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AutoCAD® 2008 and AutoCAD LT® 2008 Bible by Ellen Finkelstein

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Chapter 34. Understanding AutoLISP and Visual LISP Basics

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding AutoLISP programming and the Visual LISP environment

  • Working with the Visual LISP interface

  • Getting help in Visual LISP

  • Creating your own AutoLISP expressions

  • Using AutoLISP on the command line

AutoLISP is a programming language supported by AutoCAD that can greatly enhance your productivity by automating often-used or repetitive tasks. AutoLISP provides a glimpse into the inner workings of AutoCAD and can serve as an excellent stepping-stone to learning more advanced automation methods, such as ObjectARX and VBA. An AutoLISP routine gives you complete control over its interaction with the user and what it does after it's loaded.

You can type AutoLISP expressions on the command line in response to prompts, or you can save your code to a file that you can load and use when needed. AutoLISP offers wide and varied possibilities for shortcuts. Best of all, you can customize AutoLISP to any level of complexity.

AutoLISP intimidates many AutoCAD users, but this fear is unwarranted. The many benefits of AutoLISP well justify the initial time that you invest to learn this rich and full-featured programming language.

You can also find a tremendous number of AutoLISP routines on the Internet. Many CAD Web sites offer huge libraries of AutoLISP routines as free downloads. (For more details, see Appendix B.) Every office with more than a trivial number of AutoCAD workstations has probably created at least one AutoLISP ...

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