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INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

In this introduction

Who Can Use This Book

How This Book Is Organized

Part I: Getting Started

Part II: Object Construction

Part III: Editing Your Drawing

Part IV: AutoCAD Mechanics

Part V: Becoming a Master of AutoCAD

Part VI: Beyond AutoCAD

Part VII: Appendixes

Conventions Used in This Book

Who Can Use This Book

Special Edition: Using AutoCAD 2000 is designed specifically for two types of users. First, this book is for those users who are looking to learn AutoCAD the right way the first time, efficiently and effectively. This book covers each command in detail, using examples that assist the user to jump-start the AutoCAD learning process, gaining valuable knowledge quickly to become productive in a short time frame. And it is also for those who have used AutoCAD in the past who now want to enhance their skills and get up to speed on the new features of AutoCAD 2000. Each feature is discussed with expert advice, giving those users the "inside track" on how to use the new commands with ease.

Other users will find Special Edition: Using AutoCAD 2000 is a great reference book they can refer to when needed for specific AutoCAD functions, features, or settings. And there are those who want to try out the software and aren't quite sure whether they want to make the investment. This book provides them with an evaluation copy of AutoCAD 2000 included on the companion CD, allowing them to "test drive" the software while providing expert advice about how to get started.

How This Book Is Organized

Special Edition: Using AutoCAD 2000 is geared to assist you in mastering the numerous features of AutoCAD, describing in detail how each command works using real-world examples. Each chapter is embellished with tips and tricks from AutoCAD experts, taking you beyond just learning how operate the command. As you advance through the chapters, you will become more productive and efficient, and learn techniques that allow you to work smarter and faster. To assist you in becoming a master of AutoCAD, this book is presented in six parts, each dealing with a specific feature set of AutoCAD 2000.

Part I: Getting Started

Part I gets you started by covering the interface and the various tools you will use to become proficient using AutoCAD 2000. You will get well-acquainted with the drawing setup commands and learn how to use layers and linetypes expertly within your drawings. Learn how to open drawings and other files within AutoCAD 2000, whether they are on your local disk or on the Internet.

Part II: Object Construction

This section covers the object construction commands in detail with real-world examples, with specific applications showing you how to get the most out of each operation. Learn how to create and edit complex object types, with tips on when best to use these objects regardless of what you are drawing.

Part III: Editing Your Drawing

This section illustrates each command in full, with tips and notes to increase your productivity. Use the advanced techniques in these chapters to learn how to quickly manipulate the drawing objects professionally.

Part IV: AutoCAD Mechanics

This part discusses the mechanics of AutoCAD 2000 in full detail. The viewing, hatching, dimensioning, and inquiry commands are illustrated step by step, showing you how to become more productive and efficient with each chapter. The sections on creating and editing blocks and external reference files show you how to take full advantage of these features. Chapter 19, "Internet Publishing," then shows you how to interact and work with colleagues using the Internet. Working with Autodesk's new Volo View Explorer software, you can take your native AutoCAD drawing files and safely and securely collaborate with others working on your project.

Part V: Becoming a Master of AutoCAD

Learn how to master AutoCAD with these advanced chapters on customizing and programming with Visual LISP and Visual Basic for Applications. Then, discover how to link your drawings to external databases and how to leverage the full potential of AutoCAD 2000.

Part VI: Beyond AutoCAD

This part gives you a glimpse beyond using AutoCAD 2000 with previews of working with Autodesk's Architectural Desktop and Mechanical Desktop software products. Each chapter is written by experts in the fields of architectural and mechanical design, giving you a top-notch understanding of what these applications can do for you.

Part VII: Appendixes

There are three appendixes in Special Edition Using AutoCAD 2000:

Conventions Used in This Book

This book contains various conventions that point out specific features:

Note

Notes contain information or alternative techniques for performing tasks that we feel will enhance your use and/or understanding of the current topic.


Tip #1001 from

Tips point out a shortcut or another way to access a feature or an AutoCAD secret.


→ Cross-references refer you to other chapters in this book that contain additional information about the topic or feature.

Caution

Cautions alert you to times when extra consideration needs to be given to an action or operation. Reader, beware!


The style conventions used throughout this book exist to help you to learn many of the AutoCAD shortcuts. The following rules have been maintained as part of this effort:

  • Commands that are typed at the keyboard are in boldface: type Stretch.

  • Menu hotkeys appear underlined: Modify pulldown.

  • Command-line prompts are displayed in a different font: Select objects.

As each command is discussed, I have also indicated the different ways to activate that command, either by pull-down menu, toolbar, shortcut menu, or via the command line.

Although the main focus on using AutoCAD 2000 is through the heads-up display features, which minimize the use of the keyboard, I have still included the keyboard shortcuts for two reasons. First, this was done to accommodate those users of previous versions of AutoCAD, who are familiar with activating commands and options by using keyboard shortcuts. I suspect that many users who have used AutoCAD in the past will continue to use this feature while learning that there are other means to access a command or option.

Second, I have included them to familiarize new readers with the options they have available to them. My intent was to present the information to users so they could decide which mode of operation works best for them, which may include a combination of command-activation techniques.

The many options to activate a command and the ability to customize the interface to your liking are among the best features of AutoCAD. Use these features to your advantage and you will find you can quickly increase your productivity—whether you have used previous versions of AutoCAD or if you are using AutoCAD for the first time.

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