CADDManager on October 21st, 2007

AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD LT 2008 Bible – Ellen Finkelstein – Wiley Publishing 2007

When Moses came down from the mountain top, he had everything that the Hebrews needed to know on two stone tablets. Now I understand that the rest of the Torah (“law” in Hebrew) or Pentateuch (“five books of scrolls” in Greek) takes many more words than would ever fit on two tablets. My Bible takes 330 pages to cover the first five books.Taking on the Biblical proportions of AutoCAD requires 1251 pages to cover everything you need to know about AutoCAD and LT 2008.

The introduction page of each chapter pays homage to those stone tablets using a rocky background image. Nice touch.The book is broken up into 7 parts ranging from the Basics, Drawing in 2D, Working with Data to 3D Drawing, Organizing and Managing Drawings, Customization and Programming. These seven parts are followed by an Appendix and DVD. Each Part has multiple chapters and ample illustrations. She really does cover just about everything you would need to know to get a solid foundation for CAD. There are many step by step procedures that are well documented and easy to follow.

The author included icons that flag important data. These icons let you know when to slow down and take a closer look. Almost every page has something tapped out for special attention. Many of the illustrations show you exactly what each button on the dialog boxes does what.The Basic are real basic. Starting from scratch may seem like a burden to some of us, but there are jewels to dig up even for the seasoned user. She even covers digitizers, pucks and the standard tablet menu (I still have one of these, but I don’t use it).

There are many charts and lists of commands in the book that are worthy of photocopying and taping to your monitor or cubicle wall (does that violate copyright laws?).Part 5 of the book delves into Organization and Managing Drawings. It covers my favorite topic – CAD Standards. There are step by step procedures for using the Standards tools in AutoCAD for checking one or many files. There is a very long section on Sheet Sets and how they are to be used. This may be one of the most under used tools in the software.

While the price is kind of steep ($49.95 US Retail). It is well worth the money. The only drawback, which is actually a tribute to its in depth coverage, is that there is so much in there. But the DVD has the complete text of the book in searchable PDF format. This is one book that novice to advanced users can embrace. And it will help you move from beginner to hot shot in no time.

C M J Rating – 4.5 out of 5 TRON Light Cycles

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