IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding AutoLISP programming and the Visual LISP environment
Working with the Visual LISP interface
Getting help in Visual LISP
Creating your own AutoLISP expressions
Using AutoLISP on the command line
AutoLISP is a programming language supported by AutoCAD that can greatly enhance your productivity by automating often-used or repetitive tasks. AutoLISP provides a glimpse into the inner workings of AutoCAD and can serve as an excellent stepping-stone to learning more advanced automation methods, such as ObjectARX and VBA. An AutoLISP routine gives you complete control over its interaction with the user and what it does after it's loaded.
You can type AutoLISP expressions on the command line in response to prompts, or you can save your code to a file that you can load and use when needed. AutoLISP offers wide and varied possibilities for shortcuts. Best of all, you can customize AutoLISP to any level of complexity.
AutoLISP intimidates many AutoCAD users, but this fear is unwarranted. The many benefits of AutoLISP well justify the initial time that you invest to learn this rich and full-featured programming language.
You can also find a tremendous number of AutoLISP routines on the Internet. Many CAD Web sites offer huge libraries of AutoLISP routines as free downloads. (For more details, see Appendix B.) Every office with more than a trivial number of AutoCAD workstations has probably created at least one AutoLISP ...