AutoCAD 2020: streamlined and modernised

Terry Dean, application specialist at Excitech, reviews the new version of AutoCAD.

The latest release of Autodesk’s AutoCAD 2020 version has recently been released. AutoCAD is an established product widely used in many industries, and as such we should not expect ground-breaking developments but rather enhancements in line with technology.

AutoCAD 2020 offers streamlined and modernised versions of some existing and new tools, based on customer feedback and surveys.

A new tool which is easy to become familiar with is the Block palette. This feature takes separate existing functionalities and brings them together, providing a streamlined method of inserting blocks. It is perhaps best described as a hybrid of the Insert Dialog box, the Tool palette and Design centre, with all the best bits of each to expedite finding and inserting blocks. The new “repeat placement” option is also a nice touch.

A long overdue update has been made to the Purge tool. Previously, very specific procedures were needed to get the right results. Although the tool did what it was meant to do, remembering these procedures was difficult.

AutoCAD 2020 offers some long overdue enhancements

It has now been redesigned, with a preview window, allowing you to quickly assess if something needs purging or not, offering insight into non-purgeable items as to why they cannot be purged and how many there are. The option to zoom in on these elements is also a nice feature.

DWG Compare has seen some updates in AutoCAD 2020. Not enough to cause any confusion but enough to offer some enhancement, including the ability to edit the drawings while in the compare state with real-time colour coding to constantly monitor the differences. The addition of a floating settings panel which can be pinned to remain open offers the same recognisable features as previously, only now with a description of the colour coding indicators.

A new feature added to an existing tool is Quick Measure within Measuregeom. The naming of this tool is no exaggeration and might well have been named Super Quick Measure. Activate the tool and you are measuring. Just moving the cursor over or near objects will display dimensions – lengths, angles and radii – instantly. If lines are parallel to each other on adjacent shapes, the space between them will be measured too.

AutoCAD 2020 offers some long overdue enhancements and new tools to streamline previously cumbersome tasks. The enhancements made to the Purge tool and Blocks palette will make using AutoCAD a more pleasurable experience and DWG Compare allowing editing in compare view is an obvious advantage. The Quick Measure tool speaks for itself – definitely a great addition.

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