AutoCAD 2015 Focuses on User Comfort11 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.
Are you one of those bleeding-edge AutoCAD users who eagerly anticipate each year's version release? When spring rolls around, do you find yourself hoping that your AutoCAD prayers have been answered and your feature wishes have finally been added into the product? While I can't cover all the new features inside AutoCAD 2015 in one column, let's take a look at the key user interface (UI) enhancements that encompass a majority of the improvements — maybe they're just what you've been hoping for!
Darker Color Scheme Equals Less Eye Strain
So many AutoCAD users sit and stare at the screen all day long — here is some relief, finally! AutoCAD 2015 introduces a cool-gray interface that is intended to reduce eye strain (figure 1). Die-hard traditionalists can change the screen back to a light theme by setting COLORTHEME to 1 or by using the Color Scheme control on the Display tab of Options.
Figure 1. The darker interface theme is easier on the eyes.
One of the first things you'll run into when you launch AutoCAD 2015 is the New tab (figure 2). The traditional empty screen has been replaced by this tab, which makes it easy to begin a new drawing or open an existing one. The New tab also appears whenever you select the "+" symbol on the File tabs (to add a new drawing) or use the Ctrl+T keyboard shortcut.
Figure 2. The New tab now displays when you launch AutoCAD, making it easy to open a new or existing drawing.
The New tab is made of two pages: Create and Learn. The Create page (default) offers quick access to things such as sample files, recent documents, templates, and Autodesk 360. The center column displays as many as 10 recently viewed documents, and icons at the bottom of the column control how they display. By clicking these icons, you can choose to view thumbnails, thumbnails and text, or just text.