Of all the different ways to customize
AutoCAD, AutoLISP is the most powerful (see "Other
ways to customize AutoCAD"). AutoLISP can do just about everything
the simpler methods of customization can do, and AutoLISP is an integral
part of the more advanced methods of customization.
Here are some of the features of
AutoLISP which make it flexible and powerful. These are things which
many of the simpler methods of customization are unable to do.
Also consider the nature of AutoLISP programming.
AutoLISP can do advanced calculations.
AutoLISP can interact with the user, pausing to get input.
AutoLISP can create entities in existing drawings, or even make complete
drawings from scratch.
AutoLISP can interact with the drawing database, both extracting information
from it and changing information in it.
AutoLISP can create, read, and revise files.
AutoLISP can run other programs outside AutoCAD.
AutoLISP runs on any platform (hardware and operating system) that runs
AutoCAD. AutoLISP programs do not need to be compiled separately
for different platforms.
AutoLISP is one of the easier languages to learn.
AutoLISP programs can be written in your favorite text editor.
AutoLISP functions can be tested right at the Command prompt.
AutoLISP program modules can be written and debugged separately.
AutoLISP includes a practical set of error messages that help you debug
AutoLISP programs (many free) for a wide variety of tasks are available
from many different sources.
AutoLISP training and instructional resources abound.
1988, 1998, 1999, 2000 Ronald W. Leigh