You learn how to use AutoCAD’s coordinate system and its Object Snaps to draw very accurately. You also learn how to properly create and use blocks, block attributes, and external references (xrefs) to harness the incredible power they offer toward true productivity in AutoCAD. You also learn about AutoCAD’s DesignCenter, a brand-new and very powerful tool that allows you to search for objects in drawing files and automatically insert their data into the current drawing, all without opening the source drawings.

Annotating, Dimensioning, and Plotting

In Part IV, you learn about some of AutoCAD’s more complex features, such as creating text and hatch patterns. You learn how to use AutoCAD’s dimensioning tools, a very powerful feature that is enhanced with AutoCAD 2000. You learn how to properly use model space and paper space, and how to take advantage of a new AutoCAD 2000 feature called Layouts, which is designed to make working in paper space easier. You also learn how to create plots of your drawings using AutoCAD’s new plotting paradigm, which consists of plotter configuration files, plot style tables, and page setups.

Customizing and Advanced Concepts

Part V of this book covers several advanced topics, such as the customization of your AutoCAD 2000 interface to make it work more efficiently. You will also learn the basics of AutoCAD’s customization programming language: AutoLISP. In addition you will learn about programming AutoCAD for use in the Windows OLE and SQL environments.

CAD on the Internet

Part VI of the book is concerned with AutoCAD and its relationship to the latest vehicle of collaborative drafting and project sharing—the Internet. AutoCAD 2000 is fully “Internet aware,” and there are many features that make working on and over the Internet both easy and efficient.

AutoCAD in 3D

In Part VII of this book you are introduced to the world of 3D modeling in AutoCAD 2000. Several new features make working in true three dimensions to build your AutoCAD models even easier and more efficient. The last chapter in this section introduces you to rendering and making photo-realistic presentations of your models.

Advanced Topics

Part VIII gives you insight into some of the advanced features of AutoCAD 2000. You learn the ins and outs of Visual LISP, how to create Menu Macros and custom toolbars, and how to convert your system from a previous version of AutoCAD to AutoCAD 2000 using AutoCAD 2000 Migration Assistance. You also learn about DIESEL and its functions, how to plan network installations, and how to use the AutoCAD Batch Plot Utility and ePlot.

Reference Materials

Inside AutoCAD 2000 is equipped with two appendixes. One gives you the basic information you need to better plan and organize your AutoCAD 2000 projects. In the second, you will get an overview of the Express Tools included with AutoCAD 2000. These tools provide powerful “extra” commands that can speed the work of the new and veteran AutoCAD user alike.

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