Chapter 1. Introducing AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

In This Chapter

  • Getting the AutoCAD advantage

  • Using AutoCAD and DWG files

  • Meeting the AutoCAD product family

  • Using AutoCAD LT instead of AutoCAD

  • Finding out what's new in 2009

Maybe you're one of the few remaining holdouts who continue to practice the ancient art of manual drafting with pencil and vellum. If so, I must tell you, you're a dwindling breed. Or maybe you're completely new to drafting and yearn for the wealth and fame (would I lead you on?) of the drafter's life. Maybe you're an engineer or architect who needs to catch up with the young CAD hotshots in your office. Maybe you tried to use AutoCAD a long time ago but gave up in frustration or just got rusty. Or maybe you currently use an older version, such as AutoCAD 2004 or even (if you're into antiques) AutoCAD 2000.

Whatever your current situation or motivation, I hope that you enjoy the process of becoming proficient with AutoCAD. Drawing with AutoCAD is challenging at first, but it's a challenge worth meeting. AutoCAD rewards those who think creatively about their work and look for ways to do it better. You can always find out more, discover a new trick, or improve the efficiency and quality of your drawing production.

AutoCAD first hit the bricks in the early 1980s, around the same time as the first IBM PCs. It was offered for a bewildering variety of operating systems, including CP/M (ask your granddad about that one!), various flavors of UNIX, and even Apple's Macintosh. By ...

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