Computer design software for woodworking projects

I want to design a custom entertainment unit with matching bookcase, but don’t have any drafting skills. (I also am an advanced beginner woodworker.) What I’m looking for is IBM-compatible software that will: (a) help me design the unit, (b) provide a detailed list of what lumber I need; and © provide measurements of each piece. In other words, I want to be able to provide the ideas and general specs and let the software tell me what I need and how big each piece is.

Does such a beast exist or do I have to do all this on paper?

Let me add that I fully realize I need to provide the general measurements. My concern is how each piece impacts the one next to it, and so on.

For instance, let’s say I want the entertainment center to be a certain size. What I am uncertain of are the dimensions of some of the interior supporting members. Doing all of this in my head–with so little woodworking experience on large projects–seems rather intimidating.

Sorry if the question sounds dumb.

  • I bought version 3 for $10 at Wal-Mart, and upgraded to 3.1. It is easy to use because it only does 2-D stuff: you still have to understand how the pieces will fit together. It is easy to use though; you rarely need the instructions.
  • You also may find 3-D drafting programs too, but don’t waste your money on them. The cheapie 3-D programs you see for ten or fifteen dollars have no printed documentation, poor written documentation and are fairly difficult to learn to do even simple shapes on. - MC