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Using VBA and AutoLISP

With AutoCAD 2000, the range of programming options available to the CAD user has been significantly extended. Historically, AutoLISP was the engine that drove AutoCAD. Until Release 13, AutoLISP was integrated into the core code of AutoCAD. The world of software has since gone through a revolution known as object-oriented programming, and AutoCAD has kept pace with this revolution. With AutoCAD 2000, the conversion of AutoCAD to a fully object-oriented program is complete. The AutoCAD 2000 model enables multiple interfaces with a range of programming languages, including Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Although AutoLISP still retains its popularity, VBA is being increasingly used as a programming environment for AutoCAD customization.

This chapter takes a look at the basic features of these two application programming interfaces (API's): AutoLISP and VBA. Whether you are experienced in AutoLISP or are a new developer, you will want to take a look at both of these environments in AutoCAD 2000. In this chapter, you will develop a set of programs in the AutoLISP environment; then you will review the same programs in the VBA environment. This approach is designed to give you a direct feel for the possible strengths and limitations of each programming environment. At the end of this chapter, you should be able to decide which environment is best suited to your purposes.


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