Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hidden Subscription Benefits

Many of you get your AutoCAD software through subscription, which means that you basically buy it for the full price the first time, and then every year you pay a much lower fee to get the next new version automatically sent to you. Even if you weren't in the habit of buying every new release, this is still a good bargain. But did you know how many other things you are entitled to by being on Autodesk Subscription? There's a lot with regular subscriptions, and with their new Gold Subscription program, there's even more.

You get to Subscription Center from the Autodesk home page, there's a link in the lower right corner. Once you've logged in, you can either create a Support Request, or access your subscription benefits. We'll save Support Requests for another day. The picture above is what the benefits page looks like.

Number 1 in my screen shot there is Product Downloads. These are very cool special tools that are only available to subscribers. There are a couple different ones for AutoCAD, as well as for most of the more specialized softwares like Map and Civil 3D.

Below is a partial list of the Product Downloads:

I think each of these could be a subject for a long article!

The next thing only available to Subscription members is on-line training. On my illustration, I labeled the two places you can get to these as 2. & 3.
I clicked on AutoCAD and took a look at the tutorials for the new 2009 features. They're good! If you can't get to an update class, this is really important stuff. I meet so many people who've never learned all the cool stuff that they add to AutoCAD every year, they just keep using the same tools. Usually when I show them the new stuff, they slap their foreheads and say "That would have saved me HOURS of work!" Seriously, they do!

So, to reduce forehead slapping and save yourself hours of work, take a look at these e-learning lessons.

Number four on my list is "Stoeckel on Subscription", which is a blog written by one of the experts of AutoCAD. Just to whet your appetite for checking this out, here's a bit of his introduction:

When you read a little of how long he's been working with AutoCAD and of all the things he's done, you'll be as glad as I am to read his blog.

You can learn a lot if you listen to smart people. He's one of them.

And I haven't even mentioned the extra benefits if you're a Gold Support member. More on that tomorrow!

Here's a link to the Glossary of all the subscription terms.

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