AutoCAD 2015 Focuses on User Comfort12 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.
Figure 5. Badges provide contextual feedback while drawing and editing.
What You See Is What You Get
In the past, complex linetypes didn't display as you drew or edited them. Now you can see the complex linetypes in their entirety as you draw, move, copy, or rotate them. Also, lines and plines now display their color, linetype, and lineweight as you draw them. Selecting objects is more obvious because they appear thicker and darker during the preselection process (or lighter, depending on your background color). Objects actually change color when you select them, provided hardware acceleration is turned on. All these little changes contribute to accurate results.
As AutoCAD users, we are used to diagonal lines appearing jagged, as well as circles and arcs that look a little rough around the edges. AutoCAD 2015 offers a new capability that smoothes all your objects so they look much better on the screen. This feature can be turned on and off in the Graphics Performance dialog box (under the Systems tab in Options), but ultimately it shouldn't affect AutoCAD performance.
I loved the command preview that first appeared in AutoCAD 2012. In AutoCAD 2015 you will find that Trim, Extend, Lengthen, Break, MatchProp, Fillet, Chamfer, and Offset all share a handy preview of the results before you actually select an object. Ultimately this should yield fewer mistakes — not to mention giving the Undo command a rest.
Round 'Em Up!
Use the new Lasso selection option in AutoCAD 2015 to round up objects that don't fit neatly within a rectangular area. Access the Lasso option by clicking on a blank area of the drawing and then dragging the cursor around the objects (figure 6). Quickly switch to a Fence by hitting the spacebar. You can still get to the traditional rectangular window and crossing selections by clicking and releasing at each corner. You can turn this feature off in the Selection tab of Options, but give it a try first!
Figure 6. Use the new Lasso selection for non-rectangular selection.
Figure 7. The new Isometric Drafting tool in the status bar supports easy isometric drawing.
Do you use isometric mode in AutoCAD? A new tool in the status bar makes it easier than ever to switch to isometric drawing mode and to move from one isoplane to the next (figure 7).
You Must Try the UI Updates
The user interface in AutoCAD 2015 has many improvements that are certain to improve your drawing productivity. In keeping with AutoCAD tradition, you can turn off most of these new features, but promise me you'll give them a chance first. With a little time you'll comfortably ease into this new release and be glad that you did! Until next time, happy AutoCAD-ing!
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!