AutoCAD 2015 Focuses on User Comfort

12 May, 2014 By: Lynn Allen

Circles and Lines: The updated workhorse CAD program features a passel of UI updates that will make your day-to-day work easier and more efficient.

You will also find a variety of notifications such as hardware acceleration, trial periods, and offline help information on the Create page.

By switching over to the Learn page, you can access tools that help you get to know AutoCAD 2015. You can explore the What's New section, watch videos to help you get started, or look up tips and online resources.

Note: If you decide you'd rather not deal with the New tab, you can set NEWTABMODE and STARTUPMODE to 0 to restore AutoCAD 2014 behavior.

Time to Embrace the Ribbon

I do have a bit of bad news for you ribbon rebels: AutoCAD 2015 no longer provides the AutoCAD Classic workspace option (but there are workarounds if you just can't cope). To make the adjustment easier, AutoCAD points to the tool you're looking for in the ribbon when you select the Find option in the Help window (figure 3).

Figure 3. Can't find a tool in the ribbon? AutoCAD Help to the rescue!
Figure 3. Can't find a tool in the ribbon? AutoCAD Help to the rescue!

If the tool isn't accessible or is hidden in the current workspace, a tooltip in the Help window tells you where you can find it.

Figure 4. Grab content faster with the new Galleries option built right into the ribbon.
Figure 4. Grab content faster with the new Galleries option built right into the ribbon.

I will say that the context-sensitive ribbon is so powerful and efficient that I can't imagine going back to the AutoCAD Classic workspace. Maybe it's time for you ribbon rebels to give it a try!


Galleries are a highlight of AutoCAD 2015. A variety of content, such as block definitions, is displayed directly on the ribbon for speedy access (figure 4). These new galleries are also available for quickly recognizing styles such as dimensions, mleaders, text, and tables. One less step means getting your jobs done faster!

Badges? Maybe We Do Need Some Badges!

AutoCAD 2015's contextual badges provide additional feedback right next to your cursor (figure 5). Selection badges pop up to indicate crossing vs. window selections. Inspection badges appear when using inquiry tools such as Distance, Area, and List. Copy, Move, Scale, and Rotate badges appear during editing, as do Zoom and Erase badges. All these visual badges should make it easier to ensure you are in the right command at the right time!

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Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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