- ✓Much less expensive than the full-blown version of AutoCAD
- ✓comprehensive 2D feature set
- ✓true associative dimensioning
- ✓100 percent AutoCAD file compatibility.
- ✕Huge feature set takes time to master
- ✕no 3D drawing features
- ✕does not support LISP or Visual Basic scripting
- ✕no network licensing.
AutoCAD LT 2002, the ‘lite’ version of computer-aided design package AutoCAD, offers much of AutoCAD's functionality at about one-fifth the price -- £610 (ex. VAT), compared to AutoCAD's £3,348.75 (ex. VAT). It includes virtually all of AutoCAD's formidable two-dimensional drafting features but lacks LISP and Visual Basic support, network-licensing options and its powerful sibling's 3D drawing capabilities. But despite AutoCAD LT's steep learning curve, this program is a terrific choice for designers, technical illustrators and engineers who don't need advanced 3D drawing.
AutoCAD LT has a mature, fully automated setup procedure. Once the program is on your system, though, you'll need time to become expert at using its huge feature set. To Autodesk's credit, the package ships with a well-written, fully indexed, 342-page manual; a CD filled with tutorials; and a comprehensive fold-out Quick Reference card. For veteran CAD users, AutoCAD LT displays a DOS-like command-line interface that automatically lists the DOS equivalents of each command, in one window. It also provides an intuitive Microsoft-standard interface loaded with aids, including ToolTips, context-sensitive help and pop-up Active Assistance windows.
As with previous releases, Autodesk manages to maintain parity between the LT and full-blown versions of AutoCAD by simultaneously adding similar features to both programs. For example, associative dimensioning -- one of the latest enhancements -- lets you add dimensions to an object, then create a permanent link between the two. Thus, if you move, scale, reshape or reorient an object, the dimensions will update themselves automatically, whether you're working in the Model Space mode or the Paper Space mode. You use the Model Space mode to create an object, such as the blueprint of a house, and the Paper Space mode -- a WYSIWYG print preview -- to define what your printed document will look like.
There are a few more useful enhancements, as well: AutoCAD LT's improved text-scaling, justification and spell-check features offer much more flexibility when customising text in your design. A Publish To Web wizard makes it easy to export your drawings in JPEG or PNG format to an intranet or a Web page. A handy AutoCAD LT Today browser helps you organise libraries of drawings, symbols and templates. The program includes an eTransmit feature, which automatically compresses all of the components that make up a drawing into a self-executing, password-protected file, which you can email or post to the Internet.
Should you run into trouble with this mass of tools, Autodesk provides an online support knowledge base that answers common questions, provides the latest product updates, drivers and utilities, and hosts product-specific discussion groups. Direct user support is provided by Autodesk System Centres and authorised dealers.
For a surprisingly affordable price, this elegantly designed package matches the majority of AutoCAD's most popular features point for point, and it boasts 100 percent file compatibility with its larger and much more expensive stablemate. Like most professionally orientated CAD applications, AutoCAD LT 2002 requires a major time investment. But if you're looking for a cost-effective way to produce sophisticated 2D technical illustrations, it’s hard to beat.
|Subcategory||creativity - CAD|
|Subcategory||creativity - CAD|
|License Type||box pack|
|Min Processor Type||Intel Pentium - 450 MHz|
|Min RAM Size||128 MB|
|Min Hard Drive Space||200 MB|
|OS Required||Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP3|
|Additional Requirements||mouse or compatible device|
|Min Processor Speed||450 MHz|
|Min Processor Type||Intel Pentium|
|Product Line||AutoCAD LT|