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AutoCAD 2015 Review

The latest update to AutoCAD is available now. It is the 29th major release of the most accepted CAD program of the world. The depth and breadth of enhancements and new features combine to make AutoCAD 2015 one of the most significant updates in years.


Autodesk modifies AutoCAD at regular intervals and this time, the change is really an effective improvement. When the user first starts AutoCAD 2015, instead of a Welcome dialog, he sees the New Tab. He can also see this tab when there are no drawings open and can easily switch to the New Tab at any time.


The New Tab consists of two sliding content frames:


  • Learn- The Learn frame offers tools to help the user learn AutoCAD 2015 and includes links to getting started videos and online resources.
  • Create - The Create frame is displayed by default and serves as a launch pad where users can access sample files, recent files, templates, product updates and the online community. This frame is divided into three columns. The Get Started column allows users quickly begin a new drawing from a default template or from a list of available drawing templates, open an existing drawing or sheet set, get more templates online and explore sample drawings. In the Recent Documents column, users can view and open their recent drawings, select how these drawings are displayed and pin drawings to ensure that they remain in the list. The Connect column provides links to sign into the users Autodesk 360 account and send feedback to Autodesk.


Download AutoCAD 2015 - Trial Version

More responsive interface: The Help system now includes a new way to help users locate the relevant tool within AutoCAD's interface. Once the user has located information in the Help system, he can click to display an animated arrow that points him to the appropriate tool in the AutoCAD ribbon. If the tool is not accessible from the current workspace or is located in a hidden tab or panel, a tooltip tells exactly where to find the tool.


The program also now sports a modern dark-themed interface that helps reduce eye strain. The tools in the Status bar have been consolidated into a single area located in the lower-right, while the Model and Layout tabs have been moved into the lower-left.


Only the most often used tools appear on the Status bar and it can be easily customized. Status bar tooltips are also more informative. The ribbon has also been updated and now includes galleries for inserting blocks and selecting predefined styles for controlling text, dimensions, multileaders and tables.


More intuitive graphic previews: AutoCAD 2015 features a completely new accelerated graphics system that consists of automatic anti-aliasing and improved visual feedback. In AutoCAD 2015 the lasso selection is a new feature which allows the user can click the cursor in a blank area of the drawing and then drag around objects to create a lasso window, crossing or fence selection.

AutoCAD 2015 also now enables user to preview the results of trim, extend, lengthen, break and match properties operations prior to actually selecting the objects and completing the command. Besides, users can pass the cursor over an object to be extended, it is temporarily extended so that users can preview the results.


Enhanced text and dimensions: The model space viewports are now much easier to use. In AutoCAD 2015, after creating multiple viewports in model space, a bright blue boundary clearly identifies the active viewport and users can easily resize any viewport by dragging the horizontal or vertical viewport boundaries. New plus "+" icons on the viewport boundaries allows users to easily add more viewports by simply clicking and dragging without using dialog boxes.


The multiline text editor environment has been enhanced to provide better visibility and control and offers much more intuitive tools for resizing columns, allowing the user to adjust both the height and width individually or at the same time. The program is capable of automatically applying bullets or numbering and correct text when users inadvertently press the SHIFT key while Caps Lock is enabled. There are also new subscripts and superscript tools, improved autostacking capabilities for fractions and tolerances, and widely enhanced tools for controlling paragraph tabs.


Superior geographic location tools: AutoCAD 2014 added some terrific geographic location tools most of which are now eliminated. Users still require to be signed into their Autodesk 360 account in order to access Online Map Data, if they are not signed in or choose not to use the online data, they can still use the Geographic Location tool to enter latitude and longitude.


Being attached to the geographic data, map resolution improves as users zoom in and can capture map data. Users can even select embedded map data and use grips to move, resize and even rotate the image boundary. When user changes the image boundary, AutoCAD automatically re-queries the online map data and updates the image accordingly. New slider bars let the user adjust the brightness, contrast and fading of the map image so that user can more easily see relevant AutoCAD geometry.


Making point cloud data usable: A set of tools for working with point clouds have also been enhanced in AutoCAD 2015, including an updated version of Autodesk's ReCap point cloud manipulation software.


The new point cloud capabilities include an option for using geographic location data if it is available within the new RCP and RCS point cloud files. Once attached, the user can control the point size and level of detail and better visualize cloud-based data. More intuitive tools make it easier to crop point clouds, and the user can switch views. But perhaps the biggest point cloud enhancement is a new set of point cloud object snaps that finally make it feasible to create actual AutoCAD geometry based on point clouds.


Other enhancements: A major addition to the 2014 product was the new Design Feed environment, through which users could carry on a virtual conversation with other team members. AutoCAD 2015 also uses a new Autodesk Translation Framework (ATF) when importing model data from other formats such as CATIA V4 and V5, Pro Engineer, SolidWorks, Parasolid, JT, NX, STEP, Rhino and IGES. ATG supports importing meshes and curves as well as object colors and layers.


The new AutoCAD 2015 release are enhanced customization tools, a new Autodesk Application Manager that helps users to stay updated with the latest updates for all Autodesk applications and suites and a performance reporting tool that can help analyze and troubleshoot any performance issues that users encounter while using the software.


Autodesk continues to place increased emphasis on its suites, which provide some pretty good deals. For example, in addition to AutoCAD itself, the AutoCAD Design Suite Standard edition includes AutoCAD Raster Design, Showcase and Mudbox for just $330 more than the cost of AutoCAD alone. The Professional suite adds 3ds Max while the Ultimate suite includes Alias Design as well, but SketchBook Designer is no longer included in any of the suites.


All the new features in AutoCAD 2015, including the interface enhancements, text and dimensioning improvements, and updates to map data and Design Feed, are included in AutoCAD LT 2015 which is considered as the company's lower-cost 2D-only alternative to AutoCAD.


The significant graphic improvements and various new features have made users to upgrade to AutoCAD 2015. The various system requirements are mentioned below:

  • Operating System: Windows 8 or Windows 7; 64-bit or 32-bit
  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon dual-core (3.0GHz or greater recommended)
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 8GB recommended
  • Disk Space: 6GB free disk space for installation (4GB for AutoCAD LT)
  • Video: 1024768 VGA with true color minimum (16001050 recommended)
  • Other: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or later web browser


AutoCAD 2015 Review