Wednesday, April 16, 2008


AutoCAD "major" versions in terms of new commands

Is AutoCAD 2009 a "major" or "minor" version?

There are discussions whether AutoCAD 2000i, 2005 or 2009 are really full new versions or just smaller updates, whether the odd versions are better or worse than the even ones (a popular urban legend).

I have used the AutoCAD commands database on the CADforum web site to compare the number of new commands introduced in the individual AutoCAD versions. These numbers differ a lot - especially see the glitch in the chart of AutoCAD 2000 and 2000i (combined) new commands. But the sheer number of commands can hardly express the scope of changes done in the specific version of the software. E.g. a change in DWG file format or a new rendering engine is definitely a major change but it might not be expressed in adding any new commands.

The graph was generated online using the Google Chart API with this chart URL.

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Friday, April 04, 2008


AutoCAD 2010 will use a new DWG format

The AutoCAD product line manager at Autodesk - Eric Stover - said in the Techworld interview that:
the new DWG format is due in 2009 with the planned release of AutoCAD 2010

So we can expect a DWG format change in a year or so (in AutoCAD 2010). This complies with Autodesk plans to change the DWG file format every 3 releases (= every 3 years).

The interview itself is about the problems some AutoCAD users have with the DWG2007 format (using internal compression) on WAN links with connection accelerators. These accelerators obviously try to save bandwith by caching and skipping unchanged portions of transmitted files. And internal file compression makes the whole file appear as changed.

I wonder how can Autodesk be blamed about this as internal compression is used in many many file formats, not just DWG.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008


How do you extract your AutoCAD data?

The DATAEXTRACTION command is maybe the most underestimated command (wizard) in AutoCAD. It can do miracles if you want to analyze, schedule and export data from your drawing.

This CAD Forum tip mentions using the Data Extraction wizard for exoprting drawing text but the possibilities of this command are much broader. It is like the ATTEXT and EATTEXT commands on steroids. You can schedule not only block attributes and a couple of block properties but virtually any property of any entity of your DWG drawing.

And you can use this extracted information in a very flexible way - you can export it to a text (CSV) file, update a database or insert (and keep updated automatically) a table back into your drawing. The settings can be saved so you can repeat the extraction easily.

Check this command as it can make your life easier automating some of your frequently used tasks.

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