AutodeskŪ AutoCAD LTŪ
Comments by: Odin Cary
I recently assisted a client who had just purchased AutoCAD Lt 97 and though I had never worked with it, I immediately felt at home. This version is really impressive. It comes with a couple of things that I suspect we will soon see in its big sibling: angle snap (as a new button on the standard toolbar) and an object explorer that not only allows you to see all of the blocks (drawings) on the hard drive, but also all of the blocks within the current drawing.
The most common question seems to be about drawing file compatibility. You can be assured that AutoCAD Lt 97 can seamlessly exchange files with AutoCAD R14. If you, as an AutoCAD Lt 97 user, want to exchange drawing files with AutoCAD R13 or older users, you will need to "down-vert" your drawing(s) for them. This is achieved by simply doing a SAVE AS..., click on the SAVE AS TYPE: drop down list and select the appropriate version of AutoCAD or AutoCAD Lt you wish to convert to. To keep the names clear, I always use a suffix with the file name incorporating the AutoCAD conversion number; e.g., filenameR13, or filenameR12.
As an ancient user of AutoCAD, my problem with using AutoCAD Lt has more to do with old habits; like wanting to type "Z" return and "V" return for ZOOM Vmax - Vmax is not supported in AutoCAD Lt. Another problem that arises, relates to my need for more advanced features of AutoCAD, like the Geometric Calculator and common AutoLISP routines - which are not supported either. But the reality is, that this product is solid and I can be quite productive with it and so could most 2D AutoCAD drafters.
3rd Party Support for AutoCAD Lt is beginning to crop up here and there. I recently read some articles on an add-on program for AutoCAD Lt called Real Architect. At $149.00 it may be one of the best deals around. I have not used it nor have any of my clients, but it surely is worth a peek and you can check it out for yourself -> REAL Architect there is also a link to a CADENCE review by a registered architect. If you chose to check it out, please let us know what you think.