Not long ago we talked about the AutoCAD 2008 enhancements and AutoDesk has already released some of the improvements that the 2009 version known as AutoCAD Raptor will have ... although after knowing its history In 25 years We know that this is not a year of change beyond makeup.
1. Regarding Operation with other systems
With Windows Vista
AutoCAD 2009 claims to be certified to work with Windows Vista (that is, the box has the logo compatible with ...)
And who has certified Windows Vista to work regularly well? ... and incidentally began to give us despair as to how much resource will he expect the computer to have, if the Windows Vista without dual core is destroyed. It only works on Windows XP Home Edition onwards.
You cannot read a DGN file, just import it, there is not much improvement compared to AutoCAD 2008, only that the handling of layer properties is more friendly in case of being files that come from a DGN ... ah, and it can be V7 or V8. We will see if one day it does what its competition (Microstation), which adopted its dwg format as native.
2. Changes in the interface.
The interface now closely resembles Office 2007, a strategy questionable by some but that in the criteria of usability comes well to try to maintain a similarity with the environments of popular use ... as long as it is not carried through by exaggerated changes in the interface of user.
Although it's just a make-up, there are some good things about it:
This is one of the best changes, in that the command organization goes from the obsolete bars to a joint panel that stores the icons and that can be easily customized. Of course, it will cost us at the beginning for those of us who already had a way to group the Most used commands.
Now they are in a horizontal panel, always grouped in creation commands (draw), edition (modify), dimensioning (dimmensions) ... although now there are also layers (layers) and those other panels that were called only when they were required but that influenced in the waste of time as one who opens drawers of the drawing table every time he occupies the eraser. Also now, as in Office, they are prioritized in order of use semi-automatically.
The value of this is recognized by the users of Microstation, who love that logic of not having to be opening pop-up panels for layer control or selection of these in the cloud ... to give an example.
Other changes to the interface include a “Browser menu“, which displays a side window with the ability to explore files, commands, and other resources… we'll see if it becomes so useful.
Quick access toolbar, with this what they did is look for where to place the general commands (new, save, print, copy, paste ...)
Infocenter, mmm, mmm, only the help, with an integrated search engine and the possibility of placing markers although in practice few users of Autocad use the help because it has never been so friendly.
Statusbar, this is those ortho, grid, osnap, lwt labels that are now placed in a lower bar to hinder less ... it is interesting that there are some important accesses to parameters in use of styles, units and things that before were only activated through from the command line.
3. Changes in command operation
AutoCAD 2009 seeks to solve the problem of the draftsman in his table, where to place so many tools and in a certain way has achieved some valuable aspects, among them:
Properties bar goes to Quick properties
It was always very useful but annoying in the space it covered, now when hovering over objects or applying a command it activates. Hopefully and it is not a distraction that makes us lose working memory, from the outset it looks good; We will see if it manages to win the battle against the contextual menus of its competition.
Other things become “Quick”
That of switching between the workspace and the views (views and layouts) now comes with other ways to invoke them in the style of a good night prayer (the bottom labels or the top menu). It still takes some getting used to because they have put it on the keyboard with ctrl + tab, on the right button of the mouse or on some icons in the status bar.
Even named views can have display properties (only three) and PowerPoint-style transitions (show/shot view motion).
Search to save repetitive processes
This has cost AutoCAD a lot, because the commands are very linear and things like: offset command, enter, offset distance, enter, offset direction, end of the command... if you want to do it again, execute the 5 steps . This poor usability made us become experts with keyboard shortcuts, the right hand with the mouse and the left to punch letters or the inevitable "esc" key.
In this case, AutoCAD 2009 looks for something called action recorder, similar to saving macros, it is possible that to make us forget the keyboard and text commands... I honestly think it will cost a lot because we already got used to it and even liked it. I would bet that AutoCAD look for the idea of "the always active command" and context menu, only then we could forget the keyboard.
However I recognize that these changes will be good for the new generations, and for them a functionality called “tool tip” that if you place the mouse on a line it tells you “You have put your pointer on an object called line, the help can explain how to make a line, also on the Internet you can find how to make a line, and do not forget to look in our blog 25,456 ways to make a line"… Useful? maybe but I don't think it will last very long unless they give it better functionality.
4. Improved commands ... few
Mtext. Now you can do spell checking as you type, we understand that Spanish is included.
Search and Replace. Now a search generates a list that you can make direct zooms in and replace… not just texts.
Lighting and 3D. Although they add a slight advantage to VSLIGHTINGQUALITY, little is gained from that because for 3D modeling many people use other AutoDesk applications ... however there are those who They work wonders. They implement the ViewCube, Which is a controlled management of objects in three dimensions, seems to help to do some basic tasks or at least facilitates selection and SteeringWheels Allows you to fly over an 3D space or create scrolling sequences.
Georeferencing. Of the best that this version brings, although we do not get very excited; It is not managing projections, that is what AutoCAD Map3D does, but at least to AutoCAD 2009 they have added the option to handle latitude / longitude coordinates and the possibility of creating meshes of that geographic location. Although you could not create a grid both in UTM As well as geographic coordinates.
More, there is no more for now, that is what Heidi commented, a lady who looks like an excellent housewife but who imparts magnificent conferences at the annual events ... with a more machine-readable English than the Hispanic understanding ... and with a figure that leaves us pensive as it would have been when taking its first classes of AutoCAD in 1986 .
We expected improvements in integration With Google EarthIt is expected that in the rest of the year he will continue to tell us more, usually for the month of April AutoDesk launches its products. Currently AutoCAD 2009 Raptor is a beta version, and can be downloaded if you are registered as a beta tester.
You can see a video of some improvements in the blog of Donnie Gladfelter
You can also see the opinions of users in Todo Arquitectura regarding how it will be AutoCAD 2009