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I have to give a very special thanks to all the great folks at Sybex, especially Willem Knibbe, for working on and helping to get this project off the ground after a few years of talking about it. The next two people I would like to thank are Mary Ellen Schutz and Dassi Zeidel, the development and production editors on this book; you two made sure I stayed on track and delivered a high-quality book. I also want to thank Liz Welch (copyeditor), Candace Cunningham (proofreader), and Ted Laux (indexer) for the work you all did on this book.
Thanks to all the folks at Autodesk, who put in the long hours and are dedicated to the work they do on the Autodesk® AutoCAD® product. I cannot forget some of the most important individuals on this book, my technical editors: Rebecca Afshar, Craig Black, and Richard Lawrence. Rebecca Afshar performed the technical edit for Part I, “AutoCAD Platform Customization:
User Interface and Beyond.” Rebecca has spent many years as both an instructor and user of AutoCAD; all of this experience helped to make this book even better. Craig Black performed the technical edit for Part II, “AutoCAD Platform Customization: AutoLISP. ” I have known Craig for nearly 20 years and first met him while attending an AutoLISP® session at the local Autodesk Training Center, where he was an instructor.
Craig is a excellent AutoLISP programmer and was a great asset as a technical editor on this book. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with Craig and this book was no different.
Last but not least, Richard Lawrence performed the technical edit for Part III, “AutoCAD Platform Customization: VBA.” Richard is a great friend who I met many years ago at Autodesk University. He is a passionate and driven user of AutoCAD and is always looking to improve the way he uses AutoCAD. Being a technical editor is never the easiest job, but it is one of the most important and I appreciate what you all did to make this book better
Welcome to AutoCAD Platform Customization: User Interface, AutoLISP, VBA, and Beyond. Have you ever thought about customizing AutoCAD only to think it is not for you because you're not a programmer? If so, you are not alone, as there are many people that connect customization with programming. However, customization is not the same as programming, but programming can be considered a form of customization. While using one of the supported programming languages can be useful in implementing custom workflows and new commands, there are many simpler ways to increase your drafting efficiency in a shorter period of time.
AutoCAD supports a wide range of customization features that you can learn and begin to leverage in minutes, which can led to improved CAD standards and a decrease in the amount of time it takes to complete a task. I, like many others, even yourself most likely, have customized AutoCAD without even realizing it. Have you ever created a new layer, text style, or block? Chances are pretty great that you have created one or more of those items before. You might have even stored those items in a drawing template (DWT) file so they would be available each time a new drawing was created.
While you might not have thought about these as forms of customization, they are indeed a few of the basic drawing customization features that can be used to enhance the out-of-box AutoCAD experience. Drawing customization affects the appearance of and settings in a drawing file or drawing template (DWT) file, and should form the cornerstone of your company's CAD standards. Often when people think of customization though, they commonly think of application customization, which contains the support files that AutoCAD uses as well as the tools in the application's user interface. Application customization is not dependent on which drawing is currently open, but which user profile or workspace might be current.