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Features List 13
From CAD User AEC Magazine Vol 17 No 03 - MARCH/APRIL 2004
Drawing Management is the focus of some of the most important improvements being introduced in the latest version of AutoCAD
The only issue I have with Autodesk is its need to advance the date on all of its software releases! Every time a new version comes out, I have to perform a quick reality check and wonder whether I have somehow slept through the preceding year - and we really are in the midst of 2005! Is it some form of subconscious desire to appear to be forward thinking and totally up to date - and beyond - with the technology?
From a software point of view, the latest version of Autodesk's core CAD solution certainly adds more significant capability to a package that is already stuffed with features. The emphasis this time, however, has been on adding improved drawing management, introducing the concept of Sheet Sets, enhancing Autodesk's DWF to facilitate the design and review process, and changing the way AutoCAD handles tables.
Now, multiple drawings can be grouped together in a single project folder, organised by a Sheet Set Manager, which displays both drawing sheets and sheet subsets in a simple tree structure, showing the current status of each. Subsets would relate to specific disciplines within a project - electrical, HVAC - and could be extracted and delivered to each contractor. Alternatively, the complete set of sheets could be sent as a single file to the client. Sheet sets can also be published in DWF format containing hyperlinks that connect all of the sheets.
Managing complete sets of sheets provides other benefits. Changes can be made across entire sheet sets - to title blocks, sheet names and other universal information, with the Sheet Manager automatically updating each sheet in the set. A title sheet can be set up that indexes the whole set, creating hyperlinks that allow users to access each drawing.
Although sheet sets are ultimately easy to set up using the Sheet Set Manager - allowing users to assemble sets quickly from existing drawings and enabling common standards to be applied across a project, or merely adding and deleting individual sheets from the set - the user is faced with a powerful tool that introduces a wide range of new options and terms that will need some study before they become completely familiar with them.
The Sheet Set Manager contains dozens of new commands and actions in menus, submenus, dropdowns and dialogue boxes and uses terms such as 'nested subsets, sheet lists' and so on. The benefits, however, once the new methods have sunk in, are obvious, giving users the ability to handle their projects more effectively.
DWF and Design Review
Tables can also be brought in from other applications - notably Microsoft Excel, which can be pasted as a table object - or exported from AutoCAD 2005 as CSV files. Spreadsheets other than Excel can be imported as OLE objects.
Project Palettes and other Enhancements
Layer management has been improved, enabling users to group layers using filters to apply property changes throughout a group, or for groups of layers to be turned on and off at the same time. Using the View command, layer settings can be changed when a named view is called.
Field text, another feature that is common in Microsoft Word, has been introduced
in AutoCAD 2005, adding information about drawings, such as current date, drawing
name, circle radii, etc., and identifiable by its grey background. The addition
of text to the drawing has also been enhanced, as it now includes a multi-line
text editor that can actually use indents and tabs, or apply background colour
to improve its legibility. Access to symbols has been improved, and the range
of fonts increased.
Autodesk 2005 Family
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