Autodesk has announced the latest release of its flagship CAD program, AutoCAD 2018. In this release, both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, get dozens of new features, improvements, and fixes that make CAD users more efficient and productive.
The company, in particular, has continued to advance AutoCAD to PDF workflow data interoperability, supporting new text recognition features and more.
What’s New and Cool in AutoCAD 2018
There is little doubt in the computing universe that Adobe’s open PDF standard is the supreme reigning lingua franca of data and document sharing. All manufacturers the world over place product descriptions, specifications, and technical drawings into PDF documents for global consumption and distribution. This is how folks like architects, engineers, and designers get their initial data when researching and collaborating.
Thus, continued PDF import enhancements are clearly of value to AutoCAD users who routinely need to work with PDF documents. With AutoCAD 2018 users can use the SHX text recognition tool to quickly convert imported PDF geometry to text and Mtext objects. The enhanced Text to Mtext tool will enable conversion of a combination of single and multi-line text objects to one single multi-line text object, automatically inferring formating.
AutoCAD 2018 also adds several key improvements to working with externally referenced files. The default setting for xrefs is now set to “relative” versus “absolute.” New tools also help users establish new paths to referenced files. And when you save a file to a different location, AutoCAD 2018 can automatically adjust references so things don’t break.
In addition to performance tuning to speed up working with 3D CAD data, object selections are improved whereby you can start a selection on part of the screen and continue to pan and zoom and select other objects all while not losing selection of off-screen objects. That is a very big improvement.
Finally, a key big new feature is 4K monitor support. AutoCAD 2018 now supports high-resolution monitors to ensure the best possible viewing experience on 4K displays and higher. This means the UI elements like dialog boxes, toolbars, etc, are all properly scaled for these larger resolutions.
There are many other smaller features in the update. To learn more about everything visit Autodesk online here.
AutoCAD 2018 for Mac
Autodesk did not announce the Mac version for 2018. The company has publicly commented in the past to Architosh that the releases are not sync’d on purpose because the Mac versions tend to incorporate Apple’s latest macOS development features. Based on history, Mac AutoCAD users should expect an update later in the year after WWDC.