SofTutor - An Online Coach for AutoCAD2000
Reviewed by Daniel Stassart and Elise Moss
SofTutor contains over 5 hrs of video instruction covering 339 topics and 233 follow along example files. It is designed for new users and users upgrading from R14.
For those users who are visual learners, poor readers, or who have difficulty following written instruction, SofTutor is a collection of avis (videos run on a computer) for basic AutoCAD topics.
The plus for SofTutor is you can set it up so you can run a selected animation on one side of your monitor, bring up a window of AutoCAD and work right along with the video. You can control the speed of the video, so you can slow it down so it sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger or speed it up so it sounds like Alvin the Chipmunk.
Because we are not beginner users, we played the videos at Alvin speed, and had no problems following the videos.
Each video is very basic, for example, how to create a 3 point arc or how to change the lineweight of an object.
Where SofTutor is disappointing is in the help area, we did several searches comparing SofTutor’s help and AutoCAD’s on-line help. Often, SofTutor came up with no results and it was common for SofTutor to average a mere three entries compared to AutoCAD’s dozen or so entries. Additionally, SofTutor failed to recognize common search words that AutoCAD had no problems finding.
Additionally, we found that SofTutor failed to cover anything over the most basic AutoCAD features—draw and modify. There was nothing on Quick Select or some of the newer features in AutoCAD 2000. If you’re looking for tips, tricks, or ways to work faster, you won’t find them here.
There are no videos on how to create or work with templates, set up plotting, or working with layouts. Even the videos on dimension styles basically just walk you through the dialogs, but don’t really discuss what each setting means in terms of ANSI standards.
A single personal license costs $298.00, almost triple the cost of a text from Autodesk Press, which would be more substantial and less frustrating to use. Users upgrading from R14 would consider this product a complete waste of money as they would already be familiar with 95% of the material and the remainder of the material is covered better using AutoCAD’s on-line help.
We could recommend this product for the following user profile:
- Has absolutely no prior experience with AutoCAD
- Does not have access to training through a local community college or reseller
- Has a learning disability or has some mental deficiency
- Wants to learn at their own pace in their own home
- Wants to use AutoCAD as a hobby, but is not necessarily interested in making a living using it
If you do not meet this profile, consider using AutoCAD’s on-line help, get training from a local community college or reseller, or purchase one of the many books in the market. You will get a lot more value for your money and not spend as much.
For more information
New Vision Software, Incorporated
130 S. Kainer Ave.
Barrington, IL 60010
(800) 561-2789 Sales
(847) 382-1532 Main Number and Technical Support
(847) 382-1944 Fax