AutoCAD – Secrets Every Users Should Know – by Dan Abbott – Sybex / Wiley Publishing Inc. 2007

Let’s face it… I have read just about every book that I could on AutoCAD over the years and thought that there was nothing new under the sun. Well… I stand corrected. Dan Abbott has created a MUST READ book that you need to add to your book shelf.AutoCAD Secrets is a refreshing change from the usual presentation of AutoCAD information, tips and tricks that is found in most of the book written.  He leaves no stone unturned in his attempt to tell you just about everything you need to know from basic to very advanced topics.  The eleven chapters of info starts off with a great chapter on AutoCAD productivity.  Every topic was discussed in plain English and directly to the point (my kind of guy!).

He covers the unspoken “boot camp” level principles and best practices of CAD with an in depth look at each topic.   As I read it – I discovered nuggets of gold that renewed my enthusiasm for “common sense” CAD. (see my blog on this topic).  He covers the foundational precepts and practices of sound file creation and data input. As I read I kept wondering – “Is he going to mention this or that?” and sure enough, there it was.   The bottom line guidelines that the whole world needs to be reminded of.  Chapter One alone is worth the price of the book.

He continues in chapters covering the management of your files, customization issues, graphic standards, and more.  He reviews the basics of Paper Space and Model Space, what goes where and offers sidebar tips at every turn of the page.  Covering the basics is just the starting point for him to launch into the advanced topics.

There is a complete LISP programming class that is presented in logical steps for all to use.  Plus there is actual full working code in the book – just type it in and use it.  Or better yet the book tells you where to go online to get the code.  It’s like getting two books in one, plus online resources.  He finishes up with 3D topics and finally AutoCAD Puzzlers.

AutoCAD Puzzlers is a compilation of real world problems and stumpers (he got me on quite a few).  Each taken from real questions from the many interactions he has had with students and users.  These Puzzlers are often the submittal busters that we all face at crunch time.  He presents them as questions and then provides the answer at the end of the book.  Thirty Five of the toughest questions and weird behaviors (and the answers to them all).

This ranks very very high on my list of must have books.  I applaud him for his succinct language, honest approach and real world emphasis.  Forget the new Harry Potter novel…  Go buy this book!  You can get it online on the Books Page for less than the $39.99 list price (US).

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

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