Intended as a basic primer for new users of AutoCAD 2006, Alf Yarwood’s Introduction to AutoCAD 2006 does just that. The book takes the fledgling AutoCAD user through the basics and concludes with a review of the Internet tools that are available to users to help them share files and browse the Web from within AutoCAD.
After opening with a general introduction to AutoCAD 2006, Yarwood moves on to a chapter introducing drawing concepts. From there, he moves into discussions of individual drawing tools, including the Object Snap (Osnap), AutoSnap, and Draw tools. In all cases, the discussion is highly practical, with numerous illustrations, screen captures of the software’s menu systems, and specific instructions guiding the reader through examples of how to use the tools.
Further discussions of tools include the Zoom and Pan tools. There’s specifics on how to create and save drawing templates for use on multiple design projects. The Modify toolbar gets a chapter of its own, as does the topic of dimensioning drawings and the various methods by which users can add text to drawings.
Of particular interest may be the sections regarding 3D modeling. In a block of several chapters, Yarwood guides users through the basics of building 3D solid models, including how 2D outlines can be used as the basis for 3D-model construction.
Overall, on the plus side, this book’s practical orientation makes it a very useful tool for those getting started with AutoCAD 2006. Yet, on the minus side, the lack of a CD-ROM with packaged model files is a disappointment. It’d be that much more useful if users had some examples ready to play with. And, a personal bugaboo is the book’s lack of a spiral binding. Any book that’s meant for use as a practical manual (this includes cookbooks!) should be bound in spiral fashion. Getting this volume to lie open and flat without having to break the binding is quite difficult.
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