Autodesk has launched their 2014 products last week. Some of the products are already available for download, and more are coming. We will cover in several articles starting today.
This first article is covering AutoCAD interface. AutoCAD has many enhancements in this area for years. The ribbon, dynamic input, command line enhancement, AutoComplete and many more. We can say that this is Autodesk’s favorite area.
So let’s see what are new in AutoCAD interface.
Part 1: Command Line
AutoCAD inherit command line since DOS version. Like many other software and OS, it’s a powerful and irreplaceable. So it makes sense that Autodesk is trying to enhance this feature.
This enhancement will correct your input when you type. If you have large fingers and mistype WIPEOUT with EIPEOUT, AutoCAD will activate wipeout instead of giving ‘unknown command’ error.
Personally I don’t feel this would be helpful. I mostly type alias shortcuts like L instead of LINE. If the command is quite long, I simply type few characters and wait for AutoComplete to appear.
AutoComplete is not a new feature. But in 2014, it’s enhanced to show mid string search. In 2013, if you type ROTATE, then AutoComplete will show ROTATE and ROTATE3D only.
In AutoCAD 2014, it will be able to show all commands that contains ROTATE in the command like below.
This enhancement is quite useful. Better than AutoCorrect. If you are looking for settings command, you can type SETTING and it will display all setting commands.
Adaptive suggestions will recognize your behavior when using commands. So the list order in the suggestion list will vary between users. It will place most used commands on top.
Command line can also suggest synonym to users. Let’s say a user want to get a point coordinate. He didn’t remember the command to get it. He can type COORDINATE on command line, and AutoCAD will show commands related to that word. It will show ID command.
This is very useful for occasional and new users. It would be easier to find a command that you don’t remember.
Please note that below enhancements are only for command line, not in dynamic input.
If you type a command in command line, you can see help and internet icon on the right side of the command.
If you click the question mark, it will open your default browser and show information about it in AutoCAD help.
If you click the internet icon, it will show Google search result about that command. The search engine is Google, and I don’t see if there’s a way to change it. Probably we should have option to change it, because it’s not everyone’s favorite. At least it’s not no.1 search engine in China.
If you are a dynamic input lovers, then it would be easier to just press F1.
You can type block or hatch name at command line. If you have it on the list, you can click it and insert it to your drawing. It also supports layers, and several styles. It will change current layer/styles if you select it on the list.
Now command line suggest commands, system variables and contents. You will see many suggestions in command line and it won’t be easy to pick what you want.
So AutoCAD now separate them in categories. See below. The items in lighter background are commands. The darker background are categories. If you click the + sign on the right side, it will expand the list and show system variables or contents. Depends on which one that you click.
Now the common questions for new features: how can I turn it off?
I won’t suggest you to immediately turn it off. Try it for a couple of weeks, you probably find it useful or like it. But if you want to turn them off anyway, you can click the customize button then turn off each feature individually from input settings.
Or you can choose input search options for more control.
I know that command line never dies. Oracle database use it. Windows use it. AIX use it. Even if they have GUI, command line will always exist.
However, this is interesting because this enhancements are focused on command line and kind of neglect the dynamic input. Probably there are not many AutoCAD users use dynamic input.
What do you think? And do you like those enhancements?
We will continue about interface in the next article.