First Look Review: AutoCAD 2006 Tutorial Series

13 Feb, 2006 By: Patrick Davis

4D Technologies offers self-paced instruction for the beginning to intermediate user in a professional, well-organized package

AutoCAD 2006 Tutorial Series
Pros: Easy to navigate, up-to-date content, good instruction, trial available online.
Cons: None significant.
Price: $199 single seat; discount for five or more seats.

4D Technologies

Training has always been a big issue in the CAD world, and finding an affordable yet effective training method can be daunting. 4D Technologies, a company that offers CD-ROM and Internet-based training for many different Autodesk products, recently released its AutoCAD 2006 Tutorial Series, on two CDs ($199). This tutorial series, consisting of more than 300 lessons and around 14 hours of video training by certified Autodesk instructors, is definitely worth considering.

The AutoCAD 2006 Tutorial Series comprises four titles: AutoCAD Fundamentals, AutoCAD Advanced, Utilities and DesignCenter, and Introducing AutoCAD 3D. Each title is organized in sections, including lesson duration and skill level. The interface keeps track of your progress, and lesson content is searchable so you can use the tutorial series as a reference as well.

The AutoCAD Fundamentals course contains 22 sections, from "Getting Starting with AutoCAD 2006" to basic object creation and modification tools. The AutoCAD Advanced course provides nine sections focusing on dimensions, plotting and layouts, hatching, blocks and attributes, and external references and images. The Utilities and DesignCenter course presents three sections that cover the DesignCenter, utility commands, Internet utilities and drawing sets. Introduction to 3D AutoCAD consists of one section and two lessons.

All courses are well organized, and the videos are done very well. Each lesson begins with the instructor outlining the material to be covered and a quick demo. The instructor then begins the lesson, explaining each step fully. The instructional material is professional and high quality.

Courses are designed to provide useful information about AutoCAD and to get you up and running quickly. You won't find a lot of dry, meaningless discussions on features you might never use. I believe the AutoCAD 2006 Tutorial Series is ideally suited to the beginner or intermediate user. The tutorials do an excellent job introducing new users to more advanced topics. Tutorials are arranged in a logical fashion with an easy-to-navigate interface.

One of the benefits of CD-based training software is that you can learn at your own pace and revisit a topic if needed. If you learn better by watching demonstrations, you will want to consider CD-based training such as this.

The AutoCAD 2006 Tutorial Series license agreement allows the user to authorize the application on two PCs. The company also offers multiuser discounts for multiple CDs and a server-based corporate version. You also can subscribe annually to an online version, at

Also at, you can test drive demo lessons and samples from several courses offered by 4D Technologies to determine whether CD-based or online training fits your needs. The site also offers free tips and tricks, skill assessments and other learning and information tools for users who register.

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