AutoCAD for Mac 2012: My review after first use

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:

Hatch Interface

Hatch Interface

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!

Ploy Style Table Editor

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!

Auto-complete commands


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!

Other features

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:

  • Coverflow
  • Multitouch
  • 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!

  7 comments for “AutoCAD for Mac 2012: My review after first use

  1. Harvey
    August 23, 2012 at 19:20


    Does your auto cad 2012 run slow when saving exporting the file as a PDF?

    • August 23, 2012 at 19:26

      AutoCAD 2012 for Mac would not run at all for me on Mountain Lion. I am running AutoCAD for Mac 2013. No issues when exporting to PDF though. For me at least. But when I was still running Lion, and AutoCAD for Mac 2012, I didn’t have any issues with printing to PDF either.

  2. Mac lost
    July 15, 2013 at 17:36

    Regarding plot style manager. Is it me or did they remove the plot style table? I can not find it. I know where plot style table is and what annoys me is that it seems that i have to change every single setting manually while in the older autocad i could copy a setting and paste it to all. Take for example Miter, i have to change every single one? Please help.

    • July 15, 2013 at 21:06

      Check out this post

      Does that answer your question? Is that what you mean?

  3. Stella
    September 26, 2014 at 14:17

    Hi Peter,

    I am working in AC2014 and I am having issues selecting the acas.ctb plot style. As I go to the Edit Page Setup and go under “Plot Styles Table” the acad.ctb doesn’t show. However, when I go to the Plot Styles Folder, I can see it is there! Can you assist me in this please?

    Thank you,


    • September 26, 2014 at 14:40


      Will take a look for you as soon as possible.

    • September 26, 2014 at 15:41

      Hi Stella,

      First of all: Do any .ctb files appear in your plot style drop down menu? If not, than your drawing is probably set up as a .stb based drawing. Easiest thing perhaps, is to copy all the content in your drawing to your clipboard, create a new drawing from a .ctb based template (acad.dwt or acadiso.dwt for instance), than paste all your content to the new drawing, and it will be a .ctb based drawing. When you try to plot your drawing now, you should be able to see your .ctb files.

      In regular AutoCad (windows) there is a command (CONVERTPSTYLES) which allows you to change from .stb based to .ctb based (or vice versa). Unfortunately, this has not been included in the Mac version.

      Hope this solves your problem. Only other possibility is that you need to point AutoCad to the correct .ctb folder, assuming it would be pointing to the wrong folder at this time.

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