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What’s new in AutoCAD 2020?

Earlier this week, we saw the public unveiling of the new AutoCAD 2020. In this blog, we summarise the features and enhancements introduced in the AutoCAD 2020 release.

UI enhancements

The clarity, crispness and sharpness of both the dark and light themes has been improved, and icon colours have been optimised to provide optimum contrast:

AutoCAD 2020 blog UI enhancements

The contextual tabs on the AutoCAD 2020 ribbon are now more distinct when active:

AutoCAD 2020 blog further UI enhancements

Redesigned Blocks palette

The Insert dialog box, used to insert blocks, has been redesigned:

AutoCAD 2020 blog blocks palette

Three tabs are available to facilitate finding and inserting blocks efficiently:

  • Current Drawing tab – choose from the block definitions in the current drawing.
  • Recent tab– choose from the most recently inserted blocks across all drawings and sessions.
  • Other Drawing tab – navigate to drawings either to insert as blocks or to choose from the blocks defined in those drawings.

The palette offers options to increase efficiency for inserting multiple blocks, including the Repeat Placement option.

Enhanced DWG comparison

The comparison now takes place in the current drawing. This means that:

  • You can compare the current drawing with another specified drawing, and update it while in the compare state.
  • Any changes you make in either the current drawing or the compared drawing are dynamically compared and highlighted.

For example, let’s say you want to compare the differences between two drawings:

AutoCAD 2020 blog dwg comparison 1

The result of comparing the current drawing with the compared drawing looks like this:

AutoCAD 2020 blog dwg comparison 2

The change sets are each surrounded by orange revision clouds, which are scaled to the drawing extents. You can then choose to:

  • Import the differences identified in the compared drawing into the current drawing.
  • Export both drawings into a new snapshot drawing that combines the similarities and changes between both drawings.

New Quick Measure feature

The new MEASUREGEOM command lets you measure geometry much faster than was possible previously.

When this option is active, dimensions, distances, and angles within a 2D drawing are displayed dynamically as you move your mouse over and between objects.

Redesigned Purge

The Purge feature has been redesigned for easier drawing cleanup and organization. The enhancements include:

  • Resizable Preview area.
  • The ability to purge zero-length geometry without purging empty text objects.
  • Selection of items to be purged by category.
  • Detailed information for objects that can’t be purged, indicating why.

Support for cloud services

AutoCAD 2020 supports cloud connectivity and storage with several cloud services, including Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft SharePoint and Dropbox.

This means that you can now save .dwg files directly to the cloud, and open them directly from the cloud, using the usual Save, Save As and Open commands.

Microsoft issued a press release providing details about how AutoCAD 2020 integrates with OneDrive and SharePoint.

Enhanced support for AutoCAD Web and AutoCAD Mobile

  • Drawings that you save for AutoCAD web and mobile access can now include Xrefs.
  • You can prevent drawings from being saved to and opened within AutoCAD Web and AutoCAD Mobile. This provides control over whether your drawings can be access outside your organization’s network.

General enhancements and improvements

Graphics configuration

AutoCAD now launches correctly with:

  • Different DirectX drivers (Dx9, Dx11 or no driver).
  • High resolution (4K) monitors.
  • Dual monitors.

The graphics display settings are consolidated into three modes: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced, making it easy to select the right mode for your display.

Performance improvements

A new installation technology dramatically improves:

  • The install time on SSDs.
  • The network access time to xrefs, blocks and support files.

Security enhancements

A range of measures to counter potential cyber threats have been introduced, including:

  • Potential exploits in data files created by AutoCAD have been closed.
  • Several dependencies on DLLs or other components used in AutoCAD with known vulnerabilities have been removed or upgraded.
  • A potential server vulnerability has been closed, and a future vulnerability in a component is being replaced.

We run regular AutoCAD courses at all levels at our centres in Birmingham/Bromsgrove, Bristol, Reading, Milton Keynes and Sheffield. You can check dates and book here.

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