Okay, so I had been meaning to review AutoCAD for Mac 2012 much earlier, but as I just started a new job at an engineering firm (at which place I use AutoCAD 2010 for Windows), I really haven’t had the chance to properly find some use for autoCAD 2012 for Mac, until now! I have this little project to do, so I was able to run with AC2012 for Mac for a bit!
I have have used autoCAD 2011 for Mac since it was released, but after I installed Lion, it just wouldn’t work as it should have. So, I was rather pleased when the 2012 version came Lion prepared, and it worked from the get go, and far less buggy then the 2011 version. No more sudden crashes, and other annoyances, so far.
So, here are some of the things I am glad they improved upon:
The ‘Hatch Interface’ has undergone some dramatic changes. I have to say, I had to get used to it at first, as it is quite different from the ‘normal’ hatch interface anyone using autoCAD (windows) is used to. Despite the new look, I happen to like how it blends in with the rest of the UI. All functionalities are still there of course, and it feels (in my opinion) intuitive enough to not have to actually look hard for any of the buttons and such. After just a little use, it becomes second nature again.
Plot Style Editing
Okay, one of the most frustrating omissions in autoCAD for Mac 2011 was not having a Ploy Style Editor. There was no way to properly create and/or modify different plot styles. You were able to add existing plot styles, but that was the extend of it. The workaround (for anyone still using autoCAD for Mac 2011) I have described here. In AC2012 for Mac, they did add a Plot Style Table Editor! Finally!
It works as it should, and makes autoCAD for Mac finally worth while! It was a real pain before….. Especially when having to create a new plot style for say a new client. Those frustrations are no more!
A nice surprise was the auto-complete feature when typing commands. For me personally this is a great addition! Makes for a great feature, especially when you just can’t can’t remember a specific command you don’t use very often. A handy addition I think! Speeds things up a little more, so your workflow is not as interrupted looking for that rare command you can’t quite remember!
There are quite a few more features worth exploring.
Features from older versions of AutoCAD now available in AutoCAD 2012 for Mac:
- Network Licensing
- Plot Style Editing
- In-place reference and block editing (Refedit)
- Layer Groups / Filters
- Palette Icon Resizing
- Publish (Multi-layout consecutive printing)
- Hatch Interface enhancements
Features new to the current version (2012) of AutoCAD now available in AutoCAD 2012 for Mac:
- Associative Array
- Multi-Function Grips (for more entities)
- Command Line / Dynamic Input Autocomplete
- In-canvas movable UCS (User Coordinate System)
- Perpendicular and Tangent Object Snaps
- Nudge objects with ctrl+ Arrow keys
- Group Enhancements
- 3D dynamic creation previews
Features only available in AutoCAD for Mac:
- Visual Quickview
- Layout Visor
- Cocoa-centric collapsible and dockable Palette System
For features under consideration (and features NOT under consideration) to be included in future releases of AutoCAD for Mac, see this AutoDesk knowledge base article.
I will post about some more features as I go along!