Introducing AutoCAD 2017

Introducing AutoCAD 2017

Written by: Will Baron

Moving to the new AutoCAD 2017 release will be the easiest transition ever. Migrating from one version of AutoCAD to the next is now managed by way of a new, modern interface enabling you to make clear decisions about what to take to the new AutoCAD, and licence management has been simplified. AutoCAD 2017 also comes with a more efficient home window for managing updates and security patches. The new ‘Autodesk Home’ application can be used for all versions from 2015, and also delivers relevant learning content. Notifications are shown on the Windows system tray and lets you know about all available updates across the installed Autodesk product range.

The new AutoCAD also helps you to exploit increasing screen resolutions that many enjoy these days. Most dialogs are resizable so you can see relevant information without scroll bars, and the choice you make about these will be maintained next time you launch AutoCAD. This gives better visibility to a whole host of items such as files, attributes, blocks and other content.

A huge amount of work has gone into improving the power of PDF files helping you to create rich content when you publish your designs, building on what was achieved in AutoCAD 2016. This goes both ways as AutoCAD can now import content from PDFs in a more intelligent way, creating hatches from solid areas, applying line weight and joining line and arc segments into polylines.

And there are those little changes that add up significantly across releases, available automatically with your subscription. Amongst these this year Autodesk have introduced the ability to edit more than one text item in one go, great of you need to make the same change to several items. It is now possible to pre-define layers for things such as hatches and dimensions so these items go automatically on the layer you want. Now this layer doesn’t need to be created separately. The resizable ‘Insert’ dialog maximises the block definition preview, giving you confidence you have selected the right one.

Lastly, the appearance, selection and performance of 2D geometry continues to improve in 2017. One small consequence of this, that will make a huge difference, is the new ability to select and snap to dashed linetypes even in the gaps!