This book was born of the need for a simple yet engaging tutorial that would help beginners step into the world of Autodesk® AutoCAD® or Autodesk® AutoCAD LT® software without feeling intimidated. That tutorial has evolved over the years into a full introduction to the ways in which architects and civil and structural engineers use AutoCAD to increase their efficiency and ability to produce state-of-the-art computerized production drawings and designs.
Because the Microsoft Windows versions of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are so similar, it makes sense to cover the basics of both programs in one book. For most of the book, the word AutoCAD stands for the Windows versions of both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Although Apple Macintosh versions of both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are available, the interface and underlying tool set on that platform prevent it from aligning with the workflows and procedures outlined in this book.
When you come to a section of a chapter that applies to AutoCAD only, the icon shown here is displayed in the margin to alert you. When appropriate, extra information for AutoCAD LT users is provided to give you a workaround or otherwise keep you in step with the tutorial. Because AutoCAD LT doesn’t have 3D commands or features, the last two chapters, which are an introduction to drawing in 3D, apply only to AutoCAD. But AutoCAD LT users can be assured that it is very much the same program as AutoCAD, with only minor differences. You’ll be prompted when those differences arise, most of which involve 3D features.
When you come to a section that applies to one of the many new features found inside AutoCAD 2015, the icon shown here is displayed in the margin to alert you. This book is directed toward AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT novices— users who know how to use a computer and perform basic file-managing tasks, such as creating new folders and saving and moving files, but who know little or nothing about AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT. If you’re new to the construction and design professions, this book will be an excellent companion as you learn AutoCAD. If you’re already practicing in those fields, you’ll immediately be able to apply the skills you’ll pick up from this book to real-world projects. The exercises have been successfully used to train architects, engineers, and contractors, as well as college and high school students, in the basics of AutoCAD.
For those of you in other trades and professions, the project that runs through the book—drawing a small cabin—has been kept simple so that it doesn’t require special training in architecture or construction. Also, most chapters have additional information and exercises specifically designed for non-AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) users. Anyone wanting to learn AutoCAD will find this book helpful.