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Key Differences between AutoCAD 2006 and AutoCAD LT 2006

Both AutoCAD 2006 and AutoCAD LT 2006 use the same software architecture and technology, and create the same native DWG file format. Both offer the majority of things you are going to need to get your 2D drafting functions done and both offer functionality that assists, expands, and simplifies the design processes.

But AutoCAD 2006 provides additional capabilities in some key areas.  If they matter to you then you need to focus on moving beyond LT.

  • 3D Design Capabilities—AutoCAD 2006 enables you to create, modify, render, and navigate 3D objects. AutoCAD LT 2006 does not.  Most folks might not even notice that LT is missing these functions.
  • Customization - The AutoCAD 2006 platform offers fully extensible drawing and application customization through APIs (application programming interfaces) such as AutoLISP and Visual LISP, and Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and ActiveX programming languages. AutoCAD LT 2006 is not an extensible product.  There are many third part software tools built on top of LT, but you most likely cannot create your own.
  • Dynamic Blocks - AutoCAD 2006 makes blocks dynamic. The new block authoring tools in AutoCAD 2006 allow you to add dynamic behavior to your existing block libraries. This simplifies block complexity and dynamically reduces the amount of time spent modifying blocks inside of a drawing. AutoCAD LT 2006 does not support Dynamic Block authoring.  Dynamic blocks will revolutionize the way you work with your symbols.  Not having this tool in CAD may be an LT killer.
  • Coordination of Sheet Sets - With the addition of the new Sheet Set Manager, AutoCAD 2006 extends beyond single drawing production. AutoCAD LT does not offer this functionality.
  • Tools for the CAD Manager - AutoCAD 2006 software has many tools that help maintain your company Standards.   AutoCAD LT does not offer this capability.
  • Tools for the IT Manager - Network licensing provides your users with access to the software and enables you to control the use of your software easily and efficiently.  AutoCAD LT 2006 does not offer network licensing at this time.
  • Presentation Graphics—AutoCAD 2006 has presentation graphics and gradient fills, including the true color feature with PANTONE, DIC Color Guide, and RAL CLASSIC and RAL DESIGN color systems, to enhance your design for presentation purposes. AutoCAD LT 2006 does not.
  • Breadth of Drawing Productivity Features—AutoCAD 2006 software offers layer and attribute management tools that enable you to add intelligence to your designs. AutoCAD 2006 also includes text fields, quick dimensioning and database connectivity enhancements that the AutoCAD LT 2006 application does not have. 

The gap is widening between LT and full AutoCAD.  LT may still fill a niche in your software tool belt, but it is getting harder to lock a person into the limitations of LT.  Many casual users might benefit from the easy access to DWG files that LT provides, but those who need to create and be productive may soon decide that LT is not the tool for them.