Whenever someone talks about technical design, the name of Autodesk’s AutoCAD will surely come up in one point or another. After years of leading the industry of CAD design, this software has become its standard, the program most widely used by architects and engineers to work on their projects. The main reason why this happens is that its developers are always enhancing and improving the program, which is always updated and prepared for the latest demands of its customers.
Proof of this can be found in AutoCAD 2014, the newest version of the popular application. It’s strange to be talking about a 2014 version when the year 2013 has just begun but apparently Autodesk wants to keep dominating a field in which it hasn’t many strong competitors to begin with. I don’t know if this version will be updated in the future but today, the program feels more like a slightly reworked AutoCAD 2013 than a new version. Let’s see why I say this.
New features in AutoCAD 2014
One of the few features included in the latest version of AutoCAD is the integration of the Geomap function. With it and through its integration with Autodesk 360, the user will be able to insert aerial imagery to any project he might be working on. Besides, this ability will also let him include geographical data about the location of the project currently in development. All of this is done through an easy mechanism that uses the technology of Bing Maps to include all of the information explained above.
I’ve already said that the main changes in AutoCAD 2014 don’t involve new features but improvements on several of the existing functions of the software. Among them, one of the most important ones are the enhanced exporting capabilities of the platform. Now, the program automatically exports the Z attribute of the 2D models to the Z geometrical value of the DWG object. Besides, the line and shadow patterns generated via AutoCAD Map show a greater visual quality. Apart from that, the program finally includes support for PDF files, which are now an exporting option in a native manner.
Another element that was improved in AutoCAD 2014 is the command line, which is now more complete than ever. Thus, this component now has a more refined search option, which automatically corrects spelling mistakes and typos and which also provides synonyms for the search terms. Additionally, users will also have the opportunity to search for contents by name to later apply them to the project from the same command line.
The program’s integration with AutoDesk 360 is another of the aspects that were enhanced. In this way, AutoCAD 2014 now includes a tab where users will find the online service within the program’s interface. Through it, the users will be able to store designs, maps and layouts on the cloud by just clicking a few buttons. Besides, they’ll be able to share any of their creations with colleagues and co-workers that will have instant access to them, regardless of where they might be.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that AutoCAD 2014 is the first Autodesk product in having total Windows 8 compatibility and that it can be expanded via official plugins that can be downloaded from the official site.
Although AutoCAD 2014 might not be a wonder in terms of new features, it surely feels like a coherent evolution from its antecessors. Autodesk begun a refining process for its flagship product a few years back, when AutoCAD 2011 streamlined its interface for a more comfortable and easier workspace. After that, the company totally revamped the 2D and 3D modeling with the arrival of AutoCAD 2012, one of the most important updates in the application’s recent history. Finally, AutoCAD 2013 brought the integration with the cloud, opening a lot of collaborating possibilities to the fold.
In the light of all that, AutoCAD 2014 seems like another step forward for the program, although it would have been nice to see a little more. Like I said above, I’m not sure if there will be updates for this version in the near future but if they are, they’d surely have to address this issue.