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CR/LF GmbH writes and translates computer-related books published by well-known companies.

Books in German language

Books published by SYBEX, Inc.:

  • Sybex AutoCAD authors: AutoCAD 2002 Complete

Comprehensive Coverage of AutoCAD 2002

This book contains various chapters from Mastering AutoCAD 2000 Objects in addition to chapters taken from the Sybex books AutoCAD 2000 Visual Jumpstart (by David Frey), Mastering AutoCAD 2002 (by George Omura), AutoCAD 2002 No Experience Required (by David Frey), Mastering 3D studio VIZ 3 (by George Omura), and Mastering AutoCAD VBA (by Marion Cottingham).

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AutoCAD 2002 Complete
ISBN 0-7821-2967-6
962 pages
List price US $19.99
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  • Dietmar Rudolph: Mastering AutoCAD 2000 Objects

A guide to read, write and understand AutoCAD drawings

  • creation and evaluation of AutoCAD drawing elements using AutoLISP and Visual LISP inside AutoCAD
  • working with AutoCAD drawing objects from within ObjectARX
  • extraction and manipulation of AutoCAD drawings using COM and ActiveX Automation from Visual Basic, Delphi or Java programs
  • reading and writing DWG files using ObjectDBX, the DWG library from Autodesk
  • external drawing data interchange with almost every graphics program in the world using DXF
  • covers AutoCAD 2000(i) and Release 14, AutoCAD LT 97/98/2000(i), many concepts also valid in older versions

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A note on AutoCAD 2002: AutoCAD 2002 uses the exact same file format as AutoCAD 2000. Therefore the contents of this book is also valid for this version. However, AutoCAD 2002 adds another method for working with AutoCAD objects. On this please read: AutoCAD-Objekte in DesignXML.

A note on AutoCAD 2004: AutoCAD 2004 uses a different DWG file format, while the interfaces to the drawing contents (DXF, ActiveX and so on) remain mostly unchanged. Very few new objects and/or properties were introduced. Most of the contents of this book is therefore valid for the program's newest version. Note that DesignXML has been removed from AutoCAD 2004.

AutoCAD is the world's most widely used software for Computer Aided Design and Drafting. According to Autodesk, more than 2 million people use AutoCAD in their daily work to define and document technical designs or to store maps, site plans, and other geometric data. This data is saved in AutoCAD drawing files. Again according to Autodesk, more than 2 billion AutoCAD drawing files are on the computers out there.

AutoCAD comes with a large set of commands and features to create, manipulate, and query the contents of a drawing file. But these built-in commands deal with only a few of the almost unlimited number of ways in which the contents of these files can be used. Some obvious uses of the embedded drawing data include statistics and report generation, NC program and plot file generation, and data exchange with other CAD or graphics products.

Consequently, there is a strong need to access a drawing file's internals. This need is best documented by the 1998 founding of the OpenDWG alliance, an association of Autodesk competitors formed to press for more access to AutoCAD drawing files.

This book covers many ways to read, write, evaluate, and manipulate the contents of AutoCAD drawing files. Some of these ways require no more than your being able to use a text editor or even a sheet of paper. Others require that you learn one of a dozen computer programming languages. Of course, this book cannot teach you all these languages. There are many other books available for that purpose.

However, no matter which procedure you use to access the data embedded in a drawing file, you are always faced with the same questions: What is the meaning of the data? Which objects can be found in a computer-generated drawing? Which properties are used to define these objects? What kinds of values are allowed, and how are they formatted?

The answer to these questions is what this book is about: the contents of an AutoCAD drawing file. You will learn about all you may encounter when evaluating a drawing, which is usually called a drawing database. I will describe the various ways to find or manipulate objects, the items such as lines and circles that constitute the drawing database. My main goal, however, is to describe the meaning and attributes of each object.

Isn't It Obvious?

But do you really need an entire book to describe the contents of a drawing file? What's so complicated about the lines and circles that make up a drawing? Two things: First, there are many more objects embedded in a drawing file than lines and circles. Dimensions, spline curves, cubes, and even terrain models can be part of a drawing file, and you need to understand them in order to process and handle these objects. Second, even for objects that seem to be as simple as lines and circles, AutoCAD saves and uses a large number of properties, many of them quite difficult to understand.

A good example is the point object. If you were to list all the things needed to define a point, how many properties would you need? And which? In 2D, that means on a sheet of paper, you would need two distances to describe the point: the distance from the left edge of the sheet (called X) and the distance from the bottom edge (called Y). In mathematical terms, these distances are called coordinates. In a three-dimensional space, for example, your office, you will need a set of three coordinates to define the point: its distance from the left wall, its distance from the back wall, and its height above the floor.

If you think more in terms of computer graphics than in terms of mathematical definitions, you will also add another property to your list: the color in which the point is displayed on the screen or on paper. In addition, most graphics programs use a layer property to group related objects.

But could you imagine giving your point a direction? Probably not. However, AutoCAD does. And it not only saves one direction with each point, it saves two! And to make things even more complicated, it even gives your point a height or a thickness. Now that's strange, isn't it? What is a thick point? As you will see, it's a certain arrangement of planar faces arranged in 3D. You wouldn't call this a point, but AutoCAD does.

Some AutoCAD objects are easy to understand. For others you need detailed knowledge of how AutoCAD creates, manipulates, and saves drawing data. This is why I wrote this book, and in it you will find all you need to know about the contents of an AutoCAD drawing file, and maybe more.

This book is also available in other languages:


Mandarin (Chinese):



Greek-language edition


Arabian-language edition

In addition to working with other publishers CR/LF also owns a publishing service department where we publish specialized books on topics the big publishers don't work on.

Currently our catalog consists of these two titles, both of which are available in German language only.

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Last modification: 06.04.2011