Top positive review
Very Good Book (but illegible screen shots)
on 29 August 2015
AutoCAD is a very powerful tool but it has an arcane interface: a mixture of old DOS like commands coupled with context sensitive menus plus buttons etc scattered all over the screen and then there is the command line. But because of its power, accuracy, and speed -when you get the hang of it- it is well worth using. Also AutoCAD is an industry world standard.
With that in mind 'AutoCAD 2013 for Dummies' does a pretty good job of getting you up and running with a very complex program, especially if you are teaching yourself and are not familiar with the ways of AutoCAD. There is also some useful information about drafting in general: paper sizes, unit types, industry normal practices etc. Some reviewers say that not everything is clearly explained and in areas that is the case, but it is fairly easy to get the detailed information from AutoCAD help or other sources on the net. Where the book shines though is its good structure, easy to follow style, and many illustrations. Of course, it's written in the usual 'Dummies' style.
What lets this book down is the presentation. I wouldn't want the text to be any smaller and the the images of the AutoCAD screen shots are poor quality: the on- screen text is so small that it's illegible as are the symbols. Another general criticism is that there is far too much white space on the pages and the boiler plate- page numbers, symbols in the left margin (warnings, tips, technical stuff) etc- are way too big. The end result is that the important AutoCAD specific information, especially the screen shots, are far too small. Other images and figures are clear and of a good size though.
Having said that, the underlying content is excellent and on that basis the book still deserves five stars and is highly recommended.