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The staying power of the AutoCAD® program is legendary in the ever-changing software industry, having been around for 35 years by the 2017 release. You can rest assured that spending your time learning AutoCAD will be a wise investment, and the skills you obtain in this book will be useful for years to come. I welcome you in beginning the process of learning AutoCAD.




It will give you great satisfaction to learn such a complex program and use it to design and document whatever you dream up. You’ll find step-by-step tutorials that reveal a wide variety of techniques built on many years of real-world experience. The first 14 chapters apply to both AutoCAD® 2017 and AutoCAD LT® 2017. AutoCAD LT is Autodesk’s lower-cost version of AutoCAD, and it has reduced capabilities. Chapters 15 through 18 are for full AutoCAD users only, because they cover advanced tools not available in AutoCAD LT, including attributes, 3D navigation, 3D modeling, and rendering.




This book is for students, hobbyists, professional architects, industrial designers, engineers, builders, landscape architects, or anyone who communicates through technical drawings as part of their work. If you’re interested in certification for AutoCAD 2017, this book can be a great resource to help you prepare. See www.autodesk.com/certification for more certification information and resources. This book also features an appendix that can help you focus your studies on the skills you will need for the certification exams. You’ll gain a solid understanding of the features of AutoCAD in this book.




Each chapter features multiple exercises that take you step by step through the many complex procedures of AutoCAD. The goal of performing these steps on your own is to develop skills that you can apply to many different real-world situations. Although each project presents different obstacles and opportunities, I urge you to focus on the concepts and techniques presented rather than memorizing the specific steps used to achieve the desired result. The actual steps performed may vary in each geometric situation. The best way to build skills is to perform the steps on your computer exactly as they are presented in the book during your first reading.




After you achieve the desired result, start over and experiment using the same techniques on your own project (whether invented or real). After you have practiced, think about how you have achieved the desired result, and you will get the most out of this book. You don’t need any previous experience with AutoCAD to use this book. However, you’ll need familiarity with either the Windows or Mac operating system and the basic skills necessary to use a graphical user interface successfully and to operate a computer confidently.




The book was written for both AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017. The following are system requirements for running either version on the different operating systems in which they are offered. See http://knowledge.autodesk.com/ support/system-requirements for the most up-to-date requirements. AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017 Essentials is organized to provide you with the knowledge needed to master the basics of computer-aided design. The book’s web page is located at www.sybex.com/go/autocad2017essentials, where you can download the sample files used in each chapter.

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